Comprehensive Description

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Aptinoma antongil Fisher HNS ZBK sp. n.

Figures: worker 1, 2

Type material: Holotype : major worker, MADAGASCAR , Province Toamasina , Parc National de Masoala, 39.4 km 150° SSE Maroantsetra , 15.71°S , 49.97°E , 200m, 1 December 2001 , under canopy moss and leaf litter, rainforest (coll. B.L.Fisher & H.J.Ratsirarson ) collection code: BLF04719 , pin code: CASENT0418269 ( CASC ). Paratypes : 5 workers with same data as holotype but pins coded CASENT0418267 , CASENT0418268 , CASENT0418270 ( BMNH , CASC , MBCC , MCZC ) .

Major Worker measurements: maximum and minimum based on all specimens, n=10: HL 0.47-0.63, HW 0.48-0.63, CI 93-102, ED 0.10-0.13, SL 0.34-0.40, SI 63-73, WL 0.50-0.70, FL 0.39-0.49, PW 0.29-0.39.

Minor Worker measurements: maximum and minimum based on all specimens, n=2: HL 0.40-0.42, HW 0.39, CI 94-98, ED 0.09, SL 0.30-0.32, SI 77-80, WL 0.46, FL 0.34, PW 0.22-0.26.

With characters described in the genus diagnosis for major and minor workers: Anterior clypeal margin without a distinct shallow impression; medial clypeal margin with two or more pairs of setae directed anteriorly; additional pair of setae, slightly anterior of clypeal margin, directed anterodorsally. Scape not surpassing posterior margin of the head in full-face view in both major and minor. In dorsal view, lateral margin of pronotum evenly convex, without blunt angle at widest point. Metanotal groove in profile distinct and impressed. Dorsum of propodeum more or less convex, meeting the steeply sloped declivity in a blunt, narrowly rounded curve. In profile, propodeal spiracle along margin of declivitous face. Body light to dark brown.

Major workers are variable in size and are distinguished from the minor workers by shorter scapes relative to head width (SI 63-73). Since only two minor workers were collected, further samples are needed to evaluate if there is a continuum of worker sizes from minors to the larger majors.

A. antongil HNS ZBK can be separated from A. mangabe HNS ZBK by color and shape of propodeum and metanotal groove as outlined in the key to species. Minor workers of A. antongil HNS ZBK are easily distinguished from minor workers of A. mangabe HNS ZBK by length of scape. The scape surpasses the posterior margin of the head in minor workers in A. mangabe HNS ZBK while in A. antongil HNS ZBK it does not reach the margin.

QUEEN and MALE: unknown.

Distribution and biology. The distribution is limited to forests around Antongil Bay, Madagascar. Specimens have been collected from canopy habitat on the Masoala Peninsula and on low vegetation near the summit of Montagne d'Anjanaharibe (1100 m) just north of Maroansetra. Like A. mangabe HNS ZBK , this species is arboreal. However, it may not nest in dead twigs as does A. mangabe HNS ZBK . Collections suggest that the species nests under canopy litter and moss. The collections in Masoala were made by exploring the canopy using ropes. A. antongil HNS ZBK workers were found foraging under moss and litter at the junction of branches.

Additional material examined for Aptinoma antongil HNS ZBK : In addition to the type material, specimens from five additional collecting events from the following two localities were examined in this study. MADAGASCAR, Province Toamasina: Parc National de Masoala, 39.4 km 150° SSE Maroantsetra, 200 m, 15.71°S , 49.97°E , (B.L.Fisher & H.J.Ratsirarson), 1 December 2001, rainforest, canopy moss and leaf litter collection codes: BLF04716, BLF04717, BLF04718 BLF04721. Montagne d'Anjanaharibe, 19.5 km 27° NNE Ambinanitelo, 1100 m, 15.17833°S , 49.635°E , (Fisher et al), 14 March 2003, montane rainforest, beating low vegetation, collection code: BLF08151.

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