Neoponera venusta

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Neoponera venusta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Neoponera
Species: N. venusta
Binomial name
Neoponera venusta
Forel, 1912

Pachycondyla venusta casent0907245 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla venusta casent0907245 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): It is difficult to place N. venusta in a species complex. The angulate anterior border of the clypeus, the presence of a malar carina, carina on the pronotal shoulder, the stridulatory file on the second pretergite, horizontal striae on the posterior face of the petiole, as well as the punctate surfaces, especially the head and dorsum of the pronotum, all suggest that this species is a member of the crenata species complex. On the other hand the depressed metanotal suture and the circular propodeal spiracle place it in the emiliae species complex.

The impression at the metanotal suture would separate N. venusta from members of the crenata species complex. The shape of the petiole is nearly identical to that of the Central and South American Rasopone pergandei. The two species can be easily separated by their distributions. Additionally the mandibles of N. venusta are smooth and polished, whereas they are distinctly and finely striated in R. pergandei. In addition the mesopleuron is smooth and polished, not striated as it is in R. pergandei.

Neoponera venusta is closely related to Neoponera schultzi. It can be easily separated by the predominantly smooth and shiny mesopleuron, which is completely horizontally striate in N. schultzi. The petiole has a relatively sharp apex, not a broad apex with a flattened dorsal face as in N. schultzi.

Neoponera venusta is even more similar to Neoponera concava, but can be easily separated as it lacks the concave anterior face of the postpetiole found in N. concava. It also lacks the medial sharp lobe on the anterior edge of the clypeus. The females and males cannot be compared, as they are unknown in all three species.

Distribution

BRASIL (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (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 venusta for further details

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.

  • venusta. Neoponera venusta Forel, 1912c: 38 (w.) BRAZIL. Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, in Bolton, 1995b: 311; in Neoponera: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 152. See also: Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 558.

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 small (total length 5 mm) black ant with orange mandibles, antennae and legs, showing a sharp contrast between the colors. The mandible has about 11 teeth, the anterior border of the clypeus is broadly rounded with a small lobe which overhangs the remainder of the clypeus. The head is wider anteriorly than posteriorly, the posterior margin is straight. The malar carina is well-developed and the eye is large (0.3 mm maximum length) located less than ½ diameter from the anterior margin of the head. The scape is long, extending approximately ⅓ length past the posterior lateral corner. The pronotal shoulder forms a weak carina, the mesosoma is impressed at the metanotal suture. The anterior face of the petiole is nearly straight, the posterior face broadly convex and rounded, both faces meet at the dorsum and form a poorly defined dorsal face. The stridulatory file is present on the second pretergite. The metasternal process consists of two broad short widely spaced, but incurved processes.

Long (about 0.3 mm in length) erect hairs are present on the mandibles, clypeus, scapes, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, mesosoma, gaster and legs. Appressed fine golden pubescence is present on the head, dorsum of the mesosoma and gaster.

The mandibles are smooth and glossy with scattered punctures, the head is densely and evenly punctate, the dorsum of the pronotum and mesonotum are punctate similar to the head, the dorsum of the propodeum is very finely punctate, the side of the pronotum is smooth and glossy with the sculpture abruptly separated from that of the dorsum of the pronotum by the carina, most of the mesopleuron is smooth and glossy, the upper half of the side of the propodeum is covered with longitudinal striae, the lower half is mostly smooth and glossy. The anterior face of the petiole has fine striolae, the striae on the side of the petiole are poorly defined, leaving the surface moderately shining, the posterior face is mostly smooth and glossy, but with poorly defined transverse striae, the gaster is punctate and moderately shining.

Type Material

Brasil, Espírito Santo. Lectotype designated, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Etymology

The species name comes from the Latin word venustus, meaning beautyful, which describes this attractive species. (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 311, combination in Pachycondyla)
  • Forel, A. 1912d. Formicides néotropiques. Part I. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 56: 28-49 (page 38, 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)