Strumigenys mekaha

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

Strumigenys mekaha casent0900087 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys mekaha casent0900087 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Strumigenys mekaha.

Identification

Bolton (1983) - A member of the Strumigenys weberi-group. Among the known species of the weberi-complex only 3, Strumigenys kerasma, mekaha and Strumigenys weberi, have the metanotal groove impressed. Of these weberi is recognised by the very strong impression in the posterior margin of the spongiform strip bordering the postpetiole posteriorly. This impression is so deep in weberi that it reaches to the margin of the postpetiolar disc, whereas in kerasma and mekaha the impression is shallow and there is always a wide expanse of spongiform material between the posterior margin of the postpetiolar disc and the deepest point of the impression. Other differences from weberi are tabulated under kerasma. S. kerasma and mekaha are separated by the form of the cephalic pilosity, which in the former consists of numerous standing hairs which are erect basally but pass through an obtuse angle near their midlengths so that their upper portions are directed forwards. In mekaha, on the other hand, all the cephalic hairs are strongly arched forwards from base to apex so that their apices are in contact with the surface some distance in front of their bases.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun (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.

  • mekaha. Smithistruma mekaha Bolton, 1983: 305 (w.) CAMEROUN. Combination in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 123. See also: Bolton, 2000: 338.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton (1983) - Holotype. TL 2.6, HL 0.70, HW 0.46, CI 66, ML 0.06, MI 9, SL 0.31, SI 65, PW 0.32, AL 0.71.

Principal dental row of 5 teeth, dentition as described for kerasma. Anterior clypeal margin extremely shallowly convex, the anterolateral angles rounded. Lateral margins of clypeus very feebly divergent posteriorly, the preocular lamellae continuing the lines of the clypeal margins in full-face view but slightly convergent posteriorly. Lateral and anterior margins of clypeus with fine simple hairs which are directed forward or forward and upward, the clypeal dorsum with some erect curved fine hairs. Behind the level of the clypeus all hairs on the cephalic dorsum are fine, simple and strongly arched forward so that their apices are in contact with the surface some distance in front of their bases. Lateral margins of head with some freely projecting fine hairs and with curved hairs like those on the dorsum. Upper scrobe margins divergent behind the frontal lobes, the sides of the head behind the level of the scrobes irregularly convex. Occipital margin concave and with a narrow bordering rim or flange. Clypeus irregularly rugose, the sculpture much weaker than on the cephalic dorsum. Dorsum of head coarsely irregularly rugose to coarsely punctate-rugose, the rugae in places surrounding small foveolate punctures from which the hairs arise. Scapes narrow at base, broadening to a maximum at about the midlength then narrowing again to the apex. Leading edges of scapes with fine projecting simple hairs. Pronotum not marginate laterally, without a median longitudinal ridge or carina. Metanotal groove shallowly but conspicuously impressed. In profile the propodeal teeth short and stout, the infradental lamellae very narrow and with concave free margins. Sides of pronotum, metapleuron and propodeum coarsely irregularly rugose, contrasting strongly with the mesopleuron which is sculptured with fine sharply incised small separate punctures on a smooth surface. Pronotal dorsum very coarsely irregularly longitudinally rugose, the rugae and the small spaces between them smooth. Mesonotum similarly sculptured, propodeum rugose towards the sides but the centre of the dorsum with a few deformed punctures. Dorsal alitrunk with numerous fine simple hairs. Spongiform appendages of pedicel segments massively developed. In profile the ventral spongiform appendage of the petiole forming a lobe anteriorly which is suddenly narrowed at about the level of the ascending face of the node and then broadened again behind, as if a broadly triangular notch had been cut in the ventral margin of the spongiform tissue. Ventral spongiform lobe of post petiole very large. Petiole node in dorsal view coarsely sculptured, with a thick posterior ruff of spongiform material which is almost as thick at its midlength (its narrowest point) as the dorsum of the node is long, the spongiform material becoming even thicker laterally. Postpetiolar disc unsculptured, smooth and shining, surrounded on all sides by dense spongiform tissue. Anterior margin of postpetiole bounded by a transverse spongiform strip, the sides bounded by projecting spongiform tissue which is narrowest anteriorly. Posterior spongiform strip of postpetiole with its posterior margin very weakly indented medially, the indentation very shallow and not approaching the margin of the disc; with a thick band of spongiform material separating the posteriormost point of the disc from the base of the impression. Base of first gastral tergite with a broad dense spongiform strip which is not traversed by the basigastral costulae; the latter short but strongly defined on the base of the tergite proper. Pilosity of petiole, postpetiole and gaster entirely of fine simple hairs. Colour brown

Paratype. TL 26. HL 0.70, HW 0.47, CI 67, ML 0.07, MI 10, SL 0.31, SI 66, PW 0.33, AL 0.73. As holotype.

Type Material

Bolton (1983) - Holotype worker, Cameroun: nr Yaounde, sample ABH (G. Terron) (Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique). Paratype. 1 worker with same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum).

References