Neoponera metanotalis

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Neoponera metanotalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. metanotalis
Binomial name
Neoponera metanotalis
(Luederwaldt, 1918)

Neoponera metanotalis ufv-labecol-000625 p 1 high.jpg

Neoponera metanotalis ufv-labecol-000625 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. metanotalis could be confused with that of Neoponera emiliae. They can be separated as N. metanotalis is known from only southern South America, N. emiliae from northern South America. The middle of the clypeus of N. metanotalis is smooth and glossy, not longitudinally striate as in N. emiliae. The middle of the clypeal margin is broadly convex in both species, which would separate them from Neoponera aenescens. The pronotal carina of N. metanotalis is sharp and definitely overhangs the side of the pronotum (viewed from the front or behind). The petiole of N. metanotalis is usually slightly longer (length at level of peduncles, disregarding the spiracular horn, is 0.79 mm) than that of N. emiliae. Some of the surfaces are nearly smooth and glossy, especially the side of the head and the dorsum of the pronotum.

Kempf (1961) compares this species with Neoponera magnifica and Neoponera procidua, which he states forms an aberrant group related to the previous members of Neoponera. Pachycondyla metanotalis is the most transitional form of the three and links the emiliae species complex to the crenata species complex. The malar carina of N. metanotalis is poorly developed, the pronotal shoulder has a sharp carina and the stridulatory file on the second pretergite is well developed, all suggesting that it could be related to the crenata species complex. These characters would separate this species from the superficially similar N. procidua. The medial part of the clypeus of N. metanotalis is slightly depressed, not raised and covered with longitudinal striae, as in members of the crenata species complex. The poorly developed malar carina and the relatively slender petiole (side view) would further separate it from members of the crenata species complex.

Distribution

BRASIL (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

Specimens were collected in wet mountain forest at 850 meters elevation. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • metanotalis. Pachycondyla metanotalis Luederwaldt, 1918: 54 (w.) BRAZIL. [Also described as new by Luederwaldt, 1920: 4.] Combination in Neoponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 151. See also: Kempf, 1961c: 200; Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 460.

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 1 cm) black ant with reddish brown appendages and mandibles. The 3 - 5 apicalmost teeth on the mandible are more developed and wide, the remaining eight or nine teeth consist of simple denticles. The head is narrowed anteriorly, especially anterior to the eyes; the posterior border is weakly concave. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly convex; the eyes are small (maximum diameter 0.4 mm) located less than one diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The malar carina is poorly developed but present. The scapes are short and barely reach the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is developed into a sharp carina, which slightly overhangs the side of the pronotum. The metanotal suture interrupts the sculpture on the dorsum of the mesosoma but is not notably impressed, when the mesosoma is viewed in profile. The posterior lateral edges of the propodeum are raised into blunt carinae. The propodeal spiracle is circular. The anterior petiolar face is concave, the posterior face is convex and broadly rounded (in profile) and marked posterior and laterally (on both sides) by a carina.

The posterior face of the petiole appears nearly concave, when viewed from behind. The subpetiolar process is weakly developed and forms a broadly rounded thickened process. The anterior face of the postpetiole forms a sharp, nearly right angle between the two faces. The stridulatory file is well developed on the second pretergite.

Long (up to 0.5 mm) erect hairs are found on the mandibles, clypeus and ventral surface of the head, shorter (0.1 - 0.2 mm) hairs are scattered on the dorsal surface of the head, the mesosoma, the dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. Fine semierect short (up to 0.05 mm) hairs are found on the posterior face of the propodeum and the anterior face of the petiole. Fine appressed golden pubescence is present on most surfaces, but is not dense on any of them.

The medial section of the clypeus is smooth and glossy; the head is densely and finely punctate with the punctures being aligned in longitudinal rows, which form fine striae that diverge posteriorly. The sides and ventral surface of the head have poorly defined longitudinal striae in addition to punctures, but are moderately smooth and shining. The dorsum of the mesosoma is finely punctate and shining, the sides are coriaceous, covered with striae and moderately shining. The petiole, including the posterior face, is very finely punctate glossy and shining. The gaster is finely punctate and shining.

Type Material

Brasil Minas Gerais: Cristina (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Etymology

The name of this species is derived from the Greek words meta, meaning behind and notos meaning back, presumably referring to the interruption in the dorsum of the mesosoma made by the metanotal suture. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

References

  • Kempf, W. 1961. As formigas do gênero Pachycondyla Fr. Smith no Brasil (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia. 10:189-204.
  • Luederwaldt, H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Revista do Museo Paulista 10:29-64.
  • 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)