Rhopalothrix triumphalis

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Rhopalothrix triumphalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Rhopalothrix
Species: R. triumphalis
Binomial name
Rhopalothrix triumphalis
Longino & Boudinot, 2013

Rhopalothrix triumphalis casent0601887 p 1 high.jpg

Rhopalothrix triumphalis casent0601887 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species occurs in cloud forest habitats, from 1360–2140 m elevation. All specimens are from Winkler or Berlese samples of sifted leaf litter. It is sympatric with Rhopalothrix megisthmica on the slopes of Volcán Tacaná in Chiapas. At the type locality it was moderately abundant, occurring in 17 of 100 miniWinkler samples. (Longino and Boudinot 2013)

Identification

Anterior labral lobe bilobed, with lateral lobule longer than medial lobule; masticatory margin of mandible with two teeth; squamiform setae of first gastral tergite abundant, elongate, 4 × or 5 × longer than wide; HW 0.57–0.65. (Longino and Boudinot 2013)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Mexico (Chiapas).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Mexico (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Rhopalothrix triumphalis, Rhopalothrix atitlanica, and Rhopalothrix andersoni share a distinctive labrum shape with bilobed anterolateral margin, with the lateral lobule longer and more triangular than the medial lobule. The three form a geographic replacement series, with no known zones of sympatry.

Longino and and Boudinot (2013) - Knowledge of the biology of the Rhopalothrix isthmica clade of Rhopalothrix is conjectural; a nest has never been recovered and a live specimen never seen. What we know is based on locations and frequencies of capture using various mass-sampling methods. Specimens are known from wet to moderately seasonal forest, from sea level to 2140 m elevation. At higher elevation, they are found in diverse mesophyll forest and in forests with various combinations of Liquidambar and montane oak. In Costa Rica, they are restricted to the wet forests of the Atlantic slope, to 1500 m on the Barva Transect in the Cordillera Volcánica Central and to 800 m in the Cordillera de Tilarán. The genus is unknown from the Monteverde cloud forest at 1500 m, the lowland wet forests of the Osa Peninsula, and the lowland tropical dry forests of Guanacaste, in spite of intensive collecting efforts in these areas. Further north in Central America they can occur at higher elevations.

In quantitative sampling at La Selva Biological Station, in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, occurrences were relatively more frequent in soil/litter cores than in samples of sifted litter from the soil surface. This suggests that nests are subterranean, with workers only occasionally venturing up into the litter layer. Dealate queens are known for a few species, occurring occasionally in Winkler or Berlese samples. Alate queens of one La Selva species were found in canopy fogging samples, one each in two separate fogging events. Oddly, alate queens have not been found in the many Malaise samples from La Selva. Males remain unknown.

Castes

Males have yet to be collected.

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • triumphalis. Rhopalothrix triumphalis Longino & Boudinot, 2013: 319, figs. 1A, 2B, 3F, 14, 16 (w.q.) MEXICO.

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

Description

Worker

HW 0.57–0.65 (n=12); mandible with two teeth on masticatory margin, second tooth from base largest; subapical tooth with minute reclinate denticle at base; subapical tooth about twice as long as apical tooth; intercalary teeth prominent, one closest to apical tooth about half as long as apical tooth; labrum trapezoidal, anterior margin bilobed, lateral lobule triangular, longer than medial lobule, medial lobules rounded, flanking semicircular median notch; arcuate promesonotal groove and metanotal groove moderately impressed; propodeal tooth variable, obtuse, right angled, or acute, infradental lamella evenly and shallowly concave; squamiform setae abundant on first gastral tergite, uniformly covering entire tergite; gastral setae relatively long and thin, 4–5 × longer than wide, with elongate stem below widened apex.

Queen

HW 0.69; mandible and labrum similar to worker; face shape similar to worker but with less strongly developed grooves and ridges; compound eye longer than maximum width of scape; ocelli small, cuticle adjacent to ocelli marked with black pigment spots on evenly light brown background; shape of propodeal tooth, infradental lamella, petiole and postpetiole similar to worker; katepisternum and anepisternum large, convex, separated by broad U-shaped groove; layer of sparse, long, appressed pubescence covers mandible, face, scapes, legs, dorsal mesosoma and metasoma; abundant stiff erect setae on face, anterior edge of scape, side of head, dorsal mesosoma, dorsal gaster.

Type Material

Holotype Specimen Labels

Holotype, worker: Mexico, Chiapas: 2.8 km ESE Custepec, 15.72078 -92.93925 ± 50 m, 1800 m, 17 Jul 2007, mixed hardwood forest, ex sifted leaf litter (R.S. Anderson#2007-017) California Academy of Sciences, unique specimen identifier CASENT0602067. Paratypes (workers): same data as holotype but 18 Jul 2007, liquidambar forest (R.S. Anderson#2007-018) Colección Entomológica de El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, CASENT0601766; 1.8 km SE Custepec, 15.72198 -92.95037 ± 50 m, 1530 m, mixed liquidambar forest (R.S. Anderson#2007-020) Museum of Comparative Zoology, CASENT0601887]; 2 km SE Custepec, 15.72298 -92.94493 ± 50 m, 1650 m, ridgetop oak forest (R.S. Anderson#2007-021) National Museum of Natural History, CASENT0601965; 2.8 km SE Custepec, 15.72260 -92.93995 ± 50 m, 1840 m, oak forest (R.S. Anderson#2007-022) Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, CASENT0603013.

Etymology

Referring to the type locality, El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas.

References

  • Longino J. T. and Boudinot B. E. 2013. New species of Central American Rhopalothrix Mayr, 1870 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa. 3616:301-324. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3616.4.1