Aenictus maneerati

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Aenictus maneerati
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. maneerati
Binomial name
Aenictus maneerati
Jaitrong & Yamane, 2013

Little is known about the bionomics of A. maneerati. However, judging from the type series and non-types this species inhabits primary forests.

Identification

A member of the ceylonicus group. Jaitrong and Yamane (2013) - Aenictus maneerati is similar to Aenictus fuchuanensis, Aenictus pinkaewi, and Aenictus sundalandensis in having the long cylindrical petiole and short head (CI 100-112). However, it is separated from the other three by the subrectangular head (in full-face view with weakly convex posterior margin in the latter) and unique subpetiolar process (very low, with downward-directed anterior and posterior denticles in the latter).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Thailand (type locality), Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of Aenictus maneerati. The genus is comprised of species that live an army ant lifestyle. Aenictus typically prey on other ants, from other genera, or other insects such as wasps or termites. There are reports of Aenictus preying on other insects as well and even have been observed collecting honeydew from homopterans (Santschi, 1933; Gotwald, 1995) but this appears, at least from available evidence, to be uncommon. Foraging raids can occur day or night across the ground surface. Occasionally raids are arboreal. During a raid numerous workers attack a single nest or small area, with several workers coordinating their efforts to carry large prey items back to the nest or bivouac. Aenictus have a nomadic life style, alternating between a migratory phase in which nests are temporary bivouacs in sheltered places above the ground and a stationary phase where semi-permanent underground nests are formed. During the nomadic phase bivouacs move regularly, sometimes more than once a day when larvae require large amounts of food. Individual nests usually contain up to several thousand workers, although nest fragments containing only a few hundred workers are often encountered. Queens are highly specialised and look less like workers than in most ant species. They have greatly enlarged gasters (dichthadiform) and remain flightless throughout their life. New colonies are formed by the division of existing colonies (fission) rather than by individual queens starting colonies on their own.

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • maneerati. Aenictus maneerati Jaitrong & Yamane, 2013: 201, figs. 13A-D (w.) THAILAND.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

(holotype and paratypes, n = 10). TL 2.80–3.05 mm; HL 0.65–0.68 mm; HW 0.65–0.68 mm; SL 0.50–0.53 mm; ML 1.00–1.03 mm; PL 0.25–0.28 mm; CI 100; SI 77–81.

Head in full-face view subrectangular, almost as long as broad, sides feebly convex and posterior margin feebly concave; occipital margin lacking collar. Antennal scape relatively long, extending beyond 2/3 of head length, but not reaching posterolateral corner of head. Frontal carina very short, not reaching the level of posterior margin of torulus. Parafrontal ridge absent. Anterior clypeal margin almost straight or feebly concave, lacking denticles. Masticatory margin of mandible with 4 teeth including a large apical tooth; basal margin feebly concave, lacking denticles. Maximum width of gap between anterior clypeal margin and mandibles about 2.4 times as broad as maximum width of mandible. Promesonotum strongly convex dorsally and sloping gradually to metanotal groove; metapleural gland bulla relatively large, its maximum diameter about 2.0 times as long as distance between propodeal spiracle and metapleural gland bulla. Propodeum in profile with almost straight dorsal outline; propodeal junction angulated; declivity of propodeum shallowly concave, and encircled with a distinct rim. Petiole subsessile, slightly longer than high, elevated posteriorly, posterior face of petiole shallowly concave, and encircled with a thin rim; subpetiolar process generally very low, with its anteroventral and posteroventral corners angulate, and margin between the corners concave. Postpetiole almost as long as petiole, with its dorsal outline convex.

Head entirely smooth and shiny. Mandible very finely punctate. Antennal scape superficially microreticulate, but shiny. Promesonotum reticulate except anteriormost portion punctate; mesopleuron, metapleuron and propodeum punctate; in addition, mesopleuron and metapleuron with approximately 10 longitudinal rugae; propodeal dorsum with several short longitudinal rugae in front of propodeal junction. Petiole and postpetiole densely punctate. Femora entirely smooth and shiny except basal portion punctate; tibiae punctate but slightly shiny.

Head and mesosoma dorsally with relatively dense standing hairs; longest pronotal hair 0.23–0.25 mm long. Head dark reddish brown; mesosoma dark brown; gaster and legs reddish brown or yellowish brown, paler than head and mesosoma.

Type Material

Holotype. THAILAND: Worker from N. Thailand, Tak Prov., Umphang Dist., 25.V.200, leg. W. Jaitrong, WJT00-TY01 (THNHM). Paratypes. Twenty-three workers, same data as holotype (AMK, BMNH, MCZC, SKYC, THNHM).

Etymology

The scientific name is dedicated to Mr. Sompoch Maneerat of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, who helped us in ant collecting in W. Thailand.

References

  • Liu, C.; Guénard, B.; Hita Garcia, F.; Yamane, S.; Blanchard, B.; Yang, D.-R.; Economo, E. 2015. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China. ZooKeys 477:17-78.