Aenictus punctatus

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Aenictus punctatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. punctatus
Binomial name
Aenictus punctatus
Jaitrong & Yamane, 2012

Aenictus punctatus casent0903683 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus punctatus casent0903683 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Aenictus punctatus is distributed on Borneo and Java. All of the materials of this species examined were collected from lowland rainforests. A colony from Sarawak was collected from rotten wood in September 1993. A colony from Lambir National Park was collected at night. (Jaitrong & Yamane 2012)

Identification

This species is closely related to Aenictus philippinensis. See under A. philippinensis for details.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and E. Kalimantan) and Java

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Brunei Darussalam (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of Aenictus punctatus. The genus is comprised of species that live an army ant lifestyle. Aenictus typically prey on other ants, from other genera, or other insects such as wasps or termites. There are reports of Aenictus preying on other insects as well and even have been observed collecting honeydew from homopterans (Santschi, 1933; Gotwald, 1995) but this appears, at least from available evidence, to be uncommon. Foraging raids can occur day or night across the ground surface. Occasionally raids are arboreal. During a raid numerous workers attack a single nest or small area, with several workers coordinating their efforts to carry large prey items back to the nest or bivouac. Aenictus have a nomadic life style, alternating between a migratory phase in which nests are temporary bivouacs in sheltered places above the ground and a stationary phase where semi-permanent underground nests are formed. During the nomadic phase bivouacs move regularly, sometimes more than once a day when larvae require large amounts of food. Individual nests usually contain up to several thousand workers, although nest fragments containing only a few hundred workers are often encountered. Queens are highly specialised and look less like workers than in most ant species. They have greatly enlarged gasters (dichthadiform) and remain flightless throughout their life. New colonies are formed by the division of existing colonies (fission) rather than by individual queens starting colonies on their own.

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.

  • punctatus. Aenictus punctatus Jaitrong & Yamane, 2012: 72, figs. 10, 12 (w.) BRUNEI.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype: TL 4.50 mm; HL 0.98 mm; HW 0.85 mm; SL 0.70 mm; ML 1.38 mm; PL 0.33 mm; CI 87; SI 82.

Paratypes (n = 9): TL 4.30-4.40 mm; HL 0.95-0.98 mm; HW 0.83-0.85 mm; SL 0.68-0.73 mm; ML 1.33-1.35 mm; PL 0.28-0.30 mm; CI 87; SI 82-85.

Head in full-face view elliptical, clearly longer than broad, with sides convex and posterior margin almost straight or weakly convex; occipital margin forming a distinct carina; seen in profile occipital corner of head rounded. Antennal scape relatively long, extending 3/4 of head length; antennal segment II almost as long as each of III-VI; terminal segment slightly shorter than VII+VIII+IX. Frontal carinae short fused at the level of antennal base to form a single carina and slightly extending beyond 1/4 of head length, poorly developed in posterior half. Parafrontal ridge short, extending less than 1/3 of head length, 0.30-0.33 mm long. Masticatory margin of mandible with a series of 6-7 denticles of same size; basal margin of mandible lacking denticles. Mesosoma in profile with promesonotum convex dorsally and sloping gradually to metanotal groove; metanotal groove indistinct compared with those of the other members of the group; mesonotum demarcated from mesopleuron by a conspicuous ridge. Propodeum almost flat or weakly convex dorsally; declivity of propodeum shallowly concave, encircled with a developed rim; seen in profile dorsal portion of the rim protruding posteriad. Petiole subsessile, slightly longer than high, its dorsal outline elevated posteriorlly; subpetiolar process very low, its ventral outline weakly convex; postpetiole longer and larger than petiole and slightly longer than high, with its dorsal outline convex. Legs relatively long with apical halves of femora and tibiae somewhat swollen.

Head entirely finely punctate; mandible very finely striate except along masticatory margin; antennal scape finely punctate. Pronotum entirely punctate; mesopleuron, metapleuron and lateral face of propodeum punctate; dorsal face of propodeum finely punctate. Petiole entirely punctate; postpetiole punctate with weakly sculptured and shiny anterior slope of node. Basal half of femora densely punctate but apical half superficially macroreticulate and shiny; tibiae macroreticulate and shiny.

Head and mesosoma dorsally with sparse standing hairs mixed with very short hairs; longest pronotal hair 0.25-0.28 mm long. Entire body dark reddish brown. Typhlatta spots absent.

Type Material

Holotype from Brunei, Tasek Merimbun, 13.II.1999, K. Eguchi leg. Eg99- BOR-078 (SKY Collection). Nineteen paratype workers, same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, SKY Collection, Natural History Museum of the National Science Museum).

Etymology

The species epithet “punctatus” is a Latin word meaning punctate. This refers to the finely punctate head of this species, while the head is reticulate or smooth and shiny in the other species of the Aenictus philippinensis group.

References

  • Jaitrong, W. & Yamane, S. (2012) Review of the Southeast Asian species of the Aenictus javanus and Aenictus philippinensis species groups (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Aenictinae). ZooKeys 193: 49–78, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.193.2768.