Myrmecina magnificens

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Myrmecina magnificens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Myrmecina
Species: M. magnificens
Binomial name
Myrmecina magnificens
Wong & Guénard, 2016

Myrmecina magnificens F3.jpg

Myrmecina magnificens F5.jpg

This species has been found in lowland primary forest.

Identification

Wong and Guénard (2016) - With the exception of Myrmecina sulcata for which body size was not recorded in the species description, the new species M. magnificens can quickly be distinguished from other Myrmecina species in the Sundaland region by its large overall size (TL 4.2–4.6 mm) and its distinctly long and forward-pointing propodeal spines. While Myrmecina nesaea, Myrmecina semipolita, M. sulcata and Myrmecina undulata also possess relatively long propodeal spines, their spines are posteriorly oriented. The other two species, Myrmecina bandarensis and Myrmecina butteli have relatively short propodeal spines, and are also notably smaller in their overall sizes (TL 1.9–2.2 mm), which by comparison would be approximately half that of M. magnificens.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Singapore (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

All specimens were collected from a selectively logged lowland primary rainforest. Based on the collection methods used to collect several workers (N=5), we suspect that M. magnificens probably forages within the leaf litter and topsoil. This is based on our collection of the species via a Berlese extraction of sifted leaf litter and topsoil, as well as from a subterranean pitfall trap baited with tuna and buried at a depth of 5 cm underground. No other conspecifics were found in similar traps buried at greater depths (i.e. 15, 20, 25 cm) within the same locality.

The apparent abundance of this species within Seletar forest is surprising; thus far several specimens have been collected with a variety of methods including Berlese extractions of understorey material as well as baited subterranean pitfall traps. In conclusion, the present discovery of a new ant species that is non-cryptic, of relatively large body size (TL > 4 mm) and perhaps not uncommon in a small forest remnant (ca. 2000 ha) of a highly urbanized city (i.e. Sin-gapore) clearly highlights the shortage of extensive sampling in Southeast Asia, and is very encouraging to future myrmecological research in this part of the world.

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • magnificens. Myrmecina magnificens Wong & Guénard, 2016: 132, figs. 1-5 (w.) SINGAPORE.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype: HL 0.98 mm; HW 1.12 mm; MaL 0.63 mm; SL 0.90 mm; EL 0.20 mm; WL 1.37 mm; PNW 0.71 mm; PNH 0.62 mm; MW 0.65 mm; PSL 0.24 mm; PTL 0.36 mm; PTW 0.32 mm; PTH 0.35 mm; TL 4.42 mm (stinger not included); PPL 0.23 mm; PPW 0.34 mm; PPH 0.39 mm; CI 114, SI 80, MaI 56, PI 88, PPI 149.

Paratypes (n=4): HL 0.94–0.98 mm; HW 1.06–1.11 mm; MaL 0.55–0.63 mm; SL 0.89–0.91 mm; EL 0.20–0.21 mm; WL 1.22–1.36 mm; PNW 0.70–0.74 mm; PNH 0.57–0.62 mm; MW 0.61–0.65 mm; PSL 0.23–024 mm; PTL 0.34–0.36 mm; PTW 0.29–0.31 mm; PTH 0.31–0.33 mm; TL 4.36–4.57 mm (stinger not included); PPL 0.22–0.24 mm; PPW 0.32–0.35 mm; PPH 0.34–0.36 mm; CI 113–116, SI 80–86, MaI 51–57, PI 83–87, PPI 141–151.

Head. Head in full-face view slightly shorter than wide (CI 113–116) and maximum HW occurs behind the eyes, sides convex, occipital corners triangular, occipital margin strongly convex. Thin lamella finely rugulose present on the anterolateral margin of the clypeus. Eyes relatively large with EL approximately 1/5 of HL. Antennal scape long (SI 80–86); antenna with 12 segments, last three segments forming indistinct club. Clypeus short, anterior clypeal margin broadly convex with two angular projections on either sides. Mascitory margin of mandible with two apical teeth followed by a series of extremely reduced blunt denticles (n=5).

Mesosoma. In profile view, dorsal outline of promesonotum flat to broadly convex, sloping along anterodorsal part of propodeum. In profile view, propleuron angular and forming a distinct acute tooth. Two distinct propodeal spines both slightly longer than broad and pointing anteriorly. Propodeal declivity strongly concave before terminating at a right angle with a rounded edge.

Metasoma. In profile view, anterodorsal face of petiolar node broadly convex, posterodorsal face of petiolar node flat to weakly concave; overall dorsal outline of petiolar node triangular. Ventral outline of petiolar node rounded. Dorsal outline of postpetiole flat to weakly convex, sternopostpetiolar process well-developed and triangular, almost as long as broad and pointing anteriorly. Petiolar node is longer than postpetiole. In dorsal view, petiolar node is broader than long and exhibits trapezoid shape; petiolar node is distinctly broader at posterior margin than at anterior margin. Postpetiole is broader than long and exhibits rectangular shape; width of post-petiole is similar at both the anterior and posterior margins.

Sculpture. Sculpturing on head and thorax running longitudinally. Sculpture on head parallel on its middle portion and divergent on the sides and posterior portions. Groove on head with latitudinal sculptures present on most of its length. In profile view, sculpture on thorax presenting a complex pattern with parallel or and convergent sculptures. Parallel sculptures present on the entire length of the petiole and postpetiole. Gaster smooth and shiny. In dorsal view, thorax entirely sculptured with a single median carina separating in two symmetrical portions the dorsal sculptures. Other sculptures converging posteriorly to reach the median carina on the dorsum of the thorax.

Pubescence. Almost all of body covered in abundant erect long hairs (0.2–0.25 mm) with the exception of the propodeal junction and ventral surface of the petiole where pubescence is absent.

Coloration. Most of head, mesosoma and gaster black; antenna, clypeus and mandibles dark red to dark brown; legs, posterior portion of propodeum light amber to light brown; pubescence and margins of gastral tergites yellow to light gold.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker from SINGAPORE, Seletar Trail, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, 1.395141°N, 103.802595°E, 47m, 02.IX.2015, leaf litter, leg. Mark K. L. Wong, label “MW020915-L1.1” (ANTWEB1009004) deposited in Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Paratypes. Four workers in total (ANTWEB1009005, ANTWEB1009006, ANTWEB1009007, ANTWEB1009008), all with the same collection data as holotype (deposited at Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography Laboratory).

Etymology

The species epithet is derived from the English word ‘magnificent’, referencing the beautiful appearance of this species, which makes it truly magnificent to behold. The species epithet is a noun, and thus invariant.

References