Agraulomyrmex wilsoni

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Agraulomyrmex wilsoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Agraulomyrmex
Species: A. wilsoni
Binomial name
Agraulomyrmex wilsoni
Prins, 1983

Prins (1983) noted there were "more repletes present" in the type collection (in comparison with the Agraulomyrmex meridionalis type material). South African material has been collected from a grassland pitfall trap in the Pretoria Botanical Garden. This is all that is known about the biology of Agraulomyrmex wilsoni.

Identification

Smaller than Agraulomyrmex meridionalis and lighter in color. The generic diagnosis for this group (Prins 1983), with just these two species - Small ants with ten-segmented antennae, flagella incrassate towards apices without distinct club; first and last segments of flagella longer than wide, the remaining segments as long as or wider than long. Mandibles triangular with four to six teeth; frontal carinae short, antenna! fossae situated close to posterior border of clypeus. Eyes large, placed in front of middle of sides of head; ocelli absent. Maxillary palpi five- to six-segmented, labial palp three- to foursegmented. Labrum bilobed, widely and shallowly emarginate in middle. Frontal area clearly indicated.

Alitrunk with promesonotal and mesonotal-propodeal sutures well developed, mesometanotal suture absent; propodeum rounded from front to back, unarmed. Petiole with very small or rudimentary scale overhung by base of abdomen. Legs moderately long.

Although the ten-segmented antennae point to a myrmelachistine relationship, these ants share characters with the plagiolepidines, viz. the absence of a distinct antennal club, the structure and form of the alitrunk (the absence of a distinct metanotum as in certain members such as the genus Acropyga), as well as the structure of the asepalous proventriculus. The new genus is therefore included in the tribe Plagiolepidini.

Workers of these ants bear a close resemblance to those of the genus Acropyga (Prins 1982); however, they are much smaller and darker in colour, and the eyes are much larger. In members of Acropyga the eyes are very small, consisting of only a few facets. The petiolar scale is also much more reduced than in Acropyga.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa, Zimbabwe (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

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Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • wilsoni. Agraulomyrmex wilsoni Prins, 1983: 5, fig. 2 (w.q.) ZIMBABWE.

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

Description

Worker

TL 1,5-1,90 mm; L 0,66-0,7 mm; HL 0,34 mm; ED 0,20-0,21 mm; CL 0,05-0,06 mm; FL 0,28-0,29 mm; SL 0,20-0,21 mm; WL 0,34 mm; MFL 0,14 mm; HFL 0,18 mm; PL 0,07-0,08 mm; CI 88,2-94,1; FI 68,9-75,0; Sl65,6-73,3; CLI 336,7-440,0; TI 57,8; Pl87,5-114,3; HFI 52,9.

Brown; antennae, mandibles, legs and mesonotum paler in colour, almost brownish white in some individuals; eyes black. Fairly shiny all over. Finely sculptured with piliferous punctures as in Agraulomyrmex meridionalis, giving integument an almost fine reticulate or reticulate-punctate appearance; in some specimens head somewhat duller than in A. meridionalis. Pubescence and pilosity as in A. meridionalis.

Head quadrate in dorsal view, about one-sixth (or slightly more) longer than wide and three-eighths wider than pronotum, sides and hind margin almost straight. Clypeus and mandibles as in Agraulomyrmex meridionalis, latter with four sharp teeth. Scapes slightly more than three-quarters as long as head (dorsal view mandibles excluded) and falling short of hind margin by about one-fourth of their length; flagellum about one-half longer than scape; the first segment as long as second to fourth taken together; apical one about as long as four preceding ones taken together; remaining segments as wide as or wider than long. Eyes about one-fourth the length of the head (dorsal view-excluding mandibles) and situated in front of middle of sides. Maxillary palp five-segmented, labial palp three-segmented.

Alitrunk as in A. meridionalis, about three-eighths longer than wide over pronotum, sutures clearly indicated. Scale of petiole much more reduced, about as long as wide and about as high as long or slightly higher; seen from behind almost as in A. meridianalis. Otherwise as in latter species.

Queen

Prins 1983. Figure 3.

Somewhat damaged, both flagella broken off.

TL 3,60 mm; L 1,48 mm; HL 0,48 mm; ED 0,32 mm; LO 0,26 mm; OD 0,13 mm; CL 0,09 mm; FL 0,39 mm; SL 0,34 mm; WL 0,94 mm; MFL 0,26 mm; HFL 0,41 mm; PL 0,12 mm; CI 91,7; Fl 82,1; SI 77,3; CLI 377,8; Tl53,2; PI 133,3; HFI 43,6.

Brown, legs, antennae and mandibles paler in colour, eyes black, moderately shiny. Finely and superficially punctate or reticulate-punctate, especially on legs and antennae. Pubescence and pilosity as in worker, except for some pilose hairs on scutellum.

Head quadrate in dorsal view, nearly one-sixth longer than wide, and slightly narrower than truncus; sides and hind margin almost straight. Frontal carinae, fontal area, mandibles, and clypeus as in worker. Eyes large, occupying about one-fourth the length of the head (dorsal view-mandibles excluded). Scapes about three fourths as long as head (dorsal view-mandibles excluded) and falling short of hind margin by about the length of the second segment of flagellum.

Alitrunk slightly less than twice as long as wide, parapsidal furrows indicated, scutellum one-fourth the length of the scutum; seen from above alitrunk appears oval in outline; in profile propodeum slopes down fairly steeply towards junction of petiole. Latter with almost obsolete scale which is slightly wider than long and about one-fourth higher than wide. Abdomen in specimen examined nearly twice as long as head and alitrunk taken together, oval at base. Legs moderately long, femora somewhat swollen.

These ants are much smaller than A. meridionalis, much paler in colour, and more repletes were present.

Type Material

Holotype. 1 worker, Gwebi, Zimbabwe (l7°40'S 30°40'E), collected by K. J. Wilson December 1972, South African Museum specimen. Paratypes. 1 queen, 7 workers, as above, South African Museum specimens.

Etymology

This species has been named after Dr K. J. Wilson of the Ministry of Agriculture, Harare, Zimbabwe (formerly Salisbury, Rhodesia), who collected the sample.

References