Proceratium google

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Proceratium google
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Proceratium
Species: P. google
Binomial name
Proceratium google
Fisher, 2005

Proceratium google casent0100367 profile 1.jpg

Proceratium google casent0100367 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Known only from an isolated mountain in Northeastern Madagascar, Reserve Speciale Anjanaharibe-Sud, 1445’S, 04927E, collected at an elevation of 1565 m. Collections in nearby mountains such as Marojejy did not locate any specimens of this species. (Fisher 2005)


Fisher (2005) - The following character combination differentiates P. google from all its congeners: abdominal segment IV tergite evenly rounded posteriorly, without concave impression near apex and not hypertrophied; truncate median clypeal lobe; low nodiform petiole without peduncle but with blunt anteroventral tooth; fore tibia with a basal spine, frontal carinae separate and diverging posteriorly; posterior dorsum of mesosoma and propodeal spines granulate-foveolate. P. google is easily distinguished from Proceratium diplopyx, the only other described Proceratium from Madagascar, by the shape of the tergite of the abdominal segment IV. In P. diplopyx, the tergite is with a deep concave notch near apex.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • google. Proceratium google Fisher, 2005: 663, figs. 14-17 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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



Form of head, mandibles, and body as shown in Figures. In full-face view, posterior margin of head rounded, not concave: sides of head more or less straight medially: in profile, dorsal margin marginate. Mandible with 4 teeth. Palpal formula 4,3. Antennae 12-segmented, scape does not reach posterior margin of head. Median clypeal lobe raised and notched medially. Eye a single, large, clear, convex facet that projects beyond the margin of the head in full-face view.

Mesosoma in dorsal view pear-shaped, broader across pronotum than across propodeum. Metanotal grove unmarked. Propodeal spines granulate-tuberculate: declivitous face of propodeum concave, ending basally with an upturned tooth. Petiole longer than wide: subpetiolar process forming an obtuse tooth at midlength. Tibial spur present on each leg. Claws on all legs slender, simple.

Abdominal segment IV tergum evenly rounded posteriorly, without concave impression near apex.

Head, mesosoma, petiole, and abdominal segment III with dense granulate-foveolate sculpture. In contrast, abdominal segment IV predominantly smooth and shiny but with sparse foveae. Declivitous face of propodeum shiny smooth.

Body covered with abundant pilosity consisting of fine, curved, tapered, yellow-white setae.

Type Material

Holotype: Worker. Madagascar: Antsiranana, 11.0 km WSW Befingotra, Reserve Speciale Anjanaharibe-Sud, 14°45’S, 049°27’E, 1565 m, 16 Nov 1994 (coll. B. L. Fisher) sifted litter, montane rainforest, Collection code: BLF1232(6)—CASENT0100367, (California Academy of Sciences).

Paratypes: 2 workers with same data as holotype but with specimen codes CASENT010068 (The Natural History Museum), CASENT0100369 (Museum of Comparative Zoology); 1 worker 9.2 KM WSW Befingotra, Reserve Speciale Anjanaharibe-Sud., 1445’S, 04928’E, 1280 m, 5 Nov 1994 (coll. B. L. Fisher). CASENT0100370; (CASC); and 1 worker same as latter but collected at 1200 m on 9 Nov 1994, CASENT0100371 (CASC).


Named in recognition of the support from the Google company. I hope that Google will continue applying its talent to serve the data relevant to the biodiversity community, conservation planners, and the general public. By creating a “Zoogle,” Google could help achieve free and democratic access to taxonomic and biodiversity data on species. P. google is also suspected to be a specialist egg predator of spiders, which is also why this ant is aptly named Google—for the ability to hunt down obscure prey. The specific name is an arbitrary combination, to be treated as a noun in apposition.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fisher B. L. 2005. A new species of Discothyrea Roger from Mauritius and a new species of Proceratium Roger from Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences (4)56: 657-667.