Syllophopsis sechellensis

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Syllophopsis sechellensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Syllophopsis
Species: S. sechellensis
Binomial name
Syllophopsis sechellensis
(Emery, 1894)

Monomorium sechellense casent0008631 profile 1.jpg

Monomorium sechellense casent0008631 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Sifted litter has been the most effective collection method for individual workers of S. sechellense, though one small nest series was taken from a rotten log. The species is found in dry tropical forest and gallery forest habitats in Antsiranana, Mahajanga and Toliara Provinces. (Heterick 2006)

Identification

Heterick (2006) - The designation of the lectotype fixes the name of this widespread taxon, whose populations vary chiefly in the degree of cephalic punctation. Its sculptured mesopleuron immediately enables the Monomorium sechellense worker to be distinguished from the worker of Syllophopsis cryptobia and Syllophopsis modesta. Queens are larger, darker and more heavily sculptured than those of S. cryptobium.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Outside of Madagascar, this species has a wide distribution in the Indo-Pacific region (e.g., Bolton 1987; Wetterer 2002) and probably also occurs in Australia (Heterick 2001).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Comoros, Saint Helena.
Australasian Region: Australia.
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Fiji, Guam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Guinea, Northern Mariana Islands, Samoa, Tonga.
Malagasy Region: Seychelles (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Barbados.
Oriental Region: Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: Japan.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Syllophopsis sechellensis for further details

Biology

Castes

Worker

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • sechellensis. Monomorium fossulatum subsp. sechellense Emery, 1894a: 69, fig. (w.q.) SEYCHELLES IS. Combination in Syllophopsis: Ward et al., 2014: 13. Synonym of fossulatum: Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 64 [fossulatum is given as senior name, but sechellensis has priority: Bolton, 1995b: 266].
  • fossulatum. Monomorium fossulatum Emery, 1895k: 465 (w.q.) MYANMAR. Synonym of sechellense: Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 64 [fossulatum is given as senior name, but sechellensis has priority and hence is the valid name for this taxon: Bolton, 1995b: 266].

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

Description

Worker

Heterick (2006) - Lectotype: HML 1.12 HL 0.41 HW 0.34 CeI 83 SL 0.31 SI 91 PW 0.23. Non-types: HML 1.07–1.24 HL 0.40–0.45 HW 0.33–0.36 CeI 78–84 SL 0.31–0.35 SI 94–100 PW 0.22–0.25 (n=20).

HEAD: Head rectangular; vertex planar or weakly concave; frons shining and smooth except for piliferous pits; pilosity of frons a mixture of incurved, semi-erect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae. Eye minute, eyes consisting of one or two ommatidia only; (in full-face view) eyes set at about midpoint of head capsule; (viewed in profile) eyes set posteriad of midline of head capsule. Antennal segments 12; antennal club three-segmented. Clypeal carinae always weakly defined; anteromedian clypeal margin straight between strongly divergent clypeal carinae, clypeus descending almost vertically to horizontal arc of mandibles and sometimes transversely carinate below level of antennal insertions; paraclypeal setae moderately long and fine, curved; posteromedian clypeal margin extending slightly beyond level of posterior margin of antennal fossae. Anterior tentorial pits situated nearer mandibular insertions than antennal fossae. Frontal lobes sinuate, divergent posteriad. Psammophore absent. Palp formula 2,2. Mandibular teeth four; mandibles linear-triangular and smooth (except for piliferous pits); masticatory margin of mandibles strongly oblique; basal tooth approximately same size as t3 (four teeth present).

MESOSOMA: Promesonotum shining and smooth on dorsum, lower mesopleuron strongly punctate; (viewed in profile) anterior promesonotum smoothly rounded, thereafter more-or-less flattened, promesonotum on same plane as propodeum; promesonotal setae greater than twelve; standing promesonotal setae a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer, erect and semi-erect setae which are curved distally and often paired, interspersed with much shorter, incurved, decumbent setae; appressed promesonotal setulae few, mainly on sides of promesonotum. Metanotal groove strongly impressed, with distinct transverse costulae. Propodeum shining, dorsum and sides of propodeum mainly smooth, with weak to strong striolae on declivitous face, metapleuron also with weak to strong striolae; propodeal dorsum flat throughout most of its length; propodeum distinctly angulate, propodeal angles produced as short denticles; length ratio of propodeal dorsum to its declivity about 1:1; standing propodeal setae consisting of one prominent pair anteriad, with a few to many erect to decumbent setae on/around dorsal and declivitous faces of propodeum; appressed propodeal setulae very sparse or absent; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove and declivitous face of propodeum. Vestibule of propodeal spiracle absent or not visible. Propodeal lobes present as vestigial flanges or small strips of cuticle only.

PETIOLE AND POSTPETIOLE: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated slightly anteriad of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) conical, vertex rounded; appearance of node shining and smooth throughout; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 4:3; anteroventral petiolar process absent or vestigial; ventral petiolar lobe absent; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole between 4:3 and 1:1; height–length ratio of postpetiole between 4:3 and 1:1; postpetiole shining and smooth; postpetiolar sternite without anterior lip or carina, or this structure vestigial.

GASTER: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of a mixture of incurved, semi-erect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae.

GENERAL CHARACTERS: Color pale, depigmented yellow. Worker caste monomorphic.

Queen

Heterick (2006) - HML 1.68–1.78 HL 0.48–0.51 HW 0.45–0.46 CeI 90–96 SL 0.42–0.43 SI 91–93 PW 0.41–0.43 (n=9).

HEAD: Head square; vertex weakly concave or planar; frons shining and finely longitudinally striolate and microreticulate; pilosity of frons a mixture of incurved, semierect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae. Eye elliptical, curvature of inner eye margin may be more pronounced than that of its outer margin; (in full-face view) eyes set at about midpoint of head capsule; (viewed in profile) eyes set posteriad of midline of head capsule.

MESOSOMA: Mesoscutum broadly convex anteriad, convexity reduced posteriad; pronotum, especially, also mesoscutum and mesopleuron shining with scattered punctation, otherwise smooth; length–width ratio of mesoscutum and scutellum combined between 2:1 and 3:2; axillae separated by width of at least one axilla; standing pronotal/mesoscutal setae a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer, erect and semi-erect setae which are curved distally, interspersed with much shorter, incurved, decumbent setae; appressed pronotal, mescoscutal and mesopleural setulae very sparse or absent; propodeum shining, uniformly weakly striolate; propodeum distinctly angulate, propodeal angle sharp; propodeal dorsum sloping posteriad, and depressed between raised propodeal angles; standing propodeal setae consisting of up to a dozen or more longer erect and shorter sub-erect setae; appressed propodeal setulae very sparse or absent; propodeal spiracle nearer metanotal groove than declivitous face of propodeum; propodeal lobes present as well-developed, rounded flanges.

WING: Wing not seen (queens dealated).

PETIOLE AND POSTPETIOLE: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated well anteriad of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) cuneate, vertex tapered; appearance of node shining and microreticulate; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 4:3; anteroventral petiolar process absent or vestigial; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole about 1:1; height–length ratio of postpetiole about 4:3; postpetiole shining and microreticulate; postpetiolar sternite depressed at about its center, with anterior process developed as a short, conspicuous spur angled at 45–90.

GASTER: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of a mixture of incurved, erect and semi-erect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae.

GENERAL CHARACTERS: Color brown. Brachypterous alates not seen. Ergatoid or worker-female intercastes not seen.

Type Material

Heterick (2006) - Lectotype: worker, Seychelles, Marianne, C. Alluaud, 1892 (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa). Paralectotype: worker, same data as above (MCSN). (Carded specimen removed from same pin as lectotype above and repinned, together with new labels.)

References

  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 266, fossulatum is given as senior name, but sechellense has priority)
  • Emery, C. 1894b. Mission scientifique de M. Ch. Alluaud aux îles Séchelles (mars, avril, mai 1892). 2e mémoire. Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 63: 67-72 (page 69, fig. worker, queen described)
  • Heterick, B.E. 2006. A revision of the Malagasy ants belonging to genus Monomorium Mayr, 1855. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences. 57:69-202. PDF
  • Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. 2014. The evolution of myrmicine ants: phylogeny and biogeography of a hyperdiverse ant clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Systematic Entomology, DOI: 10.1111/syen.12090.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922k. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 4 45: 1005-1055 (see also)
  • Wilson, E. O.; Taylor, R. W. 1967b. The ants of Polynesia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pac. Insects Monogr. 14: 1-109 (page 64, Synonym of fossulatum (fossulatum is given as senior name, but sechellense has priority.)