Proatta

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This montypic genus, from southeast Asia, is strikingly similar in appearance to New World Attine species. Unlike the Attines, Proatta butteli is a predator and scavenger. Their prey includes isopods, centipeds and a variety of insects, including other ant species.

At a Glance • Monotypic  

Identification

The combination of 11 antennal segements, size (~2 mm), the series of spines along the dorso-lateral margins of the mesosoma, and the conspicuous frontal carinae that extend from the frontal lobes to the occipital margin set these workers apart from other co-occurring Myrmicinae ant species. In general appearance they are most similar to a number of Attine genera, which are all found in the New World.

Keys including this Genus

 

Distribution

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Total Species 2839 1735 3036 932 834 4378 1708 2836

Fossils

Fossils are known from: Zhangpu amber, Zhangpu County, Fujian Province, China (Miocene) (an unidentified species, Wang et al., 2021).

Biology

See the Proatta butteli webpage for information about the single species of this genus.

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Proatta butteli Apr antkeeping.info

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 5500 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: cooperative (Greer et al., 2021)

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Morphology

Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: 3 • Palp formula: 3,2 • Total dental count: 4-5 • Spur formula: 0, 0 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Propodeal Spines: present • Petiolar Spines: dentiform • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Male Morphology

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 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 3,2 • Total dental count 4 • Spur formula 0, 0

Karyotype

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Proatta butteli 32 Malaysia Goni et al., 1982

Phylogeny

Myrmicinae
Myrmicini
Pogonomyrmecini
Stenammini
Solenopsidini
Attini

Ochetomyrmex  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Tranopelta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Diaphoromyrma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lachnomyrmex  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Blepharidatta  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Allomerus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Wasmannia  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Pheidole  (1,294 species, 7 fossil species)

Cephalotes  (123 species, 16 fossil species)

Procryptocerus  (44 species, 0 fossil species)

Strumigenys  (879 species, 4 fossil species)

Phalacromyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Pilotrochus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Protalaridris  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Rhopalothrix  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Basiceros  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Octostruma  (35 species, 0 fossil species)

Eurhopalothrix  (55 species, 0 fossil species)

Talaridris  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthognathus  (7 species, 1 fossil species)

Daceton  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Lenomyrmex  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Microdaceton  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Orectognathus  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Colobostruma  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Epopostruma  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

Mesostruma  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Paleoattina

Apterostigma  (44 species, 2 fossil species)

Mycocepurus  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmicocrypta  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Neoattina

Cyatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Kalathomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetarotes  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetosoritis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex  (23 species, 2 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex

Paramycetophylax  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetophylax  (21 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetagroicus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetomoellerius  (31 species, 1 fossil species)

Sericomyrmex  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Xerolitor  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Paratrachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Trachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Amoimyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Atta  (20 species, 1 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex  (56 species, 0 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex

Pseudoatta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogastrini

Rostromyrmex  (1 species, 6 fossil species)

Cardiocondyla  (89 species, 0 fossil species)

Ocymyrmex  (34 species, 0 fossil species)

Nesomyrmex  (84 species, 2 fossil species)

Xenomyrmex  (5 species, 0 fossil species)

Terataner  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Atopomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Cataulacus  (65 species, 3 fossil species)

Carebara  (248 species, 9 fossil species)

Diplomorium  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Melissotarsus  (4 species, 1 fossil species)

Rhopalomastix  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Calyptomyrmex  (38 species, 0 fossil species)

Strongylognathus  (27 species, 0 fossil species), Tetramorium  (598 species, 2 fossil species)

Cyphoidris  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Dicroaspis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Aretidris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Vollenhovia  (83 species, 3 fossil species)

Dacetinops  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Indomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogaster  (782 species, 3 fossil species)

Meranoplus  (91 species, 0 fossil species)

Lophomyrmex  (13 species, 0 fossil species)

Adlerzia  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Recurvidris  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Stereomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Trichomyrmex  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Eutetramorium  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Royidris  (15 species, 0 fossil species)

Malagidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Vitsika  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Huberia  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Podomyrma  (62 species, 1 fossil species)

Liomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Metapone  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Kartidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Mayriella  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Tetheamyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Dacatria  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Proatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Dilobocondyla  (22 species, 0 fossil species)

Secostruma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthomyrmex  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmecina  (106 species, 0 fossil species)

Perissomyrmex  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Pristomyrmex  (61 species, 3 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma  (36 species, 0 fossil species)

Propodilobus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lasiomyrma  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Ancyridris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Paratopula  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Poecilomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Romblonella  (10 species, 0 fossil species)

Rotastruma  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Gauromyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Vombisidris  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Temnothorax  (504 species, 7 fossil species)

Harpagoxenus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Formicoxenus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Leptothorax  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

See Phylogeny of Myrmicinae for details.

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • PROATTA [Myrmicinae: Stenammini]
    • Proatta Forel, 1912m: 768. Type-species: Proatta butteli, by monotypy.
    • [Proatta also described as new by Forel, 1913k: 84.]
    • [Proatta erroneously as senior synonym of Asemorhoptrum and Theryella: Snelling, R.R. 1981: 395; these names properly attributed to synonymy of Stenamma, see there.]

Moffett (1987) - For female castes, probable synapomorphies include:

1. The blunt spines on the head and ali trunk of workers, which closely resemble those found in many Mycocepurus and Myrmicocrypta species and some other attines.

2. Presence of a projection located somewhat ventrad on the posterior-lateral surface of the head, remarkably similar to projections found in Myrmicocrypta (feeble ridges present on the heads of Mycocepurus workers may be homologous).

3. Presence of a narrow, finger-shaped extention of the clypeus, which is produced back between the antennal carinae, as in Mycocepurus and Myrmicocrypta.

4. Shape and position of lateral ridges on the dorsal surface of the petiole node closely resemble most species of Myrmicocrypta and Mycocepurus. Petiole shape in these genera is very close to that of Proatta.

5. Posterior margin of postpetiole indented medad in dorsal view, as in most attines.

6. Queen with two pairs of blunt spines on anterior face of pronotum very similar in size and location to those of Myrmicocrypta queens. Proatta, gynes also closely resemble those of attines in wing venation and in trunk shape. Proatta males likewise resemble those of attines.

Of the characters distinguishing Proatta from the Attini (EMERY, 1922; WEBER, 1.958), several (e.g. the number of antennal segments) are apparently plesiomorphies. Contrary to statements by EMERY (1922) and others, the front tarsi of attine ants are not always conspicuously more dilated than in Proatta. The front tarsi of Proatta and species of Cyphomyrmex are particularly similar. The clypeus of Proatta is very distinctive; however, this could represent an autapomorphy.

References