Hypoponera abeillei

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Hypoponera abeillei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. abeillei
Binomial name
Hypoponera abeillei
(André, 1881)

Hypoponera abeillei casent0915488 p 1 high.jpg

Hypoponera abeillei casent0915488 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Specimen records record some specific details about where samples have been collected but little else is known about the biology of Hypoponera abeillei. In Oman it was found in leaf litter in dry soil.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - In the circum-Mediterranean zone Hypoponera abeillei is very obviously different from all other Hypoponera species as it is the only one that is eyeless, lacks a metanotal groove across the dorsal mesosoma and has distinct cross-ribs at the base of the cinctus of the second gastral tergite, a combination of characters that render it easily identifiable.

abeillei appears to be closely related to Hypoponera meridia, Hypoponera orba and Hypoponera coeca.

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Sporadic circum-Mediterranean discoveries, but it appears to be very rare everywhere. Published records of the species exist for Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Tunisia. It is very probable that abeillei is of Afrotropical origin, but has not yet been detected south of the Sahara. (Bolton and Fisher 2011).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt, France (type locality), Iberian Peninsula, Israel, Italy, Malta, Oman, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Abundance

Rare.

Biology

Natural history information is limited to occurrence records with details about about where the species has been collected. André (1881), Jaffa - specimens collected in sand from around the roots of a plant ("dans le sable, a la racine des plantes"); Baroni Urbani (1962), Italy - found in the soil of a nest of Formica cunicularia, Boieiro et al. (2003); Portugal - A single specimen was captured in soil samples collected at Alqueidao da Serra, near Porto de Mos (UTM - 29SND1785),on 29th January 2002. The area presented sparse plant cover with some tufts of grass beneath Quercus coccifera and Prunus sp. plants.

Little else is known about the biology of this ant. In general...

Hypoponera inhabit and nest in leaf litter, the surface layer of soil, downed rotten wood, and soil around plant roots. Nests are typically found by turning objects on the ground, like downed wood and rocks, or through the ripping away of bark found on rotting downed wood or at the base of dead trees. Litter samples in tropical areas, especially in moist forested sites, often contain individuals of this genus. All Hypoponera are thought to be predators of small arthropods but published details about their diet are sparse. A lack of information about other aspects of their biology is also typical for most species.

The genus is most diverse in the tropics. Species found in higher latitudes tend to be more widespread, common and abundant than their tropical and subtropical congeners.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • abeillei. Ponera abeillei André, 1881a: 61 and xlviii (w.) FRANCE (Corsica). Santschi, 1921e: 167 (m.). Combination in P. (Hypoponera): Santschi, 1938b: 79; in Hypoponera: Taylor, 1967a: 12. See also: Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 15; Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 23.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Measurements: HL 0.54–0.56, HW 0.39–0.40, HS 0.465–0.480, SL 0.37–0.38, PrW 0.30, WL 0.68, HFL 0.34, PeNL 0.15, PeH 0.28–0.29, PeNW 0.22, PeS 0.217–0.220 (2 measured). Indices: CI 71–72, SI 95, PeNI 73, LPeI 52–54, DPeI 147.

Eyes absent. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, fails to reach the mid-point of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.68–0.69. Reticulate-punctulate sculpture of cephalic dorsum very fine and superficial; pronotal dorsum with minute punctulae, almost smooth. Lateroventral surfaces of head almost smooth, only with widely separated minute punctulae. With mesosoma in dorsal view the metanotal groove absent. Propodeal declivity separated from sides by blunt angles; not sharply marginate, not carinate. Mesopleuron unsculptured. Petiole in profile with the node relatively short and of moderate height, the anterior and posterior faces vertical, straight and parallel, not converging dorsally; dorsal surface almost flat. In profile the anterodorsal angle of the petiole node is conspicuously more broadly rounded than the posterodorsal angle; the latter almost a right-angle. Subpetiolar process with a small, shallow ventral angle. Posterior surface of petiole node without a transverse groove or impression above the peduncle and lacking cuticular ridges that radiate upwards from the posterior petiolar peduncle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view distinctly less than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. First gastral tergite in dorsal view as long as or slightly longer than broad, much narrower across the anterior margin (ca 0.20) than across the posterior margin (ca 0.32) and with the sides distinctly divergent posteriorly. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with distinct cross-ribs. Sides of second gastral segment straight and parallel for most of their length in dorsal view; narrowing extremely feebly only at the cinctus anteriorly and the apex posteriorly. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, as long as broad to slightly longer than broad. Disc of second gastral tergite shallowly reticulate-punctate to microreticulate. Full adult colour light brownish yellow.

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Syntype workers, FRANCE: Corsica, nr Ajaccio (Abeille de Perrin) (Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle) [examined].

References

  • André, E. 1881c. Catalogue raisonné des Formicides provenant du voyage en Orient de M. Abeille de Perrin et description des espèces nouvelles. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (6)(1): 53-78 (page 61, xlviii, worker described)
  • André, E. 1881b. [Untitled. Introduced by: "M. Ernest André, de Gray, adresse les descriptions de trois nouvelles espèces de Fourmis".]. Bull. Bimens. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 1881: 60-62.
  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1962. "Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia. I." Redia 47: 129-138.
  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1971c. Catalogo delle specie di Formicidae d'Italia (Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia X). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 50: 5-287 (page 15, see also)
  • Boieiro, M., X. Espadaler, et al. (2002). "Four new species to the ant fauna of Portugal (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)." Bol. Soc. Port. Entomol. 202(VII-20): 254-259.
  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118. PDF
  • Santschi, F. 1921e. Nouvelles fourmis paléarctiques. 3ème. note. Bol. R. Soc. Esp. Hist. Nat. 21: 165-170 (page 167, male described)
  • Santschi, F. 1938b. Notes sur quelques Ponera Latr. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 43: 78-80 (page 79, Combination in P. (Hypoponera))
  • Sharaf, M. R., B. L. Fisher, H. M. Al Dhafer, A. Polaszek and A. S. Aldawood. 2018. Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Oman: an updated list, new records and a description of two new species. Asian Myrmecology. 9:e010004; 1-38. doi:10.20362/am.010004
  • Taylor, R. W. 1967a. A monographic revision of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pac. Insects Monogr. 13: 1-112 (page 12, Combination in Hypoponera)