Proceratium cavinodus

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Proceratium cavinodus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Proceratium
Species: P. cavinodus
Binomial name
Proceratium cavinodus
De Andrade, 2003

Proceratium cavinodus casent0172098 profile 1.jpg

Proceratium cavinodus casent0172098 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Proceratium cavinodus.

Identification

A member of the stictum clade differing from all the other species, in the worker, by the anterior face of the postpetiole anteromedially concave and weakly tumuliform laterally. P. cavinodus is the smallest species of the stictum clade (TL = 3.29 mm instead of TL ≥ 3.5 mm for all the other species). In general morphology and sculpture it resembles the Dominican fossils Proceratium denticulatum, Proceratium gibberum and the recent Proceratium boltoni from Ghana. P. cavinodus differs from these three species mainly by the shape of the postpetiole as already stated in the diagnosis. (Baroni Urbani and de Andrade 2003)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

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.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • cavinodus. Proceratium cavinodus De Andrade, in Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 63, fig. 33 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Description

Worker

Head longer than broad, with subparallel sides. Vertex gently convex in full face view and flat in posterior view. Clypeus broad, subconvex, protruding anteriorly and surrounding the whole antennal insertions. Anteromedian margin of the clypeus with a superficial notch denticulate on each side; each denticle with a short, dorsal, convergent carina. Frontal carinae distant from each other, diverging posteriorly and not covering the antennal insertions. Lateral expansions of the frontal carinae very narrow and low. Genal carina present and more marked posteriorly. Frons medially concave. Gular area gently impressed. Eyes present, with only one convex facet, and placed below the mid line of the head. First funicular joint about as long as broad. Funicular joints 2-10 broader than long. Last funicular joint about as long as the sum of joints 7-10. Scapes not attaining the vertexal margin and gently thickening apically. Masticatory margin of the mandibles with 3-4 denticles before the pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 4,3.

Mesosoma as long as head length (mandibles included), gently convex in side view. Promesonotal and propodeal sutures absent. Promesopleural and mesometaplemal sutures more impressed ventrally. Basal face of the propodeum gradually sloping posteriorly. Each side between the basal and declivous faces of the propodeum with a small pointed tooth. Propodeal lobes with a small, subpointed dorsal tooth. Propodeal spiracle round and above mid height in lateral view.

Petiole about as long as broad. Petiole in dorsal view with diverging sides on the anterior third and convex on the two posterior thirds. Anterior border of the petiole concave and carinate, the carina denticulate on each side. Ventral process of the petiole corresponding to a narrow, thin, longitudinal lamella. Postpetiole broader than petiole and with subparallel sides. Anterior face of the postpetiole medially concave and laterally slightly tumuliform. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a variably marked subtriangular projection. Posterior half of the postpetiolar sternite strongly convex. Constriction between postpetiole and gaster deep. Gastral tergite I strongly convex. Gastral sternite 1 not pro-jecting anteriorly. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.

Legs slender, slightly elongate. All tibiae with a pectinate spur. Spurs of fore legs with a basal spine. Fore basitarsi longer than the mid ones. Hind basitarsi about 0.8 of the length of the hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of mid and hind legs longer than third and fourth tarsomeres and about as long as the pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Arolium small but present.

Sculpture. Head irregularly reticulate-punctate. Mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole granulopunctate, in some parts the punctures resembling foveae and the granulation raised as peaks. First gastral tergite smooth and with dense piligerous punctures on the sides only. Legs punctate.

Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, suberect or subdecumbent on the whole body, erect and sparse on the funicular joints; (2) long, suberect or subdecumbent, sparse on the whole body but absent on the scapes and funicular joints; (3) shorter than hair type (1), dense and decumbent on the funicular joints only. In addition, the funicular joints bear thick, appressed, short, sparse hairs and the scapes sparse hairs shorter than hair type (2).

Colour light brown.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 3.29; HL 0.79; HW 0.68; EL 0.04; SL 0.54; WL 0.91; PeL 0.36; PeW 0.35; HFeL 0.62; HTiL 0.52; HBaL 0.45; LS4 0.12; LT4 0.63; CI 86.1 ; SI 68.3; IGR 0.19.

Holotype Specimen Labels

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

Holotype worker (unique) labelled: "N.T. 5.vi.73, 11.59 S x 133.05 E, c. 5 km S of Tor Rock, outcrop area, R. W. Taylor, Acc. 73.434" in Australian National Insect Collection.

Etymology

from the Latin cavus (= concave) and nodus (= node, i. e. a generic name for petiole and postpetiole), referred to the postpetiole morphology of the species.

References

  • 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 63, fig. 33 worker described)