Aphaenogaster cecconii

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Aphaenogaster cecconii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: cecconii
Species: A. cecconii
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster cecconii
Emery, 1894

Aphaenogaster cecconii casent0179868 p 1 high.jpg

Aphaenogaster cecconii casent0179868 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Aphaenogaster cecconii is a common species in Crete. The nest entrances are found in small caverns, at entries to large caves, cracks in rock walls of northern exposure, inside large porous limestone rocks in shady places of mountain streams, in ancient tombs, and in walls of ruins and other man-made structures. The ants forage in an area 70–100 cm around the entrance to the nest. In three cases we observed single workers crawling over large rocks in streams, likely transported there by the current after heavy rains. The workers bring small plant seeds or pieces of stalks to the nest, but also small fragments of dead insects. When disturbed, the ants retreat swiftly into the nest entrance, remain immobile, or fall from the rock wall or stone onto the ground. We have not conducted any night observations so it is hard for us to say whether the species is more active at night. During the day we did not see any peaks of high activity. Even during the heat of the day their habitats are shaded and workers forage in the area around the nest. (Borowiec and Salata 2014)

Identification

Borowiec and Salata (2014) - Aphaenogaster cecconii is the species with the most elongated body, constricted neck base and head sides straight posterior to the eyes. It is also the darkest-colored species, mostly dark brown to black and only the first gastral tergite has a pale, whitish to whitish-yellow spot. The only other Mediterranean species that is dark colored and possesses a distinct neck constriction, Aphaenogaster lykiaensis, differs in the body being brown to partly rusty brown, the first gastral tergite uniformly brown, the head constriction broader, and the sides of the head posterior to the eyes slightly bulging. The third dark species, Aphaenogaster jolantae, distinctly differs in having an elongately-oval head without a pronounced neck constriction, and the first gastral tergite is uniformly dark brown.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Endemic to Crete.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Greece (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • cecconii. Aphaenogaster (Ischnomyrmex) cecconii Emery, 1894j: 7, fig. (w.) GREECE. Combination in Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma): Emery, 1915d: 71.

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

Description

Worker

Borowiec and Salata (2014) - (n=23): HL: 1.617 ± 0.135 (1.073–1.717); TL: 0.833 ± 0.08 (0.513–0.905); GL: 0.559 ± 0.06 (0.346—0.625); NW: 0.339 ± 0.04 (0.19–0.38); HW: 0.924 ± 0.096 (0.587–1.022); CW: 0.174 ± 0.018 (0.112–0.201); FLW: 0.331 ± 0.019 (0.279–0.363); SL: 2.314 ± 0.2 (1.579–2.452); EL: 0..260 ± 0.025 (0.179–0.291); EW: 0.203 ± 0.017 (0.145–0.226); ML: 2.433 ± 0.217 (1.587–2.618); PSL: 0.261 ± 0.036 (0.145–0.302); SDL: 0.221 ± 0.029 (0.123–0.259); HTL: 2.207 ± 0.222 (1.395–2.513); PL: 0.638 ± 0.048 (0.525–0.693); PPL: 0.449 ± 0.027 (0.369–0.492); PH: 0.367 ± 0.02 (0.313–0.421); PPH: 0.309 ± 0.0219.8 (0.254–0.346); PNW: 0.695 ± 0.0769.8 (0.425–0.754); DPSB: 0.219 ± 0.031 (0.117–0.268); DPST: 0.241 ± 0.032 (0.134–0.268); PW: 0.238 ± 0.027 (0.139–0.268); PPW: 0.3 ± 0.032 (0.179–0.346); CI: 57.2 ± 2.2 (50.1–60.2); CL: 18.9 ± 1.5 (16.4–22.9); FLI: 53.4 ± 3.4 (47.1–60); SI1: 143.2 ± 4.2 (128.8–148.7); SI2: 251.3 ± 12.1 (235.5–291.8); PI1: 173.9 ± 11.7 (151.7–197.1); PI2: 68.6 ± 3.4 (63–75.4); PPI1: 145.8 ± 8.5 (126.9–162.9); PPI2: 32.9 ± 1.8 (30.1–37); SPI1: 28.4 ± 1.9 (24.3–32.1); SPI2: 118.3 ± 7.9 (105.7–135.4); HTI: 239.6 ± 13.6 (221.1–280.5); MI: 350.7 ± 10.95 (327.2–373.4); PSI: 138 ± 7.7 (123.3–153.6) ; TGI: 149.18 ± 6.1 (139.7–163.7).

Head and thorax dark brown to black. Abdomen black, first tergite in anterior 1/3 length with whitish to yellow-whitish spot. Legs dark brown only tarsi yellowish to yellowish-brown, often trochanters, knee and apices of tibiae paler colored, yellowish-brown. Antennae yellowish, scapes with slightly infuscate apex. Head posterior to eyes with straight sides or only slightly rounded, strongly narrowed posteriad, at base forming narrow neck margined by sharp, high collar. Anterior margin of clypeus shallowly emarginated. Eyes small, 0.33 times as long as length of tempora. Scapes elongate and slim, 2.33 times as long as width of head, at base 0.73 times as wide as in apex, gradually widened, straight, only apex slightly bent down with shallow preapical constriction. Funicle elongate and thin, 1.27–1.30 times as long as scape, first segment elongate, 3.3 times as long as wide on apex, 0.94 times as long as second segment, length ratio of segments 100:107:107:103:100:100:107:127:123:120:173, apical segments 1.5 times as wide as basal segments. Surface of scape with very fine microsculpture, shiny, covered with long and sparse semierect setae.

Promesonotum 2.4 times as long as wide, gently, regularly convex in profile or with very shallow cleft between pronotum and mesonotum. Propodeum elongate, 1.45 times as long as wide, propodeal spines short, needle-like, runs obliquely upwards. Petiole elongate with long peduncle, its anterior face deeply concave, node angulate in profile. Posterior face straight in anterior 3/4 length, then shallowly concave. Ventral margin of petiole straight, without spine or distinct angulation. In dorsal view, petiole almost parallel sided before petiolar node, then gently widened. Postpetiole in profile regularly rounded. In dorsal view postpetiole 1.68 times as long as wide, regularly widened from base to apex, apical half with gently rounded sides.

Mandibles elongate, with outer edges straight, dorsal surface with distinct striation and several setose punctures, shiny, inner margin with one larger and 5–6 smaller teeth. Clypeus on whole surface with longitudinal rugae, interspaces microreticulate but more or less shiny. Frontal carinae short, not extending to the line connecting anterior margin of eyes, subparallel, interantennal area deeply impressed, microreticulate, without or with short, indistinct, 1–2 rugae, frontal triangle with thin longitudinal rugae, microreticulate but shiny between rugosities. Frons only on sides with thin longitudinal rugae, in central part with distinct microsculpture but shiny. Area between eyes distinctly microreticulate but appears shiny, microreticulation gradually diffused from front to back, gena, tempora and base of head with indistinct sculpture, on neck forming transverse striation, shiny. Pronotum with microreticulation diffused on top and distinct on sides . Top of pronotum shiny, sides from slightly dull to slightly shiny, with two rows of 4+2 setae. Mesonotum on whole surface microreticulate and partly microgranulate, sides with several transverse rugae, propodeum with slightly granulate sculpture, microreticulate, below spiracles with indistinct oblique rugae, top in anterior part with fine transverse wrinkles but surface of both mesonotum and propodeum appears slightly shiny. Top of mesosoma in anterior part with 8–14 setae, in posterior part with only 2 setae, propodeum anteriorly with few very short setae and posteriorly with a pair of short setae, as long as or slightly shorter than propodeal spines. Base of petiole and postpetiole on entire surface microreticulate but without wrinkles, nodes smooth and shiny, covered with several sparse, long setae. Gaster on pale basal spot of first tergite more or less microreticulate, other parts shiny, without microreticulation, tergites with sparse, long, erect setae from as long as to 1.5 times as long as propodeal spines.

Legs very long, hind femora 1.2 times as long as thorax, hind tibiae 0.8 times as long as hind femora, hind tarsi 1.1 times as long as hind femora. Dorsal surface of femora with short, sparse, adherent pubescence, inner margin with row of sparse, long, setae, tibiae on whole surface covered with short, adherent to semierect pubescence, only inner margins with row or slightly longer and more erect setae.


References