| Aenictus punensis|
Nothing is known about the biology of Aenictus punensis.
A member of the pachycerus group.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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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.
Known only from the worker caste.
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.
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 locality: Poona, India.
- Forel, A. 1901a. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part VIII. The Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 13:462-477. PDF (page 476, worker described)
- Wilson, E. O. 1964a. The true army ants of the Indo-Australian area (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae). Pacific Insects. 6:427-483. PDF (page 476, see also)