Rhytidoponera confusa

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Rhytidoponera confusa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Rhytidoponera
Species: R. confusa
Binomial name
Rhytidoponera confusa
Ward, 1980

Rhytidoponera confusa casent0281235 p 1 high.jpg

Rhytidoponera confusa casent0281235 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Both flying queens and gamergates reproduce, in separate colonies.

At a Glance • Gamergate  

 

Identification

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Winged queens still occur in this basal species. Founding queens raise offspring almost as large as themselves, hence ICF is always non-claustral, i.e. queens need to hunt insects aboveground (Ward 1981b). Queenright colonies produce a large number of gynes annually. Following queen death, a few workers can mate and reproduce. Gamergate colonies reproduce by fission (Ward 1981b)

Molet et al. (2008) - Queenright colonies are larger than gamergate colonies. Colonies with the original founding (dealate) queen have 337±43 (mean±SE, N=49) workers, 37±11 gynes (N=39), and 46±20 males (N=39), while gamergate colonies consisted of 101±14 workers (N=30), 0.04±0.04 gynes (N=23), and 2±1 males (N=23) but no dealate queen.

The effect of latitude and environment on colonial reproduction (i.e. quality (lean and fat weight) and quantity of gynes) was assessed by collecting 79 colonies along the Australian east coast (Molet et al. 2008).

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Ward, 1983; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Queen mating frequency: single (Ward, 1983; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)

Castes

Dealate queen (top) and worker of R. confusa, showing almost no difference in body size. The worker thorax is reduced due to the lack of wing muscles. Automontage by Derek Smith.

Nomenclature

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

  • confusa. Rhytidoponera confusa Ward, 1980: 482, figs. 1-3, 16, 17, 26, 28 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: holotype Australia: New South Wales, Royal Nat. Park, 34°09’S, 151°01’E, 50 m., 11.i.1977, acc. 2129, in rotten log, rainforest gully below waterfall (P.S. Ward); paratypes: “70 accessions (nest series) from the type-locality”, 1974-1978 (P.S. Ward).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC (holotype); ANIC, BMNH, MCZC, “Australian State Museums” (presumably some or all of AMSC, MVMA, QMBA, SAMA, WAMP) (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Taylor & Brown, 1985: 42; Taylor, 1987a: 68; Bolton, 1995b: 378.
    • Distribution: Australia.

Type Material

Description

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Nooten S. S., P. Schultheiss, R. C. Rowe, S. L. Facey, and J. M. Cook. Habitat complexity affects functional traits and diversity of ant assemblages in urban green spaces (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 29: 67-77.
  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.
  • Ward P. S. 1980. A systematic revision of the Rhytidoponera impressa group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Australia and New Guinea. Aust. J. Zool. 28: 475-498.