Aenictus villiersi

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Aenictus villiersi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species group: decolor
Species: A. villiersi
Binomial name
Aenictus villiersi
Bernard, 1953

Aenictus villiersi casent0915327 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus villiersi casent0915327 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Identification

Aenictus villiersi fits the description of Aenictus batesi and Aenictus decolor, except for SIL considerably larger, the biggest of all the Afrotropical species (~100), subpetiolar process considerably smaller and shaped as a quarter of ellipse with its vertical side oriented forward, instead of subrectangular as in the other two sibling species. Petiole with dorsolateral ridges small but present, extending to the spiracle; in dorsal view forming a small flat platform differentiable from petiolar node (this character also present in some A. decolor samples). Also see discussion under Aenictus bidentatus.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Guinea (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

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Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.

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Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • villiersi. Aenictus villiersi Bernard, 1953b: 221, fig. 7Ev,Fv (w.) GUINEA.
    • Type-material: 4 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Guinea: NE Nimba, 700 m., ix.1946 (Villiers).
    • Type-depository: MNHN.
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Distribution: Guinea.

Type Material

  • Syntypes, GUINEA: forêt du Nimba nord est, 700 m. ix-1946 (Villiers) (4w) [EY9136, EY20210, EY20211, EY20212]. Material examined and remounted by Gomez (2022) on four different pins, EY9136 with original labels.

Description

Aenictus villiersi desc.jpg

Translated from the original description:

Length 3-3,2 mm. Head and thorax red, petiole, abdomen and appendixes dark yellow. Very smooth and shiny, except for the posterior two-thirds of the side of the thorax, which are matt, shagreened. Pilosity yellowish, not dense but very long, over the head and body. General aspect slender and convex, similar to Aenictus of the group eugenii-congolensis-mariae, but petiole and antennae are clearly distinct:

Antennae relatively thin. Second funicular segment length almost double than first and more than double of third. Thorax rather convex, sides of mesothorax and propodeum with strong longitudinal striae. In eugenii, petiolar segments angled in its dorsal face, shagreened or puntuated, both with a ventral anterior tooth and a posterior peduncule, cylindrical and puntuated. Villiersi with dorsal and ventral profile rounded, without teeth. The peduncule is striated, but the rest of petiole and postpetiole smooth. This type of petiole resembles A. mariae, austral species known from Cameroon, with the head smaller and the funicle shorter. A. mentu seems to belong to this group, from Imatong Mountains, with the petiole lower and slender

References