Ponera paedericera

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Ponera paedericera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Ponera
Species: P. paedericera
Binomial name
Ponera paedericera
Zhou, 2001

The lone India record was collected in a winkler sample.

Identification

Zhou (2001) - Close to Ponera chiponensis, but differs from the latter in mandible basal 2/3 with a row of very indistinct denticles; anterior clypeal border without median tooth; terminal antennal segment stouter than that of the latter, 1.4 X as long as broad. Besides, the new species much larger in size than the latter.

Bharti and Rilta (2015) - The Chinese P. paedericera is now know to occur in India. This species is remarkably different from the other known Indian Ponera species by the following combination of characters: anterior margin of clypeus with a distinct blunt median tooth; antennal club with 3 segments; posterodorsal corners of propo¬deum rounded, declivity depressed, lateral sides of propodeum distinctly marginate; anterior face of petiole straight, dorsal and posterior faces form a single arched surface, anterodorsal corner blunt, dorsal surface smooth and shining, subpetiolar process with relatively large posteroventral teeth; head, mesosoma and the two basal segments of gaster densly and finely punctate; blackish in colour.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The general biology of species in the genus was summarized by Taylor (1967): Ponera are small ants that nest in rotting logs in forested areas or under stones in nonforested situations. In the tropical areas specimens are rarely encountered away from rain forest. In temperate areas, however, species may occur in relatively lightly forested areas. This appears to be the case with Ponera japonica, Ponera pennsylvanica and especially with Ponera coarctata. The Australian Ponera leae is essentially limited to rain forest in the northern parts of its range, but further south it may be found in dry, lightly forested areas.

Foraging is probably cryptobiotic, though some New Guinea species have been taken straying on the ground surface. Little information is available concerning feeding. However, most species are probably insectivorous. I have conducted feeding experiments with some of the New Guinea and Samoan species, including Ponera xenagos, Ponera elegantula, Ponera tenuis, Ponera incerta and Ponera woodwardi. These were unsuccessful with the larger species, except elegantula, which accepted moderately large (8-12 mm) campodeid and japygid Diplura. Tenuis and incerta accepted smaller (4-6 mm) campodeids, isotomid and sminthurid Collembola, and small newly hatched spiders (2 mm long). Negative feeding response was obtained with eggs and larvae of various ants, small crushed insects of various orders, and small myriapods. Stray workers were never observed carrying prey, and distinct middens of insect or other remains were not located near nests.

Colonies usually contain about 30 workers. Larvae and pupae are not segregated in most cases, but occasionally aggregations of pupae were observed. These may have included the total brood of the colonies involved. Larvae are attached to the floor or walls of the nest galleries by the glutinous abdominal tubercles described above, and the ants move them high up on the walls or ceilings of artificial nests, if they are flooded. Details of nuptial behavior of pennsylvanica were given by Wheeler (1900), and Haskins & Enzmann (1938). The flights appear to be of a pattern typical for ants, with the alates meeting in the air and mating there or on the ground. Colony foundation is non-claustral and independent in pennsylvanica (Kannowski 1959); judging from my observations this is typical for the genus.

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • paedericera. Ponera paedericera Zhou, 2001b: 38, 228, figs. 35-38 (w.q.) CHINA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype: TL 3.3, HL 0.73, HW 0.56, CI 76, SL 0.53, SI 94, PW 0.47, AL 1.00, PH 0.50, PNL 0.28, DPW 0.43.

Paratypes: TL 3.1~3.3, HL 0.72~0.75, HW 0.55~0.60, CI 76~80, SL 0.51~0. 53, SI 86~94, PW 0.46~0.47, AL 0.96~1.02, PH 0.47~0.52, PNL 0.27~0.28, DPW 0.42~0.46.

Head subrectangular, longer than broad, as broad posteriorly as in front, with very feebly convex sides and straight to slightly concave occipital border. Mandible with 3 developed teeth, occupying approximately apical 1/3 of the length of masticatory margin, followed by a row of very indistinct denticles. Clypeus slightly convex, without median tooth. Eyes small, composed of a single ommatidium, situated in front of the midlength of the sides of head, about 4/5 the distance from lateral occipital border of head to the midpoint of anterior genal border. Antennae remarkably thick; scapes reaching occipital border; antennal club 5-segmented, ratio of length from base about 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 17, terminal segment about 1.4 X as long as broad.

Dorsal outline of alitrunk slightly convex in profile view; posterolateral corner of propodeum not pronounced, runing roundly into the declivity; declivitous face feebly concave. Mesopropodeal suture not incised on dorsum of alitrunk. Petiolar node thick, subrectangular in profile view, anterior face straight, posterior face convex, not forming angle with dorsal face; in dorsal view, anterior border semicircle and posterior border slightly concave. Fenestra of subpetiolar process subcircular, posterolateral tooth developed.

Head and antennal scapes densely punctate; punctures on alitrunk, petiolar node and basal portion of first gastral segment sparser; punctures on 2nd gastral segment sparser than those in the first; remaining gastral segments, mandibles, declivity of propodeum and posterior face of petiolar node smooth and shining.

Erect hairs present. Pubescence moderately abundant, distributed over the entire body.

Color dull reddish brown; pronotum lighter; mandibles, legs and gaster contaminate more yellowish.

Queen

TL 3.1, HL 0.61, HW 0.52, CI 85, SL 0.42, SI 80, PW 0.51, AL 1.00, PH 0.45, PNL 0.21, DPW 0.37. Head as in worker, but with larger eyes and distinct occelli. Maximum diameter of compound eye 0.13mm. Mesosoma and petiole as in figure. Pilosity as in worker. Color lighter than in worker.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Da Yao Shan Natural Reserve, Guangxi, 19.IX.1998, Shanyi Zhou leg. Paratypes: 3 workers, 1 female, data as holotype.

References