Dolioponera fustigera

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Dolioponera fustigera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Dolioponera
Species: D. fustigera
Binomial name
Dolioponera fustigera
Brown, 1974

Dolioponera fustigera casent0412032 profile 1.jpg Dolioponera fustigera casent0412032 dorsal 1.jpg Specimen Label

Fisher (2006) - This species was previously known only from the type specimen. A total of three new specimens were collected from leaf litter samples from Cameroon and the Central African Republic. The two specimens in Dzanga-Sangha match the type in size and shape. The specimen from Park National Campo in Cameroon, however, is much smaller (HW 2.2) and lacks eyes. I did not observe any additional differences in morphology that would justify describing a new species at this time. The three specimens with large eyes (type specimen and the two specimens from Dzanga-Sangha) may represent ergatoid queens. Ergatoid queens that are similar to workers except for a larger eye and A3 - A4 are known in the Ponerinae (Peeters and Ito 2001).

Identification

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Dolioponera are among the most morphologically distinctive of all ponerines. Their long sinuous bodies are unmistakable, and their unusual setose mandibular teeth are also autapomorphic. Other diagnostic characters (in combination) include their blunt anteromedial clypeal projection, laterally expanded triangular frontal lobes, tiny or absent eyes, clubbed antennae, fusion of mesopleuron with the mesonotum, and relatively high helcium.

Brown (1974) - This genus is related to Pachycondyla s. lat., but to exactly which group of Pachycondyla it is hard to say without knowing the sexual castes and the larvae. In the loss of the secondary (lateral) apical spurs of the middle and hind tibiae, Dolioponera resembles the crassa group (Bothroponera); the petiolar form may also indicate affinities in this direction, though it is distinctive in its own right. The broad, truncate median free clypeal lobe is like those of the Indo-Australian groups that have been classified as Trapeziopelta and Pseudoponera. The mandibles are unlike those of any Pachycondyla, particularly in their dentition.

Distribution

Known from Cameroon, Central African Republic and Gabon.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Central African Republic, Gabon (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Only known from the worker caste.

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • fustigera. Dolioponera fustigera Brown, 1974e: 32, figs. 1-4 (w.) GABON. See also: Fisher, 2006: 116.

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

Fisher (2006) - One of the specimens from the Central African Republic was dissected to examine palp formula and petiole structure. Dissection of the mouthparts revealed a palp formula 2,2 (maxillary 2 and labial 2 segmented). In species examined, Loboponera is also 2,2, while Plectroctena is 3,4, 2,3, and 2,2 and Psalidomyrmex is 3,4 (Bolton & Brown 2002; B.L. Fisher, pers. obs.). The palps were not visible in Boloponera.

The articulation of the petiole is similar to Boloponera vicans. Thus, Dolioponera has a generalized Ponerini articulatory surface rather than the specialized Plectroctena group form. This supports Bolton's placement of Dolioponera outside the Plectroctena group (Bolton & Brown 2002). The similarities in petiole structure point to the possibility that Dolioponera and Boloponera are sister to the Plectroctena group. Additional evidence is needed to evaluate this relationship.

Description

Worker

Holotype worker: TL 2.8, HL including frontal lobes but excluding median clypeal process 0.54, HW 0.37 (CI 69), ML estimated from open mandibles 0.16, scape L 0.33, WL 0.79, petiolar node L 0.34, W0.26 mm. Basic description of genus given on PRZ Card No. 31. Further details: Trunk as seen from above parallel-sided, with a slight constriction at promesonotal suture. Petiolar node as seen from directly above with posterodorsal margin feebly concave. Median anterior process of clypeus squarely truncate, but with its middorsal surface raised in a median swelling or bluntly rounded median carina. Under mouthparts closed up tight; labrum apparently emarginate in the middle of its free margin; palpi very short, with only the apices extending beyond the labral margin, so that the maxillary palpi can scarcely have more than 2 or 3 segments, In some angles of view, there appears to be a feeble indication of an incipient intercalary tooth between the apical and subapical teeth of the mandible. Though the body generally is very finely and densely punctulate and opaque, the fine punctulae tend to be more spaced out on the apical halves of the mandibles, and to some extent also on the legs and posterior half of the gaster, so that these areas are feebly shining in part.

Queen

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Similar to worker except eyes present and conspicuous, moderately large and well in front of midlength of head capsule (maximum length of eye about equal to maximum width of scape; much larger than in the specimens reported by Fisher (2006)); large ocelli present. Mesosoma considerably more voluminous than in worker, and with a full complement of flight sclerites.

Type Material

Fisher (2006) - Holotype worker, Gabon: Plateau forestier d'Impassa, near Makoou, 1966 - 1967, leg. J.A. Barra, berlesate of soil, 0 to 5 cm deep on hill spur covered with primary forest; Museum of Comparative Zoology.

References