Parasyscia wighti

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Parasyscia wighti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Parasyscia
Species: P. wighti
Binomial name
Parasyscia wighti
(Bharti & Akbar, 2013)

Cerapachys wighti 1.jpg

Cerapachys wighti 2.jpg

The species seems to be of rare occurrence as it was encountered only once during the extensive surveys conducted in the area. It was collected from a litter sample taken near the Kuntipuzha river, which drains the entire length of the silent valley national park. With a pesticide free catchment area the region is rich in soil biota and ideal for cryptic ant species.

Identification

Bharti & Akbar (2013) - The new species can easily be separated from most of the Indian species on the basis of the large crowded punctures on its cephalic dorsum, with diameter as large, or larger than, the average distance separating them. C. wighti shares most characters with Parasyscia indica, which also has large crowded punctures on cephalic dorsum. However the two species can be easily separated. C. wighti is smaller in size (HW 0.59 mm), has lighter body colouration and reduced eyes (EL 0.05 mm), while C. indicus is larger in size (HW 0.77 mm), with darker body colouration and large eyes (EL 0.24 mm).

Distribution

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 11.08333333° to 11.08333333°.

 
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality).

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.

  • wighti. Cerapachys wighti Bharti & Akbar, 2013a: 98, figs. 5B, 6B, 9A, 38-40 (w. ergatoid q.) INDIA (Kerala).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 1 paratype worker.
    • Type-locality: holotype India: Kerala, Silent Valley Nat. Park, 11°5’N, 76°26’E, 897 m., 25.ix.2011, Winkler (S.A. Akbar); paratype with same data.
    • Type-depositories: PUAC (holotype); BMNH, PUAC (paratypes).
    • Combination in Parasyscia: Borowiec, M.L. 2016: 205.
    • Status as species: Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 22.
    • Distribution: India.

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

Description

Worker

Measurements (holotype in brackets): HL (0.69)-0.71; HW (0.58)-0.59; EL (0.05); SL (0.38)-0.40; WL (0.66)-0.70; MH (0.43)-0.47; PrW (0.33)-0.35; PL1 (0.28)-0.29; PW1 (0.32)-0.33; IIIAL (0.41)-0.44; IIIAW (0.47)-0.49; IVAL (0.71)-0.72; IVAW (0.66)-0.68 Indices: CI 83-(84); SI (65)-67; PI 113-(114).

Head rectangular, longer than broad; sides rounding posteriorly, vertexal margin transverse, posterior lateral corners gently rounded, weakly acute. Parafrontal ridges raised, prominent. Eyes reduced. Mandibles subtriangular; masticatory margin without a row of small denticles. Lateroclypeal teeth reduced. Antennae 12 segmented; scapes short, clavate.

Mesosoma stout, compact, rectangular in dorsal view; dorsal surface slightly convex, the sides gently rounded without any distinct margin. Declivous face of propodeum with the upper sides margined.

Petiole broader than long, without strong overhanging dorsolateral margins. Anterior and posterior faces transverse. Subpetiolar process stout with hook like ventral margin; no fenestra present. Postpetiole sub trapezoidal, wider behind, posterolateral angles uniformly rounded. Gaster elongate; base of cinctus of first gastral tergite with cross ribs; sting exerted.

Sculpture. Mandibles punctured. Punctures on dorsum of head large, crowded, their diameter as large, or larger than, the average distance separating them. Mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole similarly sculptured. Gaster with smaller sized punctures compared with head, mesosoma and metasoma. Cinctus of 1st gastral with cross ribs.

Vestiture. Body with reduced pilosity; moderate decumbent or subdecumbent hairs. Mostly prominent on postpetiole and gaster. Apical funicular segments and legs with standing hairs.

Colour. Dark reddish brown with mandibles, antennae and legs lighter.

Type Material

Holotype and paratype worker: India. Kerala, Silent valley national park, 11°5'N, 76°26'E, 897m a.s.l., 25.ix.2011, Winkler (coll. Shahid A. Akbar). Holotype in Punjabi University Ant Collection and paratype in The Natural History Museum.

Etymology

The species is named after botanist Robert Wight, who historically explored the area in 1847.

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.