Ankylomyrma

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Ankylomyrma
Ankylomyrma coronacantha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Agroecomyrmecinae
Genus: Ankylomyrma
Bolton, 1973
Type species
Ankylomyrma coronacantha
Diversity
1 species
(Species Checklist)

Ankylomyrma coronacantha casent0005904 profile 1.jpg

Ankylomyrma coronacantha

Ankylomyrma coronacantha casent0005904 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

This monotypic genus was described from a single Ankylomyrma coronacantha worker. The type specimen was found via canopy fogging and the few additional collections, all of workers, have been found through vegetation beating and litter sampling. Nothing is known about their biology.

Identification

The combination of the 12 segmented antenna, prominent eyes that are situated at the posterolateral corners of the head, the enlarged first gastric tergite that forms a large subspherical ball, and the forward projection of the well developed sting set this genus apart from other Myrmicinae.

Bolton-1981b-fig-1-2.jpg

Diagnosis

Worker

From Bolton (1981) - Monomorphic arboreal myrmicine ants. Mandibles with 5 sharply defined large triangular teeth, the mandibles almost entirely concealed by the c1ypeus when closed. Palp formula 5, 3, the palpomeres very long (apical maxillary palpomere equal in length to apical antennal segment). Clypeus very large, projecting forwards over the mandibles as a broad shelf. Median portion of clypeus raised, broad posteriorly and broadly inserted between the widely separated frontal lobes. Frontal lobes concealing antennal insertions, prolonged back by a pair of irregular frontal carinae which run past the inner margins of the eyes to the occipital margin. Frontal carinae forming dorsal margins of a weak scrobe which is bounded below by a ridge running from below the eye to the mandibular insertions. Eyes large, situated at extreme posterolateral corners of head, within the scrobal area as defined by the frontal carinae and ridge. Antennae 12-segmented, without a strongly defined club, the flagellomeres increasing in size apically. Occipital margin bounded by a broad transverse lamella which projects into a series of dentiform processes; occiput behind the lamella broad and flat. Promesonotum swollen, large and convex, without sutures but with 4 pairs of roughly triangular teeth or prominences. Propodeum short and strongly bispinose. Metapleural lobes absent. Mesopleuron divided by a broad transverse suture and a broad suture separating meso- and metapleuron present. Petiole strongly bispinose, with a broad anterior peduncle which grades into the node. Gaster consisting almost entirely of the massively enlarged and strongly vaulted first tergite. The first sternite is visible as a narrow collar fringing the ventral portion of the forward-pointing orifice of the tergite; remaining gastral segments very small and telescoped inside. Sting strongly developed and projecting anteriorly below the pedicel segments.

Distribution

Known from Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana and Gabon.

World distribution based on political regions. View/Edit Data
Ankylomyrma Distribution.png Worlddistribution legend.jpg

Species richness

Species richness by country based on regional taxon lists (countries with darker colours are more species-rich). View Data

Ankylomyrma Species Richness.png

Biology

See Ankylomyrma coronacantha for some speculation about the biology of the single known species of this genus.

Castes

The single species of this genus is known only from the worker caste.

Morphology

Worker Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 12 • Antennal club 3-4 • Palp formula 5,3 • Spur formula 1 simple, 1 barbulate • Eyes present • Scrobes present • Sting present

Male Morphology

 • Caste unknown

Nomenclature

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

  • ANKYLOMYRMA [Myrmicinae: Ankylomyrmini]
    • Ankylomyrma Bolton, 1973c: 235. Type-species: Ankylomyrma coronacantha, by original designation.

Bolton (1981) stated the following about the presumed relationship of this genus to other Myrmecinae: "In the original description of this remarkable ant I placed the genus tentatively in the tribe Meranoplini. I am aware now that this move was incorrect and that Ankylomyrma is not close to Meranoplus or any other member of that now-disbanded tribe (for discussion see Bolton, 1981). The real relationships of Ankylomyrma are an enigma for, although there are a number of characters implying alliance with genera such as Atopomyrmex, Terataner and their allies, such as low dental count, high palp formula, broad clypeus and structure of petiole, there are also objections to such a placement. Chief among these must be the position of the eyes, situated as they are at the extreme posterior corners of the sides of the head and within what is strictly the scrobal area. In Terataner and allies the eyes are always positioned well forward of the occipital corners and below the scrobes when such are present. The incredible occipital fringe and unique gastral development of Ankylomyrma are of course very derived characters which, though they serve to isolate the genus, do nothing to indicate its relationships.

References

  • Bolton, B. 1973c. A remarkable new arboreal ant genus (Hym. Formicidae) from West Africa. Entomol. Mon. Mag. 108: 234-237 (page 235, 236, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Meranoplini)
  • Bolton, B. 1981b. A revision of six minor genera of Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 43: 245-307 (page 247, Review of genus)
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 105, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Formicoxenini)
  • Bolton, B. 1995a. A taxonomic and zoogeographical census of the extant ant taxa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 2 29: 1037-1056 (page 1048, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Formicoxenini)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 63, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Formicoxenini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 241, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Ankylomyrmini)
  • Dlussky, G. M.; Fedoseeva, E. B. 1988. Origin and early stages of evolution in ants. Pp. 70-144 in: Ponomarenko, A. G. (ed.) Cretaceous biocenotic crisis and insect evolution. Moskva: Nauka, 232 pp. (page 80, Ankylomyrma incertae sedis in Myrmicinae)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1985b. A simplified conspectus of the Formicidae. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 111: 255-264 (page 257, Ankylomyrma in Myrmicinae, Meranoplini)