Strumigenys fenkara

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Strumigenys fenkara
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. fenkara
Binomial name
Strumigenys fenkara
(Bolton, 1983)

Strumigenys fenkara casent0900089 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys fenkara casent0900089 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known from a variety of forest habitats, this species has been collected in litter samples and once from under a stone.

Identification

Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys weberi-group. Disc of postpetiole smooth. Metanotal groove absent. Standing hairs on clypeal dorsum similar in length and structure to those on cephalic dorsum; those on the latter thickened or flattened apically.

Bolton (1983) - S. fenkara is closest related to Strumigenys placora, Strumigenys tolomyla and Strumigenys synkara. The characters linking them and those which separate them are noted under synkara.

S. fenkara is separated from Strumigenys arahana by its massive development of the posterior petiolar spongiform appendage, as discussed under the latter name; fenkara is differentiated from Strumigenys malaplax by the lack of specialized hairs on the head behind the clypeus in the latter.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola (type locality), Uganda.


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.

  • fenkara. Smithistruma fenkara Bolton, 1983: 302 (w.) ANGOLA. Combination in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 120. See also: Bolton, 2000: 337.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. TL 2.4, HL 0.67, HW 0.43, CI 64, ML 0.07, MI 10, SL 0.31, SI 72, PW 0.30, AL 0.66.

Dentition not clearly visible as mandibles closed but apparently like that described for malaplax. Anterior clypeal margin transverse, the sides irregular, shallowly convex and weakly convergent anteriorly. With the head in full-face view the lateral clypeal margins with a few simple short anteriorly curved hairs on the posterior half, but the pilosity dominated by the numerous stout hairs which project anterolaterally are clavate apically and upcurved in their distal half to third. Sides of head with numerous similar projecting clavate hairs which are curved forwards or upwards, the posterior curve of the occipital lobes with weakly flagellate hairs replacing the clavate pilosity. In profile the clypeal dorsum with clavate hairs anteriorly which curve upwards. The surface of the clypeus behind these hairs is shallowly concave and hairless. Posteriorly the clypeal dorsum with a transverse row of sinuate clavate erect hairs which are slightly longer than those situated anteriorly. Dorsum of head from posterior margin of clypeus to vertex with simple short ground-pilosity which is curved anteriorly and closely applied to the surface, and with longer stout clavate hairs which are erect to suberect, feebly inclined or curved anteriorly, all of about the same length and stature and about equal in length to the posterior clavate clypeal row. Sloping portion of head behind the vertex and in front of the occipital margin with weakly flagellate hairs replacing the clavate pilosity. Antennal scapes feebly bent at about the basal third, the leading edge with a projecting row of long curved hairs which are weakly clavate apically. Maximum diameter of eye 0.16 X HW. Entire dorsum of head densely reticulate-rugulose. Pronotum not marginate laterally, without a median longitudinal ridge or carina dorsally. With the alitrunk in profile the metanotal groove absent, the propodeal teeth narrowly triangular and subtended by a narrow infradental lamella whose free margin is evenly concave. Sides of pronotum and propodeum irregularly rugulose, the pleurae punctate but the metapleuron mostly smooth centrally. Pronotal dorsum strongly longitudinally rugose, with a few cross-meshes and with the interspaces weakly punctate to granular. Mesonotum more strongly reticulate-rugose than pronotum, especially posteriorly. Propodeal dorsum punctate, with rugulae at the sides and one or two weak transverse rugulae close to the declivity, the latter smooth. Petiole node irregularly rugose dorsally, the postpetiole smooth and shining. First gastral tergite un sculptured except for the strong basigastral costulae. Dorsal surfaces of pronotum; mesonotum, petiole, postpetiole and gaster with numerous fine weakly flagellate hairs. Spongiform appendages of pedicel segments massively developed in profile. In dorsal view the petiole node with a broad posterior strip which is narrowed posteromedially. Postpetiole completely surrounded by thick spongiform material in dorsal view, the posterior strip deeply indented medially. First gastral tergite with a thick basal spongiform ruff. Colour medium brown, the gaster blackish brown.

Paratype. TL 2.3, HL 0.68, HW 0.43, CI 63, ML 0.07, MI 10, SL 0.30, SI 70, PW 0.30, AL 0.63.

As holotype.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Angola: Dundo, Carisso Park, gallery forest, R. Luachimo, 7°22'S, 20°50'E, 26.iv.1963, ‘berlesate by native collector’ (Museum of Comparative Zoology).

Paratype. 1 worker with same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum).

References