Leptogenys fiandry

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

Leptogenys fiandry casent0044282 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys fiandry casent0044282 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Specimens of L. fiandry have been sampled using the sifted litter method and pitfall traps. They are quite common in their habitats and have been found foraging on the ground, nesting under rocks and rootmat layers, and in rotten logs and sticks 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 shining; mandible smooth and shining; masticatory margin with two teeth, one apical and the second preapical; mesopleuron and lower half of sides of propodeum densely and finely reticulate-rugulose; node approximately as high as long in profile; posterior margin of propodeum with distinct toothlike lobe; dorsum of body with slender erect hairs.

Workers of Leptogenys fiandry are similar to those of Leptogenys alamando but are easily separable by the presence of two teeth on the apical portion of its mandible and its complex subpetiolar process, which consists of one anterior tooth and a second posterior lobe. Leptogenys alamando’s mandibular masticatory margin is armed with three teeth, and its subpetiolar process lacks the second posterior lobe.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Leptogenys fiandry is widely distributed across different habitats in the northern half of Madagascar. These range from dry forest, particularly in Tsingy, to transitional humid and littoral forests, as well as montane rainforest. Comoros Island is also known to harbor the species.

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

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • fiandry. Leptogenys fiandry Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 70, figs. 7B, 9A, 87, 92 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(16 specimens). HW: 0.60–0.69, HL: 0.74–0.99, CI: 66–85, SL: 0.65–0.86, SI: 109–131, PW: 0.47–0.59, WL: 1.23–1.48, PNH: 0.38–0.50, PNL: 0.42–0.50, PNW: 0.36–0.44, DNI: 81–91, LNI: 90–106.

Head elongate and very slightly diverging anteriorly, lateral borders nearly parallel to each other. Eye small, maximum width less than greatest width of antennal scape. Anteromedian clypeal margin projecting into triangular lobe. Mandible short and armed with two teeth, apical and preapical; blades widest at insertion of preapical tooth. Antennal scape short, feebly extending beyond posterior cephalic margin. In lateral view, posterior margin of propodeum with small toothlike lobe. In profile, petiolar node roughly as high as long; subpetiolar process consisting of anteroventral tooth followed by an indentation and then a posterior lobe. At anteroventral angle of third abdominal segment, prora projecting into sharp, ventrally directed lobe. Mandible smooth and shiny with scattered punctures. Dorsum of head, mesosoma and petiolar node smooth and shining besides very small piligerous pits. Anterior half of mesopleuron and propodeum generally finely reticulate in profile, sometimes mesopleural suture surrounded by fine reticulation. Sparse long hairs and short erect hairs present on scape and dorsum of body. Body color blackish dark-brown to brown with lighter appendages and apex of gaster.

Queen

(3 specimens). HW: 0.68–0.74, HL: 0.94–0.99, CI: 72–74, SL: 0.72–0.79, SI: 106–114, PW: 0.57–0.62, WL: 1.33–1.39, PNH: 0.47–0.49, PNL: 0.33–0.38, PNW: 0.46–0.47, DNI: 123–139, LNI: 124–148. Ergatoid queens look very similar to workers, but differ in the following characters: ergatoids have a broader and more ovoid head, shorter and robust mesosoma with decreased development of thoracic sclerites, shorter petiolar node, and enlarged gaster. With gaster in profile, helcium slightly higher on anterior margin of third abdominal segment. Hairs on dorsum of body more abundant and somewhat long and more slender.

Type Material

Holotype worker: Madagascar, Antsiranana, Forêt d' Antsahabe, 11.4 km 275° W Daraina, -13.2117, 49.5567, 550 m, tropical dry forest, ex rotten log, 14 Dec 2003 (B.L. Fisher et al.) collection code: BLF10234, specimen code: CASENT0247245 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes: series of 7 worker specimens, same data as holotype but with the following specimen codes: CASENT0076745, CASENT0076746, CASENT0076747, CASENT0247243, CASENT0247244, CASENT0247246, CASENT0196531 (CASC, The Natural History Museum, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza).

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.