Paraparatrechina bufona

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Paraparatrechina bufona
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Paraparatrechina
Species: P. bufona
Binomial name
Paraparatrechina bufona
(Wheeler, W.M., 1922)

Paraparatrechina bufona casent0906212 p 1 high.jpg

Paraparatrechina bufona casent0906212 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

LaPolla and Fisher (2014) - The natural history of this species remains unknown, but the fact that both workers (majors and minors) and males were eaten by a toad (given by Wheeler as Bufo superciliaris) is interesting as it indicates that workers do occasionally come to the surface. Weber and Anderson (1950) found P. weissi to be extremely photophobic, and their morphology suggests a largely hypogaeic existence, as does the morphology of P. bufonus. Perhaps the toad-eaten ants were around a nest entrance as reproductives emerged for their mating flights. Eberhard (1978) found in the hypogaeic ant genus Acropyga that workers do come to the surface occasionally, but only briefly, moving about small nest openings as reproductives flew off. Similar behavior may be displayed by hypogaeic Pseudolasius. Interestingly, the queens originally described for this species were eaten by a different toad species (given by Wheeler as Bufo polycercus).

Identification

LaPolla and Fisher (2014) - Workers (majors and minors): numerous erect hairs on head, scape, mesosoma, and legs, with appressed pubescence underneath; in full frontal view, frontal carinae short.

Within the weissi species group, this species is easily separated from Paraparatrechina weissi due to the presence of erect hairs on the head, scapes, mesosoma and legs. Males display similar pilosity as found in workers, but the queen remains unknown for this species. The queens Wheeler (1922) described as P. bufonus are in fact P. weissi. I strongly suspect queens will also be found to have numerous erect hairs as in the workers and males. The majors of P. bufonus are smaller than those of P. weissi, but I suspect a maximum size major remains to be discovered for this species, because such size variation occurs in P. weissi, with smaller and larger majors observed (see P. weissi discussion for more details).

Specimens examined from Cameroon conform to the lectotype of P. bufonus in all ways except that they do not have erect hairs on the sides of the pronotum. This is probably intraspecific variation, but as more material becomes available they should be reexamined.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Gabon.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • bufona. Pseudolasius bufonum Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 220, fig. 55 (s.w.q.m.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Combination in Paraparatrechina: LaPolla, Brady & Shattuck, 2010a: 128. See also: LaPolla, 2004b: 98.

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

Description

Type Material

LaPolla and Fisher (2014) - 11 syntype minor workers, 4 syntype major workers, 3 syntype queens, 4 syntype males, CONGO (D.R.): Medje (H.O. Lang) (Museum of Comparative Zoology) (National Museum of Natural History) [7 syntype minor workers, 3 syntype major workers, 2 syntype queens, 4 syntype males examined; depository of remaining specimens unknown]. The designated lectotype is a major worker deposited at MCZC. The two examined queens in the syntype series are P. weissi queens and are therefore not considered paralectotypes.

References