Leptogenys anjara

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Leptogenys anjara
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Leptogenys
Species group: fiandry
Species: L. anjara
Binomial name
Leptogenys anjara
Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014

Leptogenys anjara casent0175331 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys anjara casent0175331 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Its known distribution is limited to a single collection from a locality in the montane rainforest of the RS Anjanaharibe-Sud. Pitfall traps were used to capture the lone specimen. Its exceptionally close resemblance to other two species (Leptogenys fiandry and Leptogenys alamando) suggests that it may be a cryptic species whose workers forage underground and rarely hunt on the forest floor.

Identification

A member of the fiandry species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Eye small, maximum width less than maximum diameter of antennal scape; body smooth and glossy; mandibular blades smooth and shining; masticatory margin with two teeth, one apical and second preapical; mesopleuron and lower half of sides of propodeum with dense and fine microrugulation; petiolar node longer than high in profile; propodeum unarmed; dorsum of body with slender erect hairs.

Leptogenys anjara can be distinguished from Leptogenys alamando by the presence of two teeth on mandibular masticatory margin and the complex subpetiolar process. The latter species has three mandibular teeth and simple subpetiolar process. Leptogenys anjara is separable from Leptogenys fiandry by its larger size and the remarkable length of its petiolar node (DNI: 70).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known only from the type locality.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The Leptogenys genus page has more details about the general biology of ants in this genus. The following synopsis provided by Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) offers an overview of the Malagasy Leptogenys: Recent surveys of arthropods in the Malagasy region uncovered a wealth of new species and showed that Leptogenys is one of the dominant ponerine ants widely distributed across all types of forest habitats. Workers are usually found foraging on the forest floor or in the leaf litter and only rarely on vegetation. They nest terrestrially under the soil, rocks, logs, or rootmat ground layers and in rotten logs, branches, in rotting bamboo, and rotten tree stumps. Most of the Malagasy species are endemic to Madagascar. In all Malagasy species, winged queens are absent, which limits their ability to disperse across the complex topography and various ecological barriers in the region. In the absence of alate queens, reproduction of Leptogenys in the region may be by fission, which enhances population viscosity and may result in important morphological variation across a species' geographic range. Though queens do not fly, males of Leptogenys are alate and are one of the most frequently collected ant genera in Malaise traps throughout Madagascar. Leptogenys exhibits a wide range of phenotypic diversity segregated both among spatially isolated habitats and along continuous environmental gradients.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • anjara. Leptogenys anjara Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 69, figs. 7C, 8B, 9B, 86, 91 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(1 specimen). HW: 0.83, HL: 1.24, CI: 67, SL: 1.13, SI: 137, PW: 0.70, WL: 1.91, PNH: 0.58, PNL: 0.66, PNW: 0.46, DNI: 70, LNI: 88.

Head long, slightly diverging anteriorly. Eye small, maximum width less than maximum diameter of antennal scape. Anterior clypeal margin projecting into prominent median lobe. Mandible short and capable of closing tightly against clypeus; apical and preapical teeth present on apical portion. Antennal scape feebly extending beyond posterior margin of head. Metanotal groove visible but not transversely striate. Propodeal lobe indistinct. In lateral view, petiolar node distinctly longer than high; anterior face shorter than the posterior, causing node to incline anteriorly. Subpetiolar process composed of an anterior tooth followed by a posterior lobe with an indentation between them. Prora shaped as sharp, ventrally directed lobe at anteroventral angle of third abdominal segment. Mandible smooth and shiny, with sparse piliferous pits. Dorsum of head, mesosoma and petiolar node smooth and shining apart from very small punctures from which hairs arise. Mesopleuron and lower half of lateral surface of propodeum covered with fine reticulo-rugulation. Erect long and suberect short hairs present on antennal scape and dorsum of body. Body dark-brown in color, with glossy reflection, appendages and tip of gaster lighter coloration.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker: Madagascar, Antsiranana, Réserve Anjanaharibe-Sud, 11.0 km WSW Befingotra, -12.75, 49.45, 1565 m, montane rainforest, 16–20 Nov 1994 (B.L. Fisher) collection code BLF01234, specimen code CASENT0175331 (California Academy of Sciences).

References

  • Rakotonirina, J.C. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. Revision of the Malagasy ponerine ants of the genus Leptogenys Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3836, 1-163.