Eurhopalothrix rothschildi

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Eurhopalothrix rothschildi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Eurhopalothrix
Species: E. rothschildi
Binomial name
Eurhopalothrix rothschildi
Taylor, 1990

The single type, a worker, was collected from rainforest leaf litter berlesate.

Identification

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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

Nomenclature

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

  • rothschildi. Eurhopalothrix rothschildi Taylor, 1990b: 418, figs. 38-40, 54 (w.) BORNEO.

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

Description

Worker

All Class A attributes present, with those of Class B, unless otherwise indicated. Dimensions (mm): HL 0.54; HW 0.59; CI 110; ML 0.10; MI 20; SL 0.32; SI 54; PW 0.35; WL 0.57. Outer mandibular borders in frontal view more-or-less continuously (weakly) convex. Face of clypeus between frontal lobes divided by an obtuse, very low, transversely arched ridge; anterior clypeal border relatively deeply emarginate. Frons spanned by a slightly arched, conspicuous, obtuse transverse tumosity or ridge between eyes. Eyes small but distinct, 5-faceted. Occipital border broadly, distinctly, but shallowly emarginate. Petiolar node in dorsal view distinctly wider than long. One pair of specialised erect hairs on frons (one only extant in the holotype), near midline of occipital border, and 6 in 2 longitudinal rows of 3, on dorsum of first gastral tergite; such hairs otherwise lacking on promesonotum, petiolar node, and postpetiole. The intact cephalic hair clavate, expanded to about ~ its height; the erect gastral hairs somewhat longer, with almost bulbous tips surmounting slender columnar stems. Ground pilosity moderately well developed, more concentrated on frontal lobes, promesonotal dorsum and postpetiole than elsewhere; a ragged linear band of hairs crosses the frons between the eyes, along the trans ocular ridge (somewhat encrusted and obscured in the holotype).

Type Material

Malaysia: Sarawak: First Division: Mt Santubong (05°52'N., 118°55'E.), near Kuching. Known only from the unique worker holotype, from a rainforest leaf litter berlesate, at c. 1800 ft (G. H. L. Rothschild), 5.vi.1968; RWT acc 68.294). Holotype in Australian National Insect Collection (type No. 7782); gold-palladium coated for SEM study.

Etymology

Named for my friend and colleague George Rothschild, formerly Sarawak Government Entomologist.

References

  • Taylor, R. W. 1990c. New Asian ants of the tribe Basicerotini, with an on-line computer interactive key to the twenty-six known Indo-Australian species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Invertebr. Taxon. 4: 397-425 (page 418, figs. 38-40, 54 worker described)