Aphaenogaster finzii

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Aphaenogaster finzii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: pallida
Species: A. finzii
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster finzii
Müller, 1921

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Specimen Labels

Schifani & Alicata (2019) found workers of A. finzii at two localities in Italy, both northeast-facing slopes of hills characterized by a moist habitats of evergreen oaks, one an open patches in a Quercus ilex forest, among mossy stones, and the other in a Quercus suber forest. Borowiec et al. (2019) found this species to be nocturnal. In Greece, nests were observed under large stones in shaded coniferous and oak forests, between 600 and 840 m a.s.l.

Identification

A member of the Aphaenogaster pallida-group (Borowiec et al., 2019).

Schifani & Alicata (2019) - The original worker description of A. finzii (Müller 1921) and especially the following descriptions of its male and queen (Müller 1923) may be insufficient for the species identification. However, A. finzii is a remarkable species in its appearance, which should not be confused with most of the Italian congeneric species even at first glance when workers are observed. The combination of their very shiny aspect, long mesosoma hairs, mesosoma shape and body proportions (e.g. legs length, short scapes, relatively small eyes) immediately distinguish them as members of the A. pallida group (sensu Boer 2013). Müller (1921) emphasizes also a similarity to Aphaenogaster subterranea (Latreille, 1798), especially regarding the size and shape of the propodeal spines, but members of the A. subterranea group have a much deeper metanotal groove (Alicata & Schifani 2019) in addition to a usually more developed sculpture and shorter hairs on the mesosoma. Among the Italian representatives of the A. pallida group, A. finzii workers can be easily separated from Aphaenogaster pallida (Nylander, 1849), present in Sicily and Southern Italy, due to its lack of propodeal spines, and from Aphaenogaster dulciniae, only present in Liguria, due to their different mesosoma (including shorter spines) and head shape. The shape of mesosoma is an unreliable and misleading character for workers identification in some ant species (e.g. Camponotus lateralis (Olivier, 1792), see Seifert 2018) but proved to be one of the most reliable and easy characters in some recently revised species of Aphaenogaster Mayr, 1853 (Alicata & Schifani 2019). Aphaenogaster finzii workers are also distinguished by a larger size and significantly developed, usually horizontal, propodeal spines when compared to most of the similar species of the Balkans (Agosti and Collingwood 1978).

Borowiec et al. (2019) - Aphaenogaster finzii is very similar to Aphaenogaster radchenkoi and was recorded from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece (Peloponnese), NE Italy, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (Borowiec 2014). Both species are characterised by the presence of distinct propodeal spines. In A. finzii the spines are thorn-shaped, moderately large, with fairly wide bases and thin apices, while in A. radchenkoi they are claw-shaped, large with a very broad base. In order to clarify if these ants are vicariant species or merely represent geographical variation of a single widely distributed taxon, further research examining more samples from the southern Dinaric area and Western Balkan Peninsula are required.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia.


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.

  • finzii. Aphaenogaster pallida subsp. finzii Müller, 1921: 47 (w.) YUGOSLAVIA. Müller, 1923: 53 (q.m.). Raised to species: Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 53. See also: Finzi, 1930a: 153.

Description

References