Rogeria blanda

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Rogeria blanda
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Rogeria
Species: R. blanda
Binomial name
Rogeria blanda
(Smith, F., 1858)

Rogeria blanda P casent0900952.jpg

Rogeria blanda D casent0900952.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

Nests have been found in trunks of cacao trees in Costa Rica and in a small rotten log suspended about 50cm above the ground in Peru. Collections have come from elevations between from 50m (Costa Rica) to 1000m (Venezuela).

Identification

Kugler (1994) - Most similar to but not quite like other species in the stigmatica species group. WL 0.87-1.15mm. Palpal formula 2,2. Eye rather large, oval. Propodeal spines long (PSI 0.20-0.29). Petiolar node long and low. Gaster with terminal segments rotated ventrad. Inferior petiolar process dentate. Head, mesosoma, and nodes densely areolate. Body rather densely covered with long, fine, soft, erect hair; no decumbent hair.

Rogeria ciliosa and Rogeria gibba from lowland South America resemble blanda in having long, soft, dense pilosity and areolate sculpture, but see the stigmatica group diagnosis.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Southern Central America and in South America east of the Andes to southern Brazil.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

The following is modified from Kugler (1994): Little is known about these cryptic ants. Collection records typically range from sea level to 1000m, but five species extend higher and two (Rogeria unguispina and Rogeria merenbergiana) can be found at 2000m. Rogeria are generally collected in moist forests (primary or secondary forests, coffee or cacao plantations), but at higher elevations can be found in pastures (Rogeria leptonana, Rogeria merenbergiana). Several species (Rogeria creightoni, Rogeria cuneola, Rogeria foreli) have been found in moist and dry climates. Rogeria foreli is the most unusual, with some members dwelling at over 1800m in the temperate mountains of southern Arizona.

Most species have only been collected as strays or by Berlese or Winkler sampling, from leaf litter and rotten wood, but occasionally among epiphytes and moss (Rogeria belti, creightoni, Rogeria exsulans). Nests of several species (belti, Rogeria blanda, merenbergiana) have been found under the loose bark of rotten logs. Nests of blanda and Rogeria tonduzi have been taken from the trunks of cacao trees. A nest of Rogeria leptonana was found at 1750m under a rock in a pasture.

Nests are rarely found. Males are known for only four species (belti, blanda, leptonana and Rogeria stigmatica) and queens associated through nest series for only nine species.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • blanda. Myrmica blanda Smith, F. 1858b: 131 (w.) BRAZIL. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1989a: 325 (l.); Kugler, C. 1994: 37 (q.m.). Combination in Tetramorium: Mayr, 1886c: 359; in Rogeria: Emery, 1894c: 189. Senior synonym of foveata: Kempf, 1965: 185.
  • foveata. Irogera foveata Kempf, 1964e: 64, figs. 19, 20 (w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of blanda: Kempf, 1965: 185.

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

Description

Worker

Kugler (1994) - TL 3.0-4.0, HL 0.73-0.92, HW 0.65-0.82, SL 0.49-0.62, EL 0.12-0.16 (27-59 facets), PW 0.48-0.63, WL 0.87-1. 15, SpL 0.20-0.30, PetL 0.35-0.49, PpetL 0.18-0.25mm, CI 0.85-0.91, OI 0. 18-0.21, SI 0.73-0.80, PSI 0.20-0.29. N=20

Additions to description and figures of Kempf (1964). Mandibles triangular, with 6 large teeth decreasing in size basad, then basal tooth larger than neighbor. One or two denticles sometimes added between basal teeth. Clypeal apron with a shallow median notch. Nuchal grooves not visible in lateral view. Metanotal groove weak (Fig. 83) to absent. Propodeal spiracle small, strongly directed caudad. Propodeal spines long, straight or weakly upturned at apex; distinctly longer in

Kugler 1994 fig 15-23

the two specimens from Ecuador (PSI 0.29) than in the others (PSI 0.20-0.25). Metapleural lobes triangular; apex blunt to subacute. Petiolar peduncle curved, with weak keel and dentate inferior petiolar process. Petiolar node widest in posterior half. Postpetiolar node highest in posterior half; shape from above as in Fig. 32 or Fig. 49. Gaster not enlarged (GW / / WL O.63-0.70); terminal segments rotated ventrad. Pygidial gland sculpture present. Sting apparatus nearly identical to that of Rogeria inermis.

Longitudinal rugae on frontal lobes rapidly give way to areolate sculpture usually by mid-eye level and continuing onto posterior head. Sides of head strongly sculptured: rugose-areolate in front of eye to areolate behind. Mesosoma and nodes also densely areolate, except for transverse carinulae between spines and smooth posterior face of propodeum. Some elongate cells on pronotal disc. Very apex of postpetiolar node sometimes smooth. No microsculpture.

Scapes with very long erect hairs and shorter hairs ranging from suberect to decumbent. Erect hair on terminal segments of gaster not brush-like. Legs with little decumbent or appressed pilosity.

Head, mesosoma, and waist black to yellowish-brown; appendages lighter. Gaster darker than rest of body. Head sometimes with black patches around and / or between eyes.

Queen

Kugler (1994) - TL 3.6-4.1, HL 0.79-0.87, HW 0.70-0.78, 5L 0.52-0.58, EL 0. 19-0.20, PW 0.61-0.70, WL 1.02-1.17, 5pL 0.24-0.30, PetL 0.40-0.52, PpetL 0.22-0.25mm, CI 0.87-0.90, SI 0.73-0.81, PSI 0.22-0.26. N=8

Median pronotum sometimes transversely rugose-areolate; mesonotum longitudinally rugose-areolate. Otherwise, differing from the worker only in the normal queen characters. Wing venation like that of Rogeria belti (Fig. 37).

Males

Kugler (1994) - TL 3.2-3.4, HL 0.60-0.62, HW 0.70-0.75, 5L 0.23-0.26, EL 0.32-0.35, PW 0.79-0.86, WL 1.10-1.24, PetL 0.34-0.35, PpetL 0.18-0.20mm, CI 1.16. 51 0.32-0.35. N=4

All males came from Rí Akabán, Venezuela. Mandibles with 4 subequal teeth. Anterior edge of clypeus with weak median notch. Frontal area a distinctly impressed triangle. No frontal lobes. Flagellomeres 2-11 straight, subequal in length and width. Habitus much like male of Rogeria belti, but junction of dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum has blunt lateral corners, and the propodeal spiracle faces more caudad.

Back of head microareolate with piligerous punctures in the pits; median vertex with additional longitudinal rugulae. Pronotum and mesopleura largely smooth. Mesonotum densely and finely rugulose with scattered punctures in intervals. Posterior face of propodeum, nodes, and gaster smooth. Genitalia as shown in Fig. 17. Hairs shorter, less flexuous than in worker; erect to suberect and moderately dense over much of body. Color dark brown with lighter brown appendages.

Paratype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Kugler (1994) - Syntype workers, BRAZIL: Amazonas, Ega (= Tefé) The Natural History Museum (4 syntypes examined).

Irogera foveata Holotype and paratype workers, BRAZIL: Amazonas, Manaus (K. Lenko) Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo (Paratype examined).

References