Kingdom:  Animalia

The Kingdom Animalia (=Metazoa) is one of a handful of lineages rooted far back in the branching "tree" that represents the history of life on Earth. This lineage that is composed of those organisms we know as "animals" represents one of the three major origins of multicellularity (the other two large and diverse groups of multicellular organisms are the fungi and the green plants). It is difficult to list characteristics that apply to all animals, since various branches of the animal tree have undergone a range of significant modifications. However, most animals obtain energy from other organisms.

Phylum:    Arthropoda

They are bilaterally symmetrical (there is a left/right symmetry), their bodies are made up from a series of segments, and they have paired and usually jointed appendages on some or all of the body segments. The body is protected by a tough organic or organic-mineral cuticle which functions as an exoskeleton. In order to grow, arthropods periodically shed their cuticle by a process called ecdysis. Insects, spiders, crustacea, trilobites are all types of arthropods.

Subphylum:    Hexapoda

The most distinctive feature of the hexapods is the reduction in walking appendages to six, with three body segments consolidating to form the thorax, which provides much of the locomotory ability of the animals. (This is in contrast to other arthropods, most of which have more than three pairs of legs)

Class:    Insecta

1.Three pairs of legs
2.Three body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen
3.Typically two pair of wings; some groups have one pair or none
4.One pair of antennae
5.Usually one pair of compound eyes; simple eyes (ocelli) present in many groups

Subclass:    Pterygota

They are winged insects

Infraclass:    Neoptera

They are wing-folding insects

Order:    Hymenoptera    (Ants, Bees, Wasps)

1.Typically two pairs of wings, with forewings usually larger than hind wings, but some groups (such as ants) wingless in most life stages
2.Wings have few cross-veins, these are angled to form closed cells
3.Antennae typically with 10 or more segments. Often 13 segments in male, 12 in female, but sometimes as few as 3 or up to 60 segments
4.Antennae longer than head, but usually not highly elongated (longer than head and thorax combined). Highly elongated in some parasitic groups
5.Females have prominent ovipositor, modified in some groups to be a "stinger", used to paralyze prey and for defense
6.Chewing mouthparts, but some groups have a "tongue" used for lapping up fluids, such as nectar
7.Complete metamorphosis
8.Several groups highly social (eusocial), with separate reproductive and worker castes

Suborder:    Apocrita

They are narrow-waisted Hymenopterans (propodeum is narrow-waisted)

Infraorder:    Aculeata

Their ovipositor is modified into a stinger to delivery venom. Not all members can sting as the ovipositor is modified in a different manner. This group includes the bees and ants and all of the eusocial Hymenopterans.

Superfamily:    Vespoidea

1.Pronotum reaches tegula
2.Wing venation well developed: usually 10 or 9 closed cells in fore wing and 2 closed cells in hind wing
3.Hind wing usually with jugal lobe
4.Metasomal sterna 1 and 2 often separated by constriction

Family:    Formicidae    (Ants)

Elbowed antennae (long scape), petiole with one or two nodes, powerful mandibles, workers wingless and sexuals have wings

Subfamily:    Formicinae

1.Abdominal pedicel of one segment (Waist of 1 segment)
2.Frontal carinae may or may not be present. If present not expanded into frontal lobes
3.Median portion of clypeus usually not extended backward between the frontal carinae
4.Hypopygidium modified into acidiopore
5.Gaster without any constriction between first and second segments
6.Cloacal orifice circular, terminal and surrounded by a fringe of hairs
(Jeff Shaddock (unpublished) and adapted from Wheeler and Wheeler (1963))

Tribe:    Formicini

Ventral surface of metatibia with two longitudinal rows of stout setae

Genus:    Formica

1.Metapleural gland present
2.Metapleural gland protected by a group of obvious seta
3.Antennal sockets situated close to the posterior margin of the clypeus
4.In ventral view, first segment of gaster without a transverse ridge behind the helcium
5.Propodeal spiracle elliptical to broadly oval
6.Mandibles triangular, with 7 or more teeth
7.Palp formula not 4,2 (usually 6,4)
(Jeff Shaddock (unpublished) and adapted from Wheeler and Wheeler (1963))