Tetramorium jarawa

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Tetramorium jarawa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species group: inglebyi
Species: T. jarawa
Binomial name
Tetramorium jarawa
Agavekar, Hita Garcia & Economo, 2017

T.jarawa NCBS-AV761 P.jpg

T.jarawa NCBS-AV761 D.jpg

Tetramorium jarawa is currently only known from its type locality on Havelock Island, in the Andaman Islands archipelago. Given the relatively small size of the island and its proximity to one of the bigger islands of the archipelago, it may be speculated that the species will be present on other islands of the archipelago as well. Tetramorium jarawa was collected from leaf-litter in an undisturbed patch of evergreen forest. In the island-wide ant diversity survey done using Winkler transects (80 m length, 5 x 1m2 leaf-litter collected in each transect), the species was found only in one out of 22 transects in evergreen forests. It thus appears to be rare and restricted to the inland evergreen forests, as it was not found in coastal forests and other disturbed habitats of the island despite considerable sampling effort. If, as mentioned above, this species has indeed a termitophagous, cryptic lifestyle in close proximity to termites, this would explain its rarity in collections.

Identification

Agavekar et al. (2017) - The following character combination distinguishes Tetramorium jarawa from the remainder of the Tetramorium inglebyi group: very small eyes (OI 9–10); relatively short scape (SI 60–71); propodeal spines moderately long (PSLI 18); peduncle of petiole without large anteroventral lamella; in profile petiolar node appearing square and dorsum flat; in dorsal view dorsum of petiolar node clearly longer than broad.

This new species is straightforwardly recognizable with the diagnosis and key. There is no doubt that Tetramorium jarawa is a member of the Tetramorium inglebyi group, but its relationships to the other four members are unclear. Due to the scarce material available for this study, it is not possible to ascertain any levels of intraspecific variation.

Our morphometric description of the petiolar node should be taken with caution. We used the standard measurement for petiolar width (PTW) and length (PTL) used in most previous studies on Tetramorium taxonomy (Hita Garcia, Fischer & Peters, 2010; Hita Garcia & Fischer, 2014; Bharti & Kumar, 2012) to calculate DPeI. This index is supposed to provide a measure for how broad the node appears in dorsal view for a majority of species within the genus and has proven successful for more than 150 species treated in previous studies. However, in cases where the dorsum of the node is less broad than the base this leads to biased results. The DPeI of 105–112 generated for Tetramorium jarawa gives the impression that the node is weakly broader than long, but the dorsum of the node is obviously much longer than broad.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • jarawa. Tetramorium jarawa Agavekar, Hita Garcia & Economo, 2017: 25, figs. 13E, 13G, 13I, 14F, 15, 16 (w.) INDIA.

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

Description

Worker

(N = 2): HL 0.56–0.59 (0.56); HW 0.52–0.54 (0.52); SL 0.32–0.38 (0.32); EL 0.05 (0.05); PH 0.27–0.28 (0.27); PW 0.35–0.37 (0.35);WL 0.62–0.65 (0.62); PSL 0.1 (0.1); PTL 0.14–0.16 (0.14); PTH 0.17–0.19 (0.17); PTW 0.16–0.17 (0.16); PPL 0.17 (0.17); PPH 0.18–0.19 (0.18); PPW 0.20–0.22 (0.20); CI 92–94 (94); SI 60–71 (60); OI 9–10 (10);DMI 56 (56); LMI 43–44 (44); PSLI 18 (18); PeNI 45 (45); LPeI 81–83 (81); DPeI 105–112 (112); PpNI 57–59 (57); LPpI 87–91 (91); DPpI 120–130 (120); PPI 126–130 (126).

Head longer than wide (CI 92–94); posterior head margin weakly concave. Anterior clypeal margin complete and convex. Frontal carinae very weakly developed to absent; antennal scrobes absent. Antennal scapes short, not surpassing posterior head margin (SI 60–71). Eyes very small (OI 9–10), composed of 2–3 facets in longest row. Mesosomal outline in profile weakly convex to flat, moderately marginate from lateral to dorsal mesosoma; promesonotal suture and metanotal groove absent. Propodeum armed with moderately long spines (PSLI 18), their tips slightly curved upwards. Propodeal lobes well-developed and triangular. Petiolar node nodiform, appearing square, slightly higher than long (LPeI 81–83), anterior and posterior faces approximately parallel, anterodorsal and posterodorsal margins situated at about same height and both moderately rounded, petiolar dorsum flat to moderately convex; whole node in dorsal view about as long as wide (DPeI 105–112) (dorsum of node conspicuously longer than broad), in dorsal view pronotum approximately 2.1 times wider than petiolar node (PeNI 45). Postpetiole in profile globular, approximately 1.1 times higher than long (LPpI 86–87); in dorsal view around 1.2–1.3 times wider than long (DPpI 120–130), pronotum around 1.7–1.8 times wider than postpetiole (PpNI 57–59). Postpetiole in dorsal view around 1.3 times wider than petiolar node (PPI 126–127). Mandibles striate; clypeus longitudinally rugose/rugulose with well-developed median ruga; most of head strongly reticulate–rugose except for irregularly longitudinally rugose anterior cephalic dorsum close to posterior clypeal margin. Mesosoma laterally anteriorly irregularly rugose becoming more reticulate–punctate toward propodeum; dorsal mesosoma reticulate–rugose; forecoxae reticulate–punctate. Petiole and postpetiole laterally irregularly rugulose, dorsally smooth and shining. First gastral tergite unsculptured, smooth, and shiny. Ground sculpture very weak to absent on most of body. Dorsal surfaces of mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole with short to moderately long, thin, and apically sharp pilosity; dorsum of head with short hairs curved inward, somewhat decumbent. Anterior edges of antennal scapes and dorsal (outer) surfaces of hind tibiae with decumbent to suberect hairs. Mesosoma, head, petiole, and postpetiole dark reddish brown but head slightly lighter; mandibles, antennae, gaster, and legs brownish yellow.

Type Material

Holotype, pinned worker, INDIA, Andaman Islands archipelago, Havelock Island, 11.975817 N, 93.016897 E, 5 m, tropical (semi) evergreen forest, sifted leaf-litter, 26. XI.2015 (NCBS: NCBS-AV761).

Paratype, one pinned worker with same data as holotype (NCBS: NCBS-AV931). Cybertype, volumetric raw data (in DICOM format), 3D PDF, and 3D rotation video of the physical holotype (NCBS: NCBS-AV761) in addition to montage photos illustrating head in full-face view, profile and dorsal views of the body of both specimens. The data is deposited in Figshare and can be freely accessed as virtual representations of the types. In addition to the cybertype data at Figshare, we also provide a freely accessible 3D surface model of the holotype at Sketchfab.

Etymology

The species is named after the Jarawas, an indigeneous people from the Andaman Islands. The name is a noun in apposition and thus invariant.

References