Vitsika astuta

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Vitsika astuta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Vitsika
Species: V. astuta
Binomial name
Vitsika astuta
Bolton & Fisher, 2014

Vitsika astuta casent0248549 p 1 high.jpg

Vitsika astuta casent0248549 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Specimens of astuta have been found in leaf litter, in rotten logs, and in living plant stems, in rainforest.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2014) - The largest of the yellow species of Vitsika, Vitsika astuta actually appears to be more closely related to darkly coloured species such as Vitsika miranda and Vitsika obscura. Comments on their separation are given under those names.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Males have yet to be collected.

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • astuta. Vitsika astuta Bolton & Fisher, 2014: 74, figs. 84-86, Map 150 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(holotype in parentheses). TL 3.2–3.7 (3.6), HL 0.74–0.85 (0.80), HW 0.60–0.71 (0.69), CI 82–86 (86), SL 0.54–0.66 (0.60), SI 85–90 (87), PW 0.46–0.55 (0.52), WL 0.88–1.08 (1.02) (10 measured).

Eye with 8–9 rows of ommatidia, and with 9–11 ommatidia in the longest row; EL 0.17–0.21 (EL/HW 0.27–0.30). MfL 0.66–0.80 (MfL/HW 1.06–1.13). Median portion of clypeus with two carinae on each side, the area between them smooth. In profile, the dorsal outline of the propodeum flat to shallowly convex, without a distinct peak in its outline posterior to the mesonotal-propodeal junction. Propodeal declivity without transverse costulae, or at most with weak vestiges present. Diameter of annulus of propodeal spiracle is at least equal to the thickness of the propodeal spine at its midlength. Petiole node in profile cuneate, slightly inclined anteriorly, entirely unsculptured; in posterior view low and broad, its dorsal surface broadly rounded. Height of petiole node in posterior view (from midpoint of the dorsal margin of the foramen to the apex) 0.90–1.00 × its maximum width. In dorsal view postpetiole 1.20–1.32 × broader than long; maximum width of postpetiole 0.94–1.04 × the length of a propodeal spine; maximum width of postpetiole 0.86–0.96 × the distance between the apices of the propodeal spines. Postpetiole node in profile relatively short and strongly convex dorsally, the length of the node in profile is distinctly less than the height of the segment. Disc of postpetiole entirely smooth, glossy, without trace of lateral longitudinal costulae. Dorsal (outer) surface of the metatibia with a few suberect that are setae long and fine, at least as long as the maximum tibial width. Full adult colour yellow.

Queen

(gyne). Only alates known. HL 0.88–0.90, HW 0.75–0.76, CI 84–85, SL 0.63–0.66, SI 84–87, PW 0.62–0.64, WL 1.26–1.28, maximum width of mesoscutum 0.56–0.60, maximum length of mesoscutum 0.56–0.60, MfL 0.82 (2 measured).

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: Prov. Antsiranana, R.S. Manongarivo, 17.3 km. 218° SW Antanambao, 1580 m., 14°01.3’S, 48°25.1’E, 27.x.1998, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), montane rainforest, BLF 1970(50)-13, (no CASENT number) (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 6 workers, 3 dealate queens, with same data as holotype and all BLF 1970: workers, (05) CASENT0192036, (11) CASENT0127746, (16) CASENT0192020, (22)-13 (no CASENT number), (50) CASENT019202, (50)-12 (no CASENT number); queens, (22)-11 (no CASENT number), (49)-9 (no CASENT number), (no BLF code) CASENT0178900 (CASC, The Natural History Museum).

References

  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. The Madagascan endemic myrmicine ants related to Eutetramorium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): taxonomy of the genera Eutetramorium Emery, Malagidris nom. n., Myrmisaraka gen. n., Royidris gen. n., and Vitsika gen. n. Zootaxa 3791:1–99. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3791.1.1