Plagiolepis abyssinica

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Nests in partially rotting wood.

Plagiolepis abyssinica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Plagiolepis
Species: P. abyssinica
Binomial name
Plagiolepis abyssinica
Forel, 1894

Plagiolepis abyssinica casent0909850 p 1 high.jpg

Plagiolepis abyssinica casent0909850 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Identification

Sharaf et al. (2011) - P. abyssinica was originally described as a subspecies of Plagiolepis exigua but differs on a number of points. For P. abyssinica, the body color is brownish and the antennal scapes surpass the posterior margin of the head, whereas in P. exigua the color is yellowish and the antennal scapes do not reach posterior margin. Moreover, the eyes in P. abyssinica are consistently larger (EL 0.24 X HW) with 9 ommatidia in the longest row and exigua is smaller (EL 0.19 X HW), with only 6 ommatidia in the longest row. P. exigua as described by Forel (1894) had a smooth, shiny appearance but with sparse punctations on the head and gaster, P. abyssinica has no obvious punctuation.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Saudi Arabia.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Taken in a roadside tree, nesting in partially rotting wood.

Castes

Queens and males are unknown.

Nomenclature

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

  • abyssinica. Plagiolepis exigua r. abyssinica Forel, 1894b: 73 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Raised to species: Collingwood, 1985: 297. See also: Sharaf, Aldawood & Taylor, 2011: 204.

Description

Worker

Sharaf et al. (2011):

TL 1.20, HL 0.30, HW 0.30, SL 0.29, EL 0.07, PRW 0.18, ML 0.30, CI 97, SI 100.

Collingwood (1985) gave a typical worker from Fayfa, Saudi Arabia, as: TL 1.25, HL 0.35, HW 0.28, CI 80, SI 100, EL 0.05 (0.18 X HW) Body blackish brown, femora yellowish brown, antennae, clypeus and mandibles yellowish, smooth and shining. Head nearly as long as broad with clearly convex sides. Occiput distinctly concave with rounded corners. Head dorsum with scattered short yellow pubescence. Eyes relatively large, 0.24 X HW, with 9 ommatidia in the longest row and occupying less than one quarter of head sides. Antennal scape just surpassing the posterior margin of head. Clypeus and mandibles with relatively abundant long yellow hairs. Area in front of eyes with several pairs of long hairs. Mesosoma and gaster with relatively abundant pubescence. Erect pilosity of gastral tergites long and situated on the posterior margins.

Type Material

Sharaf et al. (2011) - Syntype worker. Ehtiopia, (Ilg) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined]

References