Nylanderia wojciki

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Nylanderia wojciki
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Nylanderia
Species: N. wojciki
Binomial name
Nylanderia wojciki
(Trager, 1984)

Paratrechina wojciki casent0104265 profile 1.jpg

Paratrechina wojciki casent0104265 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nests are common in grass tussocks in scrub habitats in central Florida. They are typically found in sandy soil and leaf litter in flatwoods dominated by pine and palm. They can also be found in forests and under rocks in the southern U.S. where Nylanderia faisonensis is less common (Trager, 1984). Reproductives fly in early spring and have a similar flight pattern as other Nearctic Nylanderia (Trager, 1984). An undescribed socially parasitic Nylanderia species (n. sp. 3) is known to parasitize N. wojciki populations in Florida (Cover et al., in prep). Its known distribution is limited to states bordering the Gulf of Mexico and some of their neighbors (Kallal & LaPolla, 2012).

Identification

Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Small (TL: 1.5–2.2), bicolored species with dense head pubescence, pale whitish mesocoxae and metacoxae, and scapes without or with very few macrosetae (SMC: 0–4).

Compare with: Nylanderia vividula and Nylanderia faisonensis.

Nylanderia wojciki can easily be confused with N. faisonensis or N. vividula. In particular, N. wojciki and N. faisonensis are quite similar, and the former can be distinguished by its usually smaller total length, bicolored body coloration, and lower scape macrosetae count. Nylanderia vividula is also bicolored, but N. wojciki has a more ovate head, dense cephalic pubescence, and typically has less scape macrosetae. There are populations in Alabama and northern Florida with more scape macrosetae (SMC: 4–9), but otherwise they match the morphological features for this species. These populations should be further examined to determine whether or not they represent cryptic species.

Identification Keys including this Taxon

Distribution

Southeastern US.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

sandy soil and leaf litter in flatwoods dominated by pine and palm. They can also be found in forests and under rocks in the southern U.S. where N. faisonensis is less common (Trager, 1984).

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • wojciki. Paratrechina wojciki Trager, 1984b: 108, figs. 18, 21 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986d: 337 (l.). Combination in Nylanderia: LaPolla, Brady & Shattuck, 2010a: 127. See also: Kallal & LaPolla, 2012: 41.

Type Material

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Measurements (n=20) TL: 1.59–2.18; HW: 0.41–0.48; HL: 0.47–0.59; EL: 0.13–0.16; SL: 0.45–0.68; PW: 0.26–0.37; WL: 0.48–0.69; GL: 0.56–1.10; PH: 0.14–0.28; PFL: 0.40–0.52; PFW: 0.09–0.17. SMC: 0–4; PMC: 2–4; MMC: 1–3. Indices: CI: 79–91; REL: 25–29; SI: 96–119; FI: 79–82.

Bicolored brown, with darker head and gaster; scapes, mandibles, and legs yellowish-brown; mesocoxae and metacoxae pale whitish; cuticle smooth and shiny; cephalic pubescence moderate to dense; mesosoma and gastral pubescence virtually absent. Head ovate; posterior margin slightly emarginated medially; scapes surpass posterior margin by first 3–4 funicular segments; ocelli not apparent. Pronotal anterior face at approximately 45°; pronotum inflected with pronotal anterior face shorter than pronotal dorsal face; anterior margin of mesonotum slightly higher than pronotal margin; propodeum rounded with shorter dorsal face and longer declivitous face.

Queen

Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Measurements (n=4) TL: 3.49–3.78; HW: 0.64–0.67; HL: 0.66–0.71; EL: 0.21–0.23 ; SL: 0.61–0.67; PW: 0.67–0.80; MW: 0.66–0.71; WL: 1.06–1.47; GL: 1.63–1.88; PH: 0.33–0.44; PFL: 0.58–0.61; PFW: 0.18–0.19. SMC: 1–2; PMC: 4–6; MMC: 6–12; MtMC: 2–3. Indices: CI: 95–97; REL: 30–34; SI: 86–101; FI: 84–93.

Brown in color with gaster darker; scapes, mandibles, and legs yellowish-brown; cuticle smooth and shiny; body with dense pubescence; macrosetae brown. Head broader than long; scapes surpass posterior margin by first 2–3 segments. Propodeum with short dorsal face and long declivitous face.

Male

Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Measurements (n=4) TL: 1.52–1.82; HW: 0.44–0.49; HL: 0.45–0.52; EL: 0.18; SL: 0.46–0.55; PW: 0.43–0.46; MW: 0.37; WL: 0.43–0.662; GL: 0.58–0.65; PH: 0.18–0.26; PFL: 0.43–0.48; PFW: 0.11–0.15; PL: 0.10–0.20. SMC: 1–2. MMC: 2–9; MtMC: 2–3. Indices: CI: 92–98; REL: 35–40; SI: 104–107; FI: 87–97.

Overall brown with scapes, mandibles, mesocoxae, metacoxae, leg joints, and tarsi yellowish-brown; cuticle smooth and shiny; cephalic pubescence sparse to moderate; mesonotum with dense pubescence; gastral pubescence virtually absent; macrosetae brown. Head longer than broad; eyes convex, extending beyond the lateral margins of the head in full face view; scapes surpass posterior margin by first 2–3 funicular segments; inner mandibular margin long and straight; basal angle approximately 90°; masticatory margin with one subapical tooth and large apical tooth. Mesosoma enlarged to accommodate flight muscles; in lateral view, pronotal margin short and straight, becoming rounded toward mesonotum margin; propodeum with longer dorsal face and shorter declivitous face. Genitalia: parameres laterally oriented, triangular; digiti angled ventrally, slightly shorter than aedeagal valves; cuspides about half as long; both with rounded teeth where they meet; aedeagal valves triangular, short, teeth absent; overall structures similar to N. faisonensis and N. parvula; ninth sternite very small, with short, thin lateral apodemes and a long, slender ventral apodeme.

References

  • Kallal, R.J. & LaPolla, J.S. 2012. Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) of the World, Part II: Nylanderia in the Nearctic. Zootaxa 3508, 1-64.
  • Trager, J. C. 1984b. A revision of the genus Paratrechina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the continental United States. Sociobiology 9: 49-162 (page 108, figs. 18, 21 worker, queen, male described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1986d. Supplementary studies on ant larvae: Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 94: 331-341 (page 337, larva described)