Neoponera hispida

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

Mackay and Mackay (2010): The holotype and one paratype were collected in a pitfall traps, the second paratype was in a nest under a stone. A dealate female was collected in a pitfall trap in September (Colombia).

Identification

Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker of N. hispida is nearly identical to that of Neoponera fauveli, differing only in having shiny mandibles and erect bristly hairs on the shaft of the scape. Neoponera hispida could be confused with the similar Neoponera holcotyle, but can be separated as N. hispida lacks the striae on the side of the petiole that are present in N. holcotyle.

The female of N. hispida is nearly identical to that of N. fauveli, but can be separated by the short erect hairs, the fine erect hairs on the scapes and by the smooth and glossy mandibles of N. hispida. The hairs are absent or if present are longer (> 0.1 mm) in the female of N. fauveli, the fine erect hairs are absent or very tiny and the mandibles are striate. The smooth and shiny mesosoma of the female of N. hispida would further separate the two, as it is striate or otherwise sculptured in N. fauveli.

Distribution

COLOMBIA, ECUADOR (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

Neoponera hispida is found in primary rain forest and cloud forest at 1800 - 2020 meters, as well as in a pasture. (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.

  • hispida. Pachycondyla hispida Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 383, figs. 38, 509-512 (w.q.) COLOMBIA. 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 an intermediate sized (total length 8-9 millimeters) black ant with dark reddish brown appendages. The mandibles have about 11 – 14 teeth, the basalmost teeth are poorly defined. The anterior margin of the clypeus is broadly convex. The head length is 2.35 mm; the head width is 1.9 mm. The sides of the head are rounded, but only slightly narrowed anteriorly and posteriorly. The posterior margin is slightly concave. The malar carina is absent. The eye (maximum diameter 0.5 mm) is located about one diameter from the anterior edge of the head (side view). The scape (2.5 mm) extends about ⅓ length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is slightly swollen but does not form a carina. The promesonotal and metanotal sutures are deeply impressed on the dorsum of the mesosoma and break the surfaces. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The apex of the petiole is broadly rounded with a convex posteriorly sloping anterior face and a nearly vertical posterior face. The dorsal face is poorly defined. The subpetiolar process consists of an anterior or downwardly directed angle and then gradually diminishes in thickness posteriorly. The anterior face of the postpetiole is broadly rounded.

Erect hairs are present on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, posterior margin, antennal scapes, dorsum of the mesosoma, dorsum of the petiole, on the subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster. Erect or suberect hairs are present on the legs, but are sparse. Appressed golden pubescence is fine but abundant on the head, especially on the regions posterior to the eyes, on the dorsum of the mesosoma, the dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster.

The mandibles are smooth and glossy with scattered punctures, most of the remainder of the ant, including the head and mesosoma, are punctate and dull with fine striae present on the mesopleuron and the side of the propodeum. The petiole and gaster are mostly smooth and glossy with fine insignificant punctures.

Queen

The female is a moderate sized (total length 9 mm) mostly shining black ant. The mandible has approximately 12 teeth, the apicalmost teeth are well defined, the basalmost teeth are poorly defined with many reduced to denticles. The anterior margin of the clypeus is broadly convex (slightly concave medially). The head length is 2.1 mm; the head width 1.9 mm. The malar carina is completely absent; the eye (maximum diameter 0.75 mm) is located approximately one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The eyes are strongly protruding from the sides of the head. The scape (3.7 mm) extends more than ⅓ length past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The head is widest at the point of the eyes and narrowed both anteriorly and posteriorly, the posterior margin is nearly straight or slightly convex. The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a carina. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is moderately thickened when viewed in profile with a broadly rounded apex. The subpetiolar process consists of a ventrally directed tooth followed by a region which gradually diminishes in width posteriorly. The second pretergite is hidden and the arolia are poorly developed.

Erect hairs are present on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head and sides of the head. The shaft of the scape has numerous fine erect hairs in addition to scattered longer (longest hairs 0.1 mm) erect hairs. Erect hairs are abundant on the mesosoma and legs (including the tibiae), dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. Golden appressed hairs are present on most surfaces, but are not abundant and do not hide the surface.

The dorsal surface of the mandible is smooth and glossy with scattered punctures. The head is punctate with the punctures arranged somewhat in longitudinal rows. The mesosoma, petiole and gaster are mostly smooth and glossy with scattered punctures.

Male

Males are not known for this species.

Type Material

COLUMBIA: Farallones: Reserva Hato Viejo. Holotype worker (Museum of Comparative Zoology) and two paratype workers (William and Emma Mackay, Museum of Comparative Zoology)

Etymology

From Latin, hispidus, meaning bristly or prickly, referring to the hairs on the antennal scape.

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)