Metapone madagascarica

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Metapone madagascarica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Metapone
Species: M. madagascarica
Binomial name
Metapone madagascarica
Gregg, 1958

Metapone madagascarica casent0003118 profile 1.jpg

Metapone madagascarica casent0003118 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Known from a variety of forest types (spiny forest/thicket, gallery forest, spiny forest, secondary rainforest, tropical dry forest, tropical forest) in dead wood, e.g., rotten logs and a stump.

Identification

Taylor and Alpert (2016) - General and diagnostic features as illustrated and in the key to African and Madagascan species above (note paired anteromedian clypeal denticles, sub-parallel lateral clypeal margins, transverse petiolar node, and unextended postpetiolar sternite). Eyes minute, diameter of each about half the width of the second funicular antennomere; with 8–10 extremely minute, somewhat obscure facets. Mesosoma In dorsal view slightly constricted at promesonotal/propodeal junction, with accompanying short vestigial traces of the metanotal suture on each side. Subpetiolar process: more-or-less basic in structure—relatively deep, the posterior face a narrow isosceles triangle, subpetiolar angle obtuse in side view, without spinose extension. Subpetiolar extension lamellate, scalene-triangular, with a short posteroventral edge, the apex posteroventral, the base almost as long as the subpetiolar edge.

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

Alpert (2007) - On February 10, 1993, Phil Ward, Emile Rajeriarison and the author discovered a series of M. madagascarica from Berenty Reserve, 15m, 25°01’ 3.9”S, 46°18’ 21.8”E; spiny forest, in an Alluaudia sp. log in association with termites. On July 11, 2000, the author returned to this locality with Pascal Rabeson and Emile Rajeriarison and collected several nest series of M. madagascarica in a dead hardwood tree (local Malagasy name “Kelegnogne”) in association with the termite Cryptotermes kirbyi. These nest series included larvae, pupae, workers, queens, males and ergatoid males.

Worker-queen intermorphs were present in low numbers among the series of workers. Two intermorphs exhibiting rudimentary wing articulations were present among 51 workers. Other intermediate stages of intermorph development were also present and this is consistent with the variation in development of ovarioles from six to two (Hölldobler et al., 2002b).

Several ergatoid males were collected along with typical winged males within the same colony at more than one location. These ergatoid males are almost identical to workers with the following exceptions, presence of male genitalia, large well-developed eyes and typical male antennae. The presence of both winged males and an ergatoid male caste in the same colony is exceptional in ants and warrants further study.

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Ergatoid Male

Nomenclature

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

  • madagascarica. Metapone madagascarica Gregg, 1958: 111, fig. 1 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR. Alpert, 2007: 11 (m., ergatoid m.).

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

Description

Type Material

Taylor and Alpert (2016) - Worker. 15 km east of Tulear [23°21' S, 43°40' E], Madagascar.

Alpert (2007) - Metapone madagascarica was described from a small series of workers collected along with termites from a stump with a field label T–4403. Moszkowski (1955, p. 34) described the associated drywood termite as a new species, Cryptotermes kirbyi Moszkowski, gave the field label as T-4403, and described the collection locality in more detail [14 km. East (23° 20’S, 43°48’E) of Tulear, along Fiheranana River, Madagascar, coll. H. Kirby, 7.VI.1935, in large dead stump].

References