Neoponera coveri

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Neoponera coveri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. coveri
Binomial name
Neoponera coveri
(Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2010)

The holotype was collected in a dead hollow twig hanging in the foliage.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): Neoponera coveri is closely related to Neoponera oberthueri, but can be distinguished by the coriaceous and punctate mandible with a dull surface (mandible is shining in N. oberthueri). Additionally the apex of the petiole of N. coveri is rounded, especially posteriorly, whereas the apex is angulate posteriorly at the apex, nearly pointed in N. oberthueri. Neoponera coveri is similar to Neoponera carinulata, but can be separated by the weak punctures on the dorsum of the pronotum, which are coarse and form poorly defined transverse striae in N. carinulata. The highest point on the apex of the petiole of N. coveri is located posteriorly as in N. oberthueri, not at mid length as in N. carinulata.

The angulate medial clypeal border of N. coveri could cause confusion with Rasopone becculata, which has a similar clypeus. The two species are easily separated as R. becculata lacks the carina on the pronotal shoulder. Neoponera coveri lacks the strongly concave anterior border of the postpetiole of N. concava, which also has an angle in the middle of the anterior border of the clypeus.

Distribution

PERU. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Peru (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

The holotype was collected in a camp clearing at the forest edge, at 200 m elevation. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • coveri. Pachycondyla coveri Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 279, figs. 82, 238, 240, 405-408 (w.) PERU. Combination in Neoponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 151

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

Description

Worker

The worker is a moderately small (total length 7 mm) black ant with reddish brown appendages, including most of the coxae. The mandible has approximately 11 teeth. The medial clypeal tooth or lobe is large and well developed and overhangs the remainder of the clypeus. The sides of the head are nearly parallel and posterior margin is slightly concave. The head length is 1.64 mm; the head width is 1.40 mm. The eye (maximum diameter 0.44 mm) is located approximately 1 diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The malar carina is well developed and nearly reaches the eye. The scape (1.60 mm) extends about ⅓ of its length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is formed into a sharp carina, which overhangs the side of the pronotum. The promesonotal suture breaks the sculpturing on the dorsum of the mesosoma, but the metanotal suture is barely marked. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The lower ½ of the anterior face of the petiole is nearly vertical and bends posteriorly to form a sloping dorsal face with the remaining half, which meets the posterior face near the posterior edge of the petiole. The posterior face is convex and not concave near the apex. The subpetiolar process consists of small angle followed by a concave region and a gradually diminishing process posteriorly. The stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed, the arolia between the tarsal claws are poorly developed but present.

Erect hairs are present on the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the mandibles, the shaft of the scape, the sides of the head, the posterior margin of the head, the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, on the angular process on the subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster. The hairs on the tibiae are suberect. Appressed pubescence is present on the dorsum of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma and all surfaces of the gaster.

The mandibles are coriaceous with scattered punctures, the medial lobe of the clypeus has poorly defined longitudinal striolae, the dorsum of the head is completely punctate with the regions between the punctures being smooth and shining, the punctures on the dorsum of the mesosoma are fine and the regions between the punctures polished, as is the side of the pronotum; the mesopleuron and side of the propodeum are partially covered with poorly defined striae, but portions are smooth and glossy, the side, anterior face and posterior face of the petiole are mostly glossy. The gaster is smooth and glossy, the punctures on the dorsum of the postpetiole are very fine, those on the remainder of the second tergum are slightly coarser.

Queen

Queens are not known for this species.

Male

Males are not known for this species.

Type Material

Holotype worker (Museum of Comparative Zoology, # CAZ-167). Cuzco Amazónico, 15 k NE Puerto Maldonado, PERU, Madre de Dios

Etymology

This species is named in honor of our close friend Stefan Cover of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, in recognition for all he has done for us and for the field of Myrmecology. Stef also collected the holotype.

References

  • 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.
  • 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)