Strumigenys khakaura

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Strumigenys khakaura
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. khakaura
Binomial name
Strumigenys khakaura
(Bolton, 2000)

Pyramica khakaura casent0102262 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica khakaura casent0102262 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Known from rainforest and montane forest litter-samples.

Identification

Bolton (2000) - A member of the khakaura complex in the Strumigenys leptothrix-group. A very isolated and distinctive species. Within the group it is easily separated from Strumigenys exiguaevitae and its relatives by the characters noted under the species complexes.

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

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.

  • khakaura. Pyramica khakaura Bolton, 2000: 348 (w.) MADAGASCAR. Combination in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 122

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 2.3, HL 0.65, HW 0.44, CI 68, ML 0.10, MI 15, SL 0.36, SI 82, PW 0.26, AL 0.68. Characters of kakaura-complex. Dorsolateral margin of head from level of eye to occipital corner with 4-6 freely laterally projecting flagellate hairs; ventrolateral margin with a number of similar hairs. Cephalic dorsum from about midlength to occipital margin with standing flagellate hairs and ventral surface of head with a number of shorter erect flagellate hairs. Flagellate hairs present on promesonotal dorsum and its dorsolateral margins; also present on waist segments and first gastral tergite. Ventral surface of each femur with a spaced row of erect fine hairs. Cephalic dorsum with sculpture increasing in intensity from front to back. Anterior vertex unsculptured; at about level of eyes the surface becomes at first punctulate then reticulate-punctate; posteriorly the reticulae become larger and occipitally the surface is finely reticulate-rugulose. Cuticle within scrobe finely superficially reticulate though in most lights appearing partially smooth. Dorsal alitrunk with an extensive series of raised crest-like carinae and marginations. Pronotum sharply marginate anteriorly and dorsolaterally. Mesonotal dorsolateral marginations strongly convergent posteriorly and terminating in a short transverse crest just anterior to the propodeum. Midline of promesonotum with strong laminate longitudinal crest throughout its length; crest higher on mesonotum than on pronotum. Dorsolateral marginations of propodeum closely approximated anteriorly, strongly divergent posteriorly and confluent with the broad lamellae on the propodeal declivity. Peduncle of petiole with a pair of dorsolateral cuticular crests that partially ascend the anterior face of the node. Alitrunk and waist segments otherwise unsculptured; gaster unsculptured except for basigastral costulae.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: Provo Antsiranana, R. S. Manongarivo, 17.3 km. 218° SW Antanambao, 1580 m., 14°01.3'S, 48°25.1'E, 27.x.1998, #1970(50)-2, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), montane rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (The Natural History Museum).

References

  • Baroni Urbani, C. & De Andrade, M.L. 2007. The ant tribe Dacetini: limits and constituent genera, with descriptions of new species. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria”. 99:1-191.
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 348, worker described)