Euprenolepis maschwitzi

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Euprenolepis maschwitzi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Euprenolepis
Species: E. maschwitzi
Binomial name
Euprenolepis maschwitzi
LaPolla, 2009

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.

Identification

This species is most likely to be confused with Euprenolepis variegata and Euprenolepis wittei. It can be separated most easily from E. wittei by the scapes, which on E. wittei possess a thick layer of pubescence distally, and by a flatter, more elongated pronotum. Its separation from E. variegata can be more difficult, but E. variegate possesses longer gastral setae overall (majority of setae greater than 0.1 mm in length). Also, E. maschwitzi is lighter in color, being more yellow than either E. variegata or E. wittei, and this species possesses a duller cuticle, especially on the head and gaster. (Lapolla 2009)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known from peninsular Malaysia and Borneo.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Biological details regarding the small number of species within this genus are sparse. The best characterized species is Euprenolepis procera, with the following known details. It has polymorphic workers. Colonies are nomadic and on average stay in any single location less than a week. Nests contain from 500 – 5,000 workers and are opportunistically situated in suitable preformed cavities. Emigrations appear driven by the need to find their almost exclusive source of nutrients, mushrooms. Foraging takes place nocturnally. While knowledge of the remaining species is sparse, there is some indication that that polymorphism is not the norm. It is also unclear if procera is the only species, within this genus and within ants as a whole, that feed directly and almost exclusively on mushrooms.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • maschwitzi. Euprenolepis maschwitzi LaPolla, 2009: 8, figs. 4A-D (w.) BORNEO.

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

Description

Worker

Measurements (n=3): TL: 3.41–4.02; HW: 0.84–0.89; HL: 0.84–0.93; SL: 1.03–1.14; WL: 1.21–1.36; GL: 1.32–1.73. Indices: CI: 96–100; SI: 116–125.

Head yellowish-brown, with lighter mandibles and funiculi; head about as long as broad. Cuticular surface shiny, weakly rugoreticulate, with scattered erect setae and sparse, scattered pubescence. Posterior margin complete. Scapes surpass posterior margin by about length of the first three funicular segments. Scapes with erect setae and a layer of pubescence, becoming denser distally. Mesosoma brownish-yellow, smooth and slightly dull, legs lighter, especially tarsi. Scattered erect setae of varying length concentrated on posterior pronotum and anterior mesonotum. Pronotum rises gently towards mesonotum (about 30º angle). Propodeum dorsum rounded, dome-like; declivity short, but steep. Petiole triangular, inclined forward, with posterior face longer than anterior face; gaster yellowish-brown with scattered erect setae and no pubescence underneath; cuticular surface slightly dull and weakly rugoreticulate.

Type Material

Holotype worker, MALAYSIA: Borneo, Sabah, Poring Hot Spring, East Ridge, N 06°02’ E 116°42’, 980 m, 31.v.1997 (A. Malsch) (National Museum of Natural History); 2 paratype workers, same locality as holotype (USNM; Australian National Insect Collection); 1 paratype worker, MALAYSIA: Borneo, Sabah, Tawau Nat. Park, N 04°23.8', E 117°53.5, 13.iii.2001 (M. Pfeiffer) (USNM).

Etymology

The species epithet is given to honor Ulrich Maschwitz for his insightful contributions to Euprenolepis natural history.

References

  • LaPolla, J. S. 2009. Taxonomic revision of the Southeast Asian ant genus Euprenolepis. Zootaxa. 2046:1-25.