Neoponera eleonorae

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Neoponera eleonorae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. eleonorae
Binomial name
Neoponera eleonorae
(Forel, 1921)

Pachycondyla eleonorae casent0217558 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla eleonorae casent0217558 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker of N. eleonorae could be confused with Neoponera aenescens but differs in that the petiole of N. eleonorae is longer than broad when viewed from above (wider than long in N. aenescens). The shape of the metasternal process would also separate N. eleonorae from N. aenescens in which the process consists of two widely spaced triangular lobes. Neoponera eleonorae is closely related to Neoponera carbonaria (Forel, 1921) but is mostly roughly sculptured, whereas N. carbonaria is at least partially smooth and glossy. The metasternal lobes of N. carbonaria are small and poorly developed. The extensive golden pubescence of N. eleonorae could cause confusion with the worker of Neoponera schoedli. The two species can be easily separated as the anterior face of the petiole of N. eleonorae is convex and even angulate, whereas the same surface of N. schoedli is straight. In addition the lobes of the metasternal process of N. schoedli are similar to those of N. aenescens, making both of these species easily separated from N. eleonorae. The pronotal disc of N. eleonorae has more than 10 erect hairs and has few hairs in N. schoedli.

The worker of N. eleonorae is very similar to that of Neoponera fusca from the mountains of Colombia. The worker of N. fusca is nearly completely black (the mandibles are dark reddish brown) not golden - bronze colored as in N. eleonorae. The anterior and dorsal faces of the petiole of N. eleonorae form a broad convexity, whereas in N. fusca the anterior face abruptly bends about half height and forms a concave oblique dorsal face which meets the posterior face near the posterior edge of petiole. The lobes of the metasternal process of N. fusca are closely spaced with concave interior margins which nearly meet apically, not finger-like and parallel as in N. eleonorae. Otherwise the two species are essentially identical. Neoponera eleonorae could be easily confused with Neoponera fauveli. They are approximately the same size, but N. eleonorae has a brassy color, N. fauveli is black. The eye of N. eleonorae is smaller (~0.4 mm), located more than one maximum diameter from the anterior edge of the head (side view), whereas it is larger in N. fauveli (~0.5 mm) located about 1 diameter from the anterior edge of the head.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Ecuador (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Loading map...

Check specimen data from AntWeb

Habitat

Unknown, a female was collected between 1600 - 1900 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.

  • eleonorae. Mesoponera eleonorae Forel, 1921b: 131 (w.) ECUADOR. Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 308 (q.). Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 305; 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

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker is a moderate sized (total length 9 mm) black ant which appears to be reddish brown or bronze due to the abundant golden appressed pubescence. The mandible has approximately 12 teeth. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly rounded and the head is relatively elongated (length 2.4 mm, head width 1.8 mm). The eyes are relatively small (0.4 mm), located slightly more than one diameter from the anterior margin of the head. The malar carina is absent. The scape is long (3 mm) and extends nearly 1/2 the length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is rounded; the mesosoma is depressed at the metanotal suture, which breaks the sculpture on the dorsum. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole has a characteristic shape in which the anterior and posterior faces are nearly parallel, but the anterior face is about one half as long as the posterior face and gradually bends into the dorsal face, which is elongate and inclined upwards so that the highest point on the apex is near the posterior edge. The posterior face is broadly rounded and meets the dorsal face at its high point. The posterior lateral edge of the petiole nearly formsa carina. The subpetiolar process is poorly developed. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite, but the arolia are poorly developed. The metasternal process is very unusual and completely different from the remainder of the species in the aenescens species complex. It consists of a pair of elongate parallel finger-like lobes (seen from behind) which are flattened and oriented perpendicular to the axis of the body when seen from below.

Erect hairs are present on the clypeus, but are sparse on the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the head and absent on the scapes as well as on the dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, most surfaces of the gaster have a few scattered erect hairs. The legs, including the tibiae, have a few white (difficult to see) erect or suberect hairs. Golden appressed pubescence is abundant on the head, mesosoma and gaster. The head is densely and evenly but finely punctate, the mesosoma is coriaceous with some fine striae on the dorsum, the petiole is punctate and moderately shining, as is the gaster.

Queen

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The female (undescribed) is a moderate sized (total length 13 mm) dark reddish brown ant with reddish brown legs. It appears to be golden-bronze in color, due to the abundant appressed golden hairs. The mandible has 11 teeth; the anterior border of the clypeus is broadly rounded. The head length is 2.55 mm, the head width 2.15 mm. The malar carina is absent and the eyes relatively small (maximum diameter 0.53 mm). The scape (2.98 mm) extends ⅓ of the length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a margin; the propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile with the anterior face being nearly vertical and the posterior face being broadly rounded, the two faces form a poorly defined dorsal face. The subpetiolar process consists of the thick lobe which diminishes in width posteriorly.

Erect hairs are abundant on most surfaces including the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, posterior margin, erect hairs are absent on the shaft of the scape (hairs are present at the apex), erect hairs are abundant on the dorsum of the mesosoma, the dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster, the hairs on the legs are suberect, the length of those on the tibia are about ⅓ of the diameter of the tibia. Appressed golden pubescence is abundant on the head, the mesosoma and the gaster, providing a golden color.

The mandibles are striate and dull, the dorsum of the head and dorsum of the mesosoma are dull and punctate, the sides are slightly less coarsely sculptured and weakly shining, the gaster is moderately shining with scattered punctures.

Male

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The male is unknown. Two possible males are deposited in the CASC.

Type Material

Ecuador, Quito. Holotype seen, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Etymology

This species was named in honor of Ms. Eléonore Naumann who collected the holotype as well as many other specimens for Forel. (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 305, Combination in Pachycondyla)
  • Forel, A. 1921b. Quelques fourmis des environs de Quito (Ecuador) récoltées par Mlle Eléonore Naumann. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 54: 131-135 (page 131, worker described)
  • 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)