Centromyrmex fugator

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Centromyrmex fugator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Centromyrmex
Species: C. fugator
Binomial name
Centromyrmex fugator
Bolton & Fisher, 2008

Centromyrmex fugator casent0178747 profile 1.jpg

Centromyrmex fugator casent0178747 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Centromyrmex fugator.

Identification

A member of the feae species group. Closely resembling Centromyrmex praedator but smaller and with different mandibular morphology. The two collection localities are very far apart and probably have very different ecologies, but there is no doubt that only a single species is represented.(Bolton and Fisher 2008)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), South Africa.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

All of the species in the genus appear to be termitophagous and all are superbly adapted to this specialised predatory life style. Observations of some species have found them to be rather helpless when placed in an exposed, open situation. Weber described what happened when he found a worker “just beneath the soil surface under a thin cover of dead leaves”. The ant was “completely helpless when exposed to the daylight and writhed about when placed on the ground or in my palm. It made no attempt to run away, curling and uncurling without stinging, though it had a long, stout sting”. In other words, it seemed unable to walk when removed from its specialised habitat and placed on a surface where it could not use its specialised legs. If not discovered within a termite nest, individuals are occasionally found in the top soil or the root-mat below the leaf litter layer, where their short, powerful, spiny legs facilitate their movement. (Weber 1949, Bolton and Fisher 2008).

Castes

Males of this species have not been collected.

Nomenclature

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

  • fugator. Centromyrmex fugator Bolton & Fisher, 2008c: 18, figs. 15, 16 (w.q.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.

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 4.7, HL 0.78, HW 0.73, CI 94, ML 0.56, MI 72, SL 0.50, SI 68, PW 0.58, WL 1.30.

With characters of the genus and the feae group. Head capsule in full-face view longer than broad, the sides extremely shallowly convex, almost straight and feebly converging anteriorly. Mandibles smooth with scattered small punctures. Masticatory margin of mandible with about 10 very small, inconspicuous low, broad teeth, the basal tooth discernible. Proximal of the basal tooth the basal margin is shallowly concave and almost as long as the masticatory margin. Dorsum of head with scattered punctures on smooth cuticle; on sides of head the punctures no denser than on dorsum; there are also some vestigial remnants of punctulate to striolate sculpture within the antennal fossae and anteriorly on the sides. Anterior margination of pronotum blunt, not a sharply defined rim; sides of pronotum not marginate. Dorsal surface of metatibia with 3–4 spiniform setae near the apex, without others located more proximally on the dorsum. Anterior surface of metatibia with 4–5 spiniform setae, all located near the apex. Petiole node in dorsal view longer than broad, the node narrow anteriorly and becoming broader posteriorly. Pronotal dorsum with coarse shallow punctures and low, transversely arched, shallow broad rugulae. Mesonotal dorsum mostly smooth, with a few widely scattered small punctures. Colour yellow to light brownish yellow.

Paratype and non-paratypic. TL 4.7-4.8, HL 0.80-0.84, HW 0.77-0.78, CI 93-96, ML 0.58-0.62, MI 73-74, SL 0.52-0.54, SI 68-69, PW 0.60, WL 1.36 (2 measured). Paratype as holotype but the non-paratypic worker with mandibular teeth very reduced, almost effaced, although the small basal tooth remains clearly visible. Sides of head in full-face view are somewhat more convex and converge both anteriorly and posteriorly.

Queen

TL 5.1, HL 0.81, HW 0.78, CI 96, OI 22, ML 0.64, MI 79, SL 0.54, SI 69, PW 0.65, WL 1.48. With the characteristic mandibular form of the worker and also with the petiole node distinctly longer than broad in dorsal view. The mesoscutum of the queen is much more coarsely and densely punctate than in the worker.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire on data label): Kinshasa, 4.ii.1985 (A. Dejean) (The Natural History Museum).

Paratype, 1 worker with same data as holotype (California Academy of Sciences).

References

  • Bolton, B. and B. L. Fisher. 2008c. Afrotropical ants of the ponerine genera Centromyrmex Mayr, Promyopias Santschi gen. rev. and Feroponera gen. n., with a revised key to genera of African Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1929: 1-37. PDF