Dilobocondyla bangalorica

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Dilobocondyla bangalorica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Dilobocondyla
Species: D. bangalorica
Binomial name
Dilobocondyla bangalorica
Varghese, 2006

Dilobocondyla bangalorica P.jpg

This Indian species nests in cavities of living trees.

Photo Gallery

  • Dilobocondyla bangalorica worker from the Western Ghats, India. Photo by Kalesh Sadasivan.

Identification

Varghese (2006) - Dilobocondyla bangalorica keys to couplet 8 in Wheeler (1924). It comes closest to Dilobocondyla cataulacoidea in having (1) an average worker size above 3.25mm, (2) frontal carinae sharp, continuing to the posterior comers of the head, (3) similar body colour, (4) distinct meso-metanotal constriction, and (5) pronotum broader than long. D. bangalorica. however, is distinguished from D. cataulacoidea by the following characters: Smaller worker size, (D. bangalorica worker 3.93, vs D. cataulacoidea 4.50), head width less than 1.00 (HW 1.03 in D. cataulacoidea), gaster striate only at base and brownish black (gaster longitudinally striate and black in D. cataulacoidea), mandibles with 6 teeth (5 teeth in D. cataulacoidea), and head as long as broad (CI 100, except one worker in D. bangalorica (head longer than broad in D. cataulacoidea).

D. bangalorica also differs from other known species by having a small worker size (3.93), by smaller queen size (4.75), having the thorax and pedicel sculptured, by its coloration, having 6 well defined mandibular teeth, and by having less rugosities between frontal carinae.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Varghese (2006) - Dilobocondyla bangalorica was found nesting in a cavity of live Plumeria alba L. tree at the Indian Institute of Science Campus. A single colony contained 1 queen, 91 workers, 15 males, 15 eggs, 10 pupae and 127 larvae at different developmental stages. The nest was shallow and wide. The workers forage individually on tree trunks and among foliage. When disturbed, they hide in deep grooves on tree trunk. Eggs are small and roughly oval. Larvae are elongate cylindrical with segmented body. They have a well fonned neck, posteriorly little robust and rounded.

A comprehensive survey was made (May 2004- March 2005) in and around Bangalore, Masinagudi (Western Ghats), Coorg and in Mananthavady district of Kerala state to study the distribution and nesting behaviour of D. bangalorica. I saw 5 more nests of D. bangalorica on live Plumeria trees, two at the Cubbon Park, and one at the Indian Institute of Science campus, Bangalore respectively.

One nest of D. bangalorica was collected from P. alba tree, at the Indian Institute of Science Campus on 7 July 2004. It contained 14 workers, 14 males, 5 alates, 2 eggs, 34 larvae and 16 pupae. Either I failed to get the queen or that was an orphaned colony.

On the same day (7 July 2004), two nests of D. bangalorica from P. rubra were collected from the Cubbon park, and contained 1 queen, 43 workers, 31 alates, 14 males, 13 eggs, 58 larvae, 23 pupae, and 22 workers, I male, 13 alates, 1 egg, 26 larvae and 13 pupae respectively. D. bangalorica prefers to inhabit the holes on dead twigs of 2 species of Plumeria tree, P. alba L., and P. rubra L.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • bangalorica. Dilobocondyla bangalorica Varghese, 2006a: 25, pl.1, figs. 1-8; pl.2 figs. 1-6; pl.3 figs. 1-7 (w.q.m.) INDIA.

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

Description

Worker

Varghese 2006. Plate 1.

Holotype: TL 3.93, HW 0.90, HL 0.90, EL 0.20, MFC 0.35, SL 0.60, PRNW 0.65, PTL 0.40, PTH 0.20, PTW 0.2, PPTL 0.30, PPTW 0.30, CI 100, SI 66, PTWI 50, PPTWI 100.

(n=9): TL 3.40-4.05, HW 0.88-0.90, HL 0.88-0.95, EL 0.20, MFC 0.33-0.35, SL 0.55-0.60, PRNW 0.60-0.65, PTL 0.35-0.40, PTW 0.20,PTH 0.18-0.20, PPTL 0.28-0.30, PPTW 0.30, CI 95-100, SI 60-66, and PTWI 50-57, PPTWI 100-101.

Holotype (Plate 1, 1&2): Head (Plate 1, 3) as long as broad (CI 100), slightly broader behind than in front, with almost straight cheeks, posterior comers dentate, directed outwards and broadly emarginated. Mandibles large and convex with 6 teeth (Plate 1, 4). Palp formula 4, 3. Clypeus almost flat, antero-medially emarginated, with a clear notch in the middle and sinuate at the comers with ridges. Frontal area distinct and triangular; frontal carinae long, sharp and continued to the posterior comers of the head, roughly 11 strong rugae between frontal carinae, antennal scrobes deep and well defined. Antennae slender, 12 segmented with 3 segmented club; scape (SL 0.60, SI 66) slightly curved at the base, funiculus reaching about 1/3 the length of the head. Eyes large (EL 0.20) .and convex and almost in the middle of the sides. Thorax broad, not broader than head, pronotum broader than long (PRNW 0.65), its anterior lateral angles projecting outwards as tooth (Plate 1, 5), pro-mesonotal suture indistinct dorsally, mesometanotal suture distinct and broadly constricted. Propodeum rounded and convex above with an abrupt small concave declivity (Plate 1, 6). Metastemal angles lamellate and rounded. Petiole long (Plate 1, 7) (PTL 0.40, PTH 0.20) and arcuate in profile; 2.0x as long as broad (PTWI 50), with a strong antero-ventral, anteriorly directed tooth. Postpetiole higher, as long as broad (PPTWI 100) broader behind than in front, smaller than front and its sides rounded (Plate I, 8). Gaster circular in dorsal view rather convex above (Plate 2, 1& 2). Femora and tibiae incrassated (Plate 2, 3 & 4).

Head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole strongly rugo-reticulate, with uniform meshes, the inter-rugal spaces shining, mandibles longitudinally striate, clypeus rather shining with a median and a pair of lateral carinae, base of gaster striate, rest closely punctate, coxae and femora lightly sculptured.

Varghese 2006. Plate 2.

Body hairs sub erect, long, abundant and uniform (Plate 2, 1, 2, 5 & 6).

Head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole ferruginous, scape of antennae, coxae, tips of legs and cheeks lighter, gaster brownish black.

Queen

TL 4.75; HW 1.05, HL 1.05, EL 0.25, MFC 0.40, SL 0.65, PRNW 0.85, PTL 0.50, PTW 0.25, PTH 0.25, PPTL 0.43, PPTW 0.40, CI 100, SI 62, and PTWI 50, PPTWI 94.11.

Similar to workers in colour (little darker) and sculpture. Head as long as broad, ocelli present, clypeus depressed in middle, deeply emarginated with well formed carinae. Antennae 12 segmented, with 3 segmented club; antennal scrobes well developed and running to the top of the head. Thorax gibbous, not broader than head; pro-mesonotal and meso-metanotal suture well developed. Pronotum wider than in workers, postpetiole longer and wider than in workers. Gaster circular in dorsal view. Femora and tibiae incrassated as in workers.

Male

TL 3.40; HW 0.80, HL 0.65, EL 0.30, MFC 0.18, SL 0.15, PRNW 0.65, PTL 0.40, PTW 0.18, PTH 0.20, PPTL 0.30, PPTW 0.25, CI 123, SI 19, PTWI 45, PPTWI83.

Varghese 2006. Plate 3.

Allotype: (Plate 3, 1): Same data as the holotype and paratypes: Head distinctly broader than long (CI 123), broader medially with rounded cheeks, posteriorly weakly emarginated, posterior comers not evidently dentate as in workers. Mandibles well developed and somewhat convex (reduced when compared to that of workers) with distinct teeth. Clypeus nearly flat, its anterior border rounded and entire. Frontal area distinct, frontal carinae not very long, and not continued to the posterior comers of the head. Antennal scrobes well defined. Antennae 13 segmented, longer and stouter than in workers, but with no distinct club, scape remarkably short (SL 0.15), first funicular segment very small, broader than long, remaining funicular segments cylindrical and lo.nger than broad. Eyes large and convex and almost in the middle of the sides of the head, ocelli large and distinct.Pronotum broader than head, its anterior lateral borders form angles, but not project as tooth as in workers; mesonotum convex and broader than pronotum. Wings transparent (Plate 3, 2 & 3). Propodeum rounded and convex above with an abrupt small concave declivity. Petiole long (PTL 0.40), more than 2x as long as broad (PTWI 45) with a very weak ventral tooth. Gaster small, elongate, and convex above. Legs long and slender, femora clearly and tarsi slightly incrassated, less incrassated than in workers.

Head, thorax and petiole deeply sculptured, postpetiole and gaster smooth, mandibles rather smooth, clypeus longitudinally striate, base of gaster not striate as in workers, coxae and femora smooth and shining.

Body hairs long, suberect and sparse.

Black, head, thorax and petiole darker, gaster posteriorly brownish black, mandibles, antennae and legs pale white, coxae, femora and tibiae with tinge of brown; wings whitish with colourless veins.

Male genitalia as in figures 4,5,6 and 7 in Plate 3. It consists of a pair of well developed parameres, a pair of volsella and the median aedeagus. Anterior margin of hypopygium biconcave, with a prominent median rounded lobe, anterior lateral lobes prominentand rounded, sides slightly concave, posterior border more or less rounded and hairy; outer border of paramere convex, anteriorly rounded, inside concave, and medially slightly constricted; volsella well developed, volsella consists of cuspis and digitus, cuspis of volsella projects out from parameres; aedeagus narrow, broader in the middle, tapering anteriorly with a distinct pointed tip.

Type Material

Holotype Worker,INDIA: Kamataka: Bangalore (13°01'N 77°34'E): Malleswaram: Indian Institute of Science Campus: 15.vii.2003,Coli. ThresiammaVarghese (collected from a nest in a cavity of living Plumeria alba tree) (Insect Museum at the Centre for Ecological Sciences). Paratypes: 91 workers, same data as holotype. INDIA: Karnataka: Bangalore: Jubilee Garden, l3°0l'N 77°34'E. Paratypes are deposited in the Insect Museum at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. 2 Paratypes each will be deposited at the Museum of the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkatta (India), and at the British Museum of Natural History, London.

Etymology

The species is named after its type locality, Bangalore.

References