Eurhopalothrix hoplites

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Eurhopalothrix hoplites
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Eurhopalothrix
Species: E. hoplites
Binomial name
Eurhopalothrix hoplites
Taylor, 1980

The type was collected from a rainforest berlesate sample.

Identification

Similar to Eurhopalothrix procera and Eurhopalothrix greensladei. Both are abundantly distinct from E. hoplites. They have relatively broad heads (CI 106-110 and 110-114 respectively), less evenly convex mesosomal dorsa, viewed laterally, much weaker postcephalic sculpture, and a pair of specialised erect hairs each on the verticocciput and pronotum at least. (Taylor 1980)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

Loading map...

The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Eurhopalothrix hoplites for further details

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

Nomenclature

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

  • hoplites. Eurhopalothrix hoplites Taylor, 1980b: 231, figs. 1-3 (w.) NEW GUINEA.

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

Description

Worker

Dimensions (holotype cited first).-TL ca 4.8,4.5; HL 1.06, 1.05; HW 1.08, 1.01; CI 102, 96; ML 0.23, 0.22; M122, 21; SL 0.63, 0.62; SI 58, 57; maximum diameter of eye 0.08, 0.09; PW 0.72, 0.69; WL 1.17, 1.18; petiolar node width 0.36, 0.34; postpetiole width 0.69, 0.64; gastral width 0.92, 0.89.

Outer borders of mandibles feebly concave, basal tooth unspecialised. Front of head almost entirely and evenly convex, except for a slight transverse impression across the median fronto-clypeal region. Mesosomal profile broken only by slight indentations between its pronotal, mesonotal and propodeal sections. Promesonotal suture represented dorsally by a slight depression which does not break the sculpture; metanotal groove slightly more distinct. Ventral carinae of petiole not serrated. Postpetiole almost lacking a median longitudinal depression.

Head, mandibles and scapes feebly shining, with a dense, largely effaced fine punctate-rugosity, more distinct on mandibles, clypeus and scapes. Mandibular teeth minutely transversely arched-striate. Antennal fossae smooth and shining, with traces of transverse carinae posteriorly. Dorsa of mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole coarsely punctate-rugose; sides of mesosoma similar, except the mes- and metepisternites, which are smooth and shining, with a few ventral punctures. First gastral tergite generally smooth and shining, with scattered small punctures and narrow anterior and lateral strips of dense, fine puncturation. The more distal tergites similarly densely punctate. First gastral sternite more coarsely punctate, with a smooth, shining median disc. Legs almost entirely finely punctate-rugose, the sculpture partly effaced on the coxae.

Specialised erect hairs lacking except for a few on leading edges of scapes, and on gastral apex; a few on first gastral sternite, none on its tergite. Ground pilosity of dense, short, yellowish-white hairs associated everywhere with the punctate-rugose sculpturing, lacking where it is absent, except on gastral dorsum, where hairs are minute. Dense fine pubescence limited to antennal funiculi.

Rich deep mahogany-brown, appearing black to the naked eye; antennae and legs a shade lighter.

Type Material

Papua New Guinea: Sepik Province: Passam, near Wewak, berlesate, rain forest, ca 270 m, 5.vii.1972, RWT, paratype worker (Australian National Insect Collection). Central Province: Lejo Rd, near Popondetta (Type Locality), 9.vii.1973, PMR, hololype worker (ANlC, Type No. 7521).

References

  • Taylor, R. W. 1980b. Australian and Melanesian ants of the genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf - notes and new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 19: 229-239 (page 231, figs. 1-3 worker described)