Eurhopalothrix apharogonia

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Eurhopalothrix apharogonia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Eurhopalothrix
Species: E. apharogonia
Binomial name
Eurhopalothrix apharogonia
Snelling, R.R., 1968

Eurhopalothrix apharogonia casent0914892 p 1 high.jpg

Eurhopalothrix apharogonia casent0914892 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known only from the types.

Identification

Reported measurements are HW 0.84, HL 0.93, SL 0.53. If the illustration in Snelling (1968) is accurate, it has a very unusual head shape, with very reduced lateral angles (CI 90, one of the lowest values for New World Eurhopalothrix). Specialized setae on the face are highly reduced, to a tight square of 4 spatulate setae on the posteromedian vertex (this tight square also found on Eurhopalothrix sepultura, Eurhopalothrix speciosa, but these with additional setae elsewhere). It is also similar to Eurhopalothrix floridana, which has even more reduced facial setae (2 on medial vertex margin) and a somewhat similar head shape. (Longino 2013)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: El Salvador (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of most species in this genus. Nests are rarely found, and queens and males have not been collected for many species. Longino (2013) summarized their biology "Eurhopalothrix specimens are encountered almost exclusively in samples from mass extraction techniques that recover small arthropods in sifted litter, rotten wood, and soil. Densities, at least in the northern Neotropics, are usually low, with workers occurring in < 10% of quantitative samples of 1 m2 litter plots, but occasionally may reach densities as high as 40% of samples. Live colonies of Old World Eurhopalothrix were observed by Wilson (1956) and Wilson and Brown (1984), and a Costa Rican colony of Basiceros manni was observed by Wilson and Hölldobler (1986). All basicerotines, including Eurhopalothrix, are thought to be predators in tropical leaf litter, relying on stealth or sit-and-wait techniques. Sampled specimens are often coated with a thin layer of clay, especially on the face, which is thought to function as camouflage, enhancing crypsis (Hölldobler & Wilson, 1986). Highly specialized spatulate setae may be instrumental in acquisition and adherence of the clay layer (Hölldobler & Wilson, 1986)."

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • apharogonia. Eurhopalothrix apharogonia Snelling, R.R. 1968c: 1 (w.) EL SALVADOR.

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

Description

Holotype worker: TL, 3.87; HI, 0.93; HW, 0.84 (CI, 90); scape L, 0.53; maximum diameter of compound eye, 0.03; WL, 1.12 mm. Form of head and body as shown in figures.

Appressed and subappressed ground pilosity similar to E. speciosa, i.e., consisting largely of simple hairs, which are rather dense on mandibles and clypeus, sparse on petiolar nodes and gastric dorsum, very sparse and inconspicuous on vertex, occiput and thoracic dorsum; simple appressed hairs of tibiae replaced largely by appressed and decumbent spatulate or broadened hairs; larger specialized hairs thick-squamiform, smaller than corresponding hairs in E. speciosa; reduced in number on head, consisting of four rectangularly arranged hairs medially on occiput. Humeral pair absent in both specimens, presumably a real condition; a single pair present near middle of mesonotum, posterior pair lacking; postpetiole without dorsal clavate hairs. Median hairs lacking on first gastric segment of holotype (paratype has one median clavate hair; presumably one has been rubbed off).

Promesonotal suture obsolete; metanotal groove present but very poorly defined. Body somewhat shiny between moderate, rather close punctures; gastric pubescence sparser than that of thoracic dorsum; cephalic punctures denser on cephalic dorsum; finer on clypeus and distinctly separated. Mandibles shiny, finely punctate; masticatory margin with thirteen teeth, an outer set of ten, and an upper, inner set of three longer, spikelike teeth (Fig. 1). Color medium ferruginous, legs and antennae more yellowish.

Type Material

References

  • Longino J. T. 2013. A review of the Central American and Caribbean species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf, 1961 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with a key to New World species. Zootaxa. 3693:101-151. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3693.2.1
  • Snelling, R. R. 1968c. A new species of Eurhopalothrix from El Salvador (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Contr. Sci. (Los Angel.) 154: 1-4 (page 1, worker described)