Strumigenys castanea

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Strumigenys castanea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. castanea
Binomial name
Strumigenys castanea
(Brown, 1953)

Two collections from little samples were found in wet forest. The type material was collected from a Columbian orchid being imported into the United States.

Identification

A member of the Strumigenys schulzi-group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality), Venezuela.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Strumigenys were once thought to be rare. The development and increased use of litter sampling methods has led to the discovery of a tremendous diversity of species. Many species are specialized predators (e.g. see Strumigenys membranifera and Strumigenys louisianae). Collembola (springtails) and other tiny soil arthropods are typically favored prey. Species with long linear mandibles employ trap-jaws to sieze their stalked prey (see Dacetine trap-jaws). Larvae feed directly on insect prey brought to them by workers. Trophallaxis is rarely practiced. Most species live in the soil, leaf litter, decaying wood or opportunistically move into inhabitable cavities on or under the soil. Colonies are small, typically less than 100 individuals but in some species many hundreds. Moist warm habitats and micro-habitats are preferred. A few better known tramp and otherwise widely ranging species tolerate drier conditions. Foraging is often in the leaf litter and humus. Workers of many species rarely venture above ground or into exposed, open areas. Individuals are typically small, slow moving and cryptic in coloration. When disturbed individuals freeze and remain motionless. Males are not known for a large majority of species.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • castanea. Smithistruma (Smithistruma) castanea Brown, 1953g: 107 (w.) COLOMBIA. Combination in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 117. See also: Bolton, 2000: 217.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton (2000) - TL 1.9-2.0, HL 0.53-0.55, HW 0.41-0.43, CI 76-78, ML 0.08-0.09, MI 15-17, SL 0.22-0.24, SI 57-59, PW 0.27-0.28, AL 0.52-0.55 (3 measured).

Answering the description of Strumigenys schulzi and only separable from that species by the shape of the petiole node in dorsal view. In schulzi this is fairly obviously broader than long, while in castanea it is longer than broad. S. schulzi, as currently conceived, shows noticeable variation (see description and discussion). It may be that castanea should be included in that species, or that schulzi is really a compound of more than one genuine species, but whilst so little material of either is available it is impossible to judge the significance of the variation.

Type Material

Bolton (2000) - Holotype worker and paratype workers, COLOMBIA: U.S . Plant Quarantine, no. EQA 432835, Lot No. 37-23832, Colombia, 10.1.37, on orchid pseudobulb (Museum of Comparative Zoology, National Museum of Natural History) [examined].

References