Myopias shivalikensis

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This is a blind species found by soil core method.

Myopias shivalikensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Myopias
Species: M. shivalikensis
Binomial name
Myopias shivalikensis
Bharti & Wachkoo, 2012

Myopias shivalikensis antweb1008035 p 1 high.jpg

Myopias shivalikensis antweb1008035 d 1 high.jpg

Type Specimen Label

Identification

M. shivalikensis is a blind species and well differs from all congeners (except for Myopias nops) with the combination of many characters, including the shape of mandible, arrangement and shape of teeth, shape of clypeal lobe, petiole and subpetiolar process, eye size; measurements and sculpture taken together confirm this species as new. However, it somewhat resembles M. nops, sharing cryptobiotic life style, small body size and degenerated eyes, but can be easily distinguished from the latter by the presence of two protruding teeth on the anterior corners of clypeus, and strongly emarginated occipital margin. Eyes are also strongly reduced in M. nops and barely visible amid the surface sculpture, while only clear black dots represent eyes in M. shivalikensis. Mandibular size is shorter in M. nops (ML 0.42) compare to M. shivalikensis (ML 0.53); shape of mandibles is also quite different: M. nops has blunt pre-apical tooth, whereas both apical and pre-apical teeth are clearly acute in M. shivalikensis.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

This species seems to be rare in the Shivalik range of Northwest Himalaya: the single specimen was found in Jammu and Kashmir during the intensive surveys. The species was found along a small shady lakeside fragment with loose and moist soil, typical to inhabit this specialist predator; it is a hypogaeic ant and has been collected only by soil core method.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • shivalikensis. Myopias shivalikensis Bharti & Wachkoo, 2012: e-34, figs. 1-3 (w.) INDIA.

Description

Holotype worker

India, Jammu and Kashmir, Surinsar, 32.7009°N 75.1512°E, 700 m a. s. l., 14 July 2009, soil core (coll. Aijaz A. Wachkoo). Holotype deposited in Punjabi University Patiala Ant Collection (Punjabi University Patiala Ant Collection), Patiala, India. Holotype worker. TL 2.9; HL 0.63; HW 0.6; ML 0.53; CL 0.08; CW 0.1; WL 0.83; PL 0.23; PW 0.26; PH 0.37; SL 0.42; GL 1.2 mm. Indices: CI 95.24; MI 84.13; SI 70; PI 113. Head. Head subrectangular, slightly longer than broad, sides convex; occiput strongly emarginate, occipital corners rounded and prominent. Median clypeal lobe trapezoidal, widest near the base, furnished at each anterior corner with a distinct protrusive tooth. Mandibles porrect, their masticatory margin furnished with 4 teeth; apical tooth longer than preapical one, then followed basally by two blunt teeth, which are separated from each other by almost the same distance as apical is separated from the pre-apical tooth. Antennae 12-segmented with 4-segmented club; scape almost reaching protruded occipital corners of head. Eyes rudimentary, with indistinct facets, represented by a tiny black dot, situated well below midlength of head. Frontal groove short and deep, reaching the level of eyes. Mesosoma and petiole. Mesosoma narrowed laterally, rather low, with feebly convex promesonotal dorsum; propodeal dorsum almost flat, slightly inclined back- ward, forming rounded angle with subvertical, evenly convex declivity. Mesosomal sutures distinct, promesonotal suture is immediately followed by few horizontal, con- centric striations on dorsum, metanotal suture is deeper, with a row of short longitudinal ridges on it. Petiole dorsally subrectangular with sides diverging, slightly broader than long, its anterior face in lateral view straight, while posterior face is convex; sub- petiolar process large, with a trapezoidal base surmounted by a thin acute, posteriorly directed flange. Gaster. Gaster elongate, with tergite of first segment rising posteriorly, remaining segments of gaster gently curved down, a distinct constriction with a row of short longitudinal ridges in it separates first and second gastral segments. Sting long, sharp and up-curved. Sculpture. Head opaque, covered by wide, regular, closely spaced piligerous punctures. Punctures on pronotal and propodeal dorsum are denser than on the mesonotum. Sides of mesosoma with punctures, which are more pronounced on pronotum, sides of propodeum also weakly striated. Petiole with shallow punctures. Mandibles, clypeal lobe and gaster shiny, with scattered punctures. Pilosity. Dense, reclinate, suberect, short and uniform on head; longest hairs (0.18 mm) present on anteriormost part of clypeus. Colour. Brownish orange.

Etymology.

The species is named after the study area, Shivalik.

References