Strumigenys megaera

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Strumigenys megaera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. megaera
Binomial name
Strumigenys megaera
(Bolton, 2000)

Pyramica megaera casent0102604 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica megaera casent0102604 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Known from rainforest and wet forest. Of the few collections, most are from litter samples but one was made from an abandoned termite mound.

Identification

Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys leptothrix-group. S. megaera is closest related to Strumigenys rudinodis and Strumigenys scolopax, within a complex that also includes Strumigenys scylla and Strumigenys medusa. Characterisation of the complex and differentiation of the component species is discussed under rudinodis, the dentition of the complex is noted in the introduction to the group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Strumigenys were once thought to be rare. The development and increased use of litter sampling methods has led to the discovery of a tremendous diversity of species. Many species are specialized predators (e.g. see Strumigenys membranifera and Strumigenys louisianae). Collembola (springtails) and other tiny soil arthropods are typically favored prey. Species with long linear mandibles employ trap-jaws to sieze their stalked prey (see Dacetine trap-jaws). Larvae feed directly on insect prey brought to them by workers. Trophallaxis is rarely practiced. Most species live in the soil, leaf litter, decaying wood or opportunistically move into inhabitable cavities on or under the soil. Colonies are small, typically less than 100 individuals but in some species many hundreds. Moist warm habitats and micro-habitats are preferred. A few better known tramp and otherwise widely ranging species tolerate drier conditions. Foraging is often in the leaf litter and humus. Workers of many species rarely venture above ground or into exposed, open areas. Individuals are typically small, slow moving and cryptic in coloration. When disturbed individuals freeze and remain motionless. Males are not known for a large majority of species.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • megaera. Pyramica megaera Bolton, 2000: 437, fig. 270 (w.q.) BORNEO. Combination in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 123

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. TL 2.4, HL 0.69, HW 0.44, CI 64, ML 0.08, MI 12, SL 0.32, SI 73, PW 0.26, AL 0.69. With head in profile the outline of the clypeus rises almost vertically from the mandibles then passes through a broadly convex curve before the more or less flat posterior half of the outline. Spatulate appressed hairs numerous and very distinct on the clypeus and mandibles. Dentition discussed in introduction to group. With head in full-face view the dorsolateral margin, to a point well behind the level of the scrobe apex, with anteriorly directed, decumbent short spatulate hairs only; without freely laterally projecting long hairs of any form. Sides of occipital lobes close to posterior angles with 4-5 straight, laterally projecting simple hairs. Leading edge of scape lacking projecting hairs but with closely appressed simple to narrowly spatulate hairs that are directed toward the apex of the scape. Cephalic dorsum with appressed ground-pilosity and with a single transverse row of simple standing hairs close to the occipital margin. Dorsum of head behind clypeus predominantly reticulate-punctate, with some quite conspicuous longitudinal rugulae posteriorly on the vertex and on the dorsal surface of the occipital lobes. Eye with 4 ommatidia in the longest row. Pronotum marginate dorsolaterally, the dorsum transversely more or less flat. Dorsum of mesonotum with 3 pairs of stiff straight erect to sub erect simple hairs; hairs on pronotum not erect. Propodeum armed with a pair of narrow acute spines, each subtended by a narrow carina that runs down the declivity to an elongate-triangular acute propodeal lobe. Middle and hind tibiae with apically-directed short decumbent hairs; without freely projecting hairs of any form. Petiole in profile with dorsal outline of peduncle grading directly into node, without a differentiated anterior face to the node. Ventral spongiform curtain of petiole deeper than thickness of peduncle in profile. Lateral spongiform lobe of petiole narrow and inconspicuous, little more than an exaggerated angle posterolaterally and not running forward along the side of the node. Dorsal surfaces of petiole, postpetiole and gaster with simple standing hairs. Petiole node in dorsal view longer than broad and with fine reticulate-punctate sculpture. Disc of postpetiole broader than long and with fine longitudinal costulae; the disc margined on all sides with spongiform tissue. Basigastral costulae sparse and very short indeed, confined to the extreme base of the tergite.

Paratypes. TL 2.4-2.5, HL 0.65-0.74, HW 0.42-0.46, CI 62-65, ML 0.07-0.10, MI 10-14, SL 0.30-0.34, SI 71-77, PW 0.26-0.30, AL 0.66-0.74 (4 measured). As holotype but eye with 4-5 ommatidia in the longest row. Pronotal sculpture variable; usually reticulate-punctate but in some the punctures aligned so that weak longitudinal rugule-like sculpture is developed by alignment of the puncture margins. Sides of pronotum may have the punctate sculpture effaced.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Malaysia: Sabah, Poring Hot Springs, 11.v.1987, 500 m., no. 21 (Burckhardt & Lobl) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).

Paratypes. 1 worker with same data as holotype; 3 workers and 1 queen (dealate) with same data but 9.v.1987, no. 18; 21 workers Sabah, Sepilok Forest Res., nr Sandakan, 12.vi.1968, rainforest leafmould berlesate, acc. 68.451 [ANIC Ants vial 17.188 ] (R. W. Taylor); 1 worker, Sabah, mi. 45 Labuk Rd ex Sandakan (Lungmanis), 12-13.vi.1968, rainforest berlesate, acc. 68.477 (R. W. Taylor); 1 queen (dealate), Sabah, Tawau, Quoin Hill, 750 ft, 16-19.vi.1968, leafmould berlesate, acc. 68.613 (R. W. Taylor) (MHNG, The Natural History Museum, Australian National Insect Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology).

References

  • Baroni Urbani, C. & De Andrade, M.L. 2007. The ant tribe Dacetini: limits and constituent genera, with descriptions of new species. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria” 99:1-191.
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 437, fig. 270 worker described)