Comprehensive Description

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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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