Ant and Related Entomology Terms

(terms restricted to the study of social insects; such as, ants and words that apply generally to entomology)

In a species with two sizes of males, the smaller of the two forms in contrast with macraner.
In a species with two sizes of queens, the smaller of the two forms in contrast with macrogyne.
In-ants a minor worker, and especially the smallest worker of the kind typically seen in founding colonies or at the low end of size variation of strongly and continuously polymorphic species.
minor worker
A member of the smallest worker subcaste; especially, in ants.
mixed nest
a nest containing colonies of two or more species of social insects, in which mixing of both the adults and the brood occurs.
modulatory communication
Communication that influences the behavior of receivers, not by forcing them into narrowly defined behavioral channels but by slightly shifting the probabilities of the performances of other behavioral acts.
molt, moult
1. The casting off of the outgrown skin or exoskeleton in the process of growth; also, the cast-off skin itself.
2. To shed feathers, hair, or skin periodically; especially, seasonally, in order to allow replacement of what is lost with new growth.
The existence of only one functional queen in the nest; as opposed to polygyny.

Primary monogyny is monogyny through the founding of the colony by a single queen.

Secondary monogyny is monogyny through the elimination of multiple founding queens until only one is left.

The existence within a species or colony of only a single worker subcaste.
monophasic allometry
Polymorphism in which the allometric regression line has a single slope; in ants use of the term also implies that the relation of some of the body parts measured is non-isometric.
mound nest
A nest at least part of which is constructed of a mound of soil or carton material that projects above the ground surface.

The term carton material refers to a card-board-like substance consisting of chewed plant material often mixed with soil, made by certain insects for building nests.

The architecture of the mound is often elaborate, specific in plan to the species, and evidently adapted to contribute to microclimate control within the nest.

A reference to a population of social insects which is divided into colonies that recognize nest boundaries.
Symbiosis that benefits the members of both of the participating species.
Müllerian bodies
Food bodies produced by Cecropia trees (tropical American trees that live in association with a colony of ants) on the trichilium (a pad at the base of the petiole or slender stem that supports the blade of a leaf) and consumed by the resident ants, which are usually Azteca but occasionally also by Camponotus balzani ants or Pachycondyla luteola ants.
myrmecioid complex
One of two major taxonomic groups of ants sometimes recognized in classification.

The name is based on the subfamily Myrmeciinae, one of the constituent taxa.

It should not be confused with the subfamily Myrmicinae, which belongs to the poneroid complex.

Here are two additional word units that deal directly with "ants": formic- and myrmeco-.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.

Bibliography of Entomology or Insect Terms (The Ants).