Gnamptogenys ammophila

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Gnamptogenys ammophila
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Gnamptogenys
Species: G. ammophila
Binomial name
Gnamptogenys ammophila
Lattke, 1990

Gnamptogenys ammophila casent0179947 p 1 high.jpg

Gnamptogenys ammophila casent0179947 d 2 high.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is unique within the genus due to its savanna nest sites as opposed to the forest preferences of most species. Its range is apparently restricted to high (>1200m), cool savannas of the Upper Rio Caroni watershed (La Gran Sabana). It has not been found in lower savannas, despite the fact that another ant, Pogonomyrmex naegelii, is widespread in savannas isolated in the midst of great expanses of forest. The extent of savannas in the Guiana Shield was much broader during the last glaciation (75,000-11,000 B.P.), as were generally cooler temperatures and a drier climate (Schubert 1988; Clapperton 1993). Such conditions could conceivably have favored the origin of this species from its apparent sister species Gnamptogenys striatula during the course of the last glaciation. (Lattke 1995)

Identification

A member of the striatula subgroup (in the striatula species group). Black, finely costulate with brown scapes and mandibles, light brown legs. Subpetiolar process subquadrate, not as projecting anterad as in Gnamptogenys striatula. Mesosomal dorsum with longitudinal costulae and erect hairs up to 0.30 mm in length. (Lattke 1995)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Venezuela (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Not much is known about the the biology of Gnamptogenys ammophila. We can speculate that the biology of this species is similar to other species of the genus. Gnamptogenys are predatory ponerine ants that inhabit tropical and subtropical mesic forests. Nesting is typically at ground level in rotten wood or leaf litter. Some exceptions include species that are arboreal, a dry forest species and species that nests in sandy savannahs. Colony size tends to be, at most, in the hundreds. Queens are the reproductives in most species. Worker reproduction is known from a few species in Southeastern Asia. Generalist predation is the primary foraging/dietary strategy. Specialization on specific groups (millipedes, beetles, other ants) has developed in a few species.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • ammophila. Gnamptogenys ammophila Lattke, 1990b: 6, figs. 6, 9 (w.) VENEZUELA.

Description

References