Rasopone longidentata

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Rasopone longidentata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Rasopone
Species: R. longidentata
Binomial name
Rasopone longidentata
(Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2010)

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): It is impossible to place R. longidentata into a species complex with any degree of confidence. Superficially R. longidentata appears to be a member of the ferruginea species complex, based on the size, color and shape of the petiole. Unfortunately the clypeus is structurally similar to that of members of the arhuaca species complex and R. longidentata even has an angle on the clypeus, which is probably homologous to the spine found on P. becculata. This would suggest that it is a member of the arhuaca species complex. Rasopone longidentata lacks the well-developed transverse clypeal carina found in members of the ferruginea species complex. Furthermore the subpetiolar process of R. longidentata lacks the posteriorly directed spine or lobe found in members of the ferruginea species complex. These latter two characters would seem to exclude it from the ferruginea species complex. Unfortunately it also lacks a deeply depressed metanotal suture, similar to members of the ferruginea species complex. It is probably a species that forms a link between the two species complexes.

The worker of R. longidentata could be confused with those of Rasopone ferruginea and Rasopone lunaris. Rasopone longidentata can be easily separated by four characteristics: 1) the apical mandibular tooth is much longer than any of the others (only slightly longer in the latter two species); 2) the mandibles are nearly smooth with scattered punctures (striate in R. ferruginea and R. lunaris); 3) the eye is tiny (larger in R. ferruginea and R. lunaris, maximum diameter more than 0.1 mm); and 4) a posteriorly directed flange or lobe is absent on the subpetiolar process (present in both of the other two species). Both R. ferruginea and R. lunaris have well developed transverse clypeal carinae, which is nearly lacking in R. longidentata. It can be separated from all of the other members of the arhuaca species complex by the unusual shape of the mandible with a reduced number of teeth and an exceptionally elongated apical tooth. It may be related to some of the Old World species, such as the African Bothroponera soror, which has a similar petiole and subpetiolar process as well as a somewhat larger apical mandibular tooth.

Distribution

COLOMBIA (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Rasopone longidentata for further details

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • longidentata. Pachycondyla longidentata Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 441, figs. 48, 49, 98, 99, 201, 562, 563 (w.) COLOMBIA. Combination in Rasopone: Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 210.

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

Description

Worker

The worker is a small (total length 6.5 mm) ferrugineous red ant. The apical tooth of the mandible is extremely long, approximately three times the length of the next longest tooth, which is located about half way along the masticatory border. The anterior medial border of the clypeus forms a sharp angle, but is not extended into a spine. The transverse clypeal carina is nearly absent, represented only by the sharp angle. The head is nearly as wide (1.54 mm) as long (1.56 mm). The eye is tiny (0.07 mm maximum diameter) and located slightly more than 1 diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The scape is short (1.09 mm) and does not reach the posterior lateral corner of the head. The pronotal shoulder is rounded; both the promesonotal and metanotal sutures break the sculpture and are depressed on the dorsum of the mesosoma. The propodeal spiracle is circular. The petiole is thick when viewed in profile, with the anterior and posterior faces being nearly parallel and meeting to form a well-defined dorsal face. The anterior edge of the subpetiolar process forms a ventrally directed tooth and lacks a posteriorly directed tooth on the posterior edge. The anterior face of the postpetiole is vertical and nearly forms an angle with the dorsal face. The stridulatory file and arolia are absent.

Erect hairs are abundant, but mostly short (up to 0.1 mm) and present on the mandibles, clypeus, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, sides and posterior margin of the head, antennal scapes, mesosoma, petiole, gaster and legs; appressed whitish pubescence is abundant on all surfaces.

The mandibles are smooth and moderately shining with little evidence of striae and with scattered punctures. The dorsum of the head is completely and densely punctate as is the dorsum of the frontal lobes and the surface of the scapes. The punctures on the dorsum of the pronotum are coarser and not as dense, those on the mesonotum and dorsum of the propodeum are similar to those on the head, the punctures on the side of the pronotum are poorly defined, leaving the surface shining, the mesopleuron and propodeum have poorly defined striae. The dorsum of the petiole is glossy and shiny, the sides have poorly defined punctures and are moderately shining. The gaster is glossy and shining with a few scattered punctures.

Type Material

COLOMBIA Meta, PNN La Macarena. Holotype worker (Humboldt Institute)

Etymology

From Latin, longus meeting long and dentatus, meaning toothed, referring to the long apical tooth of the worker of this species.

References

  • Mackay, W. P., and E. E. Mackay 2010. The Systematics and Biology of the New World Ants of the Genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston. Information from this publication is used with permission from the authors.
  • Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, S.O. 2014. The higher classification of the ant subfamily Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a review of ponerine ecology and behavior. Zootaxa. 3817, 1–242 (doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3817.1.1)