Overview

Comprehensive Description

Prionopelta antillana is a small (~ 2mm) brown species most readily identified by the broad attachment of the petiole to the gaster, broad "" class=""lexicon-term"">subpetiolar process with a fenestra, exposed antennal sockets, toothed anterior clypeal margin, and triangular mandibles armed with three teeth. Brown (1960)discussed the morphology and distribution of P. antillana, and proposed that the study of additional material is required to determine whether it is truly distinct from P. amabilis Borgmeier. Little is known about the ecology of this species, but Deyrup et al. (2000)offered that the closely related P. amabilis is either monodomous or polydomous, and feeds on small soil arthropods, especially Campodeidae (Hölldobler & Wilson, 1986). Reports of P. antillana from tropical dry forest fragments (Arcila-Cardona et al., 2007; Armbrecht et al., 2001; Nascimento et al., 2007)in Colombia and cocoa plantations in Brazil (Delabie et al., 2007)suggested it can tolerate disturbed habitats. The species is reported to nest in decaying wood (Lozano-Zambrano et al., 2009)and abandoned Nasutermites termite mound (Santos et al., 2007), and the bulk of specimens were collected from sifted soil and leaf litter. Prionopelta antillana was first reported in the USA (Florida) by M. R. Smith (1967), and an earlier specimen was collected in 1957 (Deyrup et al., 2000). The species has no pest status.

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antillana Forel HNS 1909.

Alto Paraná , Amambay, Canindeyú (ALWC, BMNH, IFML, INBP, LACM, MHNG).

  • Wild, A. L. (2007): A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1622, 1-55: 23-23, URL:http://www.antbase.org/ants/publications/21367/21367.pdf
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Wild, A. L.

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Taxonomic History

Prionopelta punctulata subsp. antillana Forel, 1909a PDF: 239 (w.) ANTILLES. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Raised to species: Brown, 1960a: 177.
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Distribution

Native range: Neotropical (likely South America).
Introduced range: USA, possibly all or parts of the Caribbean.

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Paraguay: Alto Paraná, Amambay, Canindeyú
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Diagnosis of worker among Antkey species. Antenna 11-segmented. Antennal club 3-segmented. Antennal insertions entirely exposed, not covered even partially by frontal lobes. Anterior margin of clypeus denticulate. Mandibles tridentate. Eyes minute to absent. Metanotum not forming a prominent convexity bordered by distinct suture lines. Waist 1-segmented. Petiole broadly attached to gaster; lacking a posterior face. "" class=""lexicon-term"">Subpetiolar process broad and with fenestra present. Gaster with sting present. Abdominal segment 4 lacking deep longitudinal furrows. Legs with hind coxae lacking dorsal spine. Color shiny yellowish to reddish brown.


Among the species treated here, Prionopelta antillana is most similar in appearance to its fellow amplyoponine Amblyopone zwaluwenburgi. Both species have a single waist segment with the petiole broadly attached to gaster and lacking a posterior face and entirely exposed antennal insertions. Prionopelta antillana is separated from A. zwaluwenburgi by the mandibles which are tridentate (versus long and linear with seven teeth), the eye which is entirely absent (versus small but distinct), and the subpetiolar process which is broader and has a fenestra (versus narrower with fenestra absent).

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Taxonomic Treatment

Wild, A. L., 2007:
  Alto Paraná , Amambay, Canindeyú (ALWC, BMNH, IFML, INBP, LACM, MHNG).
 
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Alto Paraná , Amambay, Canindeyú (ALWC, BMNH, IFML, INBP, LACM, MHNG).

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Wild, A. L.

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Look Alikes

Amblyopone zwaluwenburgi

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

The species is not considered a significant pest.

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