Rasopone rupinicola

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

Pachycondyla rupinicola casent0217567 p 1 high.jpg

Pachycondyla rupinicola casent0217567 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The biology of this species is almost completely unknown, with the exception of the following details. Winged females and males were present in a nest in June. The worker from Panamá was collected in a leaf litter extraction.

Identification

From Mackay and Mackay (2010): The worker and female of R. rupinicola are nearly identical to those of Rasopone ferruginea. Rasopone rupinicola differs in having a rectangular-shaped petiole (as seen from the side). Rasopone rupinicola can be separated from Rasopone lunaris by its larger size (R. lunaris workers are less than 6 mm in total length) and by its longer antennal scapes (those of R. lunaris do not extend past the posterior lateral corner of the head). The color and circular shape of the propodeal spiracle separate R. rupinicola from most the others.

The female of R. rupinicola appears to be similar to what Forel (1899) described as Ponera ferruginea var. ? panamensis, which we consider to be a synonym of Rasopone ferruginea. Females of P. rupinicola differs in being larger (total length 8 - 9 mm) and having nearly a straight posterior face of the petiole (as seen from above), as compared to the description of Ponera ferruginea var. panamensis.

Bothroponera silvestrii from the Ivory Coast is similar to R. rupinicola. The similarity appears to be superficial, as the subpetiolar process of R. rupinicola has the posteriorly directed tooth, whereas the process in B. silvestrii is a broadly rounded lobe.

Distribution

PANAMA, COLOMBIA (Mackay and Mackay 2010)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Panama.

Distribution based on specimens

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

Habitat

Pachycondyla rupinicola has been collected in second growth rain forest, in a clearing in secondary forest, in a cloud forest and in rocky tropical canyons. (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.

  • rupinicola. Pachycondyla rupinicola Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 504, figs. 94, 96, 205, 309, 627-631 (w.q.m.) 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 moderately small (total length about 7 mm) reddish brown ant. The mandibles have 9 - 10 teeth. The anterior border of the clypeus is predominantly convex, although it is notably concave along the anterior medial border. The head length is 1.95 mm; the head width 1.7 mm. The eyes are relatively large for members of the ferruginea species complex (0.3 mm), separated from the anterior margin of the head by less than one diameter (side view) and containing more than 100 ommatidia. The ocelli are weakly developed in some workers. The antennal scape is relatively long (1.8 mm), surpassing the posterior lateral corner by nearly two diameters. The posterior border of the head is concave. The pronotal shoulder is completely rounded. The mesosoma is short and robust and only weakly depressed at the metanotal suture, the propodeal spiracle is circular in shape. The anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are nearly parallel and the apex forms a broad horizontal surface. The subpetiolar process has a posteriorly directed tooth. The stridulatory file is absent on the second pretergite as are the arolia near the tarsal claws.

The mandibles are smooth and glossy with slight evidence of striae and with scattered punctures, the remainder of the ant is dull and punctate, except the gaster, which is moderately shining. The mesopleuron and side of the propodeum have poorly defined oblique (higher posteriorly) striae. The side of the petiole has poorly defined horizontal striae.

Erect and suberect hairs are abundant on the mandibles, clypeus, sides of the head (mostly near the eyes), posterior margin (sparse), dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, antennal scape, mesosoma, petiole, subpetiolar process and all surfaces of the gaster. The legs are nearly without erect or suberect hairs. Appressed golden pubescence is present on nearly all surfaces.

Queen

The female is similar to the worker and only slightly larger in size (total length 9 mm). The head length is 2.05; the head width 1.9 mm. The eye is relatively larger (0.7 mm), separated from the anterior edge of the head by less than ½ of the maximum diameter (side view) and contains more than 300 ommatidia. The ocelli are small (maximum diameter of the medial ocellus 0.09 mm), but well developed. The scape (1.95 mm) extends about the first funicular segment past the posterior lateral margin of the head. The mesosoma is short and robust with well-developed wings. The anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are nearly parallel and the apex forms a slightly convex surface. The subpetiolar process is like that of the worker, forming a posteriorly directed tooth. The other characters are as in the worker.

Male

The male is smaller than the worker and female (total length < 7 mm). The mandibles are tiny and do not meet when closed. The surface of the clypeus is swollen. The head length and head width are 1.1 mm. The eyes are large (0.6 mm in side view), occupying more than one half of the sides of the head (oblique side view), the scapes are short and do not extend past the posterior edge of the eye. The ocelli are well developed but small (maximum diameter of the median ocellus 0.1 mm). The mesosoma is short and robust and depressed at the metanotal suture. The Mayrian furrows are well developed and the wings are well developed. The propodeal spiracle is oval-shaped. The petiole is somewhat triangular-shaped and the anterior and posterior faces are not parallel, but the apex forms a broadly rounded surface. The subpetiolar process has a posteriorly directed tooth.

Erect and suberect hairs are short (up to 0.07 mm) and sparse, mostly restricted to the mouthparts, posterior face of the petiole and ventral surface of the gaster. Most surfaces are densely covered with a suberect to erect fine (less than 0.05 mm in length) golden pubescence.

The surface of the clypeus is smooth and glossy; the remainder of the head is coriaceous and weakly shining. The mesosoma is punctate and moderately shining, the mesopleuron has the punctures in rows, the side of the propodeum has reticulated rugae. The petiole is punctate and coriaceous, the posterior face is smooth and glossy. The gaster is finely punctate and shining.

Type Material

COLOMBIA: Valle. Holotype worker (Museum of Comparative Zoology), 13 paratype workers (California Academy of Sciences William and Emma Mackay Humboldt Institute Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History Museum of Comparative Zoology Instituto de Zoologia Agricola Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo National Museum of Natural History)

Etymology

From Latin, rupina meaning rocky chasm and cola for inhabitant, referring to the habitat of this species. The name was provided by Bill Brown.

References

  • Forel, A. 1899. Biologia Centrali - Americana. Insecta. Hymenoptera. Vol. III (Formicidae). 169 pp + 4 plates.
  • 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)