Aphaenogaster simonellii

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

Aphaenogaster simonellii casent0179867 p 1 high.jpg

Aphaenogaster simonellii casent0179867 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

On Crete, a common species in open, sunny locations: open dry forest, wood edges, olive groves, lawns, fields with scattered shrubs, urban areas. Observed up to 800 m altitude. Nest in the soil, mostly sheltered by stones, also in cavities of rocks. Workers are individual foraging on the ground, in herbs and bases of trees and shrubs. Foraging behaviour can be described as precautionary. Feeds on live and dead arthropods, and myrmecochorous seeds. I have seen them carrying petals of olives, which results in crops of hundreds of bare petals. Also other dead vegetable material was collected. Fast-moving after disturbance. I observed several times territorial behavior and evacuation of the nest (in May). (Boer, 2013)

Identification

A member of the A. testaceopilosa group. Boer (2013) - Workers. A unique combination of characters is, in lateral view, a slightly angular pronotum and the shiny body. Resembles Aphaenogaster spinosa only because of the shine. Males unknown. It is likely that the males are shiny (as in spinosa).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Greece (type locality), Turkey.

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.

  • simonellii. Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa var. simonellii Emery, 1894j: 8 (w.) GREECE. Raised to species: Santschi, 1933c: 401. See also: Schembri & Collingwood, 1981: 54.

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

Description

Boer (2013):

Worker

Longitudinal rugulae on the lateral sides of the mesosoma variable: distinct to weak and limited. Dorsal side of pronotum and propodeum finely rugulose or scabriculous, mainly transverse. Head in full-face view with longitudinal rugulae with cross connections, on temples and occiput often absent. Punctation distinct on head, weaker on mesosoma and petioles. Dorsal side of postpetiole punctate to smooth, with longitudinal costulae which are continuing on the first gastral tergite as microstriae. Terminal side of propodeum, beneath the propodeal spines smooth and shiny. Lateral side of temple, underside of head and legs shiny. Head in full-face view and mesosoma glossy. Dorsal side of gaster glossy satin. Lateral sides of gaster shiny. Antennal club 4-segmented. Petiole slightly higher than postpetiole. Lateral shape of petiole with rounded top. Setosity on fore coxa and pronotum higher than on other parts, relatively dense and long. In lateral view, a slightly angular pronotum.

Measurements (n = 36). CI 69–78 (73); CL 1.18–1.82 (1.48) mm; CW 0.89–1.41 (1.08) mm; PHI 27–36 (33); PI 67–125 (81); PPPI 50–62 (54); PSI 136–200 (166); PSLWI 94–154 (124); PWI 21–28 (24); RPH 103–154 (138); RPSI 33–69 (50); SI 135–163 (150); SI/CI: 173–233 (206); SL 1.32–1.91 (1.63) mm; SPD 1–2 (1.1); SPL 1–5 (3.4).

Queen

Rugulae on lateral and dorsal parts of mesosoma. Transverse and oblique rugulae on clypeus. Head anterior to occiput with longitudinal rugulae with cross-connections, occiput ruguloreticulated. Ventral portion of the propodeal spines smooth. Transverse rugulae on dorsal pronotum and propodeum. Punctation distinct on head and petioles, weak to very weak on the mesosoma. Dorsal side of first gastral tergite microstriated, base with five circular rugulae. Anterior side of the petiole smooth. Head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster glossy. Antennal club 4-segmented. Scape longitudinally rugulose. Scutellum rises above mesoscutum and does not bend over the metanotum.

Measurements (n = 1). CI 81; CL 1.68 mm; CW 1.37 mm; OCI 34; PHI 44; PI 79; PPPI 78; PSI 217; PSLWI: 100; PWI 34; RPH 129; RPSI 54; SI 130; SI/CI 160; SL 1.78 mm; SPD 1.5; SPL 4.

Type Material

Syntypes: Greece: Crete: Rettina, 1 worker (Cecconi, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa); Almiros, 1 worker (Cecconi, MSNG), Kalives, 2 workers (MSNG).

References