Meranoplus levis

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Meranoplus levis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Meranoplus
Species: M. levis
Binomial name
Meranoplus levis
Donisthorpe, 1942

Meranoplus levis casent0902025 p 1 high.jpg

Meranoplus levis casent0902025 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A collection of this species was made from the ground in an area with "arid trees and dry sparse shrubbery."

Identification

Schödl (1998) – Meranoplus levis is different from all other species in the Oriental Realm by the carinulate (non reticulate-rugulose) head and promesonotal shield. Its closest relative is nowhere found in the Oriental or Indo-Australian Regions, but is Meranoplus mayri from Madagascar, with which it shares similarities in the external morphology and the striation on head and promesonotal shield.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality), Sri Lanka.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • levis. Meranoplus levis Donisthorpe, 1942d: 455 (w.) INDIA. See also: Schödl, 1998: 381.

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

Description

Worker

Schödl (1998) - TL: 4.0 - 4.3, HL: 0.93 - 0.95, HW- 95 - 1 03 CI- 102 - 108 SL: 0.7 - 0.75, SI: 73 - 74, PML: 0.85 - 0.88, PW: 1.07-1.13, PMI: 125 - 129, AL: 1.05 - 1.07 (2 measured).

Mandibles striate, armed with four teeth; occasionally with an additional basal offset denticle. Mid-portion of clypeus shining, without structure, laterally with few longitudinal cannulae. Anterior clypeal margin sharp-edged. Frontal triangle reduced to an arcuate furrow. Above antennal sockets an indistinct translucent fenestra is apparent. Head above antennal scrobes trapezoid, lateral margins of frons lamellate and translucent, narrowed towards clypeus. Posteriorly the margin produced into acutely angled occipital corners. Head below antennal scrobes protruding, the genae rounded, distinctly visible from above. Antennal scrobes smooth, posteriorly shagreened, with occasional rugae. The genae roughly rugose. Compound eyes situated in posterior half of lateral sides of head. Maximum diameter of eye 0.21 - 0.22, with 13-15 ommatidia in its longest row. Dorsum of head smooth medially, delicately longitudinally carinulate, the lateral lamellate margins with transverse rugae; extreme occipital region rugulose-reticulate.

Promesonotum slightly wider than long, rectangular in dorsal view, its dorsum smooth, distinctly carinulate; the carinulae arcuate, arranged somewhat concentric, in anterior and middle parts of the disc transversely arranged, near sides more longitudinally so. Margins of promesonotal shield sinuate, lateral sides distinctly lamellate and translucent, overhanging sides of alitrunk laterally and propodeum posteriorly. Dorsal surfaces of lamellate areas rugulose-reticulate. Anterior pronotal corners acutely angled, followed by the slightly sinuate, entire margin. Promesonotal suture invisible. Posterior mesonotal corners with two slightly arcuate, posteriorly directed, massive spines. Declivity of propodeum not visible from above, mostly smooth, with a faint shagreening above, and with occasional laterally arranged longitudinal rugae or carinulae. Propodeal spines slender, slightly arcuate, situated in about middle of lateral sides of propodeum. An arcuate suture between dorsal alitrunk and propodeum is distinctly apparent on the declivity below posterior mesonotal margin, when viewed from behind.

Petiole distinctly tapered in lateral view, ventral petiolar face with a conspicuous median, translucent carina; the petiolar crest, when viewed from above, an arcuate line. Anterior and posterior faces of petiole smooth. Postpetiole in profile elongately nodiform, rugulose throughout, somewhat toothed antero-ventrally. First gastral tergite, in particular anteriorly, longitudinally carinulate with numerous transverse meshes, and shagreened throughout.

Pubescence of entire dorsum consisting of softer whitish, rather short, decumbent, arcuate hairs (ca. 100 - 150(200 μm)) and longer, stiff, outstanding setae (ca. 150 - 300 μm). Body distinctly bicoloured with the head, alitrunk, petiole, postpetiole and appendages brightly ferrugineous, the gaster piceous.

Type Material

Schödl (1998) - Holotype worker (The Natural History Museum; examined): "Dohnavur. 350' Tinnevelly Dt. S India I-X- 38 [overleaf:] B.M.-C.M. Expdn. to S. India, Sept.-Oct., 1938 \ Holotype \ Type Meranoplus levis Donis. H. Donisthorpe det. 10.111.42. \ B.M. TYPE HYM. 11.445". One paratype worker, same locality data, in The Natural History Museum. One worker (Museum of Comparative Zoology), labelled "Ceylon; S.P. Hambantota, T.B.F. 7. Feb 09" and subsequently provided with labels. "MCZ Paratype 29499", is mentioned in the original description, but it cannot be regarded as a type specimen. Type locality: Dohnavur, Tinnevelly District [= Tirunelveli], Tamil Nadu, India.

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Dad J. M., S. A. Akbar, H. Bharti, and A. A. Wachkoo. 2019. Community structure and ant species diversity across select sites ofWestern Ghats, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39: 219–228.
  • Dias R. K. S. 2002. Current knowledge on ants of Sri Lanka. ANeT Newsletter 4: 17- 21.
  • Donisthorpe H. 1942. Ants from the Colombo Museum Expedition to Southern India, September-October 1938. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (11)9: 449-461.
  • Schödl S. 1998. Taxonomic revision of Oriental Meranoplus F. Smith, 1853 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. B, Botanik, Zoologie 100: 361-394.