Simopone sicaria

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

Simopone sicaria casent0004544 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone sicaria casent0004544 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Gary Alpert has observed S. sicaria raiding an arboreal nest of Terataner alluaudi; the entire raid took less than 20 minutes. The Simopone workers moved rapidly among lower tree branches until they reached the Terataner nest in a twig, about 50 yards distant, which they entered. They emerged carrying the victim’s brood; captured adult Terataner were discarded and dropped to the ground. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Identification

A member of the emeryi species group. This appears to be the most size-variable species of the silens complex. Its closest relative is Simopone dux. See the identification section for Simopone rex and S. dux.

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.

  • sicaria. Simopone sicaria Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 62, figs. 67-69 (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 1.60–2.10 (1.92), HW 1.06–1.60 (1.42), SL 0.52–0.78 (0.70), EL 0.44–0.60 (0.55), PW 0.84–1.23 (1.08), AIIW 0.82–1.18 (1.01), AIIL 0.86–1.16 (1.04), AIIIW 1.02–1.52 (1.28), AIIIL 1.04–1.44 (1.28), WL 1.90–2.60 (2.28), MFL 0.98–1.52 (1.44), CI 66–80 (74), SI 46–50 (49), EL/HW 0.36–0.42 (0.38), EP 1.20–1.56 (1.56), AIIW/AIIL 0.95–1.07 (0.97), AIIIW/AIIIL 0.98–1.12 (1.00) (10 measured).

In full-face view anteriormost points of frontal lobes are very slightly posterior to the level of the midpoint of the shallowly convex anterior clypeal margin. With head tilted slightly back from full-face view the clypeal margin in front of each antennal socket is rounded and prominent, but does not distinctly project farther forward than the midpoint of the anterior clypeal margin. Frontal carinae in full-face view diverging posteriorly and terminating at about the level of the anterior margins of the eyes. Eyes located behind the cephalic midlength (EP 1.20–1.56). Leading edge of scape with conspicuous projecting setae. In full-face view entire side of head with projecting long setae that are curved anteriorly. In profile entire dorsum of head and ventral surface with abundant curved standing setae. Cephalic dorsum between eyes with sparse foveolate punctures on a glossy surface. Anterior and dorsal surfaces of pronotum separated by a weak margination or very feeble carina. Propodeal dorsum meets declivity through a blunt angle, without a transverse carina. Promesonotal suture weakly impressed, sometimes with vestiges of minute ribs; metanotal groove very faint to absent but median pit conspicuous. Mesosoma in dorsal view narrowest across mesonotum (in holotype PW 1.08, width across mesonotum at its midlength 0.98, maximum width across propodeum 1.10). Dorsum of mesosoma with scattered punctures. Entire mesosoma dorsally with numerous standing setae. Dorsal (outer) surfaces of mesotibiae and metatibiae with standing setae present that are curved or inclined toward the apex. Dorsal surface of AII (petiole) meets anterior surface at an angle or a weak transverse carina. Posteriorly the dorsum of AII lacks a carina but a weak transverse impression is usually present above the foramen. In dorsal view the posterior corners of AII extend into projecting sharp angles or small triangular teeth that project laterally or posterolaterally. Lateral surface of AII, below the dorsolateral margin and above the level of the spiracle, without a longitudinal ridge or carina that extends the length of the sclerite. In dorsal view AII and AIII vary from slightly longer than broad to slightly broader than long; AIV is broader than long. Abdominal tergites AII to AIV with numerous setae that are directed posteriorly and are mostly suberect to subdecumbent. Curved setae numerous and distinct on sternites of AIII and AIV. Abdominal tergites AII to AVI sculptured only with sparse punctures. Full adult colour black, appendages blackish brown to black; clypeus usually dull reddish.

Type Material

Holotype worker (top specimen of three on pin), Madagascar: 6.5 km SSW Befingotra, Res. Anjanaharibe-Sud, 14°45’S, 49°30’E, 875 m, 27.x.1994, BLF1136, CASENT0004545, ex rotten stick on ground, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 2 workers mounted on same pin below holotype; 9 workers (one crudely dissected) with same data as holotype but labelled only with BLF1136, CASENT0004545 (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.