Simopone miniflava

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

Simopone miniflava casent0260386 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone miniflava casent0260386 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known only from the queen caste, a holotype collected in the undergrowth of coastal lowland rainforest.

Identification

This small, uniformly yellow species is quite different from any other in the schoutedeni species group. The combination of its colour, complete lack of cephalic ground sculpture, and mostly parallel-sided AII and dimensions render it immediately recognisable. Coupled with this, the lack of a distinct mesopleural transverse sulcus is unique among the few known queens of the schoutedeni group. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Gabon (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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • miniflava. Simopone miniflava Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 33, figs. 22-24 (q.) GABON.
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Gabon: Prov. Ogoové-Maritime, Rés. Monts Doudou, 25.2 km. 304° NW Doussala, 2°13.63’S, 10°23.67’E, 600 m., 16.iii.2000, sweep, GA00-S123, coastal lowland rainforest, undergrowth, low canopy in forest (S. van Noort).
    • Type-depository: CASC.
    • Distribution: Gabon.

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

Description

Queen

Holotype. (dealate gyne). HL 0.84, HW 0.56, SL 0.27, EL 0.28, PW 0.45, AIIW 0.42, AIIL 0.44, AIIIW 0.52, AIIIL 0.58, WL 1.14, MFL 0.48, CI 67, SI 48, EL/HW 0.50, EP 1.07, AIIW/AIIL 0.95, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90.

With head in full-face view the midpoints of the outer margins of the eyes distinctly interrupt the outlines of the sides of the head. ES 0.25 and width of head across broadest part of eyes 0.58; minimum distance between eyes 0.26. Frontal carinae extend back to level of anterior margins of eyes and are weakly divergent posteriorly. Cephalic dorsum with extremely sparse scattered vestiges of shallow punctures; without trace of longitudinal ground sculpture. Leading edge of scape with a few setae, inclined toward the scape apex. Sides of head below and behind eyes with projecting short setae, inclined anteriorly. Cephalic dorsum with numerous short, curved setae and also with two much longer, posteriorly curved setae above each eye. Ventral surface of head with numerous short setae. Mesosoma in dorsal view with mesoscutum 0.45 maximum width, 0.33 maximum length. Anterior margin of pronotum without a defined carina; the junction of anterior and dorsal surfaces marked by a blunt angle and a weak, broken margination that appears to consist of the anterior edges of a line of shallow punctures. Propodeum with an angle between dorsum and declivity, without a carina, but a low carina present on each side of declivity. Entire dorsum of mesosoma with very sparse broad shallow punctures, without ground sculpture between them. Mesopleuron without a transverse sulcus. Propodeal declivity smooth. In profile, dorsal surfaces of mesosoma and abdominal tergites AII and AIII with numerous short curved setae. Standing setae are present on middle and hind femora and tibiae. AII (petiole) in dorsal view with a weak transverse carina both anteriorly and posteriorly. Sides of AII straight and parallel for most of their length, slightly narrowed immediately behind the anterior carina; width across AII is constant for most of its length. Dorsum of AII with weak vestiges of punctures, mostly smooth. On AIII the punctures are better defined than on AII but are widely separated; without ground sculpture on either segment. Abdominal segments behind AIII missing. AII and AIII longer than broad. Head, body and appendages entirely yellow, scapes and funiculi not contrasting with the head capsule. The only traces of darker colour occur as a small patch between the ocelli, around the flight sclerites and on the helcium.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype queen, Gabon: Ogoové-Maritime, Réserve des Monts Doudou, 25.2 km 304° NW Doussala, 2°13.63’S, 10°23.67’E, 600 m, 16.iii.2000, sweep GA00-S123, coastal lowland rainforest, undergrowth, low canopy in forest (S. van Noort) (California Academy of Sciences). Holotype is badly damaged, with abdominal segments after AIII missing.

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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