Acanthomyops, also called citronella ants, is an ant genus that releases alarm pheromones with a "lemony" or citronella smell when they are disturbed. These pheromones, which are composed of terpenes, hydrocarbons and ketones, are released from its mandibles and Dufour's gland. The worker's response to this chemical is raised antennae, followed by opened mandibles and running in the direction of the pheromones source (Hughes et al. 2001).
Some species, referred to in the United States as "moisture ants", make nests in and around rotting wood. They can infest buildings, becoming a minor nuisance. They are not considered a structural threat because they only make galleries in wood that is already decayed.
The genus includes the following species:
- Acanthomyops arizonicus (Wheeler, 1917)
- Acanthomyops bureni Wing, 1968
- Acanthomyops californicus (Wheeler, 1917)
- Acanthomyops claviger (Roger, 1862)
- Acanthomyops colei Wing, 1968
- Acanthomyops coloradensis (Wheeler, 1917)
- Acanthomyops creightoni Wing, 1968
- Acanthomyops interjectus (Mayr, 1866)
- Acanthomyops latipes (Walsh, 1863)
- Acanthomyops mexicanus (Wheeler, 1914)
- Acanthomyops murphyi (Forel, 1901)
- Acanthomyops occidentalis (Wheeler, 1909)
- Acanthomyops plumopilosus (Buren, 1941)
- Acanthomyops pogonogynus (Buren, 1950)
- Acanthomyops pubescens (Buren, 1942)
- Acanthomyops subglaber (Emery, 1893)
- Klotz, John H. (2008). Urban Ants of North America and Europe: Identification, Biology, and Management. Cornell University Press. pp. 39–44. ISBN 0801474736.
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