Pristomyrmex hirsutus

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Pristomyrmex hirsutus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Pristomyrmex
Species: P. hirsutus
Binomial name
Pristomyrmex hirsutus
Wang, M., 2003

Nothing is known about the biology of Pristomyrmex hirsutus.

Identification

Wang (2003) - Worker. Masticatory margin of mandible with a long diastema; dorsal head with a well-developed rugoreticulum; petiole node in profile high, with a single evenly blunt-rounded apex; first gastral tergite with numerous erect or suberect short hairs.

Though only a single specimen is known it undoubtedly represents a good species because it has numerous erect or suberect hairs on the first gastral tergite, which is possessed only by this new species in the Oriental fauna of the quadridens group. In addition, this species has an uneven clypeus and a distinct petiole node (bearing a single evenly blunt-rounded apex) that is not seen in the other Oriental species of the group.

A member of the Quadridens species group

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The biology of most Pristomyrmex species is poorly known. From Wang (2003): Most species of Pristomyrmex dwell in the rainforest, foraging as predators or scavengers. An Asian species, Pristomyrmex punctatus, however, occurs in open and disturbed habitats (e.g., bare hills, agricultural areas, and beaches). These ants prefer to nest in soil, litter, or rotten wood; in rotten parts of living trees; in dead standing trees; or around plant roots.

Pristomyrmex is of great interest because it exhibits several unusual biological and evolutionary phenomena. The absence of morphologically normal queens and reproduction primarily by unmated workers in P. punctatus {=P. pungens) is a highly unusual life history in the Formicidae. Ergatoid queens, a special wingless female caste morphologically intermediate between the queen and the worker, are present in at least four species: Pristomyrmex punctatus, Pristomyrmex africanus, Pristomyrmex wheeleri, and Pristomyrmex mandibularis; two of them (P. africanus and P. wheeleri) possess both queen and ergatoid queen castes.

Simulating death, slowness of movement, and nocturnal foraging has been recorded in Pristomyrmex (Donisthorpe, 1946; Taylor, 1965; Weber, 1941). Colony size varies greatly among species, ranging from about a dozen to several thousand workers (Donisthorpe, 1946; Itow et al, 1984; Mann, 1919; Taylor, 1965, 1968).

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • hirsutus. Pristomyrmex hirsutus Wang, M. 2003: 449, figs. 144-145 (w.) PHILIPPINES.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. TL 5.78, HL 1.38, HW 1.40, CI 101, SL 1.60, SI 114, EL 0.28, PW 0.90, AL 1.52, PPW 0.38, PPL 0.42, PPI 90.

Mandibles smooth and shining. Masticatory margin of mandible with four teeth arranged as two adjacent strong apical teeth + a long diastema + two basal denticles of similar size. Basal margin of mandible lacking a toothlike prominence. Clypeus somewhat uneven, with a few weak short rugae. Anterior clypeal margin with a median denticle and two others on each side (but one of them appears to be fused by two small denticles). Frontal carinae extending to the level of the posterior margins of the eyes. Antennal scrobes shallow, approximately ending at the level of the posterior margins of eyes. Frontal lobes weak so that the antennal articulations are almost entirely exposed. Antennal scapes long, when laid on the dorsal head, surpassing the occipital margin by about one-third of their length. Pronotum armed with a pair of spines (ca. 0.19). Propodeum with a pair of somewhat elongate-triangular teeth (ca. 0.09). Metapleural lobes subtriangular. Petiole node in profile high (ca. 0.46), with a single evenly blunt-rounded apex. Postpetiole in profile rounded dorsally, in dorsal view longer than broad and broadening from front to back. Dorsum of head, except for the scrobal areas, with well-developed coarse rugoreticulum. Similar sculpture pre sent on the dorsum of the alitrunk and the two sides of the pronotum. Sides of the rest of the alitrunk with irregular coarse rugae. Petiole, postpetiole, and gaster smooth and shining. All dorsal surfaces of body, including head, alitrunk, petiole node, postpetiole, and gaster, with numerous erect or suberect hairs. A few pairs of forward-projecting hairs present near the anterior clypeal margin. Scapes and tibiae with erect or suberect hairs. Color reddish-brown.

Type Material

Holotype worker. The Natural History Museum. Phillipines: Misamis or Mt. Balatukan, 15 km SW of Gingoog, 1,000 to 2,000 m, 1-5.v.1960 (H. Torrevillas). The holotype of this species is an old specimen, and many hairs have obviously been removed from its first gastral tergite.

References

  • Wang, M. 2003. A Monographic Revision of the Ant Genus Pristomyrmex (Hymenoptera:Formicidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 157(6): 383-542 (page 449, figs. 144-145 worker described)