Mycetophylax strigatus

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Mycetophylax strigatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Mycetophylax
Species: M. strigatus
Binomial name
Mycetophylax strigatus
(Mayr, 1887)

Cyphomyrmex strigatus casent0901667 p 1 high.jpg

Cyphomyrmex strigatus casent0901667 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A nest of this species was discovered under the bark of a decaying tree. Ramos-Lacau et al. (2015) found this species co-occurring with Mycetophylax lectus and Cyphomyrmex rimosus in savanna-forest in Southeast Brazil. Colonies were found nesting in the ground. Each nest had a single, simple circular nest-entrance. These averaged a few mm in diameter and did not have any well formed nest mound.

Identification

See the description section below.

Distribution

Southeastern Brazil, from Rio Grande do Sul to Rio de Janeiro States.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Kempf (1964) - According to Moeller (1941) this species resembles Mycetophylax auritus as regards the nest side and shape, and the cataleptic behavior of workers upon being disturbed. The fungus garden, however, is of a different aspect, consisting in an irregular agglomerate of small pellets of substrate, loosely heaped one upon another, as in Apterostigma wasmanni (=Apterostigma auriculatum) For. The mycelium shows the bromatia or gongylidia better differentiated than in that of auritus (cf. Moeller's figures 25 and 26). Yet auritus workers in artificial nests freely fed on strigatus fungus and viceversa. The sporophore of the fungus is not known, but seems to be a basidiomycete.

Luederwaldt (1926) discovered a nest under the bark of a decaying tree. The cavity was rounded-elongate, the fungus mass dirty yellowish and irregular in aspect. The colony consisted of approximately 30 workers.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • strigatus. Cyphomyrmex strigatus Mayr, 1887: 558 (w.) BRAZIL.
    • Forel, 1893e: 606 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. 1949: 669 (l.).
    • Combination in Mycetophylax: Sosa-Calvo et al., 2017: 9.
    • See also: Kempf, 1964d: 14.

Description

Worker

Kempf (1964) - Total length 2.9-3.7 mm; head length 0.75-0.89 mm; head width 0.67-0.80 mm; thorax length 0.91-1.17 mm; hind femur length 0.72-0.98 mm. Yellowish brown to dark ferruginous. Integument, including antennal scrobe, indistinctly granulate and opaque. Differs from auritus as follows 1. Smaller in size. Body more compact. Hind femur distinctly shorter than thorax length. 2. Auriculate occipital lobes (fig 6, 44) much less protruding, usually shorter than their maximum diameter. Supraocular tooth blunt and obtuse, lacking a distinct ridge between its base and the inferior occipital angle. Funicular segments 2-8 not longer than broad. 3. Lateral pronotal tubercles blunt and stout. Mesonotal armature (fig 18) relatively low, consisting of blunt tubercles. Longitudinal ridges on basal face of epinotum blunt, without a prominent tooth on posterior corner. Femora feebly marginate on flexor face. Hind femora gently and gradually thickening from base to basal third, where they form an obtuse, at most weakly carinate, angle on flexor face. 4. Petiolar node subquadrate, occasionally somewhat transverse, its anterior corners in dorsal view rounded; longitudinal crests on dorsum only vestigial. Postpetiole with anterior face moderately raised in vertical direction, anterior dorsal tubercles feeble, sides convex, somewhat constricted to slightly diverging behind: in dorsal view little to somewhat transverse. 5. Appressed hairs on frontal lobes, borders of frontal carinae, frontal and vertical ridges, thoracic tubercles, pedicelar tubercles and ridges, gaster, scapes and legs conspicuous and scale-like.

Queen

Kempf (1964) - Total length 4.0-4.3 mm; head length 0.93-0.96 mm; head width 0.83-0.91 mm; thorax length 1.23-1.36 mm; hind femur length 0.91-1.07 mm. Characters as given for the worker, with the same differences from auritus. Note the following: Lateral pronotal tubercles blunt and stout. Scutum and scutellum with shallower depressions and very low and blunt tuberosities. Epinotal tooth tubercular, small to vestigial. Scale-like hairs especially conspicuous on scutum and scutellum.

Type Material

Kempf (1964) - Worker, in the Mayr collection at the "Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien". Not seen.

References

  • Forel, A. 1893h. Note sur les Attini. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 37: 586-607 (page 606, queen, male described)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1964d. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part I: Group of strigatus Mayr (Hym., Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 7: 1-44 (page 14, see also)
  • Luederwaldt, H. 1926. Observações biologicas sobre formigas brasileiras especialmente do estado de São Paulo. Rev. Mus. Paul. 14:185-303.
  • Mayr, G. 1887. Südamerikanische Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 37: 511-632 (page 558, worker described)
  • Moeller, A. 1941. As hortas de fungo de algumas formigas sulamericanas. Rev. Entomol. (Rio de Janeiro). 1 (Supplemento):1-120.
  • Ramos-Lacau, L. S., P. S. D. Silva, J. H. C. Delabie, S. Lacau, and O. C. Bueno. 2015. Nest Biology and Demography of the Fungus-Growing Ant Cyphomyrmex lectus Forel (Myrmicinae: Attini) at a Disturbed Area Located in Rio Claro-SP, Brazil. Sociobiology. 62:462-466. doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v62i3.709
  • Sosa-Calvo, J., JesÏovnik, A., Vasconcelos, H.L., Bacci, M. Jr., Schultz, T.R. 2017. Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants. PLoS ONE 12: e0176498 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0176498).
  • Wheeler, G. C. 1949 [1948]. The larvae of the fungus-growing ants. Am. Midl. Nat. 40: 664-689 (page 669, larva described)