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Leptogenys (Lobopelta) ergatogyna HNS , new species

Text Figure 20

Female.- Length 7.3 mm.

Head longer than broad, narrower behind than in front, with feebly convex and rather large eyes, placed a little in front of the middle, and three small ocelli, the posterior distinctly smaller than the anterior. Mandibles rather broad, their basal and apical borders subequal, not, forming an angle with each other. Clypeus carinate,produced as a sharp point or angle in the middle. Frontal carina- erect, closely approximated; frontal groove distinct. Antennae long and slender, scapes extending nearly half their length beyond the posterior border of the head; funicular joints long and slender, the second twice as long as the first, the third and fourth each nearly two-thirds as long as the second. Thorax long and narrow, elongate elliptical, scarcely broader than the head through the eyes, laterally compressed; pronotum large, as Jong as broad, depressed in profile; mesonotum, tegulae, paraptera, and scutellum developed as distinct but small sclerites, without traces of wings. Mesonotum scarcely longer than the pronotum, somewhat longer than broad, with distinct parapteral furrows. Epinotum long and sloping, without base or declivity. Petiole as high as long, in profile shaped like the quadrant of a circle, its anterior surface evenly arcuate,its posterior surface sharply and vertically truncated, its ventral surface anteriorly with a coarse tooth. Seen from above, the petiole is only one and one-fourth times as long as broad, slightly broader behind than in front, with straight, subparallel sides. Abdomen slender, like that of a normal worker, not enlarged as in the ergatomorphic females of other species. Sting long. Legs long and slender.

Fig. 20. Leptogenys HNS { Lobopelta HNS ) ergatogyna HNS , new species . Female, a, insect in profile; b, head from above.

"A crustacean-eatinig ant ( Leptogenys elongata Buckley HNS ).' Hint Bull,, VI, pp. 251-259.

Subopaque; mandibles somewhat more shining, finely shagreened and coarsely and sparsely punctate. Clypeus finely longitudinally rugulose; head, pronotum, mesonotum, paraptera, and scutellum densely and finely punctate; postpetiole and gaster more shining, even more finely but a little less densely punctate; pleurae finely and longitudinally, epinotum transversely and somewhat more coarsely rugulose. Petiole finely and rather irregularly rugulose.

Hairs and pubescence whitish, the former very sparse, erect, delicate, confined to the head, fore coxae, and tip of gaster, short on the last; the pubescence rather short and abundant on the head, postpetiole, gaster, and appendages.

Black; mandibles, antennae, and legs, including the coxae, dark brown; tarsi and funiculi scarcely paler.

Described from a single specimen taken from the stomach of a toad (Bufo polycercus) from Medje (Lang and Chapin).

This remarkable insect I regard as the normal female of a species which must be very closely related to L. havilandi Forel HNS , known only from the worker. In all the species of Leptogenys HNS [ elongata (Buckley) HNS , diminuta (Smith) HNS , fallax (Mayr) HNS , arnoldi Forel HNS ] of which the female is known, this phase is like the worker in the structure of the thorax and in lacking ocelli, but has a more voluminous abdomen. Of the female arnoldi, Arnold HNS says that "the mesonotum is also larger and longer than in the worker," and I have found the same to be true of the Australian fallax HNS . It would seem, therefore, if I am correct in my interpretation of the specimen above described, that it must be regarded as representing a stage in the degeneration of the formicid female intermediate between the common winged and the extremely ergatomorphic form, the only form of fertile female that has been seen hitherto in the genus Leptogenys HNS .

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Plazi

Source: Plazi.org

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