Neoponera holcotyle

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

Nothing is known about the biology of this ant.

Identification

Mackay and Mackay (2010): Neoponera holcotyle is apparently a member of the aenescens species complex, as it lacks the malar carina and the pronotal carina, the mesosoma is depressed at the metanotal suture, the anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are nearly parallel and the stridulatory file is well developed. Neoponera holcotyle can be separated from the other members of the aenescens species complex by the presence of striae on the side of the petiole. The overall shape and the glossy surface of the mandibles of N. holcotyle could cause confusion with Neoponera hispida from Colombia and Ecuador. Neoponera holcotyle can be distinguished by the striae on the side of the petiole, which are absent in N. hispida.

The shape of the petiole of N. holcotyle is similar to that of members of the apicalis complex, which may show a relationship between the two complexes. Neoponera holcotyle can be easily separated from the apicalis species complex by the lack of the malar carina. Neoponera holcotyle can be easily separated from Neoponera apicalis by the abundant erect hairs on the dorsum of the mesosoma.

Neoponera holcotyle is similar to the widespread Pachycondyla harpax, but can be recognized by the coarse striae on nearly all surfaces of the petiole, except for the lower half of the side. These striae are lacking in P. harpax.

Neoponera holcotyle could be confused with members of the foetida species complex by the presence of the stridulatory file on the second pretergite. The striae on the side of the petiole of N. holcotyle are similar to those in Central and South American Neoponera foetida. It can be easily separated by the lack of the malar carina.

The form of the petiole of N. holcotyle is similar to that of members of the crenata species complex, especially Neoponera crenata and its close relatives. It can be distinguished by the presence of striae on the side of the petiole, by the lack of the pronotal carina and the depression at the metanotal suture. Neoponera striatinodis of the crenata species complex has striae on the side of the petiole, but the shape of the petiole is entirely different than that of N. holcotyle, with a vertical anterior face and a broadly rounded posterior face. It is widely distributed in Central and South America.

Distribution

COSTA RICA, COLOMBIA (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

This ant has been found in seasonal dry forests and grasslands. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • holcotyle. Pachycondyla holcotyle Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 387, figs. 30, 39, 272, 513, 514 (w.) 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 a large (total length about 13 mm) black ant. The mandible has 12 or 13 teeth. The head is 2.16 mm in length, the width 1.68 mm. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly convex and slightly indented medially. The malar carina is not developed. The eye (maximum diameter 0.4 mm) is located slightly more than one maximum diameter from the anterior edge of the head (side view). The scape (length 2.18 mm) extends approximately the first funicular segment past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The sides of the head are broadly rounded, the posterior border is convex. The pronotal shoulder is swollen but does not form a well-developed carina. The metanotal suture is developed and well depressed below the level of the remainder of the mesosoma. The propodeal spiracle is slit-shaped. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile with a broadly rounded dorsal face. The anterior face of the postpetiole is vertical and rounded into the dorsal face. The stridulatory file is well developed on the second pretergite. The lobes of the metasternal process are widely separated and less developed than the other species in the aenescens complex.

Erect hairs are abundant on most surfaces, including the mandibles, the clypeus, scapes, the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the posterior margin of the head, the dorsum of the mesosoma, the dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. The hairs on the legs are erect or nearly erect. Golden appressed pubescence is found on most surfaces, especially the head, the mesosoma, the petiole and the postpetiole.

The dorsal surface of the mandible is smooth and moderately polished and the dorsum of the head is densely punctate with punctures forming striae, the dorsum of the mesosoma is mostly punctate, with the region between the punctures being smooth and glossy, the side of the pronotum and mesopleuron are finely punctate and shining, the side of the propodeum is striate and moderately shining. The sides of the petiole are covered with coarse striae. The gaster is mostly finely punctate and smooth between the punctures.

Type Material

COLOMBIA: 6 mi. W of Cali, Valle. Holotype worker (Museum of Comparative Zoology), 1 paratype worker (William and Emma Mackay)

Etymology

From Greek, holkos, meaning attractive and tylos, meaning knot or lump, referring to the attractive sculpturing on the petiole of this species. The name was suggested by William Brown.

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)