Proceratium galilaeum

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

Proceratium galilaeum casent0911225 p 1 high.jpg

Proceratium galilaeum casent0911225 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known from only two workers, nothing is known about the biology of Proceratium galilaeum.

Identification

A member of the arnoldi clade. Differing from its ingroup species, Proceratium arnoldi, in the worker, by the body sculpture more superficial, by the longer scapes, by the palp formula 4,3 instead of 3,2, and by the longer mid and hind basitarsi. The lower mesopleurae is entirely inflated. Proceratium galilaeum is easily recognisable by a clear, salient bulla on the posterior border of the petiole. (Baroni Urbani and de Andrade 2003)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Israel (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.

  • galilaeum. Proceratium galilaeum De Andrade, in Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 301, figs. 124, 125 (w.) ISRAEL.

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

Description

Worker

Head longer than broad and with subparallel sides. Vertex weakly convex in full face view and flat in full dorsal view. Clypeus medially reduced, superficially convex, between the and as long as the antennal sockets. Anterior border of the clypeus minutely crenulate. Antennal socket with broad torulus. Frontal carinae slightly far from each other, partially covering the antennal insertions. Frons gently concave medially and connected to a superficially marked longitudinal carina prolonging posteriorly. Lateral expansions of the frontal carinae narrow, raised, diverging on the two anterior thirds and subparallel on the posterior third. Genal carinae marked, each carina corresponding to the external border of a deep sulcus. Eyes small, visible as a dark dot below the integument over the mid line of the head. First funicular joint about ¼ longer than broad. Funicular joints 2-10 broader than long. Last funicular joint about as long as the sum of joints 7-10. Scapes short of the vertexal margin and gently thickening apically. External base of the mandibles concave. Masticatory margin of the mandibles with 4 denticles before the pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 4,3.

Mesosoma gently convex in profile and slightly shorter than maximum head length (mandibles included). Promesopleural and meso-metapleural sutures impressed ventrally only. Basal face of the propodeum declivous posteriorly. Declivous face of the propodeum gently concave anteriorly. Basal and declivous faces of the propodeum separated laterally by a lamelliform tooth. Sides of the declivous face of the propodeum with a narrow lamella broader and subangulate posteriorly. Lower mesopleurae with well defined sutures and strongly inflate. Propodeal spiracle round and above mid height in lateral view.

Petiolar node subrectangular in profile, the dorsum of the node almost flat and bearing a postero-medial transparent, salient bulla below the integument. Petiole in dorsal view with its sides diverging on the anterior fourth and convex posteriorly. Anterior border of the petiole almost straight and carinate, the carina angulate on each side. Ventral process of the petiole lamelliform, rectangular, the lamella not pointed. Postpetiole anteriorly broader than the petiole; its sides diverging posteriorly. Postpetiolar dorsum with a postero-medial, transparent, salient bulla below the integument. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a marked subtriangular projection. Postpetiolar sternite strongly convex posteriorly in profile. Constriction between postpetiole and gaster impressed. Gastral tergite II convex on the curvature and with a postero-medial, transparent, flat bulla below the integument. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.

Legs slender and slightly elongate. All tibiae with a pectinate spur. Spurs of fore legs without basal spine. Fore basitarsi longer than the mid ones. Wind basitarsi 1/5 shorter than hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of hind legs subequal in size to the pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Arolia present.

Sculpture. Head granulopunctate. Mesosoma and petiole granulopunctate and with traces of very sparse and superficial, irregular, foveae-like depressions. Postpetiole, gaster and legs minutely punctate.

Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, subdecumbent on the whole body, sparse and erect on the funicular joints; (2) longer than type (1), sparse and subdecumbent on the whole body, slightly shorter on the scapes, 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.

Colour. Light brown.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 3.1 1-3.40; WL 0.76-0.79; WW 0.66-0.69; EL 0.03-0.05; SL 0.53-0.55; WL 0.87-0.95; PeL 0.32-0.34; PeW 0.30-0.34; HTiL 0.51-0.54; WBaL 0.41-0.44; LS4 0.25-0.30; LT4 0.59-0.69; CI 86.8-87.3; SI 69.6-69.7; IGR 0.42-0.43.

Type Material

Holotype worker labelled "Israel, Galilee, Eilon, N. Betzet, 20.IV.1982, Besuchet, Lobl" in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève; 1 paratype worker same data and collection as the holotype.

Etymology

"Galilaeus" is an adjective indicating the provenance from Galilee.

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 301, figs. 124, 125 worker described)