Tetramorium alperti

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Tetramorium alperti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Tetramorium
Species group: naganum
Species: T. alperti
Binomial name
Tetramorium alperti
Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2014

Tetramorium alperti casent0009535 p 1 high.jpg

Tetramorium alperti casent0009535 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Tetramorium alperti is a leaf litter inhabitant.

Identification

A member of the Tetramorium naganum-species group. Hita Garcia and Fisher (2014) - Tetramorium alperti differs from the other three species of the group by the following character combination: propodeal spines long to very long (PSLI 29–37); waist segments with several long erect hairs; first gastral tergite with moderately long, scattered, appressed to decumbent pubescence in combination with several much longer, erect standing hairs.

Tetramorium alperti cannot be confused with Tetramorium dalek since the latter has no long standing hairs on the waist segments and the first gastral tergite, while these are present in T. alperti. Differentiation from the other three species of the group, however, is more challenging. The primary diagnostic characters distinguishing T. alperti are the pilosity/pubescence pattern on the first gastral tergite and the shape of the petiolar node in profile. Tetramorium alperti possesses moderately long, relatively scattered, appressed to decumbent pubescence in combination with several much longer and erect hairs. This pattern on the first gastral tergite is not found in Tetramorium enkidu, Tetramorium gilgamesh or Tetramorium naganum since they either lack long and erect hairs or appressed to decumbent pubescence entirely. In addition, T. alperti also has a thicker petiolar node which is around 1.5 to 1.6 times higher than long (LPeI 62–68), compared to T. gilgamesh and T. naganum, in which the petiolar nodes are around 1.7 to 2.0 times higher than long (LPeI 50–59). The species probably most easily confused with T. alperti is T. enkidu since both share the same general habitus and the same morphometric range, and the only difference is the pattern of pilosity/pubescence on the first gastral tergite outlined above.

To our knowledge, there is no significant intraspecific variation in the material treated as T. alperti.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Tetramorium alperti is only known from three localities. Two are located in the northeast of Madagascar (Anjanaharibe-Sud and Marorejy) while the third is found much further south (Ambalagoavy). Anjanaharibe-Sud and Marorejy are montane forests ranging from 1280 to 1325 m elevation, whereas Ambalagoavy is located at 525 m. This distributional and elevational pattern suggests that T. alperti might have been distributed throughout most of the eastern Madagascar humid forests, but is now only found in a few montane forests and one lower rainforest site. (Hita Garcia and Fisher 2014)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • alperti. Tetramorium alperti Hita Garcia & Fisher, 2014: 11, figs. 2A, 3A, 5, 61 (w.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(N=10). HL 0.56–0.68 (0.64); HW 0.54–0.65 (0.62); SL 0.40–0.47 (0.45); EL 0.13–0.15 (0.14); PH 0.31–0.38 (0.35); PW 0.40–0.50 (0.47); WL 0.70–0.84 (0.79); PSL 0.18–0.23 (0.21); PTL 0.15–0.18 (0.16); PTH 0.23–0.28 (0.26); PTW 0.16–0.19 (0.18); PPL 0.17–0.22 (0.20); PPH 0.23–0.27 (0.25); PPW 0.22–0.28 (0.26); CI 95–97 (96); SI 69–75 (73); OI 22–23 (23); DMI 57–62 (59); LMI 42–46 (44); PSLI 29–37 (33); PeNI 36–40 (38); LPeI 62–68 (64); DPeI 103–115 (108); PpNI 54–57 (55); LPpI 74–84 (80); DPpI 126–132 (128); PPI 139–156 (145).

Head longer than wide (CI 95–97); posterior head margin weakly concave. Anterior clypeal margin with distinct median impression. Frontal carinae strongly developed, diverging posteriorly and approaching or ending at posterior head margin; antennal scrobe present, but weak, shallow, and without defined posterior or ventral margins. Antennal scapes short, not reaching posterior head margin (SI 69–75). Eyes of moderate size (OI 22–23). Mesosomal outline in profile flat to weakly convex, relatively high (LMI 42–46), and moderately to strongly marginate from lateral to dorsal mesosoma; promesonotal suture and metanotal groove absent. Propodeal spines long to very long, spinose, acute, and often thick (PSLI 29–37); propodeal lobes short, triangular, and blunt or acute, always much shorter than propodeal spines. Petiolar node in profile high, rounded nodiform with moderately rounded antero- and posterodorsal margins, around 1.5 to 1.6 times higher than long (LPeI 62–68), anterior and posterior faces approximately parallel, anterodorsal and posterodorsal margins situated at about the same height and equally marginate, petiolar dorsum weakly convex; node in dorsal view around 1.0 to 1.1 times wider than long (DPeI 103–115), in dorsal view pronotum between 2.4 to 2.8 times wider than petiolar node (PeNI 36–40). Postpetiole in profile globular to subglobular, approximately 1.2 to 1.3 times higher than long (LPpI 74–84); in dorsal view around 1.2 to 1.3 times wider than long (DPpI 126–132), pronotum between 1.7 to 1.8 times wider than postpetiole (PpNI 54–57). Postpetiole in profile appearing less voluminous than petiolar node, postpetiole in dorsal view between 1.3 to 1.6 times wider than petiolar node (PPI 139–156). Mandibles usually mostly unsculptured and smooth with some weakly striate parts, generally very shiny; clypeus longitudinally rugose/rugulose, with three to five rugae/rugulae, median ruga always well developed and distinct, lateral rugae/rugulae sometimes weaker and interrupted; cephalic dorsum between frontal carinae with seven to nine longitudinal rugae, rugae running from posterior clypeal margin to posterior head margin, often interrupted or with cross-meshes, especially posteriorly; scrobal area mostly unsculptured; lateral head reticulate-rugose to longitudinally rugose. Ground sculpture on head absent to weakly punctate. Dorsum of mesosoma mostly irregularly longitudinally rugose; lateral mesosoma variably sculptured, lateral pronotum and anepisternum mostly unsculptured, smooth and shining with very little sculpture, usually only traces of rugulae present, katepisternum, metapleuron, and lateral propodeum noticeably irregularly longitudinally rugose. Forecoxae unsculptured, smooth and shining. Ground sculpture on mesosoma weak to absent. Waist segments and gaster completely unsculptured, smooth and shining. Whole body with numerous, long, and fine standing hairs; first gastral tergite with moderately long, relatively scattered, appressed to decumbent pubescence in combination with several much longer, fine, and erect hairs. Anterior edges of antennal scapes and dorsal (outer) surfaces of hind tibiae usually with decumbent to suberect hairs. Head, mesosoma, waist segments, and gaster orange-brown to chestnut brown, mandibles, antennae, and legs always lighter, usually yellowish brown.

Type Material

Holotype, pinned worker, MADAGASCAR, Antsiranana, Parc National de Marojejy, Antranohofa, 26.6 km 31° NNE Andapa, 10.7 km 318° NW Manantenina, 14.44333°S, 49.74333°E, 1325 m, montane rainforest, sifted litter (leaf mould, rotten wood), collection code BLF09080, 18.XI.2003 (B.L. Fisher) (California Academy of Sciences: CASENT0042547). Paratypes, nine pinned workers with same data as holotype (The Natural History Museum: CASENT0042817; CAS: CASENT0042703; CASENT0042704; CASENT0042708; CASENT0042813; CASENT0042815; CASENT0042827; CASENT0042835; Museum of Comparative Zoology: CASENT0042821).

Etymology

The name of the new species is a patronym dedicated to Gary D. Alpert from Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., to honour his numerous ant collecting activities in Madagascar.

References