Cardiocondyla strigifrons

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Cardiocondyla strigifrons
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species group: nuda
Species complex: mauritanica
Species: C. strigifrons
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla strigifrons
Viehmeyer, 1922

Cardiocondyla strigifrons focol1611 p 1 high.jpg

Cardiocondyla strigifrons focol1611 d 1 high.jpg

Seifert (2003) - In two sites in Indonesia, nests were found in shallow soil in open, disturbed areas with bare or weakly vegetated ground (Yamauchi, pers.comm. 2001).

Identification

Seifert et al. (2017) - There is no doubt that species separation in the C. nuda group is difficult. It requires careful consideration of character definitions and the use high-resolution optical and measurement systems. The diagnose presented here uses numerous morphological characters to achieve an acceptable identification error rate.

Meeting the following definition:

  • Discriminant 176.328×PPH - 49.049×CW + 51.521×SP - 59.844×PPW + 6.61 < 0
  • Discriminant 214.193×PLG - 88.759×SP + 57.676×SL - 106.17×PEH - 10.465 > 0
  • Discriminant 319.279×PLG - 49.672×PPW + 133.938×FRS - 177.726×EYE + 91.370×CW - 63.848×SL - 12.955 < 0
  • Discriminant 75.783×PPH - 157.227×SP + 62.967×PPW - 117.467×SPBA + 101.708×EYE - 17.387 > 0

where:

CW
Maximum cephalic width; the maximum is found usually across and including the eyes, exceptionally posterior of the eyes.
EYE
Eye-size - the arithmetic mean of the large (EL) and small diameter (EW).
FRS
Distance of the frontal carinae immediately caudal of the posterior intersection points between frontal carinae and the lamellae dorsal of the torulus. If these dorsal lamellae do not laterally surpass the frontal carinae, the deepest point of scape corner pits may be taken as reference line. These pits take up the inner corner of scape base when the scape is fully switched caudad and produce a dark triangular shadow in the lateral frontal lobes immediately posterior of the dorsal lamellae of scape joint capsule (Fig. 1).
PEH
Maximum petiole height. The straight section of ventral petiolar profile at node level is the reference line perpendicular to which the maximum height of petiole node is measured at node level.
PLG
Mean length of pubescence hairs on dorsum of first gaster tergite as arithmetic mean of at least 7 measurements measured at magnifications of 320x.
PPH
Maximum postpetiole height; the lateral suture of dorsal and ventral sclerites is the reference line perpendicular to which the maximum height of postpetiole is measured.
PPW
Maximum width of postpetiole.
SL
Maximum straight line length of scape excluding the articular condyle given as the arithmetic mean of both scapes.
SP
Maximum length of propodeal spines; measured in dorsofrontal view along the long axis of the spine, from spine tip to a line that orthogonal to the long axis and touches the bottom of the interspinal meniscus (Fig. 3). Left and right SP are averaged. This mode of measuring is less ambiguous than other methods but yields higher spine length values in species with reduced spines. This is the case in the dentiform spines found in the C. nuda group where it is difficult to correctly define the long axis. In such cases, the deviation of the assumed spine axes from longitudinal mesosomal axis should not exceed 30°.
SPBA
Smallest distance of the lateral margins of the spines at their base. This should be measured in dorsofrontal view, since the wider parts of the ventral propodeum do not disturb the measurement in this position. If the lateral margins of spines diverge continuously from the tip to the base, a smallest distance at base is not defined. In this case SPBA is measured at the level of the bottom of the interspinal meniscus.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore.
Palaearctic Region: Japan.

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

Loading map...

The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Cardiocondyla strigifrons for further details

Biology

Little is known about Cardiocondyla strigifrons. Until further studies reveal more about this species we can infer that its natural history and biology is likely similar to other members of the genus. Seifert revised the holarctic species of Cardiocondyla in 2003 and the following synopsis is based on his excellent treatment of the genus. References to other publications and more details about what is reported here can be found in Seifert (2003).

Many Cardiocondyla species inhabit areas that experience frequent disturbance and/or are quite open. These may be human altered areas, where a number of Cardiocondyla tramp species thrive, but also natural areas such as semi deserts and steppes, immature soils at rivers, lakes, and sea shores and to a lesser extent forest margins or burned-down woodland patches. In contrast to this open-land group, the natural habitat affinities of many tropical species are primary rain forests.

Nests are typically in soil and sometimes under stones. Two species are known to nest in vegetation but this is unusual for the genus. The single nest entrances is small (1-1.5 mm) and inconspicuous. In the desert nests can be relatively deep (> 1m) and have many chambers but in areas where conditions are less extreme there is generally a single chamber (15-20 mm diameter and 3-4 mm height) that is not far below the ground surface (2-15 cm).

Cardiocondyla tramp species (Cardiocondyla wroughtonii, Cardiocondyla obscurior, Cardiocondyla mauritanica, Cardiocondyla emeryi and Cardiocondyla minutior) are known to be polygynous, as are some less widespread species, while other species are known to be monogynous.

Cardiocondyla ants are omnivorous. Zoophagy (zoo necrophagy and killing of small weakly sclerotised arthropods), granivory, and nectarivory have also been noted. Tandem running has been observed as a method of recruitment to food sources in a few species.

Intranidal mating appears to be the norm for most species in the genus. Mating strategies are species dependent and may take various forms. Winged males may mate within their nest or fly to and enter other colonies to mate. Queen mate intranidally and fly from their nest to begin a new colony, become integrated into their natal colony, or may walk away from their nest and establish a new colony nearby.

Cardiocondyla are unusual in having peculiar male forms. Male polymorphism is found in some species with typical males and an ergatoid form. These latter males are wingless and worker like in appearance. Ergatoid males fight with other males within their natal nest. By killing potential rival males, a dominant male can monopolize matings with the virgin queens in their colony. Morphological modifications that enhance the fighting abilities of ergatoid males have been documented, e.g., modified mandibles well suited to fighting and increased mesosomal size for better protection against attacks from rivals. Another unusual characteristic of ergatoid males is the continuation of spermatogenesis throughout their adult life. Males of most aculeate hymenoptera stop producing sperm once they are fully mature.

Some species are known to produce different queen morphs. This presumably facilitates there being a longer range dispersal queen form and a shorter or non-dispersing form. Gyne polymorphism appears to be an adaptation for species inhabiting continental desert or semi-desert habitats. The cosmopolitan tramp species, on the other hand, do not exhibit this gyne polymorphism.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • strigifrons. Cardiocondyla nuda subp. strigifrons Viehmeyer, 1922: 211 (w.) INDONESIA (Java). Seifert, 2003a: 256 (q.). Raised to species: Seifert, 2003a: 255.

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

Description

Worker

Seifert (2003) - type: CS 555, CL/CW 1.230, SL/CS 0.822, PoOc/CL 0.449, EYE 0.220, dFOV 18, FRS/CS 0.262, SP/CS 0.062, SPBA/CS 0.254, PEW/CS 0.292, PPW/CS 0.480, PEH/CS 0.324, PPH/CS 0.292, PEW/PPW 0.609, sqrtPDG 4.03, PLG/CS 6.39 %, MGr/CS 1.53 %.

Head longer than in Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi. CL/CW 1.222; postocular head sides in type specimen notably converging and more linear, in other specimens less converging and more rounded. Median third of anterior clypeal and of occipital margin frequently slightly concave. Postocular index large, PoOc/CL 0.449. Eyes small, EYE 0.220. Frontal carinae immediately caudal of FRS level slightly converging, FL/FR in the type 1.087. Paramedian and lateral areas of vertex with deeply impressed foveolae of 16 - 19 mm diameter, usually with inner corona or flat tubercle of 7 - 9 mm diameter, interspaces much smaller than foveolar diameter, foveolar margins in close contact with longitudinal rugae and their anastomosae. Frontal laminae, clypeus and median area of vertex longitudinally carinulate-rugulose. Median area of vertex between sagittal levels of frontal carinae with few carinulae, scattered and small foveolae imbedded in interspaces. Anterolateral area of vertex and antennal fossae weakly longitudinally rugose. Sculpture of dorsal promesonotum very different from C. kagutsuchi: with foveolae of 16 - 18 mm diameter; foveolar interspaces in type and other specimens as wide as foveolae and shining, only with fragments of very delicate microreticulum; in other specimens foveolae more densely packed and imbedded in irregular rugulose-reticulate structures. Dorsal area of propodeum clearly microreticulate. Lateral area of mesosoma on whole surface regularly and strongly microreticulate; longitudinal sculpture except for 5 - 6 weak and short carinulae on ventrolateral area of metapleuron entirely absent. Whole surface of petiole and postpetiole shining but finely microreticulate. Cuticular surface of first gaster tergite shining, without microsculpture or with very fine microreticulum. Propodeal spines reduced to blunt dents. Dorsal profile of mesosoma in type and few other specimens curved: promesonotum and propodeum convex, metanotal groove shallow, tips of spines significantly lower than top level of mesosoma. Dorsal profile of mesosoma in most other specimens from mesonotum caudad to spine tip more or less straight, interrupted only by shallow metanotal groove, tips of spines almost as high as top level of mesosoma. Petiole profile similar to that of Cardiocondyla mauritanica. Petiole node in dorsal aspect slightly longer than wide. Postpetiole in dorsal view with clearly angulate sides and slightly concave anterior margin that is a little shorter than posterior margin; wider than in C. kagutsuchi, PPW/PPL 1 .333 ± 0.035 [1.293 - 1.383] (n = 7). Postpetiolar sternite in type specimen with flat anteromedian bulb, in other specimens with a small rectangular anteromedian corner and 2 curved paramedian carinae or bulbs (i.e. there are 3 weakly prominent structures). Whole body dark brown or blackish, appendages and mandibles lighter.

Queen

Seifert (2003) - Head elongated, CL/CW 1.215. Occipital margin more or less straight. Scape moderately long, SL/CS 0.799. Median portion of anterior clypeal margin straight. Frontal carinae in posterior half rather straight and parallel. Vertex with densely packed and deep foveolae of 16 - 18 mm diameter, demarcated by (or arranged between) longitudinal rugulae. Clypeus and frontal laminae longitudinally carinulate-rugulose; rugae on lateral area of clypeus incurving frontad, with two rugae fusing to a single semicircular ruga on anteriormost area of clypeus. Whole dorsal area of pronotum, mesonotum, praescutellum, scutellum, and anterodorsal area of propodeum with densely-arranged and deep foveolae. Lateral area of pronotum, mesopleuron, and lateral area of propodeum strongly microreticulate. Lateral lobes of praescutellum widely separated. Propodeal spines reduced to acutely-angled dents. Petiole node smooth, but finely microreticulate and with few, fine microrugae; in dorsal aspect circular or slightly longer than wide; lateral aspect of petiole as in C. mauritanica. Postpetiole less shining and with few shallow foveolae and microreticulum; in dorsal view with straight or slightly concave anterior margin and markedly angulate sides forming an angle of 115 - 1300; PPW/PPL 1.375 ± 0.042 [1.298 - 1.416] (n = 6). Postpetiolar sternite with 2 curved paramedian carinae or bulbs, a blunt anteromedian corner is occasionally present. Concolorous dark or blackish brown, appendages lighter.

Type Material

Java [type investigated].

1 worker type labelled “Java” and “Cardiocondyla nuda Mayr strigifrons Viehm.”, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität.

References