Technomyrmex caritatis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Technomyrmex caritatis
Temporal range: Burdigalian, Early Miocene Dominican amber, Dominican Republic
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Technomyrmex
Species: T. caritatis
Binomial name
Technomyrmex caritatis
Brandão & Baroni Urbani, 1999

Brandao et al 1999-7 Technomyrmex-caritatis hal.jpg

Described from Dominican amber.

Identification

Fernández and Guerrero (2008) - This extinct species is characterized by long scape, two pairs of setae on clypeus (none central), one pair of long setae on vertex, none on mesosoma.

Distribution

This taxon was described from Dominican amber, Dominican Republic (Burdigalian, Early Miocene).

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • caritatis. †Technomyrmex caritatis Brandão & Baroni Urbani, in Brandão, Baroni Urbani, Wagensberg & Yamamoto, 1999: 416, figs. 1, 4-6 (w.l.) DOMINICAN AMBER (Miocene). Incertae sedis in Technomyrmex: Bolton, 2007a: 122.

Type Material

  • Holotype, worker, Palo Quemado Mine, about 10 km. NE of Santiago, Cordillera Septentrional, Dominican Amber (Miocene), Feb., 1995, J. Caridad, Museo de la Ciencia, Fundacio 'la Caixa', Barcelona, Spain; in Dominican amber fragment MCCB 0060 ("piece Jorge Caridad"), numbered 160; see Bolton (2007).
  • Paratype, many workers and brood, Palo Quemado Mine, about 10 km. NE of Santiago, Cordillera Septentrional, Dominican Amber (Miocene), Feb., 1995, J. Caridad, Museo de la Ciencia, Fundacio 'la Caixa', Barcelona, Spain; in Dominican amber fragment MCCB 0060 ("piece Jorge Caridad") (same fragment as holotype), numbered 160; see Bolton (2007).

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

Fernández and Guerrero (2008) - There are two dolichoderine species described from Dominican amber that are ascribed to Technomyrmex (Brandão et al. 1999). However, Bolton (2007:122) points out that both species “lack some critical diagnostic characters of the genus, the absence of which would argue for their exclusion”. Bolton also questioned the classification of Technomyrmex hispaniolae in Iridomyrmex or Linepithema, leaving both taxa as incertae sedis in Technomyrmex.

Bolton (2007) - Brandao, Baroni Urbani et al; (1998) described this species in Technomyrmex, and also referred the previously described species Technomyrmex hispaniolae also from the Dominican amber, to this genus. These two species are certainly closely related to each other and at first glance seem to be similar to some Technomyrmex, especially to species of the Technomyrmex bicolor group (except that they retain setae on the dorsum of the head that are universally absent in the bicolor group). However, both Dominican amber species lack some critical diagnostic characters of the genus, the absence of which would argue for their exclusion. I have not examined the fossil material but from the descriptions and illustrations their continued inclusion in Technomyrmex must be questioned. The fundamental problem is that the structure of the petiole and the base of the gaster is radically different from that of all extant Techomyrmex species. In both Dominican amber species the petiole has a distinct, elevated scale, the first gastral tergite does not project forward and does not overhang the petiole, and there is no groove in the first tergite to accommodate the petiole.

During the short taxonomic history of these two names three generic combinations have already been suggested: Iridomyrmex, Linepithema and Technomyrmex . On present consideration they do not appear to fit comfortably in any of these though they appear closer related to Technomyrmex than to the other two. Both are best regarded as incertae sedis in Technomyrmex , at least for the present.

References