Crematogaster tavaratra

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Crematogaster tavaratra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. tavaratra
Binomial name
Crematogaster tavaratra
Blaimer, 2013

Crematogaster tavaratra casent0436456 p 1 high.jpg

Crematogaster tavaratra casent0436456 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Crematogaster tavaratra is known only from two dry deciduous forests in the very far north of Madagascar, Reserve Analamerana and Foret d’Orangea, at elevations between 602225 m.This species co-occurs with Crematogaster kelleri at the first locality. Colony collections of C. tavaratra were made from dead branches and suggest that this species nests arboreally. (Blaimer and Fisher 2013)

Identification

A member of the Crematogaster kelleri group. Blaimer and Fisher (2013) - Workers of Crematogaster tavaratra can be separated from Crematogaster kelleri by the distinct longitudinal impression on the postpetiole (incomplete in the latter). The species does not co-occur with any of the other species (Crematogaster madagascariensis, Crematogaster hazolava, Crematogaster hafahafa) in the C. kelleri-group, but could not otherwise be confused given the distinctly longer propodeal spines and the position of the propodeal spiracle below and not confluent with the spine base. Queens of C. tavaratra can be separated easily from other (known) queens of the C. kelleri-group by their distinct longer spines (SPI 0.09–0.10; compared to C. kelleri and C. hazolava SPI 0.00–0.07).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • tavaratra. Crematogaster tavaratra Blaimer, 2013: 23, figs. 28, 29 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(n =13) [holotype]. HW 0.83–1.03 [0.96]; HL 0.73–0.93 [0.86]; EL 0.15–0.22 [0.20]; SL 0.70–0.83 [0.78]; WL 0.90–1.12 [1.07]; SPL 0.17–0.27 [0.23]; PTH 0.17–0.21 [0.21]; PTL 0.25–0.29 [0.28]; PTW 0.25–0.30 [0.29]; PPL 0.17–0.20 [0.17]; PPW 0.23–0.29 [0.29]; LHT 0.71–0.91[0.86]; CI 1.11–1.16 [1.11]; OI 0.19–0.25 [0.23]; SI 0.86–0.99 [0.90]; SPI 0.17–0.24 [0.21]; PTHI 0.60–0.85 [0.74]; PTWI 0.91–1.19 [1.02]; PPI 1.28–1.68 [1.67]; LBI 1.18–1.27 [1.24].

Small to medium-sized species (HW 0.83–1.03, WL 0.90–1.12), with general characters of the C. kelleri-group and the following refinements.

Masticatory margin of mandibles with five teeth; posterior margin of head in full face view laterally subangular, often medially slightly depressed; midline of eyes situated above midline of head in full face view.

Lateral borders of mesonotum subangulate, posterolateral denticles absent; promesonotum planar, posterior face of mesonotum sloping into metanotal groove at ca. 45u angle; propodeal spines medium-sized (SPI 0.17–0.24), spiniform, straight, moderately diverging in dorsal view; propodeal spiracle situated distinctly below and not confluent with base of propodeal spines; petiole suboval to moderately flared, dorsolateral not carinulate, but with minute posterolateral denticles bearing paired erect setae; subpetiolar process developed into an acute tooth; median postpetiolar impression deep, clearly bisecting postpetiole into two lobes.

Face with 8–14 erect, long, flexuous setae; promesonotum usually with eight to ten long, flexuous setae: four to six pronotal setae, and two lateral setae each on dorsal and posterior face of mesonotum; abdominal tergites and sternites four through seven with abundant long erect pilosity, and short appressed to decumbent pubescence throughout. Color either yellow or dirty-orange with abdominal segments four through seven brown or black colored, or uniformly brown.

Queen

(n= 5). HW 1.38–1.45, HL 1.18–1.25, EL 0.36–0.40, SL 0.87–0.95, MSNW 1.13–1.18, MSNL 1.24–1.30, WL 2.26–2.34, SPL 0.19–0.24, PTH 0.32–0.38, PTL 0.42–0.47, PTW 0.49–0.55, PPL 0.31–0.35, PPW 0.39–0.52, LHT 1.07–1.13, CI 1.11–1.20, OI 0.30–0.32, SI 0.72–0.77, MSNI 0.87–0.96, SPI 0.09–0.10, PTHI 0.67–0.86, PTWI 1.03–1.31, PPI 1.13–1.61, LBI 2.06–2.16.

Medium size (HW 1.38–1.45, WL 2.26–2.34), with characters of the C. kelleri-group in addition to the following.

Masticatory margin of mandibles with five teeth; antennal scapes reaching or slightly surpassing head margin; eyes situated at midline of head in full face view.

Metanotum projecting from below scutellum in dorsal and lateral view; propodeal spines longer and spiniform (SPI 0.09–0.10).

Male

(n =1). HW 0.63, HL 0.46, EL 0.26, SL 0.11, MSNW 0.77, MSNL 0.69, WL 1.18, SPL 0.00,PTH 0.19, PTL 0.21, PTW 0.21, PPL 0.16, PPW 0.21, LHT 0.65, CI 1.35, OI 0.56, SI 0.23, MSNI 1.11, SPI 0.00, PTHI 0.89, PTWI 1.00, PPI 1.33, LBI 1.82.

Medium body size (HW 0.63, WL 1.18). Masticatory margin of mandibles with two to three teeth (in the single specimen examined right mandible with three teeth, left mandible with two teeth); antennae with second and third funicular segments longer than wide, and sixth to eleventh funicular segments distinctly wider than second to fifth segments; in full face view ocellar triangle situated below posterior head margin and not elevated with respect to rest of face; occipital carinae very distinct, forming a thin flange that projects backwards.

Mesoscutum in dorsal view oval; scutellum in dorsal view laterally pinched, tapering greatly from anterior to posterior end, dorsoposterior part truncate; mesonotum short, with median carinae; dorsal face of propodeum very short; propodeal spines absent.

Head sculpture rugulose around eyes and ocelli; face with two short erect setae and very sparse suberect pubescence; mesoscutum with scattered short erect pilosity. Color as in worker and queen, with head darker.

Type Material

MADAGASCAR: Antsiranana: Foret Orangea: -12.25889, 49.37467, 90 m, littoral forest. Holotype worker: pinned, CASENT0436456, BLF03207, ex dead twig above ground [imaged on Antweb]; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Antsiranana, Foreˆt Orangea, 3.6 km 128u SE Remena 90 m, 12u169S 49u229E, 22–28.ii.2001, Fisher et al., BLF3207; deposited at California Academy of Sciences. Four paratype workers, pinned, same collection and locality data as holotype. #1: CASENT0317674, deposited at South African Museum; #2: CASENT0317675, deposited at Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève. #3: CASENT0317676, deposited at Museum of Comparative Zoology. #4: CASENT0317677, deposited at University of California, Davis.

Etymology

This species is named after its extreme restriction to northern Madagascar: ‘‘tavaratra’’ is Malagasy for ‘‘those from the north’’. This name should be treated as noun in apposition.

References

  • Blaimer, B.B. & Fisher, B.L. 2013. How much variation can one ant species hold? Species delimitation in the Crematogaster kelleri-group in Madagascar. PLoS ONE 8(7): e68082 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068082).