Aenictus nganduensis

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Aenictus nganduensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. nganduensis
Binomial name
Aenictus nganduensis
Wilson, 1964

Aenictus nganduensis casent0281957 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus nganduensis casent0281957 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Aenictus nganduensis.

Identification

A member of the ceylonicus group.

Key to Aenictus species groups

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Aenictus nganduensis for further details

Biology

Little is known about the biology of Aenictus nganduensis. 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.

Wilson 1964 Army Ant fig 45-50

Nomenclature

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

  • nganduensis. Aenictus nganduensis Wilson, 1964a: 470, figs. 47, 48 (w.) NEW GUINEA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype: HW 0.58 mm, HL 0.61 mm, SL 0.53 mm. Antenna 10-segmented. Mandibles narrow, 3-toothed; in closure a gap remains between their posterior border and the anterior clypeal border nearly as wide as the maximum mandibular width. Clypeus shallowly concave, unarmed. Parafrontal ridge absent. Occiput convex, lacking collar. Propodeal junction acutely angulate. Subpetiolar process large, consisting of an acutely angular, forward-directed flange. Pilosity moderately abundant; length of longest pronotal hairs about 0.20mm.

Head shining. Pronotum and mesonotum shining. Remainder of mesosoma microreticulate (reticular diameters about 0.01 mm) and opaque. Mesopleuron in addition bearing 3 coarse longitudinal rugae. Dorsum of postpetiole shining; remainder of pedicel microreticulate and opaque.

Paratype: HW 0.56 mm, HL 0.61 mm, SL 0.51 mm. Nearly identical to holotype.

Type Material

Type locality: Nguanduo, 1000 m, Mongi-Mape Watershed, Huon Peninsula, NE New Guinea, midmountain rain forest (Wilson, acc. No. 738).

References

  • Wilson, E. O. 1964a. The true army ants of the Indo-Australian area (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae). Pac. Insects 6: 427-483 (page 470, figs. 47, 48 worker described)