| Proceratium algiricum|
Nothing is known about the biology of Proceratium algiricum.
A member of the pergandei clade. Differing from its in-group species Proceratium watasei, in the worker and gyne, by the much more superficial sculpture - punctuate in algiricum and deeper, granulate in watasei - and lighter colour. Material that we were able to see showed the yellow-brown coloration of algiricum vs. the dark reddish of watasei should represent a clear character for the quick separation of the two. Proceratium algiricum differs from the two outgroup species, Proceratium pergandei and Proceratium chickasaw, in the worker and in the gyne, by the gaster strongly convex on the curvature instead of angulate on the curvature. (Baroni Urbani and de Andrade 2003)
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Very little is known about the biology of Proceratium ants. They nest in soil, rotten wood, under deep-set stones and, in a few cases, tree branches. For many species the nest consists of small rounded chambers hollowed out of soft rotten wood or in the soil. Toward the cooler limits of the range, particularly in North America, nests and foraging workers are found under deep set rocks instead of in rotten wood. The nest site is usually in forest shade, in old moist gardens, or similar habitats that are constantly moist. Some species of known to be egg predators of arthropods, especially of spiders.
Most Proceratium are relatively rare but this is not the full explanation for why they are not commonly collected. Colonies of most species are small. Based on anectdotal natural history information from a few species, it was once thought that most Proceratium would likely be found to have mature colonies that contain somewhere between 10 - 50 workers. Yet nests with more than 50, and in some cases up to 200, workers have been been reported. Besides small colonies, these ants also do not appear to forage in places where they are readily encountered.
Males and females are though to be produced in small numbers but we generally do not have enough data for colonies of any species to know what might be typical. Reproductive flights have been observered toward the end of the summer in some northern temperate areas. In these regions the nuptial flight occurs during the last half of August. Both sexes climb some distance from the nest entrance before taking flight. Workers too issue from the nest during the nuptial flight, as is often the case with otherwise cryptobiotic ants.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- algiricum. Proceratium (Sysphingta) algiricum Forel, 1899b: 305 (w.) ALGERIA. Santschi, 1929e: 139 (q.). Combination in Sysphincta: Emery, 1909c: 362; in Proceratium: Brown, 1958g: 247. Senior synonym of mayri: Baroni Urbani, 1977d: 92. See also: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 219.
- mayri. Proceratium (Sysphincta) mayri Forel, 1899b: 306 (w.) ALBANIA. Emery, 1909c: 361 (q.). Combination in Sysphincta: Emery, 1909c: 361; in Proceratium: Brown, 1958g: 248. Junior synonym of algiricum: Baroni Urbani, 1977d: 92.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Baroni Urbani and de Andrade (2003) - Head longer than broad, with sides subparallel in the two anterior thirds and strongly convex in the posterior third. Anteromedian part of the clypeus rectangular and strongly protruding anteriorly, dorsally with a variably impressed, inverted Y-shaped carina. Frontal cariniae diverging in the anterior half and subparallel in the posterior half, slightly raised and not very close to each other. Lateral expansions of the frontal carinae narrow. Genal carina absent. Gular area not impressed. Eyes small, in small specimens represented by a weakly pigmented dot below the integument and in larger specimens by a dark dot within the integument. First funicular joint 1/3 longer than broad. Funicular joints 2-10 about as broad as long. Last funicular joint slightly shorter than the sum of the joints 8-10. Scapes much short of the vertexal margin and gently thickening apically. Antennal torulus behind the lateral border of the clypeus. Outer face of the mandibles convex. Masticatory margin of the mandibles with 3-4 denticles before the pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 4,3.
Mesosoma about as long as the head (mandibles included). Promesopleural and meso-metapleural sutures impressed ventrally only. Propodeal dorsum between the basal and declivous faces slightly incised. Basal and declivous faces of the propodeum dorsally separated by a carina, the carina sometimes interrupted medially. Declivous face of the propodeum with a semitransparent lamella on each side, the lamella sometimes denticulate apically, broader on the posterior half. Propodeal spiracle round and over the mid height in lateral view.
Petiole convex in profile, with the sides diverging on the anterior fourth and strongly convex posteriorly in dorsal view. Anterior border of the petiole gently concave and carinate, the carina sometimes forming a denticle on each side. Ventral process of the petiole lamelliform, triangular. Postpetiole anteriorly as broad as or slightly broader than the petiole; its sides convex. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a marked subtriangular projection. Posterior half of the postpetiolar sternite convex. Constriction between postpetiole and first gastral segment impressed. Castral tergite I strongly convex on the curvature. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.
Legs slender. All tibiae with a pectinate spur. Spurs of fore legs with basal spine. Fore basitarsi as long as the mid ones. Hind basitarsi about 1/6 shorter than hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of hind legs longer than the pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Arolia absent.
Sculpture. Head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole minutely punctate and sparsely rugulose. Caster superficially shining and covered by minute, piligerous impressions. Legs punctate.
Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, subdecumbent on the whole body, sparse and suberect on the funicular joints only; (2) longer than type (1), sparse and suberect on the whole body, absent on the funiculi; (3) shorter than hair type (1), dense and decumbent on the funicular joints only. In addition the funicular joints bear whitish, thick, appressed, short, sparse hairs, and the scapes with sparse hairs similar to type (2) but shorter.
Colour light brown.
Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 4.31-5.20; HL 0.97-1.14; HW 0.84-1.02; EL 0.03-0.05; SL 0.73-0.91; WL 1.16- 1.46; PeL 0.37-0.45; PeW 0.37-0.43; HFeL 0.83-1.02; HTiL 0.72-0.90; HBaL 0.60-0.78; LS4 0.36-0.44; LT4 1.02-1.28; CI 84.1-89.5; SI 74.2-79.8; IGR 0.32-0.37.
Baroni Urbani and de Andrade (2003) - Differing from the worker in the following details: eyes about 1/7 of the head length and with well defined ommatidia. Ocular pilosity present. Ocelli present.
Mesosoma robust. Scutellum small and shorter than the sides of the basal face of the propodeum; its sides gently converging into a convex posterior border. Metanotum with a minute denticle. Propodeal lamellae narrower.
Sculpture. Pronotum, basal face of the propodeum and petiole with additional, superficial, sparse, slightly irregular, small, foveae-like depressions. Gaster with denser and larger piligerous impressions.
Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 5.42; HL 1.10; HW 0.95; EL 0.16; SL 0.82; WL 1.48; PeL 0.41; PeW 0.45; HFeL 0.98; HTiL 0.80; HBaL 0.70; LS4 0.45; LT4 1.42; CI 86.4; SI 74.5; IGR 0.32.
Baroni Urbani and de Andrade (2003):
Laverdure, Algeria. Type material: holotype worker labeled: "Laverdure, env. 1000 metres sous pierre (Algerie) (Forel), S. algirica Forel, type" in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, examined.
Proceratium (Sysphingta) mayri Type locality: Corfu, Greece. Type material three syntype workers labelled "Corfu, J. Sahlb. Typus, Sysphincta mayri For.", 2 in MHNG, 1 in Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa, examined.
- Baroni Urbani, C. 1977d. Les espèces européennes du genre Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 50: 91-93 (page 92, Senior synonym of mayri)
- Baroni Urbani, C., de Andrade, M.L. 2003. The ant genus Proceratium in the extant and fossil record (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Monografie, 36, 1–492. (page 219, fig. 91 worker, queen described)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958g. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362 (page 247, Combination in Proceratium)
- Emery, C. 1909d. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil VIII. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1909: 355-376 (page 362, Combination in Sysphincta)
- Forel, A. 1899c. Trois notices myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 43: 303-310 (page 305, worker described)
- Santschi, F. 1929e. Fourmis du Maroc, d'Algérie et de Tunisie. Bull. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 69: 138-165 (page 139, queen described)