Pristomyrmex reticulatus

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Pristomyrmex reticulatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Pristomyrmex
Species: P. reticulatus
Binomial name
Pristomyrmex reticulatus
Donisthorpe, 1949

Pristomyrmex reticulatus castype06979 profile 1.jpg

Pristomyrmex reticulatus castype06979 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Described and only known from a male holotype, nothing is known about the biology of Pristomyrmex reticulatus.

Identification

Wang (2003) - This species, described from a single male, belongs to the umbripennis group because it is very similar to the males of Pristomyrmex picteti, Pristomyrmex pollux, and Pristomyrmex umbripennis in the structure and shape of propodeal spines and petiole and in body size, sculpture and hairs.

This male differs from the males of the other three species (P. pollux, P. umbripennis, and P. picteti) of the umbripennis group as follows: In P. pollux, the head, in full-face view, is rather narrow and long (CI = 80) with numerous small foveolate punctures; the mesoscutum possesses some scattered, small and shallow foveolate punctures; the postpetiole in dorsal view is distinctly longer than broad. But in P. reticulatus, CI is 101, the dorsal head and the mesonotum have a developed rugoreticulum, and the postpetiole in dorsal view is subquadrate.

The male of P. umbripennis is larger (HL 0.94, HW 0.98, EL 0.47, PW 1.28, AL 1.98, and TL 6.04) than that of Pristomyrmex reticulatus. In addition, the dorsum of the head between the eyes is sculptured with a rugoreticulum in P. reticulatus but is rather smooth in P. umbripennis. The male of P. picteti possesses a few to some small foveolate punctures on the dorsal surfaces of the head and the mesonotum, in contrast with a rugoreticulum in P. reticulatus.

Whether P. reticulatus represents the male of Pristomyrmex fuscipennis is so far unknown. Thus, P. reticulatus is tentatively maintained as a valid species until enough evidence is obtained.

A member of the Umbripennis species group

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Pristomyrmex reticulatus for further details

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

Nomenclature

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

  • reticulatus. Pristomyrmex reticulatus Donisthorpe, 1949c: 750 (m.) NEW GUINEA. See also: Wang, M. 2003: 524.

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

Description

Male

TL 4.86, HL 0.82, HW 0.83, CI 101, SL 0.34, SI 41, EL 0.38, PW 1.04, AL 1.64 (n = 1).

Head, including the eyes, distinctly broader than long. Clypeus convex in middle; its anterior margin transverse. On the mesoscutum, notauli forming a Y shape, with several transverse rugae. Scuto-scutellar sulcus wide, separated into small cells by several longitudinal ridges. Propodeum armed with a pair of fairly long spines. Metapleural lobes somewhat rounded. Petiole node in profile longer than high with a long anterior peduncle. Postpetiole in profile rounded dorsally, in dorsal view subquadrate. Dorsum of head with a developed rugoreticulum, except for a narrow, long median strip that is smooth and unsculptured. Clypeus with some longitudinal rugae . Promesonotum with strongly developed rugoreticulum. Sides of petiole with rugoreticulum. Sides of postpetiole with a few longitudinal rugae as well as a few superficial foveolate punctures between them. Gaster unsculptured, smooth, and shining. All dorsal surfaces with numerous long hairs; hairs stiff on the head and alitrunk. Body and hairs blackish-brown; wings dusky.

Type Material

Wang (2003) - Holotype male, New Guinea: Finschhafen, 27.iv. 1944 (E. S. Ross) (California Academy of Sciences) [examined].

References

  • Donisthorpe, H. 1949c [1948]. A sixth instalment of the Ross Collection of ants from New Guinea. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 12(1): 744-759 (page 750, male described)
  • Wang, M. 2003. A Monographic Revision of the Ant Genus Pristomyrmex (Hymenoptera:Formicidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 157(6): 383-542 (page 524, figs. 255-256 male described)