Rasopone minuta

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Rasopone minuta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Rasopone
Species: R. minuta
Binomial name
Rasopone minuta
(Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2010)

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The holotype was collected in a pitfall trap (12 hours in site). The possible worker was collected along a dirt road in disturbed tropical forest. It was collected under a stone in clay soil. The worker from Venezuela was foraging on the ground during the day (Riera, pers. comm.).

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The female of R. minuta can be separated from that of the Costa Rican Pseudoponera cognata by the widely separated frontal carina (minimum width 0.1 mm), as well as by the lack of distinct striae on the mandibles. The circular propodeal spiracle distinguishes R. minuta from the similar Pachycondyla lenkoi from Bolivia and Brasil. The lack of a longitudinal carina on the clypeus separates R. minuta from Pseudoponera succedanea, which is found from Costa Rica south to Brasil. The form of the subpetiolar process of R. minuta is identical to that of Rasopone ferruginea and Rasopone lunaris and suggests that this species is intermediate between the stigma and ferruginea species complexes. The seven well-defined mandibular teeth can easily separate R. minuta; the latter two species (R. ferruginea and R. lunaris) have at least nine teeth which are poorly defined.

The workers of John Longino’s JTL-016 matches this new species, but the queens of his species are larger, with 8 - 9 mandibular teeth (pers. comm.).

Distribution

MEXICO, GUATEMALA, VENEZUELA. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Guatemala, Mexico (type locality), Venezuela.

Distribution based on specimens

Loading map...

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

Habitat

The female was collected in a tropical forest. The possible worker was collected in disturbed tropical rain forest at 740 meters elevation. Specimens from Venezuela were collected in a cloud forest habitat. (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • minuta. Pachycondyla minuta Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 463, figs. 91, 97, 100, 181, 585 (w.q.) MEXICO. 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

Unknown. A possible worker was collected in Guatemala, which has 7 mandibular teeth and otherwise appears similar to the holotype female, but the petiole is rectangular-shaped, not narrowed dorsally as in the female. It is 4.5 mm long, larger than the female. The anterior border of the clypeus lacks the two lateral angulate processes. These latter two characteristics suggest they are not conspecific.

Queen

The female is a tiny (total length 4 millimeters) ferrugineous red specimen. The mandible has 7 teeth. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly convex, but the medial region is concave and surrounded by two angulate processes. The head length is 0.98 mm; the head width is 0.85 mm. The sides of the head are nearly straight and nearly parallel, the posterior border is slightly concave. The eye is large (maximum diameter 0.16 mm) located less than 1 diameter from the anterior margin of the head (side view). The antennal scapes are short (0.65 mm) and fail to reach the posterior lateral corners by nearly the first funicular segment. The ocelli are small (maximum diameter 0.04 mm) located about four diameters from the lateral ocellus. The pronotum is swollen at the shoulder but does not form a carina. The propodeal spiracle is circular and the lateral edge of the propodeum forms a carina. The anterior face of the petiole is nearly straight and meets the broadly rounded posterior face near the anterior edge, but the medial portion of the posterior face forms a poorly defined dorsal face. The subpetiolar process is well developed and consists of a broad elongated lobe, which forms a pointed flange posteriorly. The anterior face of the postpetiole is slightly concave and is strongly angulate where it meets the dorsal face. The stridulatory file is absent on the second pretergite, as are the arolia between the tarsal claws.

Erect hairs (0.25 mm) are present on the clypeus and the gaster; shorter erect hairs (0.05 - 0.10) are present on the mandibles, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, posterior face of the propodeum, dorsum of the petiole and all surfaces of the gaster. Golden appressed to suberect pubescence is present on the head, mesosoma, anterior and posterior faces of the petiole, subpetiolar process and all faces of the gaster.

The mandibles are moderately smooth and glossy with scattered punctures and weak evidence of striae, the head is densely and evenly, but finely punctate, as are the antennal scapes, the dorsum of the mesosoma has similar sculpture, the sides of the mesosoma, including the mesopleuron, are dull, with poorly defined striae, the petiole is dull with poorly defined striae, the posterior face is smooth and polished, the gaster is finely punctate and weakly shining.

Male

Males are not known for this species.

Type Material

Mex, Chis. 10kW Palenque. Holotype female (Museum of Comparative Zoology)

Etymology

From Latin, minuta meaning small, referring to the size of the possible worker and the female.

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)