Lenomyrmex inusitatus

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lenomyrmex inusitatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Lenomyrmex
Species: L. inusitatus
Binomial name
Lenomyrmex inusitatus
(Fernández, 2001)

Delsinne & Fernandez 2011-2 Lenomyrmex-inusitatus hal.jpg

Delsinne & Fernandez 2011-2 Lenomyrmex-inusitatus had.jpg

Delsinne and Fernandez (2012) found more than 30 workers and two queens of L. inusitatus in a study site in Ecuador. The ants were collected from evergreen lower montane forest litter samples in an area near Podocarpus National Park at 1420m (Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador) in the Eastern Cordillera of the South-Ecuadorian Andes. The location is the first record of a Lenomyrmex from east of the Andes. They subsequently discovered two more workers and observed their behavior in a laboratory nest for six days.

Identification

Delsinne and Fernandez (2012) - The worker of Lenomyrmex inusitatus is distinguished from other Lenomyrmex workers by smooth and shiny mesosoma with well-developed propodeal spines and by the foveolate-striate sculpture covering all the dorsal surface of its head.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Ecuador.


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Delsinne and Fernandez (2012) - Lenomyrmex ants seem always locally rare and our collection of 34 workers (evergreen lower montane forest litter samples in an area near Podocarpus National Park at 1420m, Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador in the Eastern Cordillera of the South-Ecuadorian Andes) is the first time that such a concentration of specimens have been collected within a relatively small area (400m2). A thorough inspection of the dead wood laying on the ground and of soil samples failed to uncover any nest of L. inusitatus. This and the fact that both workers and dealate queens were extracted from the leaf litter (Winkler method) may indicate that this species nests and forages in the leaf litter. The unusual morphology of the mandibles suggests that Lenomyrmex is a specialist predator on an unknown prey. This habit is possibly linked to its apparent rarity and restricted elevational distribution.

Two additional workers were found within a soil sample, at slightly higher elevation (1500 m), than the location where the the winkler sampled workers were found. The two workers were maintained alive during six days. They moved relatively slowly and feigned death when disturbed. They did not feed on any offered food items (alive and dead termites, millipedes, mites, various insect parts, sugar/water, tuna, biscuits).

Castes

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • inusitatus. Lenomymex inusitatus Fernández, 2001: 201, fig. 1 (w.) COLOMBIA. Delsinne & Fernández, 2011: 3 (q.).

Description

Worker

Delsinne and Fernandez (2012) - (no. 4042619). TL 4.23, HL 0.74, HW 0.64, ML 0.41, SL 0.60, EL 0.16, WL 1.15, PL 0.62, PW 0.20, PPL 0.30, PPW 0.24, GL 1.11, GW 0.76, CI 86, OI 24, SI 81.

Queen

Delsinne and Fernandez (2012) - (no. 4042602). TL 4.34, HL 0.75, HW 0.65, ML 0.41, SL 0.59, EL 0.20, WL 1.16, PL 0.64, PW 0.21, PPL 0.27, PPW 0.24, GL 1.11, GW 0.78, CI 86, OI 31, SI 79.

The queen is similar to the worker but differing in the following characters: anterior margin of clypeus mostly convex, with a slight median notch or concavity; compound eyes bigger, with 11-12 facets in maximum diameter; three ocelli present; mesosoma robust; dorsum of pronotum smooth and shiny, with sparse punctures; mesoscutum foveolate, with longitudinal striae; scutellum and axillae foveolate, with smooth and shiny interspaces; dorsum of propodeum completely smooth and polished; propodeal spines long and stout but shorter than distance between their bases; mesopleuron with anepisternum clearly separated from katepisternum by a suture; lateral face of pronotum, anepisternum, katepisternum, metapleuron, and lateral face of propodeum mostly smooth and shiny, with some sparse punctures; punctures of lateral and dorsal faces of petiole and postpetiole more defined and deeper than in workers; short and appressed pilosity more abundant on mesosoma than in workers.

References