Nothing is known about the biology of Aenictus fergusoni.
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
A member of the laeviceps species group.
Keys including this Species
India, from the extreme south north to Darjeeling and Assam, thence SE to Burma and Java. This species is also most unusual in that it has been recorded from Great Nicobar Island, which is over 160 km from the nearest large land mass (Sumatra).
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Little is known about the biology of Aenictus fergusoni. The genus is comprised of species that live an army ant lifestyle. Aenictus typically prey on other ants, from other genera, or other insects such as wasps or termites. There are reports of Aenictus preying on other insects as well and even have been observed collecting honeydew from homopterans (Santschi, 1933; Gotwald, 1995) but this appears, at least from available evidence, to be uncommon. Foraging raids can occur day or night across the ground surface. Occasionally raids are arboreal. During a raid numerous workers attack a single nest or small area, with several workers coordinating their efforts to carry large prey items back to the nest or bivouac. Aenictus have a nomadic life style, alternating between a migratory phase in which nests are temporary bivouacs in sheltered places above the ground and a stationary phase where semi-permanent underground nests are formed. During the nomadic phase bivouacs move regularly, sometimes more than once a day when larvae require large amounts of food. Individual nests usually contain up to several thousand workers, although nest fragments containing only a few hundred workers are often encountered. Queens are highly specialised and look less like workers than in most ant species. They have greatly enlarged gasters (dichthadiform) and remain flightless throughout their life. New colonies are formed by the division of existing colonies (fission) rather than by individual queens starting colonies on their own.
Known only from the worker caste.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- fergusoni. Aenictus fergusoni Forel, 1901a: 473 (w.) INDIA (Kerala).
- Status as species: Bingham, 1903: 18; Emery, 1910b: 29; Karavaiev, 1926d: 424; Karavaiev, 1927e: 7; Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199 (in key); Wheeler, W.M. 1930h: 57; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 12; Wilson, 1964a: 462; Wang, M., 1992: 679; Xu, 1994a: 119; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42; Tiwari, 1999: 17; Mathew & Tiwari, 2000: 266; Jaitrong & Nabhitabhata, 2005: 11; Wang, W. 2006: 637 (in key); Mohanraj, et al. 2010: 6; Bharti, Wachkoo & Kumar, 2012: 293 (in key); Guénard & Dunn, 2012: 22; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 21.
- Senior synonym of karawaiewi: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
- Senior synonym of montanus: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
- Senior synonym of piltzi: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
- karawaiewi. Aenictus fergusoni var. karawaiewi Wheeler, W.M. & Chapman, in Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199 (diagnosis in key) (w.) no locality given.
- Junior synonym of fergusoni: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
- montanus. Aenictus fergusoni var. montanus Forel, 1901a: 474 (w.) INDIA (West Bengal).
- Subspecies of fergusoni: Bingham, 1903: 18; Forel, 1906b: 90; Emery, 1910b: 30; Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199 (in key); Menozzi, 1939a: 327; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 13.
- Junior synonym of fergusoni: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 60; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
- piltzi. Aenictus fergusoni var. piltzi Forel, 1901a: 474 (w.) INDIA (Karnataka).
- Subspecies of fergusoni: Bingham, 1903: 18; Emery, 1910b: 30; Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199 (in key); Chapman & Capco, 1951: 13.
- Junior synonym of fergusoni: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 60; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Wilson (1964) - Syntypes: HW 0.67 mm, HL 0.76 mm, SL 0.72 mm; other HW's in this series 0.63-0.72 mm. Antenna 10-segmented. Mandibles typical. Clypeus feebly convex, entire, armed with about 12 teeth. Parafrontal ridge very short, only 0.08 mm. Occiput convex, lacking distinct collar. Propodeal junction approximately right-angulate. Subpetiolar process a rounded lobe surmounted by a thin, downward-projecting flange. Pilosity moderately abundant, long; length of longest pronotal hairs 0.25 mm.
Head shining. Pronotum shining; remainder of mesosoma microreticulate and opaque, with traces of a few longitudinal rugae. Pedicel wholly shining except for the shagreened and subopaque peduncles. Head bearing yellow "Typhlatta spots"; otherwise head and mesosoma dark reddish brown. Pedicel and gaster somewhat lighter, medium reddish brown.
Type locality: Tranvancore, India
- Forel, A. 1901a. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part VIII. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 13: 462-477 (page 473, worker described)
- Jaitrong, W. & Yamane, S. 2011. Synopsis of Aenictus species groups and revision of the A. currax and A. laeviceps groups in the eastern Oriental, Indo-Australian, and Australasian regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Aenictinae). Zootaxa, 3128, 1–46. PDF
- Wilson, E. O. 1964a. The true army ants of the Indo-Australian area (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae). Pac. Insects 6: 427-483 (page 462, senior synonym of hodgsoni, karawaiewi, montanus and piltzi)
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
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- Chapman, J.W. and S.R. Capco. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monographs of the Institute of Science and Technology (Manila) 1: 1- 327
- Chen Y. Q., Q. Li, Y. L. Chen, Z. X. Lu, X. Y. Zhou. 2011. Ant diversity and bio-indicators in land management of lac insect agroecosystem in Southwestern China. Biodivers. Conserv. 20: 3017-3038.
- Dad J. M., S. A. Akbar, H. Bharti, and A. A. Wachkoo. 2019. Community structure and ant species diversity across select sites ofWestern Ghats, India. Acta Ecologica Sinica 39: 219–228.
- Dias R. K. S. 2002. Current knowledge on ants of Sri Lanka. ANeT Newsletter 4: 17- 21.
- Dias R. K. S. 2006. Current taxonomic status of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Sri Lanka. The Fauna of Sri Lanka: 43-52. Bambaradeniya, C.N.B. (Editor), 2006. Fauna of Sri Lanka: Status of Taxonomy, Research and Conservation. The World Conservation Union, Colombo, Sri Lanka & Government of Sri Lanka. viii + 308pp.
- Dias R. K. S., K. R. K. A. Kosgamage, and H. A. W. S. Peiris. 2012. The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of Ants (Order: Hymenoptera, Family: Formicidae) in Sri Lanka. In: The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka; Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. p11-19.
- Dias R. K. S., and K. R. K. Anuradha Kosgamage. 2012. Occurrence and species diversity of ground-dwelling worker ants (Family: Formicidae) in selected lands in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. J. Sci. Univ. Kelaniya 7: 55-72.
- Dias R. K. S., and R. P. K. C. Rajapaksa. 2016. Geographic records of subfamilies, genera and species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the four climatic zones of Sri Lanka: a review. J. Sci. Univ. Kelaniya 11(2): 23-45.
- Dias, R.K.S. 2006. Overview of ant research in Sri Lanka: 2000-2004. ANeT Newsletter 8:7-10
- Eguchi K., T. V. Bui, S. Yamane, H. Okido, and K. Ogata. 2004. Ant faunas of Ba Vi and Tam Dao, North Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Inst. Trop. Agr. Kyushu Univ. 27: 77-98.
- Emery C. 1910. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Dorylinae. Genera Insectorum 102: 1-34.
- Forel A. 1901. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part VIII. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 13: 462-477
- Forel A. 1906. Les fourmis de l'Himalaya. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 42: 79-94.
- Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
- Li Z.h. 2006. List of Chinese Insects. Volume 4. Sun Yat-sen University Press
- Mohanraj P., M. Ali, and K. Veerakumari. 2010. Formicidae of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Indian Ocean: Bay of Bengal). Journal of Insect Science 10: Article 172
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- Tiwari R. N., B. G. Kundu, S. Roy Chowdhury, and S. N. Ghosh. 2003. Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Fauna of Sikkim. Part 4. State Fauna Series. 9.Zool.Surv.India. i-iii, 1-512. Chapter pagination: 467-506.
- Tiwari, R.N. 1999. Taxonomic studies on ants of southern India (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India 18(4):1-96
- Wheeler W. M. 1930. A list of the known Chinese ants. Peking Natural History Bulletin 5: 53-81.
- Wilson E. O. 1964. The true army ants of the Indo-Australian area (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae). Pacific Insects 6: 427-483.
- Xu Z., Zeng G., Liu T.-Y. and He Y.-F. 1999. [A study on communities of Formicidae ants in different subtypes of vegetation in Xishuangbanna District of China.] Zoological Research 20: 118-125
- Xu Z. 1994. A taxonomic study of the ant subfamily Dorylinae China (Hymenoptera Formicidae Ponerinae). Journal of Southwest Forestry College 14(2): 115-122
- Yamane S.; Bui T. V.; Ogata K.; Okido H.; Eguchi K. 2002. Ant fauna of Cuc Phuong National Park, North Vietnam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Institute of Tropical Agriculture Kyushu University 25: 51-62.