Paratopula

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Paratopula
Paratopula macta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Paratopula
Wheeler, W.M., 1919
Type species
Atopomyrmex ceylonicus, now Paratopula ceylonica
Diversity
12 species
(Species Checklist)

Paratopula macta casent0178560 profile 1.jpg

Paratopula macta

Paratopula macta casent0178560 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships



Cardiocondyla



Ocymyrmex






Nesomyrmex



Xenomyrmex





Terataner




Atopomyrmex



Cataulacus










Carebara



Diplomorium






Melissotarsus



Rhopalomastix






Calyptomyrmex



Tetramorium





Cyphoidris



Dicroaspis










Aretidris



Vollenhovia





Dacetinops



Indomyrma








Crematogaster



Meranoplus






Lophomyrmex




Adlerzia



Recurvidris






Stereomyrmex




Trichomyrmex





Eutetramorium




Royidris




Malagidris



Vitsika








Huberia



Podomyrma





Liomyrmex



Metapone













Kartidris



Mayriella





Tetheamyrma




Dacatria



Proatta









Dilobocondyla



Secostruma






Acanthomyrmex



Myrmecina





Perissomyrmex



Pristomyrmex









some Lordomyrma



Propodilobus





Lasiomyrma




[some Lordomyrma




Ancyridris



some Lordomyrma









Paratopula




Poecilomyrma




Romblonella



Rotastruma








Gauromyrmex



Vombisidris





Temnothorax




Harpagoxenus




Formicoxenus



Leptothorax













Based on Ward et al. (2014) and Blaimer et al. (2018).

Luo and Guénard (2016) - The ecology of Paratopula remains enigmatic due to the rarity of collection events. In the past, three species (Paratopula demeta; Paratopula intermedia; Paratopula zhengi) were described on the basis of a single worker specimen only. The rarity of Paratopula collection translates into an absence of knowledge on the ecology of the genus, although the genus is thought to possess an arboreal or sub-arboreal lifestyle (Bolton 1988; Eguchi et al. 2011).

Identification

Eguchi, Bui and Yamane (2011) - The worker of Paratopula is somewhat similar to that of Tetramorium. However, in the latter, the lateral portion of clypeus is modified into a distinct ridge or wall in front of antennal insertion, the apex of sting bears a small lamellate appendage, and the body is much smaller.

Keys including this Genus

Keys to Species in this Genus

Distribution

Luo and Guénard (2016) - The distribution of Paratopula is restricted to the Indomalayan biogeographic region, with a patchy and largely incomplete distribution ranging from Pakistan to the West and the Philippines to the East and from Shanghai to Sulawesi along a North-South axis (www.antmaps.org) (Janicki et al. 2016). Paratopula diversity peaks in Borneo with five species recorded, most other regions include a single species recorded with the exception of the Philippines and the Peninsular Malaysia, both with three species recorded.

World distribution based on political regions. View/Edit Data
Paratopula Distribution.png Worlddistribution legend.jpg

Species richness

Species richness by country based on regional taxon lists (countries with darker colours are more species-rich). View Data

Paratopula Species Richness.png

Biology

Luo and Guénard (2016) - Despite Paratopula’s relatively large size (it is the largest Myrmicinae known from Hong Kong), it is still rarely collected. Previous Paratopula specimens had been collected either on or near trees; which suggests an arboreal or sub-arboreal lifestyle (Bolton 1988, Eguchi et al. 2011). The collection times for Paratopula bauhinia were at night, approximately 2 to 3 hours after sunset. This timing and their collection from raised man-made structures, suggests they may forage near the ground nocturnally, potentially to limit competition with dominant species more active during daytime.

Castes

Morphology

Worker Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 12 • Antennal club 3 • Palp formula 5,3 • Total dental count 8-11 • Spur formula 0, 0 • Sting present

Male Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 5,3 • Total dental count 5-8 • Spur formula 0, 0

Nomenclature

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

  • PARATOPULA [Myrmicinae: Paratopulini]
    • Paratopula Wheeler, W.M. 1919e: 144. Type-species: Atopomyrmex ceylonicus, by original designation.

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

Eguchi, Bui and Yamane (2011) - The genus was revised by Bolton (1988b). The worker of the single Vietnamese species has the following features. Worker monomorphic; head in full-face view subrectangular; frontal carina indistinct or absent; antennal scrobe absent; anterior clypeal margin feebly emarginated medially, lacking an isolated median seta; posteromedian portion of clypeus very broadly inserted between frontal lobes; mandible triangular; masticatory margin with 9 teeth decreasing in size from apex to base; antennae 12-segmented, with distinct 3-segmented club; eye large, in full-face view strongly convex laterad; mesosoma in lateral view elongate and low; promesonotum in lateral view not domed; promesonotal suture absent dorsally; metanotal groove distinctly impressed dorsally; propodeal spine long and spinose; propodeal lobe extending well posteriad; petiole consisting of elongate peduncle and cubic node, with small anteroventral process; postpetiole in lateral view compressed dorsoventrally, lower than long; gastral shoulder absent; sting simple and strong; head and mesosoma strongly sculptured with rugation or rugoreticulation; body bearing moderately dense hairs that are short and blunt apically.

Luo and Guénard (2016) - Paratopula Wheeler is a rare genus of ants, whose type species, Paratopula ceylonica, was first described as part of the genus Atopomyrmex by Emery (1901), and later erected as Paratopula by Wheeler (1919). In 1988, Bolton revised the genus, bringing the total number of Paratopula species at the time to nine, with four species known only from the reproductive caste – Paratopula andamanensis, Paratopula longispina, Paratopula oculata and Paratopula sumatrensis, with P. andamensis described only from the male caste. Since then, two additional species have been described, Paratopula intermedia from Kerala (India) and Paratopula zhengi from Xizang (China). The discovery of Paratopula bauhinia from Hong Kong brings the total number of Paratopula species to twelve.

References

  • Bolton, B. 1988b. A review of Paratopula Wheeler, a forgotten genus of myrmicine ants (Hym., Formicidae). Entomol. Mon. Mag. 124: 125-143 (page 125, Paratopula as genus, and revision of genus)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 237, Paratopula in Myrmicinae, Paratopulini)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1973b. A comparison of the Hylean and Congo-West African rain forest ant faunas. Pp. 161-185 in: Meggers, B. J., Ayensu, E. S., Duckworth, W. D. (eds.) Tropical forest ecosystems in Africa and South America: a comparative review. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, viii + 350 pp. (page 183, Paratopula provisional junior synonym of Atopula)
  • Eguchi, K., Bui, T.V. & Yamane, S. 2011. Generic synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam. Part 1 – Myrmicinae and Pseudomyrmecinae. Zootaxa 2878: 1-61. PDF
  • Luo, Y.Y. and Guénard, B. 2016. Descriptions of a new species and the gyne in the rarely collected arboreal genera Paratopula and Rotastruma (Hymenopytera: Formicidae) from Hong Kong, with a discussion on their ecology. Asian Myrmecology. 8:1-16. doi:10.20362/am.008016
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1919f. The ants of Borneo. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 63: 43-147 (page 144, Paratopula as genus)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 663, Paratopula in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)