Temnothorax agavicola

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Temnothorax agavicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: salvini
Species subgroup: pulchellus
Species: T. agavicola
Binomial name
Temnothorax agavicola
Prebus, 2021

Temnothorax agavicola MCZENT00510559 F134 b-c.jpg

Temnothorax agavicola is known from three collections from southern Hispaniola, which were made from dead agave stalks and downed wood in a dry forest habitat. Other details of the biology of this species are unknown but are probably similar to other members of the terricolous pan-Caribbean pulchellus group. (Prebus 2021)

Identification

Prebus (2021) – A member of the pulchellus group of the Temnothorax salvini clade. Temnothorax agavicola can be separated from all other species in the salvini clade by the following character combination: head in full face view with posterior margin weakly concave; mesosoma moderately compact; in profile view, dorsum of mesosoma weakly convex; metanotal groove not impressed; propodeum not depressed below the level of the promesonotum; propodeal spines about as long as the propodeal declivity, directed posteriorly, and straight; hind femora moderately incrassate; in dorsal view, propodeal spines broadly approximated basally, the negative space between them "U" shaped; in dorsal view, apex of petiolar node narrower than the caudal cylinder of the petiole; petiolar node flat dorsally; petiolar node with four erect setae dorsally; postpetiole very broad: greater than 2.6 times the width of the petiole; dorsum of head uniformly areolate; setae on head, mesosoma, waist segments and gaster erect, moderately long, sparse and blunt (never long and tapering); integument light yellow.

Intraspecific variation: Specimens from the Turks and Caicos Islands, in comparison with Hispaniola material, have more incrassate femora (the widest point of the hind femur 3 to 3.6 times as wide as the narrowest point vs. 2.4 to 3 in the Hispaniolan populations), overall larger body size (WL 0.73 to 0.75 mm vs. 0.66 to 0.69 mm), and more posteriorly directed propodeal spines, this population may prove to be different species (see worker images figures 134 g-i below in the caste section).

Similar species: Temnothorax albispinus, Temnothorax laticrus, Temnothorax torrei, Temnothorax wettereri, and members of the pastinifer group. Temnothorax agavicola can be separated from all members of the pastinifer group by the apically narrow petiolar node, which not squamiform and always narrower than the caudal cylinder of the petiole in dorsal view. The propodeal spines, which are longer than the propodeal declivity and relatively narrow hind femora will distinguish T. agavicola from T. laticrus, which has propodeal spines that are shorter than the declivity and extremely incrassate hind femora. The erect setae count of four on the dorsum of the petiolar node differentiates T. agavicola from T. torrei, which has only two along the posterior margin. The weakly concave posterior margin of the head of T. agavicola contrasts with T. albispinus, which has a flat to weakly convex posterior head margin. The body of T. wettereri is mostly devoid of erect setae, whereas T. agavicola has more than ten erect setae on the dorsum of the mesosoma.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Low elevations of Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Dominican Republic (type locality), Turks and Caicos Islands.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

pChart

Biology

Castes

Worker

Prebus 2021, Figure 134 g.
Prebus 2021, Figures 134 h-i.

Queen

300pxPrebus 2021, Figure 134 j-f.

Nomenclature

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

  • agavicola. Temnothorax agavicola Prebus, 2021: 259, figs. 133A, 134 (w.dq.) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

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

Description

Specimens from the Turks and Caicos Islands vary morphologically from the Hispaniola material that I have examined; with more incrassate femora (the widest point of the hind femur 3 to 3.6 times as wide as the narrowest point vs. 2.4 to 3 in the Hispaniolan populations), overall larger body size (WL 0.73 to 0.75 mm vs. 0.66 to 0.69 mm), and more posteriorly directed propodeal spines, this population may prove to be different species (Figs. 134G-134I). A phylogenetic analysis provides evidence that these two populations are sister to each other (Prebus, in prep.).

Worker

(n = 9): SL = 0.474-0.500 (0.486); FRS = 0.169-0.199 (0.182); CW = 0.516-0.588 (0.552); CWb = 0.478-0.544 (0.509); PoOC = 0.248-0.267 (0.260); CL = 0.593-0.655 (0.626); EL = 0.121-0.145 (0.132); EW = 0.093-0.105 (0.101); MD = 0.136-0.159 (0.148); WL = 0.663-0.750 (0.700); SPST = 0.208-0.257 (0.220); MPST = 0.214-0.234 (0.224); PEL = 0.267-0.305 (0.281); NOL = 0.153-0.204 (0.180); NOH = 0.099-0.118 (0.105); PEH = 0.189-0.214 (0.196); PPL = 0.189-0.229 (0.208); PPH = 0.239-0.255 (0.248); PW = 0.343-0.402 (0.371); SBPA = 0.137-0.169 (0.154); SPTI = 0.176-0.220 (0.196); PEW = 0.127-0.146 (0.137); PNW = 0.117-0.149 (0.133); PPW = 0.358-0.392 (0.373); HFL = 0.444-0.543 (0.491); HFWmax = 0.118-0.162 (0.141); HFWmin = 0.044-0.053 (0.050); CS = 0.775-0.871 (0.822); ES = 0.170-0.198 (0.183); SI = 91-99 (95); OI = 21-23 (22); CI = 80-83 (81); WLI = 133-141 (137); SBI = 28-31 (30); PSI = 28-39 (32); PWI = 249-295 (272); PLI = 118-150 (136); NI = 147-191 (171); PNWI = 92-102 (96); NLI = 53-76 (64); FI = 236-361 (287).

In full-face view, head subquadrate, longer than broad (CI 80-83). Mandibles weakly striate, shining, and armed with five small teeth: the apical-most well developed, followed by a smaller preapical tooth, which is followed by three equally developed smaller teeth. Anterior clypeal margin entire and evenly rounded. Antennal scapes moderately long: when fully retracted, just reaching the posterior margin of the head capsule (SI 91-99). Antennae 12-segmented; antennal club of three segments, with the apical-most segment slightly longer than the preceding two in combination. Frontal carinae moderately long, extending past the antennal toruli by about two times the maximum width of the antennal scape. Compound eyes moderately protruding past the lateral margins of the head capsule. Lateral margin of head weakly convex, nearly flat, and forming a continuous arc from the posterior of the head to the mandibular insertions. Posterior head margin weakly concave but transitioning into the lateral margin through a rounded corner, giving the head a boxy appearance.

In profile view, compound eyes ovular, moderately large (OI 21-23), with 9 ommatidia in longest row. Pronotal declivity distinct, neck and anterior face of pronotum forming a ~110° angle; anterior and dorsal faces of pronotum forming a ~130° angle. Mesosoma very weakly convex from the pronotal declivity to the propodeal spines, nearly flat. Promesonotal suture extending from the posterior margin of the procoxal insertion only to the mesothoracic spiracle, which is well developed. Metanotal groove visible as a disruption of the sculpture laterally from where it arises between the mid- and hind coxae to where it ends in the poorly developed metathoracic spiracle, which is nearly indistinguishable against the ground sculpture. Propodeal spiracle poorly developed, directed posterolaterally, and separated from the propodeal declivity by about two spiracle diameters. Propodeal spines well developed and moderately long (PSI 28-39), about as long as the propodeal declivity, tapering evenly from the base, straight, and acute. Propodeal declivity weakly concave, forming a ~80° angle with the base of the propodeal spines. Propodeal lobes rounded and weakly developed. Metapleural gland bulla small, extending from the metacoxal insertion halfway to the propodeal spiracle. Petiole short (PLI 118-150), without tubercles anterodorsally. Subpetiolar process in the form of a small, acute tooth. Petiolar peduncle short: petiolar node covering most of the petiolar dorsum. Petiolar node robust: grading evenly into the petiolar peduncle anteriorly, resulting in a slightly concave anterior node face; anterior margin forming a ~100° angle with the dorsal surface, which is weakly convex; dorsal face rounding evenly into the short posterior face, which forms a ~110° angle with the caudal cylinder. Postpetiole evenly rounded anteriorly, flattened dorsally, and weakly lobed ventrally.

In dorsal view, humeri weakly developed: evenly rounded and slightly wider than the rest of the mesosoma; mesothoracic spiracles visible as a very slight angle where the pronotum meets the mesonotum. Metanotal groove absent: mesonotum and propodeum completely fused and converging evenly to the bases of the propodeal spines. Propodeal spines broadly approximated basally, but diverging apically, their apices separated from each other by about their length; negative space between them "U" shaped. Petiolar peduncle with spiracles slightly protruding past the lateral margins, and subtly constricted anterior to them. Petiolar node evenly ovular; node slightly wider than the peduncle, and evenly grading into the caudal cylinder, which is slightly wider than the node. Postpetiole very broad (PWI 249-295) and campaniform, articulating with the entire anterior margin of the gaster. Anterior margin of the postpetiole convex, evenly rounding into the lateral margins, which diverge to the angulate posterior corners; posterior margin broadly concave. Metafemur weakly to strongly incrassate (FI 236-361).

Sculpture: median clypeal carina present, extending posteriorly to the level of the antennal toruli, and flanked on either side by two equally strong carinae. Lateral clypeal lobes with additional, weaker carinae; ground sculpture smooth and shining. Antennal scapes shining through weak areolate ground sculpture. Cephalic dorsum evenly areolate, with the areolae arranged into longitudinal rows separated by costulae; ventral surface of head weakly areolate and shining. Pronotal neck areolate. Lateral surfaces of the pronotum shining, with weak rugulae. Mesopleurae and lateral surface of propodeum areolate. Propodeal declivity shining through weak areolate sculpture. Dorsal surface of mesosoma with costulae over areolate ground sculpture. Femora shining, with weak areolate sculpture on the distal third. Petiole smooth and shining ventrally, with weak areolate sculpture on all other surfaces. Postpetiole with weak areolate sculpture becoming stronger on the posterior third. Gaster smooth and shining, without spectral iridescence.

Setae: antennal scapes and funiculi with short, adpressed pilosity. Dorsum of head, pronotum, waist segments and gaster with moderately abundant, erect, blunt-tipped setae, the longest of which are about the length of the compound eye. The head bears ~28, mesosoma ~24, petiole 4, postpetiole ~18, and first gastral tergite ~48 setae. Short, sparse pubescence present over the entire body, but difficult to detect against the lightly colored integument.

Color: predominantly light yellow, with the masticatory margin of the mandibles darker.

Queen

(n = 2): SL = 0.567-0.573 (0.570); FRS = 0.229-0.249 (0.239); CW = 0.746-0.764 (0.755); CWb = 0.703-0.708 (0.706); PoOC = 0.295-0.307 (0.301); CL = 0.728-0.740 (0.734); EL = 0.208-0.223 (0.216); EW = 0.173-0.188 (0.181); MD = 0.160-0.166 (0.163); WL = 1.157-1.196 (1.177); SPST = 0.283-0.308 (0.296); MPST = 0.285-0.313 (0.299); PEL = 0.405-0.413 (0.409); NOL = 0.169-0.185 (0.177); NOH = 0.146-0.152 (0.149); PEH = 0.279-0.302 (0.291); PPL = 0.227-0.234 (0.231); PPH = 0.319-0.341 (0.330); PW = 0.703-0.720 (0.712); SBPA = 0.314-0.324 (0.319); SPTI = 0.32; PEW = 0.192-0.197 (0.195); PNW = 0.228-0.234 (0.231); PPW = 0.541-0.550 (0.546); HFL = 0.631-0.651 (0.641); HFWmax = 0.148-0.150 (0.149); HFWmin = 0.058-0.059 (0.059); CS = 1.072-1.073 (1.073); ES = 0.295-0.317 (0.306); SI = 81; OI = 27-30 (29); CI = 95-97 (96); WLI = 165-169 (167); SBI = 45-46 (45); PSI = 24-26 (25); PWI = 279-282 (280); PLI = 173-182 (178); NI = 111-127 (119); PNWI = 119-119 (119); NLI = 41-46 (43); FI = 254-255 (255).

In full-face view, head subquadrate, slightly longer than broad (CI 95-97). Mandibles weakly striate, shining, and armed with five small teeth: the apical-most well developed, followed by a less developed preapical tooth and three equally developed smaller teeth. Anterior clypeal margin flat medially. Antennal scapes moderately long: when fully retracted, just reaching the posterior margin of the head capsule (SI 81). Antennae 12-segmented; antennal club of three segments, with the apical-most segment slightly longer than the preceding two in combination. Frontal carinae very short, extending past the antennal toruli by two times the maximum width of the antennal scape. Compound eyes moderately protruding past the lateral margins of the head capsule. Lateral margins of head converging evenly from the expanded temples to the mandibular insertions. Posterior head margin concave medially, with temples rounding evenly into the lateral margins.

In profile view, compound eyes large (OI 27-30), ovular, with 16 ommatidia in longest row. Mesoscutum rounded evenly anteriorly, covering the dorsal surface of the pronotum, and flat dorsally. Mesoscutellum slightly depressed below the level of the mesoscutum, not overhanging the metanotum. Propodeal spiracle well developed, directed anteroposteriorly, and separated from the propodeal declivity by about four spiracle diameters. Propodeal spines stout and well developed, but short (PSI 24-26), about two thirds as long as the propodeal declivity, tapering evenly from the base, directed posteriorly, upturned, and blunt. Propodeal declivity weakly concave and forming a ~90° angle with the base of the propodeal spines. Propodeal lobes weakly developed, with the dorsal margin slightly angulate. Petiole moderately long (PLI 173-182), without tubercles anterodorsally. Subpetiolar process in the form of a small, very acute tooth, which grades evenly into the ventral margin of the petiole posteriorly; ventral margin of the petiole slightly bulging. Petiolar peduncle short: petiolar node covering most of the petiolar dorsum. Petiolar node erect: transition between peduncle and node evenly rounded, resulting in a very slightly concave anterior node face; anterior face forming a sharp ~100° angle with the dorsal face, which is short; dorsal face rounding evenly into the posterior face, which forms a ~140° angle with the caudal cylinder. Postpetiole evenly rounded anterodorsally, forming a slight convexity before it transitions into the flattened dorsal face; ventral surface lobed.

In dorsal view, mesoscutum covering pronotum anteriorly, but humeri visible laterally as rounded sclerites. Propodeal spines diverging apically, their apices separated from each other by about two times their length. Petiolar peduncle with spiracles slightly protruding past the lateral margins; node emarginated anterodorsally, dorsal face transitioning into the lateral faces with a rounded ~90° angle, which taper into the indistinct posterior face. Petiolar node slightly wider than the peduncle, and evenly grading into the caudal cylinder, which narrower than the node. Postpetiole very broad (PWI 279-282), anteroposteriorly compressed, and campaniform, articulating with most of the anterior margin of the gaster, leaving small, weakly angulate margins on each side exposed. Anterior margin of the postpetiole weakly convex, with corners evenly rounding into the lateral margins, which evenly diverge to the angulate posterior corners; posterior margin broadly concave. Metafemur moderately incrassate (FI 254-255).

Sculpture: median clypeal carina present, extending from the anterior margin to the level of the antennal toruli, and flanked two equally strong carinae. Lateral clypeal lobes with additional weaker carinae; ground sculpture smooth and shining. Antennal scapes shining through very weakly areolate ground sculpture. Cephalic dorsum shining with costulae over weak areolate ground sculpture; ventral surface of head shining through weak, indistinct areolate sculpture. Pronotal neck areolate. Pronotum with costulae over weak areolate ground sculpture. Anepisternum and katepisternum shining through weak areolate ground sculpture. Propodeum with weak areolae and costulae laterally; declivity areolate. Mesoscutum with weak costulae over weak areolate ground sculpture. Femora smooth and shining, with traces weak areolate sculpture distally. Peduncle of petiole smooth and shining ventrally, with shallow areolate sculpture on all other surfaces. Postpetiole weakly areolate. Gaster smooth and shining, without spectral iridescence. Surface of the first gastral sternite smooth and shining.

Setae: antennal scapes and funiculi with short, adpressed pilosity. Dorsum of head, pronotum, waist segments and gaster with moderately abundant, erect, blunt-tipped setae, the longest of which are about a third of the width of the compound eye. Short, sparse pubescence present over the entire body, but difficult to detect against the lightly colored integument.

Color: predominantly light yellow, with the masticatory margin of the mandibles and wing bases darker.

Type Material

Holotype worker: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Pedernales: Jaragua National Park 18°01′33″N 71°38′50″W / 18.02571°N 71.64732°W / 18.02571; -71.64732 ± 5 m, 92 m 1 April 2012, D. Lubertazzi#DL03475:001, dry forest, downed wood (MCZENT00510559) Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Paratype workers and gynes: same data as holotype, except: D. Lubertazzi #DL03479:003, dry forest, under Agave, 4 workers & 1 dealate gyne (MCZENT00510560- MCZENT00510562) [MCZC]; same data as holotype, except: D. Lubertazzi #DL03474:003, dry forest, downed wood, 1 dealate gyne (MCZENT00510541) [MCZC].

Etymology

Behavioral, from Agave (plant genus) + ʻcolereʼ (dweller) from Latin, in reference to two collections of this species being made from dead stalks of Agave spp.

References