Aphaenogaster muschtaidica

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Aphaenogaster muschtaidica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: gibbosa
Species: A. muschtaidica
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster muschtaidica
Emery, 1908

Fig. 1. Salata and Borowiec 2018, A. muschtaidica worker lateral view.png Fig. 2. Salata and Borowiec 2018, A. muschtaidica worker dorsal view.png

A nest was located in dry, sandy soil, below a medium size rock. It was situated on the slope of a small hill, overgrown by pine trees. Workers were surrounding gynes or trying to hide in the soil. Males were hiding below soil heaps. Other ant species collected at the site were: Camponotus piceus, Cataglyphis nigripes, Crematogaster schmidti, Dolichoderus quadripunctatus, Formica clara, Lasius turcicus, Lepisiota cf. frauenfeldi, Messor cf. structor, Pheidole koshewnikovi, Plagiolepis pallescens, Ponera coarctata, Solenopsis cf. fugax, Tetramorium cf. caespitum. Ruzsky (1905) reported a nest located below a tree, in the shady part of Mushthaid Garden. Workers were also collected on the path at the same locality. (Salata and Borowiec 2017)

Identification

A member of the Aphaenogaster gibbosa-group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Salata and Borowiec (2017) – Most recent data confirms its presence in Tbilisi town in Georgia. Nevertheless, Aphaenogaster gibbosa was recorded in few other Georgian localities (Gratiashvili & Barjadze 2008). Most probably however, these records might represent collections of A. muschtaidica. This species was also reported from Azerbaijan (Arnol’di 1948). Records of A. gibbosa from Armenia (Arakelian 1994) can also refer to this species. Therefore, its distribution is probably limited to the Transcaucasian region but requires a more detailed study.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Georgia (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.

  • muschtaidica. Aphaenogaster gibbosa subsp. muschtaidica Emery, 1908c: 334.
    • [First available use of Aphaenogaster subterranea subsp. gibbosa var. muschtaidica Ruzsky, 1905b: 719 (w.) GEORGIA; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • Combination in Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma): Emery, 1921f: 58.
    • Subspecies of gibbosa: Emery, 1921f: 58.
    • Junior synonym of gibbosa: Dlussky, Soyunov & Zabelin, 1990: 212.
    • Status as species: Collingwood, 1985: 246; Slata & Boroweic, 2018: 4.

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

Description

Worker

Salata and Borowiec (2017) - (n=15): HL: 1.148 ± 0.09 (0.979-1.267); HW: 0.86 ± 0.07 (0.724-0.955); EL: 0.222 ± 0.02 (0.189-0.247); SL: 1.236 ± 0.1 (1.07-1.358); ML: 1.532± 0.12 (1.317-1.712); PSL: 0.197 ± 0.03 (0.152-0.235); PL: 0.487 ± 0.04 (0.395-0.543); PPL: 0.363 ± 0.03 (0.296-0.428); PNW: 0.635 ± 0.06 (0.527-0.708); PW: 0.226 ± 0.02 (0.181- 0.255); PPW: 0.321 ± 0.03 (0.263-0.37); HI: 74.9 ± 0.6 (73.8-75.7); SI: 107.7 ± 2.3 (100.7-111.4); MI: 241.3 ± 6.3 (231.4-250.0); PSI: 17.1 ± 1.25 (15.3-19.1).

Head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster black. Legs, mandible and antennae dark brown to dark reddish brown. Sometimes lower part of gena and frons in the same colouration as antennae.

Head subrectangular, lateral surfaces below eyes straight, gently rounded on the posterior edges, occipital margin of head straight or slightly rounded. Anterior margin of the clypeus gradually convex, lacking median anterior notch. Eyes small, oval, 0.2 times as long as length of the head. Antennal scape long, slightly curved, 1.1 times as long as length of the head, exceeding beyond occipital margin of head, in apex gradually widened, its base with small tooth. Pedicel more than 2 times longer than wide, average 1.5 times longer than second segment of funiculus. Other funicular segments from 1.5 to 2 times longer than wide.

Surface of scape with very fine microsculpture and thin, longitudinal rugae, shiny, covered with thick, dense, suberect to erect setae, longer than ¾ of scape width. Mesosoma elongate, 1.3 times as long as head; promesonotum arched in lateral view. Mesonotum not raised over pronotum. Pronotum rounded on sides. Propodeal spines triangular, short, with wide base, inclined at the 45° angle; dorsal surface of propodeum slightly convex. Petiole with long peduncle, node with anterior and posterior faces convex, its dorsal surface convex. Postpetiole, in lateral view, regularly rounded,1.1 times as long as wide, apical half with gently rounded sides. Mandibles rounded with thick, longitudinal striae, shiny. Clypeus shiny with thick, longitudinal striae, area between striae with gentle microreticulation, shiny. Frontal carinae short, slightly extending across the fronts of the antennal fossae. Antennal fossa deep, with sparse microreticulation or smooth, its inner edge with a few roundly curved striae. Frontal lobes narrow, smooth with thick longitudinal striae. with thick, dense longitudinal striation, area between striae with microreticulation. Sometimes on frons longitudinal striation replaced by reticulation. Upper sides of genae and posterior part of head with weaker sculpture but never smooth. Entire head bearing thick, suberect to erect, pale setae.

Lateral surfaces of pronotum with longitudinal, horizontal, weak but dense rugae, area between rugae smooth or with microreticulation. Dorsal surface of pronotum with irregular, thin and dense striae. Sometimes, its central part with reduced striation, but never smooth. Lateral surfaces of mesonotum with thin and dense reticulation, area between reticulation smooth and shiny. Dorsal surface of mesonotum with thin, irregular rugosity, its central part smooth and shiny. Lateral surfaces of propodeum with thin, irregular rugosity. Dorsal surface of propodeum with thin and dense transverse striation or rugosity. Area between striae smooth or with microreticulation, shiny. Peduncle with microreticulation or smooth, always shiny, nodes of petiole and postpetiole smooth or with weak microreticulation, always shiny. Whole mesosoma bearing few erect, long, pale setae.

Gaster smooth and shiny, bearing dense, long, semierect to erect setae. Legs long, shiny, with fine microreticulation. Dorsal surface of tibia and femora with long, dense, semierect setae, inner margins with a row of dense, long, semierect setae.

Queen

Salata and Borowiec (2017) - (n=7): HL: 1.487 ± 0.03 (1.442-1.516); HW: 1.311 ± 0.02 (1.279-1.344); EL: 0.431 ± 0.02 (0.41-0.475); SL: 1.389± 0.03 (1.344-1.426); ML: 2.602± 0.05 (2.557-2.689); PL: 0.854 ± 0.04 (0.789-0.893); PPL: 0.521 ± 0.03 (0.491-0.557); PNW: 1.563 ± 0.06 (1.508-1.672); PW: 0.417 ± 0.02 (0.393-0.426); PPW: 0.621 ± 0.02 (0.59- 0.656); HI: 88.2 ± 1.5 (87.0-91.0); SI: 93.4 ± 1.2 (91.6-95.5); MI: 166.6 ± 5.9 (156.9-174.5).

Head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster black. Legs, mandible and antennae dark brown to dark reddish brown. Sometimes lower part of genae and frons in the same colouration as antennae.

Head subrectangular, lateral surfaces below eyes straight, gently rounded on the posterior edges, occipital margin of head straight. Anterior margin of the clypeus gradually convex. Eyes big, oval, 0.3 times as long as length of the head. Antennal scape long, slightly curved, 0.9 times as long as length of the head, slightly exceeding beyond occipital margin of head, in apex gradually widened, its base with small teeth. Pedicel more than 2 times longer than wide; average 1.5 times longer than second segment of funiculus. Other funicular segments more than 1 ½ times longer than wide.

Surface of scape with very fine microreticulation, shiny; covered with thin, rare, decumbent to suberect setae, shorter than ½ of scape width. Mesosoma elongate, 1.7 times as long as head; promesonotum slightly convex in lateral view. Pronotum in dorsal view rounded on sides. Propodeal spines triangular, long, with wide base, inclined at the 45° angle; dorsal surface of propodeum inclined towards its posterior surface. Petiole with long peduncle, node with anterior and posterior faces convex, its dorsal surface convex. Postpetiole, in lateral view, regularly rounded,0.8 times as long as wide, apical half with gently rounded sides. Mandibles rounded with thick, longitudinal striae, shiny. Clypeus shiny with thick, longitudinal striae, area between striae with gentle microreticulation or smooth, shiny. Frontal carinae short, slightly extending across the fronts of the antennal fossae . Antennal fossa deep, with sparse reticulation and longitudinal striae, area between striation smooth. Frontal lobes narrow, smooth with thick longitudinal striae. Frons and genae, most often, on the whole surface with thick, dense longitudinal striation, area between striae with microreticulation or smooth, always shiny. Sometimes on frons longitudinal striation replaced by reticulation. Longitudinal striation on the posterior part of head bent outward, top of posterior part of head with few horizontal, interrupted striae. Entire head bearing thick, suberect to erect, pale setae.

Pronotum with longitudinal, horizontal, weak but dense striation, area between striae smooth or with microreticulation, shiny. Scutum with very rare, weak punctation or smooth, shiny. Scutellum with smooth and shiny centre, its lateral sides with weak, rare transverse striae, shiny. Propodeum shiny, with very weak transverse striation. Anepisternum and katepisternum smooth and shiny; sometimes lateral edges with very weak and dense reticulation. Metanepisternum and metakatepisternum shiny with dense, thin, longitudinal striation or reticulation. Peduncle with microreticulation or smooth, always shiny; nodes of petiole and postpetiole smooth or with weak microreticulation, always shiny. Whole mesosoma bearing few erect, long, pale setae.

Gaster smooth and shiny, bearing dense, long, semierect to erect, pale setae. Legs long, shiny, with fine microreticulation. Dorsal surface of tibia and femora with long, dense, decumbent to suberect setae, inner margins with a row of dense, long, semierect setae.

Male

Salata and Borowiec (2017) - (n=2): HL: 0.741-0.734; HW: 0.667-0.669; EL: 0.407-0.42; SL: 0.259-0.222; ML: 1.827-1.778; PL: 0.506-0.469; PPL: 0333-0.296; PNW: 0.858- 0.827; PW: 0.296-0.298; PPW: 0.444-0.407; HI: 90.0-91.1); SI: 35.0-30.3; MI: 212.9-214.9.

Head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster black. Legs, mandible and antennae dark brown to brown. Sometimes lower part of gena and frons in the same colouration as antennae.

Head subrectangular, lateral surfaces below eyes straight, gently rounded on the posterior edges, occipital margin of head straight. Anterior margin of the clypeus gradually concave. Eyes big, oval, 0.5 times as long as length of the head. Antennal scape short, straight, 0.3 times as long as length of the head. Pedicel more than 2 times longer than wide; average 1.5 times longer than second segment of funiculus. Other funicular segments more than 1 ½ times longer than wide.

Surface of scape with very fine microreticulation, shiny; covered with thin, rare, decumbent setae, shorter than ¼ of scape length. Mesosoma elongate, 2.5 times as long as head; promesonotum strongly arched in lateral view. Pronotum rounded on sides, placed above propodeum. Anterodorsal surface of mesonotum concave, placed above its posterodorsal part concave, its posterior part slightly concave. Propodeum rectangular, its dorsal surface slightly convex. Propodeal spines absent, or in shape of small lobes. Petiole, in lateral view, with long peduncle, node with anterior and posterior faces bended, its dorsal surface arched. Postpetiole, in lateral view, regularly rounded, 0.8 times as long as wide, apical half with gently rounded sides. In dorsal view, petiolar node and postpetiole dorsum on centre with shallow suture, their sides convex. Mandibles elongated, with rounded posterior edges, smooth, shiny. Clypeus shiny with a few thick, longitudinal striae, area between striae smooth and shiny. Frontal carinae short, not slightly extending across the fronts of the antennal fossae. Antennal fossa shallow, with rare reticulation or smooth, shiny. Frontal lobes narrow, smooth with thick longitudinal striae. Frons and genae covered on the whole surface with thick, sparse rugosity, area between rugae with microreticulation or smooth, always shiny. Upper sides of genae and posterior part of head with reduced sculpture, sometimes smooth. Entire head bearing from suberect to thick, erect, pale setae.

Pronotum, scutum, scutellum, anepisternum, katepisternum and lateral surface of propodeum smooth and shiny, sometimes with rare and weak striation on posterior edge of scutum. Metanepisternum and metakatepisternum shiny with dense, gentle reticulation. Peduncle with microreticulation or smooth, always shiny, petiolar node and postpetiole dorsum smooth or with weak microreticulation, always shiny. Whole mesosoma bearing few erect, long setae.

Gaster smooth and shiny, bearing dense, long, semierect to erect setae. Legs long, shiny, with fine microreticulation. Dorsal surface of tibia and femora with short, rare, decumbent setae.

Type Material

References