Technomyrmex moerens

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Technomyrmex moerens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Technomyrmex
Species: T. moerens
Binomial name
Technomyrmex moerens
Santschi, 1913

Technomyrmex moerens casent0178277 profile 1.jpg

Technomyrmex moerens casent0178277 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Foraging is carried out both on the ground and arboreally but nests are usually constructed in wood, either in fallen timber or in twigs and branches of standing trees. This species is common in cocoa plantations in Ghana and is the species referred to as T sp. by Room (1971). It may also be the species referred to by Terron (1972) in his notes on alate and ergatoid males of a species close to Technomyrmex albipes in Cameroun. (Bolton 2007)

Identification

Bolton (2007) - A member of the T. albipes complex in the Technomyrmex albipes group. It is very similar to vitiensis but always lacks setae on the propodeal declivity and has the setae on the first gastral tergite sparser but longer, usually longer than the maximum diameter of the eye. In moerens EPI is 54 - 65, the eye usually somewhat more anteriorly placed than in vitiensis, where EPI is 64 - 84.

Colour of the middle and hind coxae and relative lengths of the longest hairs on the first gastral tergite vary in workers of this species as it is currently conceived. In some populations the middle and hind coxae are yellow and contrast strongly with the darker mesosoma, but in others these coxae are as darkly coloured as the mesosoma. There are, however, many samples intermediate in shade. All queens examined had light coxae, regardless of their colour in the workers. The longest setae on the first gastral tergite are usually distinctly longer than the maximum diameter of the eye, but there are populations in which the setae are noticably shorter, about equal to the maximum diameter of the eye. No taxonomic significance is currently attached to these variants; all are retained as a single species within the diagnosis outlined above.

Worker-queen intercastes are common in moerens , see notes under Technomyrmex vitiensis, Technomyrmex difficilis and Technomyrmex brunneus. The description above relates to forms with basic worker morphology: without ocelli, without differentiation of mesonotum into mesoscutum and mesoscutellum, without development of a prominent metanotum and without a spermatheca. In the most worker-like intercastes an extra short pair of setae may occur on the slightly developed mesoscutellum.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Central African Republic, Congo (type locality), Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Habitat

T. moerens is widely distributed and fairly common in forest and woodland zones of sub-Saharan Africa but has not been recorded outside the Afrotropical region.

Biology

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • moerens. Technomyrmex moerens Santschi, 1913c: 312, fig. 4 (w.) CONGO. Senior synonym of congolensis: Santschi, 1930a: 69; of incisus, longiscapus, nequitus, nigricans: Bolton, 2007a: 28.
  • congolensis. Technomyrmex albipes subsp. congolensis Karavaiev, 1926d: 443 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. [Unresolved junior secondary homonym of congolensis Forel, above.] Junior synonym of moerens: Santschi, 1930a: 69; Bolton, 2007a: 28.
  • nigricans. Technomyrmex moerens var. nigricans Santschi, 1930a: 69 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Junior synonym of moerens: Bolton, 2007a: 28.
  • incisus. Technomyrmex incisus Weber, 1943c: 380, pl. 16, fig. 37 (w-q intercaste, not w.) SUDAN. [Junior secondary homonym of incisum Mukerjee, above.] Replacement name: nequitus Bolton, 1995b: 402. Junior synonym of moerens: Bolton, 2007a: 28.
  • longiscapus. Technomyrmex longiscapus Weber, 1943c: 381, pl. 16, fig. 41 (w.) SUDAN. Junior synonym of moerens: Bolton, 2007a: 28.
  • nequitus. Technomyrmex nequitus Bolton, 1995b: 402. Replacement name for Technomyrmex incisus Weber, 1943c: 380. [Junior secondary homonym of Engramma incisum Mukerjee, 1930: 155.] Junior synonym of moerens: Bolton, 2007a: 28.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton (2007) - TL 2.4 - 3.1, HL 0.57 - 0.65, HW 0.50 - 0.58, SL 0.54 - 0.66, PW 0.29 - 0.40, WL 0.70 - 0.88 (25 measured). Indices: CI 87 - 92, S1 104 - 120, OI 27 - 33, EP1 54 - 65, DTI 125 - 136.

Frontal carina with 2 (very rarely 3) setae: in profile the posteriormost seta close to the level of the anterior margin of the eye. Dorsum of head posterior to this entirely lacks setae. With head in full-face view the anterior clypeal margin with a very weak, shallow median indentation; sides of head shallowly convex and the posterior margin of the head with a small shallow indentation medially. Eyes located well in front of mid length, EPI above. With mesosoma in profile the mesonotal outline is usually distinctly angled, with a step in the outline that separates dorsal and declivitous faces. Number of seta pairs on mesosoma: pronotum usually 1 long pair (longer than maximum diameter of eye), uncommonly a second shorter pair also present; mesonotum 0; propodeal dorsum 0; lateral margin of propodeal declivity 0. Gastral tergites 1 - 4 with numerous setae, distributed everywhere on the sclerites; maximum length of setae on first gastral tergite usually greater than the maximum diameter of the eye. Head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster uniformly brown to black; in some the gaster may be slightly darker than the mesosoma. Middle and hind coxae varying from yellow, much lighter than the mesosoma, to the same colour as the mesosoma. Femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs about the same colour as the mesosoma or gaster. Tarsi of middle and hind legs dull yellow, paler than the femora and tibiae.

Type Material

Bolton (2007) - Syntype workers, Congo: Mt Boma (thus on data labels, not M'Boumou as in description), 1907 (A. Weiss) (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel) [examined]. Both syntypes of this taxon are extremely badly damaged. Only the very abraded gaster of one specimen and the glue-obscured mesosoma of the other remain.

References

  • Bolton, B. 2007b. Taxonomy of the dolichoderine ant genus Technomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) based on the worker caste. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 35(1): 1-149.
  • Santschi, F. 1913c. Glanures de fourmis africaines. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 57: 302-314 (page 312, fig. 4 worker described)
  • Santschi, F. 1930a. Description de Formicides éthiopiens nouveaux ou peu connus. V. Bull. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 70: 49-77 (page 69, Senior synonym of congolensis)