Euprenolepis echinata

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Euprenolepis echinata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Euprenolepis
Species: E. echinata
Binomial name
Euprenolepis echinata
LaPolla, 2009

Nothing is know about the biology of this species.

Identification

This is an easily recognized species with distinctly long and thick erect setae scattered across its entire body. The setal bases are especially noteworthy because they are clearly defined: large and darker than the surrounding cuticle. The pronotum is lower in profile and more elongated than is seen in other species except Euprenolepis negrosensis. While the presence of long erect setae and an elongated pronotum might indicate a close relationship with E. negrosensis, it is worth noting that the erect setae are different between the two species with E. negrosensis possessing setae that are much thinner than in E. echinata. (Lapolla 2009)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Biological details regarding the small number of species within this genus are sparse. The best characterized species is Euprenolepis procera, with the following known details. It has polymorphic workers. Colonies are nomadic and on average stay in any single location less than a week. Nests contain from 500 – 5,000 workers and are opportunistically situated in suitable preformed cavities. Emigrations appear driven by the need to find their almost exclusive source of nutrients, mushrooms. Foraging takes place nocturnally. While knowledge of the remaining species is sparse, there is some indication that that polymorphism is not the norm. It is also unclear if procera is the only species, within this genus and within ants as a whole, that feed directly and almost exclusively on mushrooms.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • echinata. Euprenolepis echinata LaPolla, 2009: 6, figs. 3A-D (w.) BORNEO.

Type Material

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

Description

Worker

Measurements (n=1): TL: 3.11; HW: 0.68; HL: 0.77; SL: 1.1; WL: 1.2; GL: 1.14. Indices: CI: 89; SI: 161.

Head brownish-yellow, with lighter mandibles and funiculi; head longer than broad. Cuticular surface dull and weakly rugoreticulate, with scattered distinctly thick erect setae, no pubescence underneath. Posterior margin complete. Eyes notably convex and more round in shape than observed in other Euprenolepis. Scapes surpass posterior margin by about length of the first four funicular segments; with scattered erect setae and no pubescence underneath. Mesosoma brownish-yellow, dull, legs slightly lighter. Pronotum elongate, very gently rises towards mesonotum (less than 30º angle); mesonotum and metanotal area flat; propodeum dorsum rounded, dome-like; declivity steep. Only a few erect setae present on notum, concentrated on posterior pronotum and anterior mesonotum. Petiole triangular with posterior face longer than anterior face. Gaster brownish-yellow with scattered long, erect setae and no pubescence underneath; cuticular surface dull and faintly rugoreticulate.

Type Material

Holotype worker, MALAYSIA: Borneo, Sabah, Poring Hot Spring, East Ridge, N 06°02’ E 116°42’, 600 m, 2.iv.1996 (A. Malsch) (National Museum of Natural History); paratype worker, same locality as holotype (Australian National Insect Collection).

Etymology

The species epithet is Latin for hedgehog, in reference to the unique setae of this species.

References

  • LaPolla, J. S. 2009. Taxonomic revision of the Southeast Asian ant genus Euprenolepis. Zootaxa. 2046:1-25.