Proceratium panamense

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

Nothing is known about the biology of Proceratium panamense.

Identification

A member of the micrommatum clade. Resembling Proceratium micrommatum, but differing from it in the worker and gyne, by the larger size (worker TL ≥ 3.80 mm instead of TL < 3.60 mm, and gyne TL = 4.57 mm instead of TL < 3.60 mm), and by the SI (≤ 60.8 in Proceratium panamense and ≥ 61.7 in micrommatum). (Baroni Urbani and de Andrade 2003)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Costa Rica, Panama (type locality), Venezuela.

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.

  • panamense. Proceratium panamense De Andrade, in Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 164, figs. 74 - 77 (w.q.m.) PANAMA.

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, slightly narrower anteriorly than posteriorly. Vertex in full face view convex. Clypeus medially extremely reduced, triangular, between and slightly longer than the antennal socket. Antennal socket with broad torulus. Frontal carinae close each other, not covering the antennal insertions. Frontal area behind the frontal carinae gently tumuliform. Lateral expansions of the frontal carinae relatively narrow, raised, diverging or subparallel. Genal carinae poorly marked. A superficial sulcus is present between the genal carinae and the gular area. Eyes composed by a clear convex facet, and placed below the mid line of the head. Scapes thicker in the posterior halr and short of the vertexal margin. First funicular joint 1/3 longer than broad. Funicular joints 2-10 broader than long. Last funicular joint as long as the sum of joints 6-10. Mandibles each with 3 denticles before the apical tooth. Palp formula probably 3,2.

Mesosoma slightly convex in side view. Promesonotal and propodeal sutures absent. Promesopleural and mesometapleural sutures impressed on the ventral half only. Basal face of the propodeum gently declivous and with a very superficial, transversal sulcus close to the declivous face, in some specimens the sulcus interrupted medially. Declivous face of the propodeum with the sides superficially marginate, the margin more marked posteriorly. Propodeal lobes subround and with variably crenulate margin. Propodeal spiracles small and tumuliform.

Petiole slightly longer than broad. Petiole in dorsal view with the sides subparallel or diverging in the anterior fourth and convex posteriorly. Anterior border of the petiole concave, entirely carinate and angulate on each side. Ventral process of the petiole subtriangular and small. Postpetiole less than 1/2 of the length of the gastral tergite I (LT4), in dorsal view anterolaterally angulate and with the sides weakly convex. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a superficially marked subtriangular projection. Posterior half of the postpetiolar sternite straight or slightly convex. Constriction between postpetiole and gastral segment I deeply impressed. Gastral tergite I strongly round. Gastral sternite I very short medially. Sides of gastral sternite I protruding anteriorly, obtuse and carinate. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally. Sting developed.

Legs slightly elongate. Mid tibiae without spur. Spurs of fore legs without a basal spine. Fore basitarsi longer than the mid ones. Hind basitarsi about 115 shorter than hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of mid and hind legs longer than third and fourth tarsomeres, and slightly shorter than pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Pretarsal arolia very small.

Sculpture. Head, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole granulopunctate. Petiole and postpetiole with additional superficial and small, irregular depressions like foveae. On the petiole and postpetiole some granule raised as small peaks. Gaster smooth and with minute, sparse piligerous depressions. Some specimens have the anterior and posterior border of the gaster granulate. Legs and antennae superficially granulate-punctate.

Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, subdecumbent on the whole body; (2) long, suberect, slightly recurved and relatively dense on the whole body, absent from the funiculi; (3) shorter than hair type (I), dense, decument on the funicular joints only. In addition the funicular joints bear whitish, thick, appressed, sparse hairs and also suberect, hairs similar to type (1).

Colour ferrugineous or dark brown with antennae and legs lighter.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 3.80-4.77; HL 0.89-1.10; HW 0.75-0.96; EL 0.04-0.07; SL 0.53-0.66; WL 1.05-1.30; PeL 0.39-0.50; PeW 0.36-0.45; HFeL 0.68-0.87; HTiL 0.52-0.72; HBaL 0.40-0.53; LS4 0.13-0.17; LT4 0.91-1.20; CI 82.0-87.3; SI 57.0-60.8; IGR 0.13-0.16.

Queen

(description based on a single specimen) differing from the worker in the following details: eyes large, about 1/4 of the head length and with ocular pilosity. Ocelli well developed.

Mesosoma robust and convex in side view. Parapsidal furrows superficially marked. Scutellum with the sides converging posteriorly and with the posterior border rounded. Metanotum without tooth or spine-like projection. Basal face of the propodeum very short, weakly angulate on each side, medially incised and as flat as the declivous face.

Sculpture. Mesonotum with piligerous punctures and smooth. Gastral tergite I with small piligerous punctures only.

Colour dark ferrugineous.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 4.57; HL 0.95; HW 0.80; EL 0.24; SL 0.57; WL 1.30; PeL 0.44; PeW 0.40; HFeL 0.78; HTiL 0.58; HBaL 0.47; LS4 0.16; LT4 1.20; CI 84.2; SI 60.0; IGR 0.13.

Male

(tentative attribution). Head longer than broad. Vertex in full face view convex. Vertexal margin carinate. Clypeus medially reduced, subtriangular, between and slightly longer than the antennal socket. Antennal socket with broad torulus. Frontal carinae thin, low, diverging posteriorly and separated each other. Anterior half of the floor of the frontal carinae gently convex and the second half concave. Area behind the frontal carina convex and with a median longitudinal carina. Ocelli large. Compound eyes slightly more than 1/3 of the head length, placed largely on the anterior head sides and with ocular pilosity. Scapes shortly surpassing the vertex. First funicular joint about 1/3 longer than broad, thicker and about as long as the second joint. Funicular joints 2-11 about 1/2 longer than broad. Last funicular joint slightly shorter than the sum of joints 9-11. Mandibles elongate, edentate and only with a pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 3.2.

Mesosoma robust. Pronotum perpendicular to the mesonotum. Mesonotum convex. Parapsidal furrows marked. Scutellum as high as the mesonotum and in full dorsal view with the posterior border round. Propodeum in side view weakly convex and sloping posteriorly, basal and declivous faces not clearly separated. Metanotum without a median spine like projection. Propodeal lobes round.

Petiole in side view declivous on the anterior third and convex on the two posterior thirds. Petiole in dorsal view with parallel sides in the anterior third, the remaining two posterior thirds gently convex anteriorly and parallel posteriorly. Anterior border of the petiole concave, superficially carinate and laterally denticulate. Subpetiolar process small and subtriangular. Postpetiole weakly convex in side view. Postpetiole anteriorly about as broad as the petiole; postpetiolar sides anteriorly diverging and gently convex posteriorly. Anterior border of the postpetiolar sternite with a projecting triangular "lip". Gastral tergite I round. Gastral sternite I broad in the middle. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.

Legs elongate. Hind basitarsi as long as the hind tibiae.

Fore wings of our type 5, hind wings of our type 3 as defined in the description of the genus.

Sculpture. Head, pronotum, mesonotum, pro- and mesopleurae, and scutellum granulate and with rare, thin, rugosities, the granulation sparser and smaller on the dorsum of the pronotum and center of the anterior half of the mesonotum, larger on the scutellum. Scutellum with additional superficial impressions resembling foveae. Propodeum and metapleurae with dense irregular impressions like irregular rugosities and impressions resembling foveae. Petiole granulate-foveolate, this sculpture rare on center of the node. Postpetiole granulate, the granulation sparser and more superficial on its dorsum. First gastral tergite with minute piligerous; sides and posterior border of the first gastral tergite granulate. Legs minutely punctate. Pilosity similar to the male of convexiceps.

Colour. Dark brown-black with slightly lighter funicular joints, tibiae, tarsi and tarsomeres.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 5.30; HL 0.88; HW 0.78; EL 0.32; SL 0.69; WL 1.74; PeL 0.61; PeW 0.38; HFeL 1.32; HTiL 0.92; HBaL 0.92; LS4 0.44; LT4 1.24; CI 88.6; SI 78.4; IGR 0.35.

Type Material

Holotype worker from Panama labelled: "Boquete, 15 June, 1978, G. J. Umphrey", in Museum of Comparative Zoology; paratypes: 6 workers and 1 gyne same data as the holotype, MCZ and Instituto de Zoologia Agricola; 4 workers same data as the holotype and paratypes except the date, 16 June, MCZ.

Etymology

“Panamense" is a neologism indicating the provenance of the species from Panama.

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 164, figs. 74-77 worker, queen, male described)