Strumigenys mesahyla

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

Strumigenys mesahyla casent0900632 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys mesahyla casent0900632 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The type collection was made from a Solenopsis nest. The only other record of this species was found in Euclea-Seersia Open Shrubland.

Identification

A member of the arnoldi complex in the Strumigenys arnoldi-group.

Bolton (1983) - The closest relative of mesahyla is Strumigenys traegaordhi, known only from South Africa. The two species can be separated as follows:

traegaordhi mesahyla
Dorsum of head with 6 standing hairs, the hairs slender. Dorsum of head with 4 standing hairs, the hairs thick.
Hairs of cephalic ground-pilosity the same everywhere on the head. Hairs of cephalic ground-pilosity much narrower posteriorly than anteriorly.
Mesonotum with 2 pairs of stout standing hairs. Mesonotum with a single pair of stout standing hairs.
Reticulate-punctate sculpture predominant on pronotum. Longitudinal rugular sculpture predominant on pronotum.
Ventral spongiform lobe slightly smaller than exposed area of disc in profile. Ventral spongiform lobe much larger than exposed area of disc in profile.
Basigastral costulae arising across entire width of first tergite. Basigastral costulae arising on each side of a clear central area on first tergite.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Zimbabwe (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.

  • mesahyla. Strumigenys mesahyla Bolton, 1983: 379, fig. 69 (w.) ZIMBABWE. See also: Bolton, 2000: 594.

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 2.0, HL 0.57, HW 0.41, CI 75, ML 0.25, MI 43, SL 0.32, SI 75, PW 0.26, AL 0.58.

Apical fork of each mandible with 2 teeth, without intercalary teeth or denticles. Preapical armament of 2 teeth on each blade, the proximal longer than the distal and both teeth situated in the apical quarter to third of the length of the blade. Upper scrobe margins bordered by a narrow rim or flange which is broadest behind the frontal lobes and slowly peters out posteriorly; the eyes not visible in full-face view. Eyes very small, with only 4 ommatidia, the maximum diameter of the eye less than the maximum width of the scape. Preocular notch absent, the ventral surface of the head lacking a preocular transverse groove or impression. Scapes relatively slender, only moderately broadened in the median third and evenly shallowly curved in the basal third. Leading edges of scapes with an apically curved row of shallowly spoon-shaped hairs. Ground-pilosity of cephalic dorsum everywhere of broad flattened to spoon-shaped hairs which are curved anteriorly and which appear scale-like in full-face view. These hairs approximately the same size everywhere on the dorsum, not becoming much smaller on the posterior half. Hairs fringing the upper scrobe margins the same shape and size as those on the dorsum. Four stout standing hairs which are thickened apically are present in a transverse row close to the occipital margin; there is no pair of standing hairs situated anterior to this row. Dorsum of head reticulate-punctate. Pronotal humeri each with a single long flagellate hair, the mesonotum with a single pair of stout standing hairs. Ground-pilosity of alitrunk of sparse scale-like hairs which are similar to those on the head but smaller. Metanotal groove represented by a faint line across the dorsum, the mesonotum sharply depressed behind the level of the pair of hairs. Propodeal teeth narrowly triangular and acute apically, confluent in their- basal halves with the shallowly convex broad infradental lamellae. Sides of alitrunk mostly smooth, with vestigial traces of rugular sculpture anteriorly on the pronotum and with scattered peripheral patches of punctures on the pleurae and propodeum. Pronotal dorsum longitudinally rugulose, the remainder of the dorsal alitrunk punctate. Petiole node punctate dorsally, the postpetiole smooth and shining. Spongiform appendages of pedicel segments well developed. In profile the petiole with a broad ventral strip which projects into a lobe below the spiracle, and with a lateral lobe on the node. Postpetiole with large lateral and ventral spongiform lobes, the latter much larger than the exposed area of the postpetiolar disc in profile. Basigastral costulae sparse but quite sharply defined, arising on each side of a broad central clear area. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster with stout standing hairs which are thickened apically. Colour yellow.

Paratype. TL 2.1, HL 0.52, HW 0.41, CI 79, ML 0.22, MI 42, SL 0.30, SI 73, PW 0.24, AL 0.54.

As holotype but the infradental lamella of the propodeum not as evenly convex as indicated in Fig. 69 and the ventral spongiform lobe of the petiole more broadly triangular and only narrowly spongiform in front of the lobe.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Zimbabwe: Bulawayo, Hillside, 8.ii.1914, in nest of Solenopsis sp. (G. Arnold) (The Natural History Museum). Paratype. 1 worker, Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls, spray forest, iii. 1969 (W. L. Brown) (Museum of Comparative Zoology).

References