Aenictus punensis

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Aenictus punensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. punensis
Binomial name
Aenictus punensis
Forel, 1901

Aenictus punensis casent0281959 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus punensis casent0281959 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Aenictus punensis.

Identification

A member of the pachycerus group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality).
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 punensis. 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 76-83

Nomenclature

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

  • punensis. Aenictus punensis Forel, 1901a: 476 (w.) INDIA. See also: Wilson, 1964a: 476.

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

Description

Worker

Wilson (1964) - Syntype: HW 0.73mm, HL 0.87mm, SL 0.69mm. Antenna 10-segmented. Mandible typical. Clypeus convex, entire, unarmed. Parafrontal ridge well developed, about 0.33 mm long. Occiput weakly convex, without a distinct collar as shown in dentatus (q. v.). Basal face of propodeum weakly convex, descending abruptly through a short, even curve to a secondary basal face just anterior to the true propodeal junction, which in turn is obtusely angulate. Subpetiolar process a low, forward-directed lobe whose ventral border is straight. Pilosity abundant; length of longest pronotal hairs 0.20 mm.

Occiput microreticulate and subopaque; mandibles finely striated and subopaque; remainder of head shining. Pronotal dorsum shining; remainder of mesosoma microreticulate and subopaque to opaque. In addition, the mesopleura and metanotum bearing about 20 longitudinal rugae, only several of which extend posteriorly to metapleuron and propodeum. Petiole microreticulate; dorsum feebly shining and remainder opaque. (Postpetiole and gaster missing in specimen at hand). Mesosoma, petiole, and antenna brownish yellow; head and legs mostly clear medium yellow.

Type Material

Type locality: Poona, India.

References