On Melanetaerius infernalis Fall

Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, May 2019

William Morton Wheeler

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On Melanetaerius infernalis Fall

International Journal of HarYard Uni ersity. country, and curiously seem to resemble it in general appearance. Their expeditions are made during the afternoon from the end of June to August, occasionally three times in the same day. I wish to tender my sincere thanks to Prof. ,Y. :I. "'heeler for his ,?a]uab]e suggestions. The singular Histerid beetle JIelaneta?rius infernalis was first described by Fall in this journal in 1907 1 from a single indiYidual taken at Pasadena, California, Dec. 1st, 1902, "from nest of unknown ant." 'Yhile I was on a collecting trip during the past winter in Arizona and California ::Ir. Fall showed me the t~?pe specimen, which he had found in a collection obtained from a local entomologist who had died without leaYing any information concerning the precise locality in which the beetle had been captured. By a strange coincidence, while I was collecting Dec. 1st, 1910, on the anniYersary of the taking of this type specimen, I not only rediscoYered the beetle but was able to ascertain the host-ant with which, in all probability, it normally liYes. In a small canyon that enters the " ?est side of the Gran Arroyo Seco near Pasadena, I found seYeral nests of the typical yellow form of Plzeidole lzyatti Emery. All of these were under rather large stones, and from one of the nests, which was somewhat isolated and in the middle of the floor of the canyon, I took seYen specimens of the JIelaneta'rius. They were all quietly clinging to the under surface of the stone in the midst of the ants and made no effort to escape when the nest was disturbed. _\. few hundred yards from this spot and at the Yer~? opening of the side canyon into the Arroyo I found another colony of the same ant containing a single specimen of the beetle. All of the specimens agree Yery clo:o;ely with one another and - Wlzccler-JfclanctU!rius lnfernalis with the type, so that there is nothing to add to Fall's excellent description. The accompanying figure shows the generic charac? ters of .1.Uelanetrerius as distinguished from those of lietCPrius, viz. the absence of the elytral strire and longitudinal thoracic grooves, the peculiar shape of the sides of the thorax, the remarkable legs with the elongate grooves at the dilated apices of the tibire for the accommodation of the reflexible tarsi, the remarkable folded hind tibi::e and the foveolate or coarsely punctate surface of much of the body. The sides of the elytra bear stubby yellow hairs and the legs and tips of the median thoracic tubercles have pointed hairs of the same color. All these hairs arc probably ant-alluring in function. It is, moreover, not improbable that the fo,?eol::e are connected with exudate glands, but without a study of sections, this statement cannot be substantiated. The typical form of Pheidole hyatti is very common in southern California, especially in the neighborhood of Pasadena, Claremont and Santa Barbara, where it nests in dr~? , open fi elds, usually under rather large stones but sometimes in obscure crater nests about the roots of plants in the chaparral. After finding the JJelanetCPrius in two nests, I carefully searched all the Pheidole colonies which I encountered-several hundred in number-but the beetle was [June not again seen. It is certain, therefore, that it must be very rare and local. Since the various species of H efa'rius occur only with species of Formica or very rarely (H. minhnus Fall) with species of Lasius, the occurrence of J..llelanef(J'rius in the colonies of a l\iyrmicine ant is additional evidence, if it were needed, that Fall was right in regarding this hect le as the type of a distinct genus and not as an aberrant species of Hefa'rius. THE SOUND-:;\IAKIXG OF DIPTERA AND HY:\IE~OPTER.\.. By c. E. PE~IBERTO~, Stanford University, California. That many Diptera and Hymenoptera produce sounds in two distinct ways has been an accepted belief for a long time. One of these ways is b~? the rapid vibration of the wings in the air; the other one is by the forcible inspiration and expiration of air through the spiracles, especially the thoracic ones. The production of insect sounds by organs other than the wings was probably first noted by Aristotle when he said that the trachere were set in vibration by rapid in- and out-rushings of air causing a vibration somewhat similar to that produced by certain reed instruments. Dr. H. Landois in 1867 in a very complete and exhaustive paper on the sounds and sound apparatus of insects devoted consider? able attention to the Diptera and H~'menoptera. He made some elaborate explanations to prove that sounds were produced by certain vibratory portions of the spiracles, and performed a number of experiments to verify his explanations. Burmeister also has advanced the theory that flies produced sounds by forcing air violently through the spiracles thus pro? ducing a vibration loud enough to be heard, and similar theories have been advanced by others. Landois's work however is still probably the standard. Landois experimented ?with the house fly, (.Jlusca domestica) a flower fly (Eristalis tenax), a dung fly (Scato plzaga stercora ria), Peptides Advance s in ht p:/ w w.hindawi.com Virol og y Hindawi Publishing Corporation Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Submit your manuscr ipts http://www.hindawi.com Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Research International Stem Cells International Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Zoology International Journal of Journal of Signal Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Transduction Research International Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Anatomy Research International Research International Advances in Bioinformatics Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Enzyme Research Journal of International Journal of Genomics Hindawi Publishing Corporation ht p:/ www.hindawi.com Journal of Nucleic Acids The Scientiifc World Journal


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William Morton Wheeler. On Melanetaerius infernalis Fall, Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, DOI: 10.1155/1911/592956