Pristomyrmex curvulus

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Pristomyrmex curvulus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Pristomyrmex
Species: P. curvulus
Binomial name
Pristomyrmex curvulus
Wang, M., 2003

Pristomyrmex curvulus casent0901716 p 1 high.jpg

Pristomyrmex curvulus casent0901716 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Pristomyrmex curvulus.

Identification

Wang (2003) - Worker. Pronotal spines exceptionally long, about 0.38 to 0.44; propodeal spine length ca. 0.12 to 0.16; anterior face of petiole node distinctly separable from the upper surface of peduncle; dorsal surfaces of head and alitrunk smooth and shining.

This species is closely related to Pristomyrmex longispinus, also from Dumaguete, Philippines, but the workers of these two species can be separated by the following characters: P. curvulus - Anterior face of petiole node, in profile, distinct from the upper surface of peduncle. Clypeus with a median longitudinal carina. Frontal carinae extending to the posterior margins of eyes. Propodeal spines shorter, about as long as the distance between their bases. Anterior clypeal margin usually with seven small denticles. P. longispinus - Anterior face of petiole node, in profile, not distinct from the upper surface of peduncle. Clypeus lacking a median longitudinal carina. Frontal carinae not extending to the posterior margins of eyes. Propodeal spines longer, about two to three times the distance between their bases in length. Anterior clypeal margin usually with three to five denticles

Pristomyrmex curvulus may also have a close relationship with Pristomyrmex bicolor: The workers and queens of the two species can be separated as follows: In P. curvulus, the dorsal surfaces of the head and the alitrunk are smooth and shining, with only a few shallow foveolate punctures present on the genae and a few short rugae on the frontal area, whereas in P. bicolor the dorsum of the head is entirely covered with coarse rugoreticulum, and the dorsum of the alitrunk is also strongly sculptured with coarse rugae.

A member of the Quadridens species group

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The biology of most Pristomyrmex species is poorly known. From Wang (2003): Most species of Pristomyrmex dwell in the rainforest, foraging as predators or scavengers. An Asian species, Pristomyrmex punctatus, however, occurs in open and disturbed habitats (e.g., bare hills, agricultural areas, and beaches). These ants prefer to nest in soil, litter, or rotten wood; in rotten parts of living trees; in dead standing trees; or around plant roots.

Pristomyrmex is of great interest because it exhibits several unusual biological and evolutionary phenomena. The absence of morphologically normal queens and reproduction primarily by unmated workers in P. punctatus {=P. pungens) is a highly unusual life history in the Formicidae. Ergatoid queens, a special wingless female caste morphologically intermediate between the queen and the worker, are present in at least four species: Pristomyrmex punctatus, Pristomyrmex africanus, Pristomyrmex wheeleri, and Pristomyrmex mandibularis; two of them (P. africanus and P. wheeleri) possess both queen and ergatoid queen castes.

Simulating death, slowness of movement, and nocturnal foraging has been recorded in Pristomyrmex (Donisthorpe, 1946; Taylor, 1965; Weber, 1941). Colony size varies greatly among species, ranging from about a dozen to several thousand workers (Donisthorpe, 1946; Itow et al, 1984; Mann, 1919; Taylor, 1965, 1968).

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • curvulus. Pristomyrmex curvulus Wang, M. 2003: 437, figs. 128-131 (w.q.) PHILIPPINES.

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 5.24, HL 1.18, HW 1.20, CI 102, SL 1.36, SI 113, EL 0.22, PW 0.79, AL 1.26.

Worker. TL 4.62-5.30, HL 1.08-1.26, HvV 1.08-1.25, CI 97-105, SL 1.22-1.41, SI 106-117, EL 0.20-0.26, PW 0.74-0.82, AL 1.16-1.40, PPW 0.30-0.34, PPL 0.35- 0.40, PPI 78- 94 (n = 20).

Mandibles generally smooth and shining, with a few basal longitudinal rugae. Masticatory margin of mandible with four teeth: an apical + a preapical + a long diastema + two small denticles that are roughly the same size. Basal margin of mandible lacking a toothlike prominence. Clypeus shining, with a median longitudinal carina; sometimes a few additional superficial rugae present. Ventral surface of clypeus usually with a long transverse ruga. Anterior clypeal margin usually with seven denticles (a median one and three others on each side), but in some specimens, one to two denticles weak or rudimentary. Palp formula 1,3. Frontal carinae just extending to the level of the posterior margins of eyes. Slightly concave scrobal areas present lateral to the frontal carinae. Frontal lobes weak so that the antennal articulations are almost entirely exposed. Antennal scapes long, surpassing the occipital margin by one-fourth to one-third of their length. Eyes usually containing over 10 ommatidia in the longest row. Pronotum armed with a pair of exceptionally long spines that are about 0.38 to 0.44 and longer than the distance between their bases. Propodeum with a pair of acute short spines that are ca. 0.12 to 0.16, about as long as the distance between their bases, and shorter than 0.5 times pronotal spine length. Both pronotal and propodeal spines directed upward. Metapleural lobes subtriangular. Petiole in profile nodiform, with a long anterior peduncle; the anterior face of the node distinctly separable from the upper surface of its anterior peduncle, and its dorsum sloping somewhat downward posteriorly. Postpetiole in profile rounded dorsally, in dorsal view distinctly longer than broad and broadening from front to back. Dorsum of head gene rally smooth and shining, but gena with a few foveolate punctures, and frontal area usually with a few weak short rugae . Dorsal alitrunk, petiole, and postpetiole unsculptured, smooth, and shining. Gaster unsculptured. Dorsal surfaces of head and alitrunk with numerous erect or suberect hairs. Antennal scapes and tibiae with numerous erect or suberect hairs. First gastral tergite without erect or suberect hairs. A few pairs of forward-projecting hairs present near the anterior clypeal margin. Color reddish brown but light yellow in a few specimens.

Queen

TL 6.16, HL l.18, HW l.28, CI 108, SL 1.37, SI 107, EL 0.29, PW 1.12, AL 1.62, PPW 0.40, PPL 0.44, PPI 91 (n = 1).

General shape with normal caste differences from conspecific worker; pronotum unarmed; petiole with a lateral longitudinal ruga on each side. Other characters similar to worker.

Type Material

Holotype Worker. (Museum of Comparative Zoology). Philippines: Dumaguete (J. W. Chapman). Paratypes. Paratypes, 34 workers and one queen (MCZC, The Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Philippines.

References

  • Wang, M. 2003. A Monographic Revision of the Ant Genus Pristomyrmex (Hymenoptera:Formicidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 157(6): 383-542 (page 437, figs. 128-131 worker, queen described)