Odontomachus troglodytes

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Odontomachus troglodytes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Odontomachus
Species: O. troglodytes
Binomial name
Odontomachus troglodytes
Santschi, 1914

Odontomachus troglodytes casent0047308 profile 1.jpg

Odontomachus troglodytes casent0047308 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Widespread across sub-Saharan Africa in second growth forests and open habitats.


At a Glance • Facultatively polygynous  

 

Identification

Workers of this species can be easily distinguished from Odontomachus coquereli by their smaller size, distinct extraocular furrows and temporal ridges on vertex and short and blunt mandibular teeth.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known from Zimbabwe, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles and South Africa.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya (type locality), Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Regional Notes

Cameroon

Dassou et al. (2017) found this ant to be a subordinate species at baits in Cameroon plantain agrosystems.

Malagasy

Fisher and Smith (2008) - Odontomachus troglodytes was first reported from Madagascar by André [38:290] as O. haematodes (Linnaeus). African and Malagasy records of haematodes actually refer to troglodytes. In Madagascar, troglodytes is widespread throughout the east in secondary habitats, including coastal scrub, eucalyptus plantations, littoral forest, and rainforest below 800 m elevation. Forel [25:159] recorded Odontomachus (as haematodes) from Seychelles. These specimens have not been examined but probably refer to Odontomachus simillimus and not troglodytes.

Because of its preference of secondary habitats, it is possible that troglodytes in Madagascar is a recent colonist from Africa, possibly introduced by humans. This is in contrast to Odontomachus coquereli which is most closely related to Melanesian species in the tyrannicus group.

Our collections in Madagascar were focused primarily on less disturbed habitats, thus its distribution probably does not reflect the full extent of its range. O. troglodytes was most often recorded nesting in rotten logs (30 collection records) followed by sifted litter (15). Males were collected at light, malaise traps, and yellow pan traps.

A lab colony was kept for a number of months and thrived on a diet of crickets, producing numerous larvae, brood, and males. The trap jaw behavior is very similar to that of O. bauri [39, Fisher unpublished]. When disturbed, the specimen use trap jaw propulsion to “jump” away.

Life History Traits

  • Worker-produced males: present (Colombel, 1972; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Mean colony size: 240 (Dejean, 1982; Dejean et al., 1964; Dejean & Bashingwa, 1985; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: tandem recruitment (Dejean, 1982; Dejean et al., 1964; Dejean & Bashingwa, 1985; Beckers et al., 1989)

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • troglodytes. Odontomachus haematodes var. troglodytes Santschi, 1914b: 58 (w.) KENYA.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Brown, 1976a: 169).
    • [Note: 3 syntype workers were originally recognised, all from Shimoni; Brown does not specify which is the lectotype.]
    • Type-locality: Kenya (“Afrique orientale anglaise”): Shimoni, entrance of Cave A (1 worker), and interior of Cave B (2 workers), st. no. 9, xi.1911 (Ch. Alluaud & R. Jeannel).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • André, 1887: 290 (m.); Arnold, 1915: 109 (q.); Menozzi, in Eidmann, 1944: 437 (l.).
    • Subspecies of haematodus: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 795.
    • Status as species: Brown, 1976a: 106, 167; Bolton, 1995b: 297; Dorow, 1996a: 76; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 16 (redescription); Hita Garcia, et al. 2013: 220; Borowiec, L. 2014: 139; Madl, 2019: 17.
    • Senior synonym of stanleyi: Brown, 1976a: 106; Bolton, 1995b: 297; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 16.
    • Distribution: Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, São Tomé & Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
    • [Note: Afrotropical records of haematodus, prior to Brown, 1976a: 167, are properly referable to troglodytes.]
  • stanleyi. Odontomachus haematoda var. stanleyi Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 102 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “numerous specimens from two colonies”).
    • Type-locality: Democratic Republic of Congo (“Belgian Congo”): Stanleyville (= Kisangani) (Lang & Chapin).
    • Type-depositories: AMNH, MCZC.
    • Junior synonym of troglodytes: Brown, 1976a: 106; Bolton, 1995b: 297; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 15.

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

Description

Worker

Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 15 from Madagascar: HL 2.23–2.66, HW (across vertex) 1.56–1.92, HW (across upper eye margin) 1.69–1.98, CI 74–78, EL 0.40–0.47, ML 1.13–1.33, MI 45–54, SL 2.07–2.42, SI 117–127, WL 2.61–3.07. FL 2.28–2.65, PW 1.02–1.19.

The specimens from Madagascar are notably smaller than specimens in CAS collection from South Africa, central Africa and Sao Tome. Maximum and minimum measurements based on n = 5: HL 2.52–2.94, HW (across vertex) 1.81–2.25, HW (across upper eye margin) 1.94–2.31, CI 74–79, EL 0.41–0.51, ML 1.19–1.38, MI 47–49, SL 2.24–2.53, SI 110–122, WL 2.88–3.23. FL 2.42–2.91, PW 1.13–1.36.

Queen

Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 5 from Madagascar: HL 2.59–2.74, HW (across vertex) 1.99–2.19, HW (across upper eye margin) 2.05–2.18, CI 78–79, EL 0.56–0.59, ML 1.39–1.44, MI 52–55, SL 2.36–2.52, SI 112–119, WL 3.18–3.49. FL 2.67–2.76.

Male

Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 5 from Madagascar: HL 1.00–1.04, HW 1.30–1.35, CI 127–133, EL 0.68–0.70, SL 0.22–0.26, SI 17–19, WL 2.52–2.59. FL 1.80–1.88.

Type Material

Fisher and Smith (2008):

Lectotype worker: Kenya, Shimoni cave (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel)[examined] AntWeb CASENT0101134.

Odontomachus haematodus stanleyi. Type worker: DRC (Zaire) Stanleyville, 25° 10′E, 0°30′N Feb 1915, (American Museum of Natural History) [examined] AntWeb CASENT0104653, CASENT0104654.

References

  • André, E. 1887. Description de quelques fourmis nouvelles ou imparfaitement connues. Rev. Entomol. (Caen) 6: 280-298 (page 290, male described)
  • Arnold, G. 1915. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part I. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 1-159 (page 109, queen described)
  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1976c. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section A. Introduction, subtribal characters. Genus Odontomachus. Stud. Entomol. 19: 67-171 (page 106, raised to species, and senior synonym of stanleyi; page 167, see also)
  • Dassou, A. G., P. Tixier, S. Depigny, and D. Carval. 2017. Vegetation structure of plantain-based agrosystems determines numerical dominance in community of ground-dwelling ants. Peerj. 5. doi:10.7717/peerj.3917
  • Eidmann, H. 1944. Die Ameisenfauna von Fernando Poo. 27. Beitrag zu den Ergebnissen der Westafrika-Expedition. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Ökol. Geogr. Tiere 76: 413-490 (page 437, larva described)
  • Fisher, B. L. and M. A. Smith. 2008. A Revision of Malagasy Species of Anochetus Mayr and Odontomachus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). PloS one. 3:e1787.
  • Santschi, F. 1914b. Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale, 1911-1912. Résultats scientifiques. Insectes Hyménoptères. II. Formicidae. Paris: Libr. A. Schulz, pp. 41-148. (page 58, worker described)

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