Simopelta laticeps

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Simopelta laticeps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Simopelta
Species: S. laticeps
Binomial name
Simopelta laticeps
Gotwald & Brown, 1967

Simopelta laticeps castype09451 profile 1.jpg

Simopelta laticeps castype09451 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Beyond some habitat information (cloud forest) for the type specimen little is known about the biology of Simopelta laticeps.

Identification

Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The worker of this species can be easily separated from most of the others in the genus, by the four mandibular teeth, and the sharp spine on the anterior medial margin of the clypeus. It could be confused with Simopelta mayri, which shares these characteristics. It can be separated, as the posterior margin of the head is strongly concave, and the posterior lateral corners are sharply angulate. Additionally, the petiole is thicker (width at level of peduncles, including the poorly developed spiracular horn 0.42 mm, height at same region 0.36 - .42 mm).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Peru (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

Cloud forest zone on the west slope of a low Andean pass at 2000 m (Gotwald and Brown, 1966).

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • laticeps. Simopelta laticeps Gotwald & Brown, 1967: 273, figs. 15, 16 (w.) PERU. Combination in Belonopelta: Baroni Urbani, 1975b: 299; in Simopelta: Bolton, 1995b: 383. See also: Mackay & Mackay, 2008: 305.

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

Description

Worker

Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The worker is a large (total length about 5.5 mm), reddish-brown to black specimen, with reddish appendages. The mandibles have four well-developed teeth. The anterior medial border of the clypeus has a sharp, short (0.06 mm), spine or tooth. The eye is small (maximum diameter 0.06 mm), and the scape extends about the first funicular segment past the sharply angulate, posterior lateral corner of the head. The posterior margin of the head is strongly concave. The dorsum of the mesosoma is broadly depressed, and reaches its lowest point at the metanotal suture. The petiole is only weakly narrowed as seen in profile; the subpetiolar process forms a single low, flattened lobe, which is angulate posteriorly.

The mandibles are striate, the dorsum of the head is punctate, and finely striolate, with the punctures being smaller than the diameter of the eye. The dorsum of the mesosoma, excluding the propodeum is transversely striolate, the sides are obliquely or nearly horizontally striate. The dorsum of the propodeum of the type series is shining (Gotwald and Brown, 1966), that of specimens from Colombia is transversely striolate. The side and both faces of petiole are horizontally striate, the dorsum is shining (Gotwald and Brown, 1966) or finely striated (specimens from Colombia). The dorsum of the postpetiole is smooth and glossy, with scattered punctures.

Most surfaces have erect and suberect hairs, including the scapes, dorsal and ventral surfaces the head, dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole, and gaster, suberect to appressed hairs are also present on these surfaces, as well as on the legs, including the tibiae.

Type Material

Mackay and Mackay (2008) - Worker, (holotype seen) Perú: Lambayeque: 20 mi. E Olmos. The holotype is in the California Academy of Sciences, a paratype is reported to be in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (not found).

References