Polyergus wanted for Morphology and Sequencing

Hello anto-philes (and any others you can think of to forward this to, especially if they have access to Mongolian or other Asian, coastal Californian, Great Basin, Canadian or Mexican species):

I am making good progress on the global revision of the genus Polyergus that I have been mulling over for so many years, and really expect to have a manuscript produced for submission some time next year - finally! But one can always look at yet another sample or two, eh?

So, once again I am requesting a large group of people to, if you encounter these animals in their nest, please collect a sample of 10 or so Polyergus workers, a few alates (if available) and a few host workers for me. The host workers, though technically optional, are important for the biological sections on each species, so if you find Polyergus on a raid, I would ask that you follow them home to get a few of the associated Formica from the Polyergus nest.

Please kill and send the specimens in 90-95% ethanol, or if killed by freezing or in weaker alcohol, please transfer them as soon as possible to the strong stuff. This is to preserve the DNA, because, even though I will mount up my portion of the samples for measuring, etc., I will be sharing these samples with Berkeley grad student Candice Torres for her sequencing and phylogeography work on the genus and its hosts.

Looking forward to the flurry of new material from previously unsampled locales.

Please remember, include host workers from the Polyergus nest, not a raided nest, in the same vial. A note on the label about the species raided will be of interest, though.

Best regards to all, James

PS: If you lack vials with the proper preservative, please let me know and I can provide some to those in need.


James C. Trager
Shaw Nature Reserve
P.O. Box 38
Interstate 44 and US 100
Gray Summit MO 63039

636-451-3512 ext. 6002