Camponotus taniae

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Camponotus taniae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Camponotus
Species: C. taniae
Binomial name
Camponotus taniae
Mackay, W.P. & Delsinne, 2009

Camponotus taniae casent0919828 p 1 high.jpg

Camponotus taniae casent0919828 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Camponotus taniae has been collected in xeromorphic forest of the dry Paraguayan Chaco (see Mereles, 2005 for vegetation characterization). Localities have a large range of precipitation (350 to 1000 mm mean annual rainfall) and soils (silty to loamy sandy soils). Workers were observed foraging at night on the soil surface and in the vegetation. Some workers were observed tending Coccoidea. This species probably nests in the soil. (Mackay and Delsinne 2009)

Identification

Mackay and Delsinne (2009) - The major is a large ant (total length 12 mm) with a large head, which is strongly narrowed anteriorly with a concave posterior border. Erect hairs are restricted to near the margins of the clypeus and two rows which extend posteriorly along the edges of the frontal carinae to the posterior border of the head. The eyes are relatively small and do not reach the sides of the head, the scapes extend well past the posterior border of the head. The head is dark brown, the mesosoma is light brown, and gaster is dark brown, with large lateral yellow splotches on each tergum.

The minor worker is a moderately sized (total length 7 mm), mostly yellowish-brown ant, with lateral yellow splotches on the gaster. The head is noticeably narrower posterior to the eyes than anterior to the eyes. The eyes extend well past the sides of the head, and the scapes extend well past the posterior lateral corners of the head.

The female is also a large ant (total length 13 mm). The head is moderately narrowed anteriorly and the posterior border is only weakly concave. The eyes nearly reach the sides of the head and the scapes extend well past the posterior lateral corners of the head. The coloration is similar to that of the major and minor workers, with yellow splotches on the gaster.

The major, minor and female could be separated from most of the other species of the maculatus species complex by the lack of erect hairs on the cheek (up to 3 may rarely be present) and the lack of hairs on the antennal scape (except at the apex). The minors can be separated from those of the New World species Camponotus maculatus (North America), Camponotus simillimus indianus (Mexico to Bolivia), and to the very similar Camponotus conspicuus zonatus (United States to Brasil) as the head of C. taniae is narrowed posteriorly and not with parallel sides as in the other three species. There are apparently no reliable characters to separate the majors and females of C. taniae from those of C. conspicuus zonatus or C. maculatus (New World form). Both majors and females of C. taniae tend to be larger than those of the other two species, but the differences in size probably overlap. Fortunately neither C. conspicuus zonatus nor C. maculatus are known from Paraguay (we would expect C. conspicuus zonatus to be found in Paraguay). Camponotus simillimus indianus majors and females can be easily separated from those of C. taniae, as they are completely black (or at least dark reddish brown), and C. simillimus indianus has not been found in Paraguay.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Paraguay (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Males are unknown.

Nomenclature

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

  • taniae. Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) taniae Mackay, W.P. & Delsinne, 2009: 488, figs. 1-8 (s.w.q.) PARAGUAY.

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

Description

Worker

Major HL 3.22-3.40, HW 2.72-2.96, SL 2.98-3.14, EL 0.69-0.73, CL 0.99-1.13, CW 0.98-1.04, WL 4.00-4.12, FFL 2.58-2.76, FFW 0.66-0.78. Indices: CI 85-87, SI 92-93, CLI 92-99, FFI 26-28.

Mandible with 7 teeth (only 5 visible on closed mandible); anterior border of clypeus concave, clypeal carina moderately well-developed; head strongly narrowed anteriorly, posterior border concave; eyes fail to reach side5 of head by approximately ½ minimum diameter; scape extends approximately first 2 funicular segments past posterior lateral corner of head; mesosoma elongated, broadly convex dorsally; dorsal face of propodeum longer than length of posterior face; petiole moderately thickened when viewed in profile, with anterior and posterior faces converging to apex.

Erect hairs present on clypeus (but mostly restricted to margins, and only abundant along anterior border), single hair may be present on cheeks, hairs present in two rows extending from edges of frontal carinae to posterior border of head, hairs along posterior border sparse, scapes without erect hairs (except at apex), several erect hairs present on dorsum of mesosoma, dorsum of petiole, all surfaces of gaster, coxae, lower surfaces of femora, hairs on tibiae mostly appressed and suberect; fine appressed hairs scattered on most surfaces, especially head, mesosoma, and gaster.

Head and mesosoma mostly dull, sides of mesosoma weakly shining, head densely and evenly, but finely punctate, mesosoma mostly coriaceous, dorsum of gaster transversely striolate, moderately shining.

Head dark brown, mesosoma and legs lighter brown, gaster dark brown, with yellow splotches on each tergum.

Minor HL 2.00-2.03, HW 1.06-1.10, SI 2.74-2.84, EL 0.53-0.55, CL 0.63-0.64, CW 0.74-0.75, WL 3.17-3.22 FFL 2.20-2.30, FFW 0.46. Indices: CI 52-55, SI 137- 140, CLI 118, FF: 20-21.

Mandible with 6 teeth (5 visible when mandible closed); anterior margin of clypeus slightly convex, carina moderately well-developed; head strongly narrowed posteriorly, posterior margin concave; eyes extend well past sides of head; scape extends approximately ½ length past posterior lateral corner of head; mesosoma and petiole similar to that of major.

Erect hairs and decumbent pubescence similar to that of major worker, except generally with fewer erect hairs on the dorsum of the mesosoma, occasionally 1-3 fine erect hairs present on cheeks, erect hairs may be located posteriorly to eyes along sides of head.

Head predominantly coriaceous, with scattered punctures, mesosoma coriaceous, both weakly shining, gaster similar to that of major.

Head and mesosoma medium brown, mandible and antennae darker, gaster dark brown, with large lateral yellow splotches on each tergum.

Queen

HL 3.16-3.30, HW 2.58-2.84, SL 2.82-2.88, EL 0.81-0.83, CL 0.96-1.05, CW 1.06-1.10, WL 4.94-5.32, FFL 2.76-2.82, FFW 0.68-0.76. Indices: CI 82-86, SI 85-91, CLI 105-110, FFI 24-27.

Mandible with 7 teeth; anterior margin of clypeus concave, carina moderately well-developed, especially posteriorly; head narrowed anteriorly, posterior margin weakly concave; eyes fail to reach sides of the head by approximately l/4 minimum diameter; scape extends approximately first 2 funicular segments past posterior lateral corner of head; mesosoma large, muscular, winged; petiole moderately thickened as seen in profile, with anterior and posterior faces converging towards apex.

Erect hairs and decumbent pubescence similar to that of major worker.

Head dull, finely and densely punctate, dorsum of mesosoma mostly dull and striolate, sides of mesosoma mostly smooth and moderately shiny, gaster transversely striolate, moderately shining.

Mandibles and antennae dark brown, head mostly pale brown, except for darker brown region surrounding ocelli and small areas anterior and medial to eyes; mesosoma nearly yellow in lateral view, scutum and scutellum darker, gaster similar in color to that of major worker.

Type Material

Holotype worker: PARAGUAY. Boqueron: Parque Nacional Teniente Enciso, 21.13747°S 61.50945°W, 24-25 ix 2003, T. Delsinne. Dry Chaco in pitfall trap (deposited in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences- RBINS, Brussels) and Paratypes: PARAGUAY. Boqueron: Parque Nacional Teniente Enciso, 21.13747°S 61.50945°W, 24-25 ix2003, T. Delsinne, 29 paratype minor workers, 17 paratype major workers, 1 paratype queen, (deposited in REINS; Museo Nacional de HistoriaNatural del Paraguay, San Lorenzo, Paraguay; American Museum of Natural History, British Museum of Natural History, California Academy of Sciences, Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, Los Angeles County Museum, Mackay collection, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, United States National Museum of Natural History, Alex Wild collection).

Etymology

Named in honor of Tania Milena Arias-Penna, our close friend and fellow myrmecologist.

References