Neoponera fisheri

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

Pachycondyla fisheri casent0217559 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla fisheri casent0217559 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): This species nests in Cecropia insignis and C. hispidissima ant plants. Winged sexuals were collected in March, isolated dealate females in March and August.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010):The worker and female of N. fisheri can be recognized by the impressed region in the middle of the clypeus, which is surrounded by two converging (posteriorly) swollen elongate areas. This characteristic separates N. fisheri from most of the others in the genus. Additionally the petiole is somewhat bulbous and rounded on all sides (the posterior lateral edge may be slightly developed). Most surfaces of the petiole are moderate to strongly smooth and glossy, especially the posterior face.

Neoponera fisheri is placed in the aenescens species complex, although it may not belong there and may deserve its own complex. It differs from the typical members of the aenescens complex in being more coarsely sculptured, having several erect hairs on the scapes and having a petiolar shape unlike any of the other members of the aenescens species complex (but similar to that of the foetida species complex). The metasternal process is distinct from the remainder of the members of the aenescens species complex (except for Neoponera fusca), in that the two lobes are closely spaced, a condition more similar to members of the crenata species complex. The wings of the females and males have elongate third discoidal cells, as do members of the aenescens species complex. On the other hand the worker and female have only a partially developed malar carina, have a poorly developed swelling on the pronotum, have a depression at the metanotal suture and have a stridulatory file on the second pretergite. It is somewhat intermediate between the aenescens species complex and the foetida species complex and probably connects the two complexes.

Distribution

PANAMA (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Panama (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

This species has been collected in the rainforest and wet forest. (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.

  • fisheri. Pachycondyla fisheri Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 328, figs. 30, 32, 34, 278, 279, 293, 451- 454 (w.q.m.) PANAMA. 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 large (total length about 13 mm) black ant. The mandible has 7 - 8 teeth, the basalmost poorly defined. The anterior border of the clypeus is concave medially and the entire middle of the clypeus is depressed. The head length ranges from 2.7 - 3.1 mm; the head width from 2.4 - 2.6 mm. The eyes are relatively large (maximum diameter 0.8 mm, slightly longer than the distance between the anterior border and the anterior edge of the head (side view). The scapes are relatively short (2.0 - 2.1 mm), failing to reach the posterior lateral corner of the head by approximately the first two funicular segments. The posterior border of the head is strongly concave. The malar carina is present but not completely developed (posterior half missing). The pronotal shoulder is swollen and forms a carina anteriorly. The mesosoma is depressed at the metanotal suture which breaks the sculpture dorsally. The propodeal spiracle is elongated, about twice as long as the width. The anterior face of the petiole is nearly vertical, the posterior face has sharp lateral edges and forms a broad blunt dorsal face. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite and the arolia are moderately well developed. Erect and suberect hairs are present on most surfaces; appressed pubescence is sparse and obvious on the head and the gaster.

Most surfaces are dull and punctate; the mandibles are moderately shining with very fine striae. The posterior face of the petiole is mostly glossy and shining with a few oblique striae, the dorsum of the gaster is weakly shining. The worker is black, the mandibles and tips of the last funicular segment are reddish brown or yellowish brown the tarsi and the tip of the gaster are slightly lighter in color.

Queen

The female is a large (total length 15-17 mm) black ant. The mandible has approximately 10 teeth but many are poorly defined. The anterior medial margin of the clypeus is concave. The head length is 3 mm, the width 2.8 mm. The eye is large (maximum diameter 0.5 mm) and is located about one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The malar carina is present but only extends about one half of the length to the eye. The scape is relatively short (2.25 mm) and barely reaches the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a definite carina. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile with a vertical straight anterior face, which meets the broadly rounded posterior face near the anterior edge of the petiole. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite and the arolia are moderately well developed.

Erect and suberect hairs are present on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, scapes, dorsum of the mesosoma, legs, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster; fine appressed pubescence is present on the head, mesosoma and gaster.

The dorsum of the head has poorly defined longitudinal striae which diverge posteriorly, the mesosoma is mostly finely punctate, although a few striae are present on the side of the propodeum, all surfaces of the petiole are very finely punctate and moderately shining, the gaster is punctate and moderately shining.

Male

The male is a large (total length 14 mm) black ant. The head length is 1.98 - 2.1 mm; the head width is 1.8 - 1.9 mm. The anterior margin of the clypeus is broadly rounded, without the medial impressed region that is found in the worker and female. The eyes are moderately large (maximum diameter 0.78 mm) and occupy approximately ½ of the side of the head (side view). The ocelli are moderately sized (maximum diameter of the median ocellus 0.18 mm). The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a carina. The propodeum is angulate between the two faces and the propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is broad when viewed in profile, with the node rounded anteriorly and posteriorly. The subpetiolar process consists of a lobe, which is broadly rounded anteriorly and slightly angulate posteriorly, followed by a broad concave area. The region between the posterior edge of the postpetiole and the remainder of the gaster is strongly constricted. The stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed, as are the arolia.

Erect hairs (up to 0.45 mm in length) are present on the clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides of the head, posterior margin, mesosoma, petiole and gaster, most hairs on the legs are suberect. Golden appressed pubescence is moderately abundant on the head and mesosoma and dense on the gaster. Most surfaces are weakly to moderately shining, the head is coriaceous, the mesosoma is mostly coriaceous, the petiole ranges from moderately glossy (front and sides) to strongly glossy (posterior face); the gaster is finely punctate and moderately shining.

Type Material

PANAMA: Pr. Colon, Santa Rita Ridge, 9°21’N 79°47’W, 250m. Holotype worker (CASC), 9 paratype workers (California Academy of Sciences, William and Emma Mackay, Graham B. Fairchild Museo de Invertebrados, Humboldt Institute, National Museum of Natural History)

Etymology

This species is named in honor of Brian Fisher, myrmecologist and close friend, who collected the type series, as well as all of the additional specimens.

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)