Leptogenys ralipra

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

Leptogenys ralipra casent0051142 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys ralipra casent0051142 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Leptogenys ralipra is restricted to the montane rainforest of east-central Madagascar. It has been collected only from the Moramanga region. Worker specimens of L. ralipra have been found foraging in leaf litter and nesting in rotten logs and rotten sticks on the ground.

Identification

A member of the saussurei species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Mandible short and robust, capable of closing tightly against clypeus; anterior clypeal margin medially projecting into triangular lobe; clypeus with sharp edge or lamella. Eye large, maximum diameter larger than maximum width of antennal scape. Dorsum of head and mesosoma distinctly sculptured; with mesosoma in dorsal view, metanotal groove indistinct. In dorsal view, posterior margin of petiolar node noticeably excised medially. Apical margin of mandible with one apical tooth and only one preapical tooth. Mandible smooth and shiny between scattered punctures; head densely punctulate to punctate; smaller species.

Leptogenys ralipra can be recognized by the absence of a metanotal groove, the excised posterior border of the petiolar node, and particularly by its smaller size and smooth and shiny mandible. In Leptogenys ambo, the posterior margin of the petiolar node is not medially excised. The apical margin of the mandibles is armed with three teeth in Leptogenys vatovavy. The longitudinally striate mandibles, longitudinally rugulose head, densely punctate superimposed with transverse rugulae of dorsum of pronotum and mesonotum and the larger species (HW: 1.77, HL: 2.29, PW: 1.45) of L. andritantely distinguishes it from L. ralipra.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

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.

  • ralipra. Leptogenys ralipra Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 123, figs. 2B, 38B, 39B, 140, 147 (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

(7 specimens). HW: 0.98–1.04, HL: 1.34–1.44, CI: 71–73, SL: 1.16–1.25, SI: 118–120, PW: 0.85–0.94, WL: 1.99–2.22, PNH: 0.84–0.90, PNL: 0.72–0.80, PNW: 0.75–0.81, DNI: 101–108, LNI: 112–119.

Head not broadened anteriorly, lateral border broadly convex with greatest width at level of eyes. Anteromedian lobe of clypeus ending apically with two denticles or tubercles; lateral margin bordered with rippled subopaque lamella. Mandible with one apical and one preapical tooth. With mesosoma in dorsal view, metanotal groove indistinct; in profile, mesopleural sulcus not visible, but upper portion with wide, shallow impression at level of metathoracic spiracle. Petiolar node elongate in dorsal view, posterior margin medially excised. Mandible generally smooth between coarse punctures. In full-face view, dorsum of head in front of level of anterior margin of eye finely and densely reticulate-rugose with scattered, large punctures. Sculptures between anterior and posterior margin of eyes rugose, superimposed with punctures; behind level of posterior margin of eye, punctures become larger and widely scattered toward posterior border of head. Dorsum of mesosoma and petiolar node sparsely punctate. With mesosoma in profile, mesopleuron and lower half of propodeum mostly smooth; upper half of propodeum and sides of node with reticulate-rugulose sculpture, intermingled with sparse punctures. Gaster generally smooth apart from scattered, small piligerous punctures.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker: Madagascar, Toamasina, Torotorofotsy, -18.8707, 48.3474, 1070 m, montane rainforest, marsh edge, ex rotten log, 29 Mar 2004 (Malagasy ant team) collection code: BLF10717, specimen code: CASENT0051142 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes: 2 workers, same data as holotype but specimen coded as: CASENT0196893, CASENT0247274 (CASC, The Natural History Museum).

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.