Strumigenys sardonica

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

Strumigenys sardonica casent0900098 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys sardonica casent0900098 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known from the holotpye, a worker collected in a forest litter-sample.

Identification

Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys oxysma-group. The clypeal pilosity of sardonica is distinctive, being denser, longer and finer than in any other member of the group except Strumigenys mira. The latter is easily differentiated as it has erect hairs on the leading edges of the scapes, minute eyes of only 1-2 ommatidia and long flagellate hairs on the tibiae and basitarsi, all of which are absent in sardonica. Conversely, in sardonica the clypeus is almost unsculptured and has a highly polished anteromedian tumulus, whereas in mira the clypeus is finely sculptured and dull. In sardonica the long posteriorly curved hairs of the anterior clypeal margin that project beyond the lateral margins of the mandibles are almost filiform, being at most only fractionally broadened apically. In Strumigenys anarta, Strumigenys ogyga and Strumigenys oxysma these hairs are conspicuously remiform, clavate or spoon-shaped.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa (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.

  • sardonica. Pyramica sardonica Bolton, 2000: 326 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 127

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 0.52, HW 0.36, CI 69, ML 0.08, MI 15, SL 0.27, SI 75, PW 0.22, AL 0.50. Anterior clypeal margin with two pairs of elongate, almost filiform hairs that are blunted or extremely feebly clavate apically and that curve upward and posteriorly; in full-face view both pairs also project outward across the base of the mandible, the second of them clearly visible, projecting well beyond the outer mandibular margin before curving posteriorly. Lateral margins of clypeus behind this pair with a few fine anteriorly arched hairs. Standing hairs on disc of clypeus elongate and numerous, slightly thickened apically and all curving posteriorly or posteromedially. Disc of clypeus mostly smooth, with vestigial remnants of punctulate sculpture; anteromedian tumulus highly polished. With head in profile hairs on the dorsum relatively long, filiform to slightly thickened apically. Between clypeus and highest point of vertex hairs curve medially or posteromedially, behind this they curve anteriorly and just in front of the occipital margin there is a transverse row of 4 freely projecting, much longer, finer erect hairs that curve anteriorly. Dorsolateral margins of head with 3-4 freely laterally projecting long flagellate hairs on each side. Leading edge of scape with short hairs, simple to very narrowly spatulate, all decumbent to appressed and directed apically. Pronotal dorsum mostly smooth and shining, with faint scattered vestiges of longitudinal sculpture on each side of the median carina.

Type Material

Holotype worker, South Africa: Ciskei, Pirie For. Sta. , 8.xii.1987, E-Y 2560, forest litter (S. Endrody-Younga) (Transvaal Museum).

Paratype. 1 worker with same data as holotype (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 326, worker described)