Discothyrea gaia

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Discothyrea gaia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Discothyrea
Species group: traegaordhi
Species: D. gaia
Binomial name
Discothyrea gaia
Hita-Garcia & Lieberman, 2019

D gaia hal.jpg

D gaia had.jpg

Discothyrea gaia is known only from the type locality in eastern Zimbabwe. Based on the location of the collecting site, it appears that it was collected in savannah or woodland.


The following character combination distinguishes D. gaia from the remainder of the complex:

  • moderately thick petiole (DPeI 192–255; LPeI 194–264)
  • comparatively shorter legs (HFI 54–58)
  • mesotibia with distinct apicoventral spur
  • abundant, short and fine appressed pubescence more or less evenly distributed over entire body

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -19.8149° to -19.8149°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Zimbabwe (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Economo-header (arilab.unit.oist.jp).png  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Discothyrea gaia (worker) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.


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

  • gaia. Discothyrea gaia Hita Garcia & Lieberman, in Hita Garcia, Lieberman, et al. 2019: 43, figs. 4H, 6H-12H, 13A, 14H, 33, 34 (w.) ZIMBABWE.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 6 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype Zimbabwe: Manicaland, Melsetter, Umtali (= Mutare), -19.8, 32.86667, 1700 m., ANTC42123, ii.1969 (R. Mussard); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: BMNH (holotype); BMNH, CASC, MCZC, MHNG, SAMC (paratypes).
    • Distribution: Zimbabwe.


Head clearly longer than broad (CI 79–84), subrectangular; posterior head margin straight, posterodorsal corners of head rounded. In frontal view, sides of head subparallel; eyes relatively large (OI 7–9), round, usually with several distinct ommatidia, situated almost halfway between anterolateral corner of gena and posterior head margin; eyes just visible in frontal view; frontal lamella in profile quite low, broadly triangular to lobate, apex convex to subacute; lamella slightly translucent, evenly so across its disc, without basal fenestra; medial clypeus gently to distinctly convex, prolonged anteromedially, lateral clypeus curving broadly between antennal sockets and anterolateral corners of head, bearing short curved setae. Antenna with moderately long scape (SI 54–60), scape moderately incrassate, gently bent; pedicel campaniform, longer than broad; true antennomere count eight; apparent antennomere count eight to eleven, flagellomeres basad apical club highly compressed, taken together only slightly longer than apical club. Ventral head with moderately developed postoccipital ridge, without or with very short anteromedian carina; medial region of hypostoma rounded-triangular, arms strongly narrowed, similar in width across their length; palpal formula not examined. Mandible edentate; basal angle round to somewhat truncate confluent with prebasal median irregularly shaped carina running halfway of masticatory margin; ectal face with longitudinal carina confluent with masticatory margin for most of its length, leaving a narrow comma-shaped depressed region including basal angle.

Mesosoma gently sloping posteroventrally, pronotum slightly higher than propodeum; in dorsal view mesosoma conspicuously slender and elongate (DMI 50–53; DMI2 67–76) with concave sides, pronotum wider than propodeum and narrowest point of mesosoma around midpoint; pronotal humeri rounded; posterior propodeal margin straight; posterodorsal corners of propodeum rounded; declivitous face of propodeum very weakly concave in profile and oblique posterior view; propodeal spiracle inconspicuous, directed posterolaterally; propodeal lobes well-developed, lobate.

Legs short (HFI 55–56); mesotibia with apicoventral spur; mesobasitarsus relatively short, about as long as tarsomeres II–IV taken together.

Petiolar node thick, scarcely attenuated dorsally, about 1.9 to 2.6 times higher than broad (LPeI 194–264); in profile anterior face of node subvertical to shallowly sloping posterodorsally, apex thickly rounded to truncate, posterior face shallowly sloping posteroventrally; in dorsal view, petiole rectangular, sides divergent posteriorly, about 1.9 to 2.5 times broader than long (DPeI 192–255); in anterior view, petiolar outline roughly disciform, dorsum broadly rounded, angles not distinct; in oblique anterior view, anterior face flat; in ventral view, roughly trapezoidal, sides divering posteriorly; subpetiolar process variable in shape, lobate to subrectangular, in general fairly short, apex broadly rounded to flat; petiolar spiracles elliptical to reniform in ventral view.

Abdominal segment 3 campaniform, widest point of tergite just anterad end of segment; AS3 deepest around its midpoint in profile, lacking distinct medial ridge or lobe; AS3 without carinate prora, but still with anterior face distinctly depressed, anterior margin of ventral face weakly concave in ventral view; AT4 between 1.1 and 1.3 times longer than AT3 (ASI 112–125); AT4 hemidemispherical; AS4 with moderately well-developed anterior lip, overlapping around the median one-third of AS3, anterior margin convex in ventral view; successive abdominal segments short, telescopic, often concealed.

Sculpture generally reduced; head, petiole, mesosomal dorsum, abdominal segment 3 shallowly punctulate-reticulate, gena somewhat more coarsely punctate; lateral mesosoma and declivitous face of propodeum becoming weakly rugulose to substrigulate, particularly on lower surfaces; mandible rather roughly sculptured with piligerous punctulae; AT4 somewhat shinier than AT3, mostly smooth but with numerous minute piligerous punctulae.

Setation consisting of abundant but short and fine appressed pubescence more or less evenly distributed over entire body; petiolar node, AT3 and AT4 with variably developed layer of standing pilosity, sometimes predominantly decumbent with a few scattered erect setae, at other times numerous short erect setae present; successive abdominal segments with dense, distinctly longer, standing pilosity; ectal face of mandible with abundant, curved, appressed to decumbent setae; masticatory margin with row of straight setae inserted on mesal face.

Color uniformly dull testaceous orange to matte sandy brown, head sometimes slightly darker.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Hita-Garcia F., Z. Lieberman, T. L. Audisio, C. Liu, and E. P. Economo. 2019. Revision of the highly specialized ant genus Discothyrea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropics with X-ray microtomography and 3D cybertaxonomy. Insect Systematics and Diversity 3(6): 5:1-84.