Key to Protalaridris

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This worker key is based on: Lattke, J.E., Delsinne, T., Alpert, G.D., Guerrero, R.J. 2018. Ants of the genus Protalaridris (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), more than just deadly mandibles. European Journal of Entomology 115: 268–295 (doi: 10.14411/eje.2018.027).

The species were placed in two groups largely based on their mandibular morphology, as detailed in couplet 1 of the key.

armata group

leponcei group

The following characters proved to be the most helpful in separating species. Head: General shape, sculpture of dorsal surface, presence or absence of transverse carina, shape of antennal fossa. Compound eye: General shape, number of ommatidia, relative distance from cephalic dorsum and antennal fossa. Mandible: General shape, angle formed with dorsal cephalic surface, relative length, number of teeth/denticles along dorsal and ventral preapical margins, number of large ventral teeth; general sculpture pattern; shape and orientation of setae along internal mandibular border. Antenna: Shape of scape and number of standing hairs along anteroventral margin of scape. Labrum: General shape, development of anteromedian notch, number and shape of labral hairs, geometry of hairs. Mesosoma: General shape of dorsal margin in lateral view, curvature of propodeal declivity anterad of tooth; shape of propodeal tooth.

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1

  • Mandible long and slender. Dorsal margin in lateral view concave, forming obtuse angle with clypeal plane. In frontal view, first basal tooth of mandible separated from basal rim by diastema. Eye separated from dorsal cephalic surface by at most one its diameter (armata group) . . . . . 2
  • Mandible short, stout, and triangular. Dorsal margin in lateral view strongly bowed with basal portion in same plane as clypeus and apical portion strongly bent downward. In frontal view, first basal tooth of mandible continuous with basal rim. Eye well separated from dorsal cephalic surface by twice its diameter (leponcei group) . . . . . Protalaridris leponcei

2

return to couplet #1

  • Cephalic dorsum bears prominently elevated frontovertexal ridge that is separated from occipital carina by broad and concave sulcus, especially evident in lateral view of head . . . . . 3
  • Frontovertexal ridge variably developed, but never so elevated that it forms a distinct concavity with the occipital carina when seen laterally. Cephalic margin posterad of ridge straight to convex in lateral view . . . . . 4

3

return to couplet #2

  • Large ventral mandibular tooth situated closer to mandibular base than to its mid-length; anterior margin of scape with 6–7 erect hairs; eye with 3–4 relatively indistinct ommatidia; dorsal surface of mandible and lateral surface of tibiae with abundant tubercles . . . . . Protalaridris aculeata
  • Large ventral mandibular tooth situated closer to mandibular mid-length than to its base; anterior margin of scape with 8–9 erect hairs; eye reduced to 1 apparent ommatidium; dorsal surface of mandible and lateral surface of tibiae rugulose at most, lacking tubercles . . . . . Protalaridris bordoni

4

return to couplet #3

  • Each mandible with single prominent and massive preapical tooth that crosses that of opposing mandible, tooth closer to mandibular base than mandibular mid-length and easily visible in lateral view; one or two more slender preapical teeth may overlap, but these teeth are not visible in lateral view; eye separated from dorsal cephalic surface by at least half a diameter . . . . . 5
  • Each mandible with two prominent and massive preapical teeth, proximal tooth situated close to mandibular mid-length and distal tooth closer to mandibular apex; both teeth cross their opposite counterpart and are visible in lateral view; eye borders on dorsal cephalic margin . . . . . Protalaridris armata

5

return to couplet #4

  • Anterior labral margin in dorsal view weakly sinuate, median emargination not deeper than one-fourth of labral length; labrum relatively narrow, its lateral basal margins clearly visible in full face view, uncovered by mandibles . . . . . Protalaridris loxanensis
  • Anterior labral margin medially cleft; median notch deeper than one-fourth of labral length; lateral basal margins of labrum in full-face view totally covered by mandibles . . . . . 6

6

return to couplet #5

  • Labrum with angular to bluntly angular anterolateral lobes; mandible apicad of large ventral tooth with series of short teeth, none crossing or touching their opposite counterparts . . . . . Protalaridris punctata
  • Labrum with rounded anterolateral lobes; mandible apicad of large ventral tooth with single large tooth that touches or crosses its opposite counterpart . . . . . Protalaridris arhuaca