Ponera bawana

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Ponera bawana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. bawana
Binomial name
Ponera bawana
Xu, Z., 2001

The type material was collected in pine forest.

Identification

This new species is close to Ponera japonica, but in full face view lateral sides of head more straight, occipital corners more prominent, dorsum of propodeum longer than declivity, posteroventral border of subpetiolar process with only a minute denticle, fenestra small and circular. (Xu 2001)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The general biology of species in the genus was summarized by Taylor (1967): Ponera are small ants that nest in rotting logs in forested areas or under stones in nonforested situations. In the tropical areas specimens are rarely encountered away from rain forest. In temperate areas, however, species may occur in relatively lightly forested areas. This appears to be the case with Ponera japonica, Ponera pennsylvanica and especially with Ponera coarctata. The Australian Ponera leae is essentially limited to rain forest in the northern parts of its range, but further south it may be found in dry, lightly forested areas.

Foraging is probably cryptobiotic, though some New Guinea species have been taken straying on the ground surface. Little information is available concerning feeding. However, most species are probably insectivorous. I have conducted feeding experiments with some of the New Guinea and Samoan species, including Ponera xenagos, Ponera elegantula, Ponera tenuis, Ponera incerta and Ponera woodwardi. These were unsuccessful with the larger species, except elegantula, which accepted moderately large (8-12 mm) campodeid and japygid Diplura. Tenuis and incerta accepted smaller (4-6 mm) campodeids, isotomid and sminthurid Collembola, and small newly hatched spiders (2 mm long). Negative feeding response was obtained with eggs and larvae of various ants, small crushed insects of various orders, and small myriapods. Stray workers were never observed carrying prey, and distinct middens of insect or other remains were not located near nests.

Colonies usually contain about 30 workers. Larvae and pupae are not segregated in most cases, but occasionally aggregations of pupae were observed. These may have included the total brood of the colonies involved. Larvae are attached to the floor or walls of the nest galleries by the glutinous abdominal tubercles described above, and the ants move them high up on the walls or ceilings of artificial nests, if they are flooded. Details of nuptial behavior of pennsylvanica were given by Wheeler (1900), and Haskins & Enzmann (1938). The flights appear to be of a pattern typical for ants, with the alates meeting in the air and mating there or on the ground. Colony foundation is non-claustral and independent in pennsylvanica (Kannowski 1959); judging from my observations this is typical for the genus.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • bawana. Ponera bawana Xu, 2001c: 220, figs. 19-21 (w.q.) CHINA.

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

Description

Worker

Xu 2001 figs. 16-27

Holotype. TL 2.8, HL 0.67, HW 0.53, CI 80, SL 0.43, SI 87, PW 0.42, AL 0.80, ED 0.03, ML 0.30, DPW 0.30, PNI 72, PH 0.40, PNL 0.20. LPI 50, Head roughly rectangular, distinctly longer than broad, weakly narrowed forward. In full face view, occipital margin nearly straight, occipital corners roundly prominent, lateral sides weakly convex. Masticatory margin of mandible with 3 apical teeth and followed by a tow of indistinct minute denticles. Anterior margin of clypeus bluntly angled. Antennae short, apex of scape failed to reach occipital corner by 1/7 of its length, antennal club with 5 segments. Eye with 4 facets. In profile view, dorsum of thorax evenly convex, promesonotal suture depressed, metanotal groove distinct. Dorsum of propodeum slightly longer than declivity, posterodorsal corner rounded. In profile view, petiolar node trapezoid, narrowed upward, anterior and posterior faces straight, dorsal face evenly convex, anterodorsal and posterodorsal corners rounded and about at same level. Subpetiolar process cuneiform, fenestra small and circular, anteroventral corner obliquely truncate., posteroventral border with a minute blunt denticle. In dorsal view, petiolar node semicircular, anterior and lateral borders roundly convex, posterior border straight, length: width = 1:2. Mandibles smooth and shining. Head closely and finely punctured, dull. Thorax densely and finely punctured, relatively shining. Petiole and gaster superficially, densely and finely punctured, shining. Dorsum of head and thorax with dense decumbent pubescence, without erect hairs. Petiolar node and gaster with sparse suberect hairs and dense decumbent pubescence. Scapes with sparse suberect hairs and dense decumbent pubescence. Dorsa of tibiae with dense decumbent pubescence, without erect hairs. Head, propodeum and upper portion of petiole blackish brown. Pronotum, mesonotum, lower portion of petiole and gaster reddish brown. Mandibles, antennae and legs brownish yellow.

Queen

Paratype females: TL 3.5-3.6, HL 0.75-0.77, HW 0.60, CI 78-80, SL 0.50-0.52, SI 83-86, PW 0.57, AL 1.10, ED 0.20-0.22, ML 0.37-0.40, DPW 0.38. PNI 68, PH 0.50, PNL 0.23-0.25. LPI 47-50 (2 individuals measured). Similar to holotype, but with body much larger, eyes normal and large, with 3 ocelli, Mesothorax and meta thorax complete and winged, the wings shedable, mesopleuron with a transverse furrow. In profile view petiolar node thinner. Color of body similar to holotype but head, propodeum and petiolar node black.

Type Material

Holotype; worker, No. A98-2097. 1500 m, Bawan. Bawan Town, Baoshan City, Yunnan Province, ll-VII-1998, collected by Miss Long Qizhen in Yunnan pine forest. Paratypes: 2 females, with same data as holotype.

References

  • Taylor, R. W. 1967. A monographic revision of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pacific Insects Monograph, 13: 1–112. PDF
  • Xu, Z.-H. 2001c. Four new species of the ant genus Ponera Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Yunnan, China. Entomotaxonomia 23: 217-226. (page 220, figs. 19-21 worker, queen described)