Rhopalothrix kusnezovi

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Rhopalothrix kusnezovi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Rhopalothrix
Species: R. kusnezovi
Binomial name
Rhopalothrix kusnezovi
Brown & Kempf, 1960

Nothing is known about the biology of Rhopalothrix kusnezovi.

Identification

Brown and Kempf (1960) - This species is most closely related to Rhopalothrix weberi, Rhopalothrix isthmica, and Rhopalothrix stannardi, but differs strikingly from all of these in its abundant and bristly pilosity, as well as in labral form and other characters.

Key to Rhopalothrix workers

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Longino and and Boudinot (2013) - Knowledge of the biology of the Rhopalothrix isthmica clade of Rhopalothrix is conjectural; a nest has never been recovered and a live specimen never seen. What we know is based on locations and frequencies of capture using various mass-sampling methods. Specimens are known from wet to moderately seasonal forest, from sea level to 2140 m elevation. At higher elevation, they are found in diverse mesophyll forest and in forests with various combinations of Liquidambar and montane oak. In Costa Rica, they are restricted to the wet forests of the Atlantic slope, to 1500 m on the Barva Transect in the Cordillera Volcánica Central and to 800 m in the Cordillera de Tilarán. The genus is unknown from the Monteverde cloud forest at 1500 m, the lowland wet forests of the Osa Peninsula, and the lowland tropical dry forests of Guanacaste, in spite of intensive collecting efforts in these areas. Further north in Central America they can occur at higher elevations.

In quantitative sampling at La Selva Biological Station, in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica, occurrences were relatively more frequent in soil/litter cores than in samples of sifted litter from the soil surface. This suggests that nests are subterranean, with workers only occasionally venturing up into the litter layer. Dealate queens are known for a few species, occurring occasionally in Winkler or Berlese samples. Alate queens of one La Selva species were found in canopy fogging samples, one each in two separate fogging events. Oddly, alate queens have not been found in the many Malaise samples from La Selva. Males remain unknown.

Castes

Known only from queens.

Nomenclature

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

  • kusnezovi. Rhopalothrix kusnezovi Brown & Kempf, 1960: 238, fig. 60 (q.) ARGENTINA.

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

Description

Queen

Holotype, alate TL 2.9, HL 0.62, HW 0.65 (CI 105), ML 0.18, greatest diameter of compound eye ca. 0.12, WL 0.83, forewing L ca. 2.5 mm.

Form of head and mandibles as shown. Two weak, feebly arcuate sulci crossing head, one just behind clypeus, the other just in front of anterior ocellus. Curved transverse carina behind ocelli is shown by dotted line in figure. Clypeus flat, with raised convex lateral lobes. A brief median longitudinal carina runs forward from anterior ocellus. Labrum shown. Antennal scapes flattened and bent near base, and somewhat broadened, but not forming prominent lobes. Apical segment of funiculus about as long as the five basal segments combined. Mandible with 3 large and 2 small teeth on masticatory border, followed by the long subapical tooth, which is nearly twice as long as hasal width of mandible and more than twice as long as (ventral) apical tooth; between subapical and apical teeth are two strong intercalary teeth.

Alitrunk depressed and broad; pronotum broad above, but the sides concave and receding beneath it; scutum depressed, with an extensive shallow impression centered between the wing bases. Scutellum elliptical, flat, feebly impressed, not protruding. Propodeum with extremely short dorsum almost immediately dropping off into declivity, which is concave from side to side, and laterally bordered on each side by a low translucent lamina which is convex above and below, concave in the middle.

Petiolar node sessile, its anterior face rising at a sharp slope, slightly convex; summit rounded, posterodorsal face convex; seen from above, node is subrectangular, broader than long, anterior and lateral borders slightly convex. Anteroventral process short and stout. Postpetiole reniform, wide, but narrow from front to rear, its anterior border gently concave, its posterior border convex. Gaster depressed and rather broad, with subparallel sides; first tergite flat above, with a broad but shallow anteromedian impression. Exserted sting stout, acute.

Entire body, including mandibles, densely and finely granulose-punctulate, opaque; occiput and promesonotum with a faint open network of rugulae superimposed. Posterior dorsum of head, gula, scapes, dorsum and lower middle sides of alitrunk, coxae, both nodes and all of gaster covered with abundant, rather short but slender, clavate to truncate erect hairs, Legs, frontal region of head, and clypeus with reclinate linear-spatulate hairs, often directed toward midline on head; mandibles with long, decumbent truncate to pointed hairs (the last not shown in the figure). Labrum with paired tapered sensory setae.

Venation of forewing reduced til a rather weak R+Sc with stigma. Costa of forewing basad of stigma with 3 large equally-spaced oblique setae. Hindwing with 4 submedian hamuli. Color medium ferruginous; ocellar calli blackened.

Type Material

Holotype Fundacion e Instituto Miguel Lillo taken, presumably in or after nuptial flight, at Tucuman, Argentina (N. Kusnezov leg., no. 10068). Two similar paratype females, also from Tucuman, are deposited with the holotype and WWK.

References

  • Brown, W. L., Jr.; Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3: 161-250 (page 238, fig. 60 queen described)
  • Longino J. T. and Boudinot B. E. 2013. New species of Central American Rhopalothrix Mayr, 1870 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zootaxa. 3616:301-324. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3616.4.1