Bothroponera vazimba

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Bothroponera vazimba
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Bothroponera
Species: B. vazimba
Binomial name
Bothroponera vazimba
Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2013

Pachycondyla vazimba casent0034562 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla vazimba casent0034562 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

When nesting in rotten logs, dead branches on the ground and in the soil layer, P. vazimba forages most often in leaf litter and infrequently on the forest floor, habits related to its smaller eyes, shorter antennal scape, and shorter legs. (Rakotonirina & Fisher 2013)

Identification

Rakotonirina & Fisher (2013) - Worker. With head in full-face view, antennal scape not surpassing the posterior cephalic margin; dorsum of head and mesosoma not finely striate; basal half of antennal scape rounded; dorsum of mesosoma and petiole node with short and thin erect hairs; junction of propodeal dorsum and declivitous surface at a distinct angle; mesopleural suture absent or incomplete; antennal segments 6, 7, and 8 nearly twice as wide as long; with petiole in dorsal view, the posterior margin broadly concave; anterior half of fourth abdominal tergite (gastral tergite 2) covered with numerous and very dense small punctures between larger ones, mesosoma and petiole node with moderate such sculpture; outer surface of hind tibia usually without erect hairs; integument matte.

Worker specimens of Bothroponera vazimba are very similar to those of Bothroponera wasmannii, but their smaller size, the indistinct mesopleural suture, the absence of erect hairs on the outer surface of the hind tibia, and the broader than long shape of antennal segments 6, 7, and 8 render B. vazimba separable from B. wasmannii.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

The distribution of P. vazimba is generally limited to western Madagascar. This species occurs mostly in the dry forest habitats of the PN Ankarafantsika in the north through Beza-Mahafaly Forest in the south. Interestingly, along its north-south range it also can be found in the gallery forests of the PN Isalo, Forêt de Mite, and Fiherenana, and in the disjunct montane rainforest of Analavelona.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Bothroponera vazimba for further details

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • vazimba. Pachycondyla vazimba Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2013: 131, figs. 12, 48–49, 63 (w.) MADAGASCAR. Combination in Bothroponera: Joma & Mackay, 2013: 2; Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 77.

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

Description

Worker

(n=10): HL: 1.59–1.75, HW: 1.38–1.50, CI: 85–90, SL: 1.08–1.22, SI: 76–82, PW: 1.06–1.21, WL: 2.04–2.33, NL: 0.75–0.84, NW: 0.91–1.05, NH: 1.05–1.18, DNI: 119–132, LNI: 133–149.

Head longer than broad, widest immediately behind level of eyes; sides feebly convex along their length and converging in front of level of eyes; posterior margin weakly medially excised. Compound eyes small, diameter approximately less than half maximum width of scape. Antennal scape with rounded leading edge, not attaining posterior margin of head; antennal segments 6, 7, and 8 nearly twice as wide as long. Anterior margin of clypeus truncated and straight. Mandibles triangular, the apical margins armed with seven to nine teeth or denticles. In lateral view, dorsal outline of mesosoma not continuously convex, but rather roughly straight and interrupted by nearly angulate junction of propodeal dorsum to declivitous surface. Mesopleural sulcus indistinct or absent. Propodeal declivity triangularly shaped and narrower towards the dorsal surface. Basitarsus of hind legs generally rounded, without concavity on basal half of inside surface. With petiole in dorsal view, node anteriorly convex and posteriorly broadly concave. Dorsum of head densely and finely reticulate-punctate to reticulate-rugulose, and interspersed with larger punctures.

Mandibles striate with scattered piliferous pits. Dorsum of mesosoma and petiole node through the fourth abdominal segment densely finely reticulate-punctate, with sparse, shallow, and larger punctures. Sides of mesosoma and node of petiole densely and finely reticulate-rugulose. Lateral portion of abdominal segments 3 and 4 finely reticulate-punctate or with dense, small punctures. Dorsum of mesosoma, petiole node, and gaster covered with slender and short hairs which are usually absent on outer surface of hind tibiae. Body color dark brown to black, with reddish orange appendages and articulations. Integument relatively matte between the large punctures.

Queen

(n=5): HL: 1.63–1.91, HW: 1.52–1.79, CI: 92–94, SL: 1.13–1.48, SI: 75–86, EL: 0.30–0.35, OI: 19–22, PW: 1.32–1.51, WL: 2.45–2.90, NL: 0.70–0.89, NW: 1.05–1.18, NH: 1.02–1.23, DNI: 123–156, LNI: 131–146. Worker characters are generally duplicated in the queen caste, except the latter is only slightly larger, and the body is covered by denser and more elongate pubescence.

Type Material

Holotype worker: MADAGASCAR: Mahajanga, Parc National Namoroka, 16.9 km 317° NW Vilanandro, - 16.4067, 45.31, 100 m, ex rotten log, tropical dry forest, 12–16 Nov 2002 (Fisher, Griswold et al.), collection code: BLF06686, specimen code: CASENT0486413 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes: series of 5 workers with the same data as holotype but with specimen codes CASENT0486411, CASENT0247224, CASENT0247225, CASENT0247226, CASENT0247227 (The Natural History Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, CASC, Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza).

References

  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2013. Revision of the Pachycondyla wasmannii-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Malagasy region. Zootaxa 3609, 101-141.
  • Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, S.O. 2014. The higher classification of the ant subfamily Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a review of ponerine ecology and behavior. Zootaxa. 3817, 1–242 (doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3817.1.1)