Simopelta longirostris

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Simopelta longirostris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Simopelta
Species: S. longirostris
Binomial name
Simopelta longirostris
Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2008

Mackay and Mackay 2008 Simopelta40.jpg

Both type specimens were collected from a Winkler extraction. A series from Ecuador formed a column on the forest floor.

Identification

Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The worker of this species is easily recognized by the narrow lobe of the clypeus, which overhangs the remainder of the clypeus. The transverse striae on the head, as well as the relatively short antennal scapes and the short mesonotum could cause confusion with Simopelta breviscapa, but the latter species has a broadly rounded medial clypeal border or at the most a slightly angulate point. The long, lobed process over the clypeal apron could cause confusion with Simopelta andersoni. They can be easily separated as S. andersoni has four mandibular teeth, S. longirostris has three.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Ecuador.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

High elevation tropical cloud forest (1840m).

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • longirostris. Simopelta longirostris Mackay & Mackay, 2008: 308, figs. 14, 40 (w.) COLOMBIA.

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

Description

Worker

The worker is a small (total length 3.0-3.5 mm), black ant, with brownish legs. The head is relatively elongated, the head length is 0.82 mm, the head width 0.58 mm. The mandibles have three, well-developed, sharp teeth. The clypeus forms an extended, narrow lobe which passes over the apron of the clypeus. The sides of the head are nearly parallel, only slightly narrowed anterior to, and posterior to the eye. The posterior border of the head is broadly convex. The eye is small (maximum diameter 0.06 mm) located more than 2 diameters from the anterior margin of the head. The scape is relatively short (0.74-0.78 mm) and extends only slightly past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The mesonotum (length 0.28 mm) is noticeably shorter than the dorsal face of the propodeum (length 0.42 mm), when both are viewed in profile. The anterior and posterior faces of the petiole are parallel; the dorsal face is well developed and slopes upwards. The spiracular horns and the subpetiolar process are weakly developed.

Short (0.04 mm) erect and suberect hairs are present on most surfaces, including the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, the scapes, dorsum of the mesosoma, legs, dorsum of the petiole, and dorsum of the gaster. Longer hairs (up to 0.1 mm in length) are present on the mandibles, clypeus, and ventral surface of the gaster. A few scattered hairs are nearly appressed.

The mandibles are dull and finely striated, the dorsum of the head is covered with transverse striae, which pass anteriorly on the sides of the head and are mostly transverse on the ventral surface of the head. The striae on the mesosoma are similar, although portions are smooth and glossy, including the lower one third of the pronotum, lower half of the mesopleuron, and most of the legs. The side and dorsum of the petiole and postpetiole (with tiny, scattered punctures) are finely striated and partially smooth and glossy.

Type Material

Holotype worker (# 50123 Humboldt Institute), one paratype worker (# 50122 William and Emma Mackay), COLOMBIA Nariño R.N. La Planada Vía Hondón, 1°15’N 78°15’W 1930m, Winkler 16-20.xii.2000, G. Olivia Leg. M.1446.

Etymology

From Latin longis meaning long, and rostrum, meaning beak, referring to the long clypeal process which overhangs the apron of the clypeus.

References