Aenictus wayani

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Aenictus wayani
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. wayani
Binomial name
Aenictus wayani
Jaitrong & Yamane, 2011

Aenictus wayani casent0903690 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus wayani casent0903690 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Inhabits primary forests in lowlands (Pangalulu, Wolaki, ca. 150 m alt.) and highlands (type series, CE10-SKY-64, ca. 800 m alt.). The type series was collected at night.

Identification

Jaitrong and Yamane (2011) - A member of the currax group. Aenictus wayani is very similar to Aenictus currax, Aenictus diclops, Aenictus huonicus, Aenictus pfeifferi, and Aenictus parahuonicus. Among these this species is more closely related to A. currax and A. diclops than to the others in having a slender mesosoma and relatively long antennal scape (SI 97–104; less than 95 in A. pfeifferi, A. huonicus, and A. parahuonicus). However, A. wayani is separated from A. diclops by its propodeal and petiolar dorsa being smooth and shiny (entirely sculptured in A. diclops), and is easily distinguished from A. currax as follows: antennal scape relatively shorter (SI 97–100 in A. wayani; 104 in A. currax); basal margin of mandible lacking denticles in A. wayani (it is sinuate with 3–4 ill-defined denticles in A. currax).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), Sulawesi.

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 wayani. 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.

  • wayani. Aenictus wayani Jaitrong & Yamane, 2011: 22, figs. 20-22 (w.) INDONESIA (Sulawesi).

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

Description

Worker

Measurements. Holotype and paratype workers (n = 10): TL 3.90–4.05 mm; HL 0.83–0.88 mm; HW 0.70– 0.78 mm; SL 0.70–0.78mm; ML 1.33–1.45 mm; PL 0.30–0.33 mm; CI 85–91; SI 97–100.

Description of worker (holotype and paratypes). Head in full-face view longer than broad, with sides slightly convex and posterior margin almost straight; occipital carina narrow but complete. Antennal scape relatively long, extending much beyond 2/3 of head length; antennal segments II–X each longer than broad; II almost as long as each of III–VI. Frontal carina short, slightly extending beyond the level of posterior margin of torulus. Parafrontal ridge almost absent. Masticatory margin of mandible with a large apical tooth followed by a medium-sized subapical tooth and 4–5 denticles; basal margin lacking denticles. Mesosoma slender; promesonotum in profile convex dorsally and sloping gradually to metanotal groove. Propodeum in profile with weakly convex dorsal outline; propodeal junction rounded; declivity of propodeum shallowly concave, and encircled with a thin rim; area below propodeal spiracle distinctly impressed; opening of propodeal spiracle clearly circular with its diameter about 2.5 times as long as diameter of postpetiolar spiracle. Petiole clearly longer than high, with its dorsal outline convex; subpetiolar process weakly developed, triangular, with its ventral outline feebly convex or straight, and anteroventral corner angulate. Postpetiole almost as long as petiole, with its node almost as long as high and dorsal outline convex.

Head including mandible entirely smooth and shiny; antennal scape dorsally smooth but ventrally sculptured. Pronotum smooth and shiny except for the anteriormost portion punctate; mesonotum smooth and shiny; mesopleuron macroreticulate, bearing several longitudinal rugae; metapleuron irregularly sculptured. Propodeal dorsum entirely smooth and shiny; lateral face of propodeum wrinkled but shiny. Petiole punctate. Postpetiole entirely smooth and shiny. Legs smooth and shiny.

Head and mesosoma with sparse obliquely standing hairs; longest pronotal hair 0.38–0.40 mm long. Entire body reddish-brown, with a relatively large typhlatta spot on occipital corner.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker from Indonesia, Sulawesi, Gorontalo, Mt. Tilongkabila, 800 m alt., 30 I 2010, Sk. Yamane leg. CE10-SKY-64 (MZB). One hundred paratype workers, same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum, Museum of Comparative Zoology, MHMG, Bogor Zoological Museum, SKY Collection, Natural History Museum of the National Science Museum).

Etymology

The specific name is dedicated to Mr. I. Wayan Kertayasa, the leader of the climbing club Mapala Tarantula, Gorontalo University, Sulawesi.

References

  • Jaitrong, W. & Yamane, S. 2011. Synopsis of Aenictus species groups and revision of the A. currax and A. laeviceps groups in the eastern Oriental, Indo-Australian, and Australasian regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Aenictinae). Zootaxa, 3128, 1–46. PDF