Aenictus nuchiti

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aenictus nuchiti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species group: wroughtonii
Species: A. nuchiti
Binomial name
Aenictus nuchiti
Jaitrong & Ruangsittichai, 2018

Fig. 1a Jaitrong and Ryangsittichai 2018 Aenictus nuchiti, worker body in profile.png Fig. 1b Jaitrong and Ryangsittichai 2018 body in dorsal view.png

Aenictus nuchiti is a rare species. The type series was collected from a bivouac under a large rotting log in a dry dipterocarp forest, ca 1000 m a.s.l., during the wet season. Numerous immature specimens (all were pupae) were found in the bivouac, and no worker activity was seen around the log. Another colony (NL151015-1) was collected from a leaf litter in a dry dipterocarp forest, ca 350 m a.s.l. This species is sympatric with Aenictus artipus belonging to the same species group in at least the Chiang Mai Province (Wilson 1964; Jaitrong et al. 2010; Jaitrong and Yamane 2011).

Identification

Jaitrong & Ruangsittichai (2018) - A member of the wroughtonii group. Aenictus nuchiti is most similar to Aenictus biroi, Aenictus camposi, Aenictus gutianshanensis and Aenictus vieti in having dense punctures on the mesosoma and an angulate propodeal junction. However, A. nuchiti is much smaller than the latter four (TL 2.24–2.41 mm, HW 0.38–0.43 mm in A. nuchiti; TL > 2.6 mm, HW > 0.43 mm in the latter four). It has a short antennal scape that reaches only two-thirds the head length (in contrast, reaching or extending beyond the posterolateral corners of the head in the latter four). This species can be distinguished from A. gutianshanensis and A. vieti by the configuration of the subpetiolar process (ventral outline roundly convex and without anterior angle in A. nuchiti; ventral outline with anterior angle in A. biroi, A. gutianshanensis and A. vieti). Aenictus nuchiti is similar to A. biroi and A. camposi in the unarmed subpetiolar process. In A. nuchiti, however, the body size is much smaller than that of A. biroi and the head is clearly longer than broad in A. nuchiti (almost as long as broad in A. biroi). The body colour is dark brown in A. nuchiti, whereas it is entirely yellow in A. camposi. The propodeal declivity is broader and widely rounded above in A. nuchiti but is narrow and tapers distinctly above in A. camposi.

This species is also similar to members of the minutulus group in general appearance and by having a short petiole, short antennal scapes (reaching only to mid-length of the head) and subtriangular mandibles (masticatory margin with a large apical tooth, medium-sized subapical and basal teeth and 2–6 denticles between them). However this species possesses a serrate anterior clypeal margin, the most important characteristic that separates the A. wroughtonii group from the A. minutulus group (anterior clypeal margin without denticles in the A. minutulus group).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Northern Thailand (Chiang Mai Province).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Thailand (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Type locality of Aenictus nuchiti, dry dipterocarp forest in Chiang Mai Province, northern Thailand.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • nuchiti. Aenictus nuchiti Jaitrong & Ruangsittichai, 2018: 106, figs. 1-2, 4 (w.q.) THAILAND.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype: HL 0.53; HW 0.40; ML 0.69; PH 0.17; PL 0.18; SL 0.41; TL 2.28; CI 75; PI 91; SI 104. Paratype workers (n = 10): HL 0.50– 0.53; HW 0.38–0.43; ML 0.66–0.73; PH 0.13-0.17; PL 0.17–0.18; SL 0.40–0.43; TL 2.24–2.41; CI 77–83; PI 90-91; SI 94–104.

Holotype and paratypes). Head in full-face view elliptical, clearly longer than broad with slightly convex sides and almost straight posterior margin. Antennal scape short, extending beyond the mid-length of the head but not reaching the posterolateral corner of the head; antennal segment II slightly longer than III–VI; the last (X) almost as long as VIII and IX combined and as long as II and III combined. Frontal carina thin and short, not extending beyond level of posterior margin of torulus. Clypeus short, with its anterior margin roundly convex, bearing 7 denticles. Mandible with an apical tooth large and curved, followed by a medium-sized subapical tooth and a series of 10–12 minute teeth on masticatory margin. Mesosoma in profile with pronotum strongly convex dorsally, demarcated from mesonotum by a shallow transverse groove; mesonotum convex, sloping gradually to metanotal groove; mesopleuron demarcated from metapleuron by a shallow groove. Propodeum in profile lower than promesonotum, with a weakly convex dorsal outline; propodeal junction angulate; declivity of propodeum widely and shallowly concave, encircled by a thin rim. Petiole in profile slightly longer than high, with a dorsal outline convex; seen from above relatively narrow with sides almost parallel; subpetiolar process present, its ventral outline convex, without angle or tooth; postpetiole slightly shorter than petiole but seen from above slightly broader than petiole; its node short, clearly shorter than high.

Head, antennal scapes, pronotum, petiole, postpetiole, gaster, femora and tibiae of legs entirely or extensively smooth and shiny. Antennal flagellum densely punctate; mesothorax and propodeum with dense punctures; metapleuron partly or extensively smooth.

Body with relatively sparse standing hairs mixed with sparse short hairs over surface; longest pronotal hair 0.10–0.13 mm long. Head, mesonotum, propodeum and gaster dark brown; pronotum, waist, antennae and legs reddish brown.

Queen

(paratype). HL 0.92; HW 01.06; ML 1.55; PH 0.53; PL 0.53; SL 0.64; TL 5.31; CI 114; PI 100; SI 61.

(Paratype). Head in full-face view subrectangular, posteriorly narrow and gradually widening anteriorly, slightly shorter than broad, with sides weakly convex and posterior margin concave; upper frons weakly concave. Antennal scape flat, relatively short, about half as long as head, basally narrow, widening considerably apicad; flagellum of antenna missing (for this specimen). Frontal carina indistinct. Parafrontal ridge absent. Anterior clypeal margin concave, without denticles. Mandible half as long as head length, with a slender, inner margin that is convex while lateral margin weakly concave; masticatory margin without denticles. Mesosoma elongate; in profile, pronotum convex dorsally; mesonotum weakly concave; propodeal dorsum almost straight; seen from above pronotum and propodeum broader than mesonotum; propodeal junction low, roundly convex; propodeal declivity weakly convex, not encircled by a rim. Petiole longer than high, with its dorsal outline slightly elevated posteriorly, with petiole in profile posterodorsal corner bluntly angulate; seen from above petiole with a distinct longitudinal furrow running from anterior face to posterior face; subpetiolar process large, subtriangular, with its apex pointed downwards. Gaster large and elongate; first tergite narrower and shorter than second, its anterior slope weakly concave; second tergite largest; third as long as first; tip of gaster missing in this specimen. Legs relatively long and slender; femora and tibiae clavate.

Entire body smooth and shiny, with relatively dense standing hairs; hairs slightly shorter on pronotum than on head, mandible and antennal scape; longest pronotal hair 0.08 mm long. Head dark brown; lateral and ventral faces of head and mandible reddish brown; scapes and legs yellowish brown. Mesosoma with ground colour reddish brown; lateral faces of pronotum and mesonotum, entire mesopleura and propodeal declivity dark brown. Petiole with ground colour reddish brown; lower portion of petiole, posterior slope of petiole and subpetiolar process dark brown; gaster with ground colour dark brown; lateral faces of second tergite reddish brown.

Type Material

Holotype (THNHM-I-02612, Natural History Museum of the National Science Museum), 55 paratype workers (THNHM-I-02614, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, SKY Collection, THNHM, National Museum of Natural History) and queen (THNHM-I-02613, THNHM), N Thailand, Chiang Mai Province, Omkoi District, Omkoi Forest, DDF (dry dipterocarp forest), 17.89583333°'N, 98.40750000°E, ca 1000 m a.s.l., 16.VII.2016, W. Jaitrong leg., Colony no. TH16-WJT-859.

Etymology

The species is named after Mr Supachai Nuchit (Royal Forest Department, Thailand) who kindly helped us with ant collecting at Pa Omkoi National Forest, Chiang Mai Province.

References