Stenamma diecki: These are wonderful ants because their knowledge to abundance ratio is so low. They are very abundant in leaf litter on the forest floor, but in spite of their abundance are rarely seen. They have small colonies, often only a few dozen workers, and the nests are deep under large stones. The workers have very small eyes, indicative of their life foraging in and under the leaf litter rather than on the surface. You won't find these at your picnic, and you won't necessarily find them if you go look in the leaf litter of the forest. They walk very slowly, and if they are disturbed they curl up and remain motionless, which makes it rather difficult to see a 2mm long ant. But if you take a bunch of litter and spread it out on a sheet and wait around for a while, you may see them gradually start to move. But quantitative samples of leaf litter from which the arthropods are extracted reveal them to be one of the most abundant ants in the forest. Our forest understory, in the shaded areas, are dominated by two species: Stenamma diecki and Lasius pallitarsus.
Face view (low res,
lateral view (low res,