Simopelta anomma

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Simopelta anomma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Simopelta
Species: S. anomma
Binomial name
Simopelta anomma
Fernandes, Souza, Fernandez, Delabie & Schultz, 2015

Fernandes 2015 Simopelta anomma p.jpg

Fernandes 2015 Simopelta anomma d.jpg

The robust forecoxa, lack of eyes, and clubbed (3-segmented) antennae of S. anomma all suggest that the species is subterranean yet these characteristics strongly suggest that S. anomma may be mostly or entirely subterranean, the fact that the three known specimens were collected by Winkler leaf-litter sifting suggests that it may occasionally forage above ground in the leaf litter. The area where the workers were sampled in Rondônia (Ilha do Búfalo, Rio Madeira, km 2–subparcela 200) is part of a conservation monitoring project supported by the Santo Antônio Energia Hydroelectric Plant. At the time when the ants were collected, the water level of the Madeira River had risen 19 m above the maximum limit for the first time in four years of monitoring. Due to the elevation of the river water, the groundwater was also climbing, perhaps forcing normally subterranean species to the surface (Fernandes et al. in press). Following the elevation of the river water no additional specimens of S. anomma were encountered.

Identification

Fernandes et al. (2015) - worker Eyes absent; antennal club 3–segmented; midtibiae covered by short, golden, stout setae; arolia reduced and translucent; ventral petiolar process rounded; body yellow.

The form of the clypeus, mesosoma, petiole, and the gastral constriction in S. anomma are similar to those in Simopelta pergandei, but eyes are present in the latter species. Simopelta minima is also similar to S. anomma in total length (TL: 2.08–2.40) and presence of the clypeal spine, but, again, differs by the presence of eyes, as well as in its 4-segmented antennal club; lack of short, golden, stout setae on the midtibia; triangular anteroventral petiolar process; finer sculpture; and darker color. Simopelta anomma is apparently a member of the curvata species complex created by Mackay and Mackay (2008) due to the presence of an elongate spine on the median border of the clypeus and the total length less than 4mm.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Costa Rica.


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 New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • anomma. Simopelta anomma Fernandes, Souza, et al., 2015, 2015: 297, figs. 1-3 (w.) BRAZIL.

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

Description

Worker

(n=2): HL: 0.464–0.480; HW: 0.400–0.416; SL: 0.288–0.320; WL: 0.672–0.720; PW: 0.264–0.288; NH: 0.168–0.192; NL: 0.168–0.192; GL: 0.840–0.984; TL: 2.160–2.360.

Head rectangular, sides almost straight and parallel with one another, occipital corners rounded. Mandibles subtriangular with acute basal tooth, two closely spaced apical teeth, and no teeth or denticles between basal and apical teeth; eyes absent; antennae with 12 segments; antennal scapes not extending beyond posterior cephalic margin; antennae with distinct 3-segmented club; last funicular segment as long as the preceding three together; frontal lobes elevated by a narrow and deep furrow; clypeus triangular, elevated in the middle, with a sharp and almost cylindrical median spine. Pronotum as long as the propodeum; laterocervical plate inflated; promesonotal groove well marked. Metanotal groove deep dorsally and well marked laterally; katepisternum and anepisternum not separated by a suture. Propodeum in dorsal view subrectangular with posterior superior corners slightly rounded; in lateral view, propodeal spiracles round, large, almost reaching the dorsal surface. Petiole in lateral view as long as high, subquadrate, with subparallel anterior and posterior sides; ventral petiolar process rounded. Gaster with constriction between abdominal segment III and IV; coxae, femurs, and tibiae robust; arolia reduced and translucent.

Body predominantly yellow. Mandibles and legs smooth and shiny. Head and antennae finely punctulate and shiny. Mesosoma finely punctulate and shining laterally.

Body covered with fine, short, golden hairs, most abundant on the dorsal surface; middle area of clypeus and mandibles along the masticatory border with long, subdecumbent, golden hairs; sparse golden hairs on the coxae, trochanters, and femurs; pectinate spur present on the legs; tibiae on the forelegs and hindlegs covered by thick, short, golden hairs on the ventral surface; tibiae on the middle legs with abundant, golden, stout setae on all surfaces; tarsus covered by short, golden, stout setae, more abundant on the ventral surface.

Type Material

Holotype worker: BRAZIL, Rondônia, Rio Madeira (módulo da Ilha do Búfalo), 09°08’18”S, 64°29’22”W, km 2, subparcela 200, 19.i.2014, leg. A. H. C. Oliveira, pin labeled USNMENT00923312 (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia). One paratype: same data as the holotype, but pin labeled USNMENT00923313 (Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo).

Etymology

Greek origin: an=without and omma=eyes, due the absence of eyes.

References