Euprenolepis

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Euprenolepis
Euprenolepis procera feeding.jpg
Workers of E. procera feeding on a Pleurotus mushroom
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Euprenolepis
Emery, 1906
Type species
Prenolepis procera
Emery, 1900
Diversity[1]
8 species

Euprenolepis is a Southeast Asian genus of ant in the subfamily Formicinae with eights recognized species.[2]

Species[edit]

Distribution[edit]

Euprenolepis is endemic to southeastern Asia. Most species are presently known from Borneo only, but whether or not this reflects biological reality or collecting bias remains unclear.[3]

Taxonomy[edit]

Euprenolepis was constructed as a subgenus within Prenolepis by Emery (1906), but he later moved the subgenus to Paratrechina (Emery, 1925). When Euprenolepis was raised to full genus level by Brown (1953), he also synonymized Chapmanella with Euprenolepis.[4]

Description[edit]

Six diagnostic characters can generally separate Euprenolepis workers from the workers of other formicine genera:[5]

  1. basal tooth with a distinct obtuse angle on the inner mandibular margin,
  2. apical tooth large and curved toward midline of body,
  3. mandalus large and conspicuous
  4. medially clypeus without a prominent keel,
  5. anterior clypeal margin medially emarginate, with a medially placed seta, and
  6. widely spaced torulae.

The reduced segmentation in the palps also helps in diagnosing the genus, except Pseudolasius also exhibits palpa segment reduction. With the exception of E. negrosensis, all species appear to have a 3:4 palpal formula. Pseudolasius typically possess 2 or 3 labial palpal segments. Euprenolepis is most likely to be confused with Pseudolasius, however, with the exception of E. negrosensis, Euprenolepis have much larger eyes than Pseudolasius species. Additionally, the six characters listed above provide a means to separate the two genera.[5]

E. negrosensis placement within the genus remains somewhat problematic. The species was originally placed in its own genus, Chapmanella, by Wheeler (1930), but overall its general morphology suggest placement in Euprenolepis. However, it is distinctly unlike other species, in that it possesses very small eyes, extreme elongation of the mesosoma, a quadriform basal tooth (although rarely some specimens observed have a basal tooth as in other Euprenolepis species), and a 4:4 palpal formula. This species is at present maintained in Euprenolepis, but this result should be confirmed with molecular data once specimens become available for molecular study.[5]

Morphological characters of E. negrosensis males do suggest placement within the genus for there are several shared characters among the three species where males are known. Among those characters shared with other Euprenolepis males are:[5]

  1. digiti weakly anvil-shaped, ventrally directed,
  2. digiti and cuspi meeting dorsally, about halfway along length of digiti, and
  3. apices of parameres bending towards the midline of the body.

These three characters may represent diagnostic features for the genus. Another distinctive feature of all known Euprenolepis males is their hirsuteness, especially on the parameres and terminal gastral segments. The parameres can be difficult to see because of the presence of abundant, long setae. It appears E. negrosensis is a hypogaeic species based on its small eyes and yellow, thin cuticle, and this may explain the unusual appearance of the workers compared to other species within the genus. It remains unclear how widespread polymorphism is in the genus. Polymorphism is exhibited in E. procera, with a minor and major worker caste clearly expressed. However, in no other known species is polymorphism observed. This may reflect collecting bias, because most species are only known from a few localities. However, at least one species, E. wittei, has been collected from long nest series and polymorphism has not been found in the workers. Despite E. procera being by far the most commonly encountered Euprenolepis in collections, majors are still relatively uncommon.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bolton, B. (2014). "Euprenolepis". An online catalog of the ants of the world. Retrieved 3 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Genus: Euprenolepis". antweb.org. AntWeb. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  3. ^ LaPolla 2009, p. 4
  4. ^ LaPolla 2009, p. 1
  5. ^ a b c d e LaPolla 2009, pp. 3–4
  • Brown, W.L., Jr. (1953) Characters and synonymies among the genera of ants. Part II. Breviora, 18, 1–8.
  • Emery, C. (1906) Note sur Prenolepis vividula Nyl. et sur la classification des espèces du genre Prenolepis. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique, 50, 130–134.
  • Emery, C. (1925) Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum, 183, 1–302.
  • LaPolla, John S. (2009), "Taxonomic Revision of the Southeast Asian Ant Genus Euprenolepis.", Zootaxa 2046: 1–25 
  • Wheeler, W.M. (1930) Two new genera of ants from Australia and the Philippines. Psyche (Cambridge), 37, 41–47.

External links[edit]

  • This article incorporates text from a scholarly publication published under a copyright license that allows anyone to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the materials in any form for any purpose: LaPolla, John S. (2009), "Taxonomic Revision of the Southeast Asian Ant Genus Euprenolepis.", Zootaxa 2046: 1–25  Please check the source for the exact licensing terms.