Lepisiota omanensis

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Lepisiota omanensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Lepisiota
Species: L. omanensis
Binomial name
Lepisiota omanensis
Sharaf & Monks, 2016

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The type locality of this species, Jebel Qahwan, is located in the Eastern Hajar Mountains, an area with substantial floral and faunal biodiversity. The two paratypes from UAE were collected at Ain Al Waal (Huw Hoberts, pers. comm.). This site is characterised by areas with rocks and boulders surrounding semi-permanent pools near a dam. The water in the pools is used by the endangered Arabian tahr, Arabitragus jayakari (Thomas). Lepisiota omanensis seems to have an association with the plants Ochradenus arabicus Chaudhary, Hillc. & A.G.Mill. (Resedaceae), but two other plants are also present in the area, Aerva javanica (Amaranthaceae) and Tephrosia apollinea (Fabaceae). A nest was observed about a metre away from the base of a Lycium shawii (Solanaceae) plant. The two paratype workers were observed carrying leaf material.

Identification

Sharaf et al. (2016) - Lepisiota omanensis is a member of the Lepisiota gracilicornis group. This ant is readily distinguished from from all Arabian species, and other species in the group, by the exceptionally long, acute and strongly curved propodeal spines. Lepisiota omanensis is superficially similar to Lepisiota spinisquama but can be easily distinguished by the following: L. omanensis is black, shining and has longer and more strongly curved propodeal spines, which appear in profile much higher than the petiolar spines. Also, this species has a greater cephalic index (CI 86–88), lower petiolar height (0.25–0.37) and very little pubescence on the body surface. Lepisiota spinisquama is brown, slightly shining and has the propodeal spines shorter, lower and nearly at the same level as the petiolar spines in profile. In addition, it has a smaller cephalic index (CI 79) and a slightly higher petiole (0.41), and appressed pubescence is abundant on the body surface.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Oman (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

Sharaf et al. 2016. Figure 3. (A) Jebel Qahwan, Oman: type locality of Lepisiota omanensis sp. nov. (B) Ain Al Waal, United Arab Emirates, paratype locality. (C) Lycium shawii Roem. & Schult.

Biology

Sharaf et al (2018) - Oman: collected from sifted litter in area cultivated with roses.

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • omanensis. Lepisiota omanensis Sharaf & Monks, 2016: 4, figs. 2A-E (w.) OMAN.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. EL 0.17, HL 0.75, HW 0.65, PH 0.31, PRW 0.48, PSL 0.25, SL 1.00, TL 3.31, WL 1.25. Indices: CI 87, OI 26, PSLI 33, SI 154.

Paratypes. EL 0.20, HL 0.57–0.70, HW 0.50–0.60, ML 0.20, PH 0.25–0.37, PRW 0.35–0.42, PSL 0.11–0.22, SL 1.15–1.40, TL 2.25–3.50, WL 1.05–1.35. Indices: CI 86–88, OI 33–40, PSLI 19–31, SI 230–233 (n = 2).

Head. Distinctly longer than broad, with straight posterior margin and shallowly convex lateral margins; antennal scape when laid back from its insertion surpassing the posterior margin of head by more than half of its length; eyes of moderate size (EL 0.26–0.40 × HW).

Mesosoma. Elongate with a narrow mesonotum; propodeal spines exceptionally long, acute and strongly curved (PSLI 19–33).

Petiole. Bispinose dorsally.

Pilosity. Posterior margin of head with a single pair of stiff, short setae; anterior clypeal margin with three pairs of long setae; mesosoma bare except for a single pair of setae on pronotum, gastral pilosity restricted to few setae on posterior margins of tergites and sternites, all body surface with pale scattered appressed pubescence.

Sculpture. Overall smooth and shining.

Colour. Uniform black with purple reflections on the face and gaster, antennae and mandibles yellow-brown.

Type Material

Holotype worker Oman, Hajar Mountains, Jebel Qahwan, (Figure 3A), 19 April 2012, 22°9ʹ9.36ʺN, 59° 22ʹ19.8ʺE, 305 m, (J. Monks); the holotype is temporarily deposited in The Natural History Museum pending the completion of the new Oman Natural History Museum (Oman Natural History Museum). Paratype workers Two workers, Oman, base of Jebel Akhdar, near to Birkat Al-Mouz, 25 March 2016, 22°57ʹ17.58ʺN, 57°39ʹ40.92ʺE, 619 m, (J. Monks) one in ONHM and one in King Saud Museum of Arthropods; two workers, United Arab Emirates, Ain Al Waal at the foot of Jebel Hafeet, 11 March 2014, 24°4ʹ2.57ʺN, 55°44ʹ56.05ʺE, (Huw Roberts); deposited in KSMA.

Etymology

Named after the country of the type locality.

References