Aenictus henanensis

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Aenictus henanensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. henanensis
Binomial name
Aenictus henanensis
Li & Wang, Y.-L., 2005

The type material was collected from the ground in a forest.

Identification

A member of the ceylonicus group.

Li and Wang (2005) - Close to Aenictus lifuiae, but in profile view dorsum of propodeum straight, dorsum of petiolar node roundly convex, dorsum of propodeum entirely microreticulate. The new species is also close to Aenictus ceylonicus, but mandible with a large apical tooth, a small preapical tooth and followed by 5 indistinct minute denticles, subpetiolar process low and rounded, anterior half of pronotum microreticulate.

Key to Aenictus species groups

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of Aenictus henanensis. 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.

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • henanensis. Aenictus henanensis Li & Wang, 2005: 157 (w.) CHINA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. TL 2.7, HL 0.63, HW 0.58, CI 92, SL 0.45, SI 78, PW 0.36, AL 0.88, PL 0.23, PH 0.23, DPW 0.16, PPL 0.20, PPH 0.21, PPW 0.18. Head nearly square, slightly longer than broad. In full face view, occipital margin straight, occipital corners rounded, lateral sides weakly convex, anterior 1/3 weakly constricted. Mandible subtriangular, masticatory margin with a large apical tooth, a small preapical tooth, and followed by 5 indistinct minute denticles. A narrow gap present between inner margin of mandibles and anterior margin of clypeus, maximum width of the gap about 1/3 of the maximum width of the antennal scape. Anterior margin of clypeus emarginate in the middle. Frontal carinae thin and erect, extending forward and surpassed anterior margin of clypeus. Parafrontal carinae short, extending backward to posterior margin level of antennal sockets. Antenna with 10 segments, apex of scape only reached to 4/5 of the distance from antennal socket to occipital corner. In profile view, pronotum weakly convex, promesonotal suture absent. Dorsum of mesonotum straight, slope down backward. Metanotal groove weakly impressed. Dorsum of propodeum straight, weakly slope down backward, posterodorsal corner protruding and dentate, less than 90°, declivity concave and about 1/2 length of the dorsum. Apex of propodeal lobe rounded. Dorsum of petiolar node roundly convex, slightly inclined backward, anterior face sloped, posterior face steeply sloped. Subpetiolar process low and rounded, anteroventrally directed. Dorsum of postpetiolar node roundly convex, weakly inclined forward, anterior face steeply sloped, posterior face sloped, ventral face straight, anteroventral corner protruding and tooth-like.

Mandibles finely longitudinally striate. Head smooth and shining. Alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole microreticulate and opaque. Posterior half of pronotum smooth and shining. Lateral sides of mesothorax and metathorax sparsely longitudinally rugose. Tops of petiolar node and postpetiolar node smooth and shining. Gaster smooth and shining. Dorsal faces of head and body with abundant subdecumbent hairs. Scapes, femurs and tibiae with abundant decumbent hairs. Anterior margin of clypeus with a row of short setae. Head, legs and gaster brownish yellow. Mandibles, antennae, alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole yellowish brown. Masticatory margins of mandibles black.

Paratype workers. TL 2.6~2.7,HL 0.53~0.62,HW 0.48~0.57, CI 87~100, SL 0.44, SI 75~83,PW 0.29~0.36, AL 0.73~0.93, PL 0.23~0.25, PH 0.20~0.24, DPW 0.13~0.17, PPL 0.17~0.25, PPH 0.17~0.21, PPW 0.13~0.16(5 individuals measured). As holotype.

Type Material

Holotype: worker, 254 m, Zhengcun Village, Gaoshan Town, Yichuan County, Henan Province, 22-IX-2001, collected on the ground in popular forest by LI Shu-ping. Paratypes: 5 workers, same data as holotype. The type specimens were deposited in the Insect Collection, Department of Biology, Shangqiu Normal College, Henan Province.

References