Neoponera carbonaria

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Neoponera carbonaria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. carbonaria
Binomial name
Neoponera carbonaria
(Smith, F., 1858)

Pachycondyla carbonaria casent0249132 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla carbonaria casent0249132 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Synonyms

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): One colony was collected in a rotten stump 30 cms high. The ants were under the bark to a depth of 15 cms. Sexuals and brood were present in the nest in January (Colombia).

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Neoponera carbonaria could be easily confused with Neoponera laevigata, another glossy ant. They can be easily separated as the side of the propodeum of N. carbonaria has poorly defined striae, whereas that of N. laevigata is coarsely sculptured, with well-defined striae. The appressed golden pubescence found in N. carbonaria is nearly absent on the head, mesosoma and gaster of N. laevigata. Pachycondyla carbonaria is very similar to Neoponera schoedli. The worker of N. carbonaria can be separated as it has much more extensive bluish or greenish reflections and is more sculptured, specifically the anepisternum has several oblique horizontal striae, which are lacking in P. schoedli. The relatively smooth surface and the greenish or bluish reflections would separate N. carbonaria from other similar species including Neoponera aenescens, Pachycondyla crassinoda, Neoponera emiliae, Pachycondyla harpax, Pachycondyla impressa, Neoponera procidua and Pachycondyla striata.

There is little doubt that N. atrovirens is actually N. carbonaria, although type material of N. atrovirens was not located. The description fits N. carbonari'a well. Neoponera carbonaria keys easily to N. atrovirens in both Mayr’s key (1870) and Emery’s (1890a) key and is a relatively common ant in Colombia (subject of Mayr’s key). The lectotype of Euponera (Mesoponera) atrovirens race splendida is a typical specimen of N. carbonaria.

Distribution

Columbia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezula (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Ecuador (type locality), Nicaragua, Venezuela.

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Neoponera carbonaria for further details

Habitat

This species usually occurs at high elevation between 2250 - 2800 meters in wet cloud forest. Forel (1901b) mentions they occur between 1000 and 2000 m. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Biology

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • carbonaria. Ponera carbonaria Smith, F. 1858b: 97 (w.) ECUADOR. Combination in Pachycondyla: Mayr, 1886c: 358; in Euponera (Mesoponera): Emery, 1901a: 47; in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1972a: 141; in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 303; in Neoponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 151. Senior synonym of atrovirens, splendida: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 228.
  • atrovirens. Pachycondyla atrovirens Mayr, 1866b: 890 (w.q.) COLOMBIA. [Also described as new by Mayr, 1870a: 397 (in key).] Combination in Euponera (Mesoponera): Emery, 1901a: 47; in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1972a: 141; in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 303. Junior synonym of carbonaria: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 228.
  • splendida. Euponera (Mesoponera) atrovirens r. splendida Forel, 1901f: 340 (w.) ECUADOR. Combination in Mesoponera: Kempf, 1972a: 141; in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 310. Junior synonym of carbonaria: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 228.

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

Description

Worker

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): These ants are moderately large (total length 10 mm) black ants with shiny green or blue reflections. The anterior edge of the clypeus is indented medially, the eyes are moderately large (maximum diameter 0.43 mm) and separated from the anterior edge of the head by less than one maximum diameter (side view). There is no malar carina between the eye and the anterior edge of the head. The scape extends about two funicular segments past the posterior lateral corner. The pronotal shoulder is swollen and nearly forms a carina. The metanotal suture is impressed and breaks the integument of the dorsum of the mesosoma. The propodeal spiracle is elongate and the propodeum forms carinae laterally. The anterior face of the petiole is slightly concave and meets the convex sloping posterior face at a blunt angle. The stridulatory file is present on the dorsum of the gaster. The metasternal process is formed of two low triangles, which are widely separated. The metasternal process is less well developed than in the other species of the aenescens species complex.

Erect hairs are moderately abundant on all surfaces of the head, but are lacking on the shaft of the scape. The mesosoma, petiole and gaster have several erect hairs, the hairs on the tibiae are appressed, except for a few hairs near the spur. Golden appressed pubescence is abundant on the head, mesosoma and gaster.

Most surfaces are moderately smooth and some are glossy, especially the posterior half of the head, the pronotum and the gaster. Other surfaces are punctate or finely striate.

These ants are mostly black, the mandibles are reddish brown and the other appendages may be slightly lighter in color.

Queen

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The female is a moderate sized (total length 13 mm) black ant with shiny greenish and bluish reflections. The mandible has approximately 12 teeth. The clypeus is concave along the medial anterior border. The head is narrowed anteriorly, with a concave posterior margin. The eye (0.55 mm) is located less than one diameter from the anterior margin of the head. The malar carina is absent. The scape (2.72 mm) extends slightly more than the first funicular segment past the posterior lateral corner of the head.

The pronotal shoulder is swollen and forms a moderately sharp carina. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The anterior face of the petiole is concave and meets the broadly rounded posterior face near the anterior edge of the apex. The subpetiolar process forms a small downwardly directed tooth anteriorly and a gradually diminishing process posteriorly. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite.

There are several erect and suberect hairs on the clypeus and mandibles, malar area, ventral surface of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. The scape is without erect hairs; there are few erect and suberect hairs on the legs.

The dorsal surface of the mandible is finely striate, the remainder of the surfaces is finely and sparsely punctate with bluish and greenish reflections.

Male

No males are known for this species.

Type Material

Mackay and Mackay (2010) - Ecuador: Quito. Lectotype worker and 1 paralectotype worker designated, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna.

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Ponera carbonaria

Holotype worker in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Ponera carbonaria Smith. Quito,” and “type. F. Smith coll. 79.22.”

Etymology

The name comes from the Latin word for coal, carbo, referring to the black color of this species. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

References

  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1995a. [Untitled. Taxonomic changes in Pachycondyla attributed to Brown.] Pp. 302-311 in: Bolton, B. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 303, Combination in Pachycondyla)
  • Emery, C. 1901b. Notes sur les sous-familles des Dorylines et Ponérines (Famille des Formicides). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 45: 32-54 (page 47, Combination in Euponera (Mesoponera))
  • Kempf, W. W. 1972b. Catálogo abreviado das formigas da regia~o Neotropical. Stud. Entomol. 15: 3-344 (page 141, Combination in Mesoponera)
  • Mackay, W. P., and E. E. Mackay 2010. The Systematics and Biology of the New World Ants of the Genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston. Information from this publication is used with permission from the authors.
  • Mayr, G. 1886c. Notizen über die Formiciden-Sammlung des British Museum in London. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 353-368 (page 358, Combination in Pachycondyla)
  • Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Muséum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Muséum, 216 pp.
  • Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, S.O. 2014. The higher classification of the ant subfamily Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a review of ponerine ecology and behavior. Zootaxa. 3817, 1–242 (doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3817.1.1)