Vitsika miranda

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

Vitsika miranda casent0147524 p 1 high.jpg

Vitsika miranda casent0147524 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

From the material available this species appears to be mostly found above ground level. Specimens have been found on low vegetation, in a dead bamboo stem, in a dead twig above the ground, and in a rotted pocket on a standing tree. A single worker has been retrieved from a pitfall trap, and an alate queen was found walking on the ground.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2014) - V. miranda is very closely related to Vitsika obscura, and both resemble the yellow Vitsika astuta. However, astuta has long, fine, suberect setae on the dorsal (outer) surface of the metatibia, the longest of which are almost as long as the maximum tibial width, and lacks, or at most has only vestiges of, transverse costulae on the propodeal declivity. By contrast, the suberect setae in both miranda and obscura are stubbly and distinctly shorter than the maximum tibial width, and the transverse costulae of the propodeal decivity are conspicuous.

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

Males have yet to be collected.

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • miranda. Vitsika miranda Bolton & Fisher, 2014: 86, figs. 105-107, Map 157 (w.q.) 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 3.5–4.0 (3.7), HL 0.74–0.84 (0.83), HW 0.62–0.73 (0.70), CI 84–87 (84), SL 0.54–0.63 (0.62), SI 85–89 (89), PW 0.47–0.56 (0.54), WL 0.94–1.08 (1.06) (7 measured).

Eye with 8–9 rows of ommatidia, and with 9–11 ommatidia in the longest row; EL 0.17–0.22 (EL/HW 0.27–0.30). MfL 0.68–0.78 (MfL/HW 1.06–1.09). Antennal scape about the same shade as the head capsule, or at most only fractionally lighter. In profile, the dorsal outline of the propodeum shallowly convex to the upper base of the propodeal spine, without a distinct peak in its outline posterior to the mesonotal-propodeal junction. Propodeal declivity with distinct transverse costulae. Diameter of annulus of propodeal spiracle equal to, or only slightly less than, the thickness of the propodeal spine at its midlength. Petiole node in profile highest at the anterodorsal angle and usually with a poorly defined, short, dorsal surface that rounds evenly into the posterior face. In posterior view the dorsal margin of the petiole node evenly, shallowly convex, or may be almost flat medially. Sculpture of petiole node weak to vestigial laterally; posterior surface of petiole node mostly smooth, but with a narrow punculate band immediately above the foramen. Height of petiole node in posterior view (from midpoint of the dorsal margin of the foramen to the apex) 0.85–0.92 × its maximum width. In dorsal view postpetiole 1.23–1.31 × broader than long; maximum width of postpetiole ca 1.00–1.15 × the length of a propodeal spine; maximum width of postpetiole 0.96–1.06 × the distance between the apices of the propodeal spines. Postpetiole node in profile relatively short and high, its dorsum distinctly convex; the length of the node in profile is visibly greater than the height of the segment. Dorsum of postpetiole node usually entirely smooth, but vestigial remnants of superficial punctulae sometimes remain. The main suberect setae on the dorsal (outer) surface of the metatibia are all about the same length, and are distinctly shorter than the maximum tibial width. Full adult colour blackish brown to almost black.

Queen

(gyne). Only alates known. HL 0.89–0.90, HW 0.75–0.79, CI 84–88, SL 0.63–0.65, SI 82–84, PW 0.65–0.68, mesoscutum maximum length 0.60, mesosocutum maximum width 0.60–0.62, WL 1.24–1.28, MfL 0.80–0.82 (2 measured). Ocelli conspicuous. Mesosoma normal for alates, with a full complement of flight sclerites, wing articulation present, and mesopleuron with a transverse sulcus.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Madagascar: R.S. Kalambatritra [Prov. Toliara], Betanana, 08.ii.2002, 23.4144°S, 46.4590°E, 1360 m., montane rainforest, BLF 21480, CASENT0147524 (B.L. Fisher et al.) (California Academy of Sciences). Paratypes. 1 worker with same data as holotype but BLF 21466, CASENT0148648; 1 worker R.S. Kalambatritra, Ampanihy, 1270 m., 23.4635°S, 46.4631°E, 10.ii.2009, montane rainforest, BLF 21743, CASENT0147063 (B.L. Fisher et al.); 1 worker and 1 dealate queen, as last but 1269m., 23.46300°S, 46.47057°E, 10.ii.2009, BLF 21665, CASENT0149989 (B.L. Fisher et al.) (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