Leptogenys vitsy

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

Leptogenys vitsy casent0470280 p 1 high.jpg

Leptogenys vitsy casent0470280 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Leptogenys vitsy is known from two separate and distant dry forests: Ankoririka of the PN Ankarafantsika in the west and the Makay Mountains in the southwest of the island. Very few records are known for L. vitsy and its biology is unknown, but a small number of workers have been found foraging through the leaf litter.

Identification

A member of the voeltzkowi complex of the incisa species group. Rakotonirina and Fisher (2014) - Worker. Anteromedian clypeal margin characterized by narrowly rounded lobe; peg-like setae present near apical portion, above semi-translucent lamella; antennal scape short (SI< 130); less than one-fourth of its length surpassing posterior margin of head; in full-face view, eye feebly extending beyond outline of lateral cephalic margin; posterior margin of petiolar node with constriction at its posteroventral angle, near junction to gaster; antennal scape and tibia with erect to suberect short hairs; third abdominal tergite densely punctate.

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.

  • vitsy. Leptogenys vitsy Rakotonirina & Fisher, 2014: 102, figs. 48B, 56B, 57A, 110, 126 (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

(4 specimens). HW: 1.08–1.25, HL: 1.26–1.46, CI: 84–86, SL: 1.22–1.54, SI: 113–126, PW: 0.83–0.94, WL: 2.09–2.47, PNH: 0.76–0.89, PNL: 0.66–0.69, PNW: 0.74–0.81, DNI: 112–118, LNI: 115–132.

Head roughly elongate, slightly wider anteriorly; lateral border weakly convex and rounding into more or less straight posterior margin. Eye medium, very slightly protruding from head surface, and breaking outline of cephalic lateral margin. Antennal scape relatively short. Clypeus with bluntly angulate lateral margin, which taper strongly into narrowly rounded anteromedian lobe; narrow, yellow spot fringing lobe and pair of peg-like setae projecting anteriorly near anteromedial clypeal margin, above lamella. Mandible elongate and slender, nearly straight and without curve near base; blades not capable of closing tightly against clypeus; basal groove a faintly effaced sulcus; preapical teeth either present near apex or absent. With mesosoma in dorsal view, metanotal groove impressed, with cross-ribs; in profile, mesosoma high and short; propodeal lobe indistinct. With petiole in lateral view, node excised or with impression immediatly above posteroventral angle; node about as high as broad, anterior face meeting in convex line with dorsal margin, which in turn makes distinct angle with posterior face. Constriction between third and fourth abdominal segments feeble. Mandible longitudinally striate, interspersed with piliferous punctures; head dorsum densely and finely rugulose-punctate, with sparse larger punctures or foveae. Pronotum finely microreticulate or densely and finely rugose, superimposed with quite dense, large punctures. Rest of mesosoma dorsum and petiolar node densely and finely reticulate-rugose, with scattered shallow punctures. Propodeal declivity transversely rugulose. Third abdominal tergite densely punctate; shallow elongate punctures covering the fourth. Standing hairs and pubescence present on body dorsum; antennal scape and tibiae with short erect or suberect hairs. Black in color, with brown to light brown apices of appendages and tip of gaster.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker: Madagascar, Mahajanga, PN Ankarafantsika, Réserve d'Ankoririka, 10.6 km 13° NE de Tsaramandroso, -16.2672, 47.0486, 210 m, tropical dry forest, sifted litter, 9–14 Apr 2001 (Fisher, Griswold et al.), collection code: BLF03664, specimen code: CASENT0470280 (California Academy of Sciences). Paratype worker: same data as holotype but with specimen code: CASENT0470279 (CASC).

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.