Simopone gressitti

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Simopone gressitti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Simopone
Species: S. gressitti
Binomial name
Simopone gressitti
Taylor, 1965

Simopone gressitti casent0249114 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone gressitti casent0249114 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Simopone gressitti.

Identification

A member of the grandidieri species group. The general proportions of gressitti seem very similar to those of Simopone chapmani. Like that species, Taylor (1965) indicates that the scrobe is deflected ventrally immediately in front of the eye, and a longitudinal sulcus is present across the metapleuron. He also appears to indicate anterior and posterior vestiges of a carina on the side of AII. From his measurements AII would appear to be distinctly shorter and broader (AIIW/ AIIL 0.96) than in chapmani. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Taylor (1965) - According to Menozzi's description (Menozzi, 1926) Simopone bakeri is smaller than gressitti, with a narrower head and petiolar node.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Simopone gressitti for further details

Biology

Little is known about the biology of most species of Simopone. Specimens are rarely collected, and the number of species known only from workers is telling in regards to a lack of nest samples. Species are almost entirely arboreal but on occasion foraging workers are found on the ground or in rotten logs. Prey records are extremely sparse. They consist only of Crematogaster brood by Simopone vepres, and the brood of Terataner by Simopone sicaria. Nevertheless, these two records support the general supposition by Brown (1975) that most or all members of tribe Cerapachyini prey on other ants, or more probably the brood of other ants, but actual records are extremely rare. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

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.

  • gressitti. Simopone gressitti Taylor, 1965a: 3, figs. 1, 2 (w.) NEW GUINEA. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 71.

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

Description

Dimensions (in mm): Total length (TL) 6.4; head length at midline (HL) 0.98; maximum head width (HW) 0.79; maximum pronotum width (PW) 0.70 ; Weber's length of mesosoma (WL) 1.4; petiolar node length at midline 0.72; maximum petiolar node width 0.6,9; postpetiolar length at midline 0.70; maximum width of postpetiole 0.75. General form as shown in Figures. Mandibles small, their outer borders sinuate, convex basally; angle between masticatory and posterior borders broadly rounded; dentition worn, almost effaced, probably originally like that of S. bakeri. Head 0.81 x as broad as long; sides almost parallel, slightly concave before eyes, slightly convex behind; occipital border feebly concave; occipital carina well developed, ribbed along its anterior edge, enclosing the occiput laterally as well as dorsally, its ventral traces extended forwards for a short distance on each side, along the sides of the postgenae. Eyes large, maximum diameter 0.30 mm (0.38 x the head width), separated by a distance of 0.46 mm (1.53 x their maximum diameter); ocelli minute. Scapes barely reaching anterior margins of eyes, flag'ellar proportions as in Figure. Anterior clypeal border feebly convex. Frontal carinae diverging posteriorly, on each side meeting the postorbital carina, which is very fine and continuous below the eye with the genal carina.

Mesosoma twice as long as broad in dorsal view, its dorsolateral borders approximately right-angled but acarinate; transverse pro notal carina well developed; angle between dorsal and declivitous propodeal faces abruptly rounded, acarinate. Suturation of mesosomal walls as shown in Figure; promesonotal and mesometanotal sutures represented by transversely ribbed traces on mesosomal dorsum, mesometanotal suture weakest. Femora and tibiae moderately inflated; posterior edge of hind coxa raised but not lamellate; pretarsal claws each with a single median tooth. Petiole trapezoidal in dorsal view, broader behind than in front, with a distinct ribbed transverse anterior carina; lateral borders strongly angled at about 60 degrees, but not carinate; profile as in Figure. Sides of postpetiole slightly convergent posteriorly in dorsal view. Pygidial spines reduced to a single minute pair on each side, at the extreme apex.

Mandibles smooth and shining, with a few minute piligerous punctures. Entire body strongly shining, virtually lacking sculpturation except for scattered minute piligerous punctures, and some effaced longitudinal rugosity along the sides of the pronotal dorsum and on the metepisternum, which is in part coarsely punctate-rugose. Pilosity reduced. A few moderately long suberect to reclinate hairs on mandibles, clypeus and underside of head, propleurae, coxae, and undersides of petiole and gaster; hairs most abundant on the propleurae and coxae, and on the petiolar sternite where they form a peculiar brush-like series behind the subpetiolar process. Single, slightly longer erect hairs in the following positions: at the midlength of each frontal carina, above eyes, on pronotal humeri, on the anterior half of the sides of the node (2 pairs) and the anterodorsal corners of the postpetiole. Similar, but slightly less erect hairs increasingly long and abundant towards the gastric apex, which is surrounded by very long arched hairs. Pubescence virtually absent. Color very dark brown, almost black, the following areas weakly infuscated with reddish brown: mandibles and front of head, anterior parts of each gastric tergite, gastric apex and legs, especially the tibiae and tarsi; antennae medium dull reddish brown.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - Holotype worker, New Guinea: Hollandia-Binnen, 100 m., 1.xi.1958 (J.L. Gressitt) (Bernice P. Bishop Museum) [not seen].

Etymology

Named for the collector of the type, J.L. Gressitt.

References

  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2012. Taxonomy of the cerapachyine ant genera Simopone Forel, Vicinopone gen. n. and Tanipone gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 3283, 1–101.
  • Taylor, R. W. 1965a. New Melanesian ants of the genera Simopone and Amblyopone (Hymenoptera-Formicidae) of zoogeographic significance. Breviora 221: 1-11 (page 3, figs. 1, 2 worker described)