Vitsika labes

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Vitsika labes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Vitsika
Species: V. labes
Binomial name
Vitsika labes
Bolton & Fisher, 2014

Vitsika labes casent0192038 p 1 high.jpg

Vitsika labes casent0192038 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The specimens of V. labes were all collected in montane rainforest, in a rotten log, and from litter samples and pitfall traps.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2014) - V. labes shares its long, low postpetiolar profile only with Vitsika venustas, but the latter is a smaller species that is yellow in colour; see notes there.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Endemic to Madagascar.

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

Worker

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • labes. Vitsika labes Bolton & Fisher, 2014: 82, figs. 99-101, Map 155 (w.q.m.) MADAGASCAR.

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

Description

Worker

(holotype in parentheses). TL 3.1–3.7 (3.5), HL 0.68–0.77 (0.74), HW 0.56–0.66 (0.62), CI 82–88 (84), SL 0.48–0.54 (0.52), SI 80–86 (84), PW 0.46–0.56 (0.52), WL 0.88–1.04 (0.98) (12 measured).

Eye with 5–7 rows of ommatidia, and with 6–8 ommatidia in the longest row; EL 0.15–0.19 (EL/HW 0.26–0.29). MfL 0.60–0.72 (MfL/HW 1.03–1.10). In profile, propodeal dorsum with a distinct peak in its outline posterior to the mesonotal-propodeal junction, behind which the dorsum slopes steeply to the upper base of the spine. Propodeal spiracle small, diameter of annulus of spiracle is usually slightly less than the thickness of the propodeal spine at its midlength. Petiole node in profile bluntly rounded dorsally, with the anterior and posterior faces converging. Sculpture of petiole node weak to vestigial laterally, but the side never entirely smooth; posterior surface of petiole node with superficial sculpture, especially basally, but the sculpture fading out dorsally to leave the dorsum smooth. Height of petiole node in posterior view (from midpoint of the dorsal margin of the foramen to the apex) 0.92–1.07 × its maximum width. In dorsal view postpetiole 0.90–1.00 × broader than long; maximum width of postpetiole ca 1.04–1.23 × the length of a propodeal spine; maximum width of postpetiole 0.94–1.00 × the distance between the apices of the propodeal spines. Postpetiole node in profile relatively long and low, its dorsum shallowly convex; the length of the node in profile visibly greater than the height of the segment. Dorsum of postpetiole node superficially reticulate-punctulate, sometimes the sculpture effaced centrally on the disc. Full adult colour reddish brown to dark brown.

Queen

(gyne). Putative ergatoid only known. HL 0.76, HW 0.66, CI 87, SL 0.54, SI 82, PW 0.55, WL 1.08, MfL 0.69 (1 measured). Ocelli absent. Mesosoma worker-like, without trace of wing insertions but with the mesonotum slightly larger than in the worker. Mesopleuron without a transverse sulcus. The identity of the specimen as an ergatoid is based only on the somewhat enlarged mesonotum.

Male

HL 0.58, HW 0.47, CI 81, SL 0.19, SI 40, mesoscutum width at maximum 0.50, WL 1.04, EL 0.28, MfL 0.78 (1 measured). Propodeal dorsum weakly and superficially reticulate-punctulate; dorsum with a weak and slender median carina that also extends down the dorsal half of the declivity. Propodeum unarmed, the dorsum in profile rounds smoothly and evenly into the declivity. Petiole node in profile almost suppressed, long and very low, the node much longer than the petiole is high. Postpetiole in dorsal view much longer than broad, and in profile much longer than high. Colour brown.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: Prov. Toamasina, Ambanizana, P.N. Masoala, 15°34’18’’S, 050°00’21.7’’E, 900–950 m., 26.ii.–6.iii.2003, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), montane rainforest, BLF 8651, CASENT0056395 (D. Silva et al.) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 5 workers, 1 ergatoid queen and 1 male, with same data as holotype but CASENT numbers 0056372, 006880, 006882, 006886, 006887, 0056373 (ergatoid), 0056378 (male) (CASC).

References

  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. The Madagascan endemic myrmicine ants related to Eutetramorium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): taxonomy of the genera Eutetramorium Emery, Malagidris nom. n., Myrmisaraka gen. n., Royidris gen. n., and Vitsika gen. n. Zootaxa 3791:1–99. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3791.1.1