Vitsika crebra

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

Vitsika crebra casent0428251 p 1 high.jpg

Vitsika crebra casent0428251 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

All examples of this species originate in tropical dry forest. They have been found as ground foragers, in pitfall traps, in litter samples, in rotten logs, in dead twigs above the ground, and by beating low vegetation.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2014) - One of the most easily recognised species of Vitsika. The combination of yellow colour, short propodeal spines, and very broad postpetiole that is uniformly densely sculptured dorsally, is not repeated anywhere else in the genus.

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

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • crebra. Vitsika crebra Bolton & Fisher, 2014: 76, figs. 90-92, Map 152 (w.q.m.) 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 3.0–3.7 (3.5), HL 0.69–0.84 (0.80), HW 0.55–0.69 (0.65), CI 79–84 (81), SL 0.49–0.61 (0.60), SI 86–91 (91), PW 0.42–0.54 (0.51), WL 0.84–1.07 (1.02) (25 measured).

Eye with 7–8 rows of ommatidia, and with 9–10 ommatidia in the longest row; EL 0.18–0.23 (EL/HW 0.30–0.34). Eye in profile not tear-drop shaped, not coming to a point anteriorly; the anterior and posterior curvatures of the eye almost equally convex. MfL 0.60–0.76 (MfL/HW 1.03–1.15). Oblique costulae on mesopleuron sparse and weak. In profile, the dorsal outline of the propodeum forms an even slope from just behind the metanotal groove to the base of the spine. Propodeal declivity lacks transverse costulae. Diameter of annulus of propodeal spiracle is slightly less than, to about equal to, the thickness of the short propodeal spine at its midlength. Petiole node in posterior view low and broad, its posterior surface usually with some reticulate-punctulate sculpture, at least on the lower half. Height of petiole node in posterior view (from midpoint of the dorsal margin of the foramen to the apex) 0.75–0.90 × its maximum width. In dorsal view postpetiole 1.33–1.42 × broader than long; maximum width of postpetiole 1.95–2.25 × the length of a propodeal spine; maximum width of postpetiole 1.25–1.50 × the distance between the apices of the propodeal spines. Disc of postpetiole entirely sculptured with reticulate-punctulation, and also usually with some weak rugulae present. Full adult colour uniform yellow.

Queen

(gyne). Only alates known; may be polygynous as more than one queen appears in some series. HL 0.80–0.86, HW 0.68–0.72, CI 84–86, SL 0.56–0.60, SI 81–85, PW 0.58–0.62, WL 1.14–1.18, MfL 0.72–0.76 (4 measured). As in the worker the postpetiole is very broad and entirely sculptured dorsally, and the propodeal spines are short.

Male

HL 0.65, HW 0.54, CI 83, SL 0.27, SI 50, mesoscutum width at maximum 0.52, WL 1.00, EL 0.27, MfL 0.64 (1 measured). Propodeal dorsum finely punctulate and with scattered fine, longitudinal rugulae. Propodeal dorsum without a median longitudinal carina, but upper half of declivity with a median carina present; a fine rugula on each side separates the declivity from the side of the propodeum. Propodeum in profile unarmed, the rounded angle between dorsum and declivity surmounted by a an extremely low, rounded cuticular crest. Postpetiole in dorsal view broader than long, the surface finely punctulate-shagreenate. Postpetiole in profile longer than high. Colour yellow.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: Prov. Mahajanga, P.N. Tsingy de Bemaraha, 10.6 km. 123° ESE Antsalova, 150 m., 18°43’S, 44°43’E, 16–20.xi.2001, sifted litter, tropical dry forest, BLF 4432(1), CASENT0473810 (Fisher et al.) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 7 workers and 2 dealate queens, with same data as holotype and all BLF 4432: workers, (6) CASENT0473811, (10) CASENT0473813, (12) CASENT0473814, (14) CASENT0473815, (18) CASENT0473818, (19) CASENT0473819, (40) CASENT0473809; queens, (15) CASENT0473816, (27) CASENT0473822 (CASC). [The nine paratype specimens were selected from leaf litter series BLF 4432, which contains another 18 workers and 2 dealate queens, all in CASC.]

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