Discothyrea venus

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

D venus hal.jpg

D venus had.jpg

This species is patchily but widely distributed throughout Equatorial Africa. Currently, it is known from many localities in Ivory Coast and Ghana, some in Cameroon and Angola, and one in Western Uganda. With the exception of Kibale Forest in Uganda, which is situated at an elevation of around 1500 m, all other known localities are lowland rainforests ranging from 30 m to 650 m elevation. The highly disjunct distribution is likely due to a sampling bias, and we think it is highly probable that D. venus will also be found in more or even all countries of the Congo Basin.


Photo Gallery

  • A Discothyrea venus worker from Uganda. Photo by Alex Wild.

Identification

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

  • masticatory margin of mandible edentate
  • anterolateral corner of gena not denticulate/dentate
  • propodeum laterally and dorsally strongly concave posteriorly
  • metatibae without apicoventral spur
  • lower portion of declivitous face of propodeum transversely substrigulate
  • AT4 extremely enlarged, bulbous, and much longer than AT3 (ASI 158–183)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 7.65° to -7.3697°.

 
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Cameroun, Ghana, Ivory Coast (type locality), Uganda.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

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

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.

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

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.

Nomenclature

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

  • venus. Discothyrea venus Hita Garcia & Lieberman, in Hita Garcia, Lieberman, et al. 2019: 75, figs. 2C, 4S, 6S-12S, 14S, 56, 57 (w.) IVORY COAST, ANGOLA, CAMEROON, GHANA, UGANDA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 6 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype Ivory Coast: Abidjan, Banco Nat. Park (5.38694, -4.05275), ca 20 m., ANTC42125, 3.ii.1977, primary forest, dead trunk (I. Löbl); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: BMNH (holotype); BMNH, CASC, HLMD, MCZC, MHNG, SAMC (paratypes).
    • Distribution: Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Uganda.

Description

Head longer than broad (CI 80–84), posterior head margin slightly convex overall, with very weak impression medially; posterodorsal corners of head quite broadly rounded; in frontal view, sides of head convex; eyes absent or extremely minute (OI 0–3), a tiny pigmented spot situated about a third of the way between anterolateral corner of gena and posterior head margin, not visible in frontal view; frontal lamella lobate in profile, apex blunt to rounded; lamella with well-defined translucent basal fenestra; medial clypeus broad, convex, sides of medial clypeus subparallel laterad antennal sockets, lateral clypeus curving fairly strongly between antennal sockets and anteroalteral corners of head, entire clypeal margin bearing very short curved setae. Antenna with usually shorter scape (SI 48–55), scape moderately incrassate, gently bent; pedicel subglobose, width and length subequal or slightly broader than long; apparent antennomere count seven to eleven (usually seven to eight) but often not discernable and extremely difficult to count, flagellomeres basad apical club highly compressed, taken together only about as long as apical club. Ventral head with weakly sinuate preoccipital ridge with short but distinct anteromedial carina; median region of hypostoma rounded-triangular, arms distinctly narrowed, slightly spatulate apicolaterally; palpal formula not examined. Mandible edentate or with slight preapical swelling, without prebasal denticle; basal angle denticulate; ectal face with carina extending from base of basal denticle, becoming confluent with masticatory margin preapically, leaving narrow, comma-shaped depressed region.

Mesosoma gently convex in profile, pronotum slightly higher than propodeum; in dorsal view, mesosoma conspicuously thick, robust and stocky (DMI 59–66; DMI2 95–102), strongly narrowed posteriorly, pronotum much wider than propodeum; pronotal humeri rounded; posterior propodeal margin distinctly concave; posterodorsal corners of propodeum strongly angulate but lacking differentiated denticles; declivitous face of propodeum strongly concave in profile and oblique posterior view; propodeal spiracle directed posterolaterally, often relatively conspicuous due to small patch of shiny, polished sculpture offsetting spiracular opening from remainder of propodeum; propodeal lobes short, truncate.

Legs relatively long (HFI 63–74) and slender; mesotibia without apicoventral spur; mesobasitarsus relatively short, subequal in length to tarsomeres II–IV taken together.

Petiolar node moderately attenauted dorsally, about 2.3 to 3.0 times as high as long (LPeI 233–300); in profile, anterior face of node convex, apex peaked, posterior face sloping posteroventrally; in dorsal view, petiole subrectangular, sides diverging posteriorly, about 2.5 to 3.2 times as broad as long (DPeI 250–321); in anterior view, petiolar outline roughly pentagonal, edges poorly defined and angles rounded; in oblique anterior view, anterior face flat; subpetiolar process short, dentate, apex acute.

Abdominal segment 3 short, broadly campaniform, widest point just anterad end of segment; sternite more or less evenly convex in profile; AS3 without median ridge or lobe; prora finely carinulate, concave in ventral view; AT4 around 1.6 to 1.8 times as long as AT3 (ASI 158–183), AT4 bulbous, swollen hemidemispherical, or more elongate, shaped as quarter of prolate ellipsoid; AS4 with broad, well-developed anterior lip, overlapping most of the width of AS3, anterior margin concave in ventral view; successive abdominal segments short, telescopic, often concealed, projecting strongly anteriorly due to size and shape of AT4.

Sculpture in general shallow and somewhat indistinct; head, dorsal mesosoma, and petiole similarly and evenly punctate-reticulate, punctae often more pronounced on head than mesosoma; mandible fairly smooth except for small piligerous punctae; lateral mesosoma with punctae particularly indistinct, interspaces of punctae variably coalescent, forming weak rugulae; declivitous face of propodeum transversely substrigulate over around the ventral half; abdominal segment 3 weakly punctulate; AT4 with even finer piligerous punctulae.

Setation generally very fine and dilute, similar over all tagma and consisting entirely of short, appressed white pubescence; pubescence slightly longer on abdominal segment 3 and AT4, slightly reduced on lateral mesosoma; ectal face of mandible with moderately long, curved, appressed to decumbent setae; masticatory margin with row of short straight setae; scape and legs with similarly short, velvety pubescence; abdominal segments 5 to 7 with standing setae, quite long relative to setation on remainder of body (but rather short relative to that of segments 5 to 7 on most other Afrotropical species).

Color testaceous-orange, sometimes lightly infuscated on dorsal surfaces.

References

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.