Simopone merita

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

Simopone merita casent0004543 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone merita casent0004543 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The type specimen was collected from a Malaise trap in montane rainforest.

Identification

A member of the emeryi species group.

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

Nomenclature

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

  • merita. Simopone merita Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 57, figs. 58-60 (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. HL 1.64, HW 1.11, SL 0.52, EL 0.43, PW 0.88, AIIW 0.84, AIIL 0.83, AIIIW 0.95, AIIIL 1.00, WL 1.74, MFL 0.93, CI 68, SI 47, EL/HW 0.39, EP 0.96, AIIW/AIIL 1.01, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.95.

In full-face view anteriormost points of frontal lobes do not conspicuously project beyond the level of the anterior clypeal margin. Eyes located close to cephalic midlength (EP 0.96). Leading edge of scape with 3–4 projecting long setae that are inclined toward the scape apex. In full-face view sides of head from level of eyes to clypeus with a few laterally projecting setae that arise from close to the vetrolateral margin of the head; sides behind eyes without projecting setae. In profile cephalic dorsum with two inconspicuous standing short setae that arise just above the eye; setae distinct on ventral surface of head. Cephalic dorsum between eyes densely punctate and with dense, longitudinally arranged, roughly striolate ground sculpture. Behind the eyes the ground sculpture fades out, but anteriorly it extends forward between the frontal carinae. In dorsal view the pronotum with a transverse carina anteriorly. Propodeal dorsum meets declivity through a narrowly rounded angle, without trace of a carina. Promesonotal suture shallow but distinct, metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Mesosoma in dorsal view with mesonotum slightly narrower than both pronotum and propodeum. Punctate sculpture on pronotal dorsum much more dense than on mesonotal dorsum; punctures on central area of mesonotum especially sparse so that the vast majority of the surface appears smooth. Pronotum with a single pair of setae close to the humeri; mesonotum and propodeum without setae. Dorsal (outer) surfaces of mesotibiae and metatibiae with one or two projecting setae near their apices. Dorsal surface of AII (petiole) meets anterior surface in a narrowly rounded angle, without a transverse carina. Posteriorly the dorsum of AII has a low transverse ridge above the foramen. In dorsal view the posterior corners of AII are bluntly angulate but do not project as teeth. In dorsal view AII about as long as broad; AIII slightly longer than broad. Dorsal surfaces of abdominal tergites AII to AIV without setae, but setae present on sternites of AIII and AIV. Grey pubescence conspicuous on sternite of AIII. Abdominal tergites AII to AIV sculptured only with small punctures. Full adult colour black; appendages and clypeus lighter, and with a dull red spot on the side of the pronotum and on the side of the tergite of AIII.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: 9.2 km WSW Befingotra, Res. Anjanaharibe-Sud, 14°45’S, 49°28’E, 1280 m, 13–12 (sic).xi.1994, BLF1155-4, CASENT0004543, Malaise trap, montane rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences).

References