Simopone elegans

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Simopone elegans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Simopone
Species: S. elegans
Binomial name
Simopone elegans
Bolton & Fisher, 2012

Simopone elegans casent0492213 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone elegans casent0492213 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The types were collected from a dead twig above the ground in a tropical dry forest. Individuals have also been collected foraging on the ground and on low vegetation from littoral rainforest.

Identification

A member of the grandidieri species group. S. elegans exhibits the same size-related variation that is shown by Simopone grandidieri. Within the type-series HW varies from 0.58 to 0.74 and CI from 66 to 71. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of most species of Simopone. Specimens are rarely collected, and the number of species known only from workers is telling in regards to a lack of nest samples. Species are almost entirely arboreal but on occasion foraging workers are found on the ground or in rotten logs. Prey records are extremely sparse. They consist only of Crematogaster brood by Simopone vepres, and the brood of Terataner by Simopone sicaria. Nevertheless, these two records support the general supposition by Brown (1975) that most or all members of tribe Cerapachyini prey on other ants, or more probably the brood of other ants, but actual records are extremely rare. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • elegans. Simopone elegans Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 48, figs. 43-45 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(holotype in parentheses). HL 0.88–1.24 (1.01), HW 0.58–0.88 (0.70), SL 0.21–0.34 (0.27), EL 0.27–0.34 (0.32), PW 0.46–0.70 (0.57), AIIW 0.48–0.68 (0.54), AIIL 0.54–0.80 (0.62), AIIIW 0.53–0.68 (0.62), AIIIL 0.54–0.75 (0.62), WL 1.04–1.44 (1.20), MFL 0.46–0.66 (0.55), CI 65–71 (69), SI 36–43 (39), EL/HW 0.39–0.47 (0.46), EP 0.74–0.84 (0.77), AIIW/AIIL 0.84–0.90 (0.87), AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90–1.00 (1.00) (10 measured).

Very similar to Simopone grandidieri and generally matching the description of that species, but differing as follows.

Leading edge of scape with one or two projecting setae that are inclined toward the scape apex. Cephalic dorsum to level of posterior margins of eyes with sharply defined microreticulate ground sculpture between larger foveolate punctures. Eye tends to be slightly farther forward in elegans (EP 0.74–0.84) than in grandidieri (EP 0.80–1.00). In full-face view sides of head often, but not always, with a very few short, projecting setae. Mesotibiae and metatibiae usually without standing setae, but one or two may be present (for instance, one is present on left mesotibia of holotype). AII longer than broad in dorsal view; AIII as broad as long to slightly longer than broad. Tergites AII to AIV usually with 1–2 pairs of setae anteriorly and sometimes 1–2 pairs near posterior margin of each segment, but numbers are variable and some abrasion is suspected. In the type-series sternites of AII–AIV have no setae, or at most have 1–2 short setae close to the posterior margins; setae on these segments are generally more apparent in the non-paratypic material. Dorsum of mesosoma usually retains at least traces of microreticulate ground sculpture, but this is generally more feebly developed than on the head between the eyes.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker (top specimen of three on pin), Madagascar: Prov. Mahajanga, P.N. Baie de Baly, 12.4 km 337° NNW Soalala, 10 m, 16°00.6’S, 45°15.9’E, 26-30.xi.2002, BLF#6890, ex dead twig above ground, tropical dry forest, CASENT0492213 (B.L. Fisher et al.) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. Two workers mounted on same pin below holotype; two workers with same data but CASENT0492214 (CASC).

References

  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2012. Taxonomy of the cerapachyine ant genera Simopone Forel, Vicinopone gen. n. and Tanipone gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 3283, 1–101.