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Photos taken in Western Ghats by Dr Kalesh Sadasivan.
Photos taken in Western Ghats of Kerala by Dr Kalesh Sadasivan.
Oriental, India (Thiruvananthapuram city suburbs, Kerala state)
(figs. 14, 21, 22)
Holotype, worker: TL 3.0, HL 0.77, HW 0.69, ML 0.36, WL 0.87, scape L 0.54, eye L 0.06 mm; Cl 90, MI 47.
Color clear light yellow throughout.
The smallest member of the genus, with compound eyes greatly reduced (to about 12-14 facets), filling only about half the length of the orbital fossae. Convergent to A. siphneusHNS of West Africa, but with the frontal striation better developed, fine, and reaching back to embrace the posteromedian impression, but not extending all the way to the nuchal carina. Dorsal surfaces of head behind eyes densely and coarsely punctate, punctures mixed with striation mesad, and surface here opaque, but the punctures becoming spaced out a little on the sides and pasterolateral corners of the head, where the interspaces are smooth and shining.
Antennal scapes fail to reach posterior corners of head seen full-face by less than the apical thickness of a scape; funicular segments II, III, IV short, not or scarcely longer than broad, together shorter than I (pedicel). Mandibles nearly twice as thick in apical third as at their insertions; apical triad of teeth short and conical; preapical excision and angle absent to rather weakly developed; ventral mesial margins subcrenulate as seen from dorsal oblique view. Maxillary palpi 4-merous.
Trunk compact, gently convex in outline, the promesonotal and meso-metanotal sutures broad and impressed, so that really 3 separate convexities, pronotal, mesonotal, and fused metanoto-propodeal, exist, the anterior part of the last rising slightly above the others. Propodeal teeth in the form of prominent but bluntly rounded, laterally compressed tubercles. Cervix and anterior margin of pronotum finely, transversely rugulose; metanoto-propo- deum with dorsum finely transversely rugulose; pronotal disc and sides of trunk predominantly smooth and shining, as are also the propodeal declivity, petiolar node and gaster.
Petiolar node thin in side view, tapered to a sharp apex; in front view, the sides are vertical and only weakly convex; apical edge truncate and concave in the middle, leaving a subacute point on each side. Gaster thick, the first segment (postpetiole) slightly larger than second, and without a distinct constriction between. Middle tibiae without apical spurs.
Short, fine erect hairs, mostly paired bilaterally, often difficult to distinguish from background pubescence: 1 pair on frontal lobes, 1 pair on middle vertex, 1 pair on posterior vertex, 1 pair on humeri, another pair on anteromedian pronotum, 1 pair on posterior pronotum, 2 pairs on mesonotum; numerous, but still sparse, hairs generally distributed on both upper and lower surfaces of all gastric segments. Pubescense fine, appressed or decumbent, fairly abundant and conspicuous on head, dense but very short and fine on mandibles and appendages (which are mostly smooth and shining, though finely punctulate), dilute on trunk dorsum and gaster. The paratypes sometimes have an extra pair of erect hairs on the frontal carina, or an extra pair on the upper vertex or on the pronotal disc; the hairs are extremely delicate, and probably are easily lost to rubbing.
Queen and male unknown.
Holotype worker (MCZ) one of a series (M-228) dug from dry soil at the base of a large tree in disturbed, open, dry-season deciduous woodland near Punnapuzha, at the western base of the Western Ghats, east of Nilambur, Kerala State, India, 10 April 1969 (A. B. Soans and W. L. Brown).
Paratypes, 18 workers (MCZ, BMNH-London, MHN-Geneva, and elsewhere), all from southern peninsular India: Kottiyoor, Wynaad Taluk, Kerala State
(Soans and Brown), evergreen forest litter berlesate; Valara Falls, 46 km SW Munnar, 450+ m, Cardamon Hills, Kerala State, team of Besuchet, Lobi, and Mussard, No. 49; 39 km E Kodaikanal, 650 m, Paini Hills, Madras State, Besuchet-Löbl-Mussard, No. 20; plus type nest series.
TL 2.9-3.1, HL 0.74-0.81, HW 0.68-0.71, ML 0.34-0.39, WL 0.86-0.88, scape
L 0.54-0.57, eye L 0.06-0.07 mm; Cl 88-92, Ml 45-49.
A. myops (Malaya)HNS, A. longifossatus (Ceylon)HNS and A. subcoecus (Taiwan)HNS are all larger in body size, the first 2 of these considerably so. In addition, myopsHNS has a bluntly rounded petiolar node.
A. longifossatusHNS from Ceylon is similar, but larger and has a longer and straighter dorsal truncal profile, especially in the metanoto-propodeal area; this last is feebly concave in the front half, and gently convex in the posterior half, just before the propodeal teeth (which are small, but acute and erect in the specimen I have from Kandy, 600-700 m, E. O. Wilson). A. pupulatusHNS, by contrast, has the front half of the metanoto-propodeum distinctly convex, and it becomes weakly concave only in the posterior part. A. longifossatusHNS also has the mandibles still more strongly thickened apicad, and longer, and the funicular segments 1I-IV are longer, collectively = or > I. The eyes are a bit larger in longifossatusHNS (eye L 0.10 mm, with about 18-20 facets), and the petiolar node is thicker in side view, with convex front and rear slopes, especially the rear. In front view, the apical crest is nearly straight, and the sides are more strongly convex than in pupulatusHNS. The mesonotum in longifossatusHNS is minutely roughened in part, but still shining, as are also the sides of the metanotum, and the gastric pubescence is rather dense and decumbent; color ferruginous yellow, gaster brown.
The digm from Kandy was compared with a paratype of longifossatusHNS (BMNH-London) and the type of var. butteliHNS (MNK-Berlin); the last is a small specimen (WL 1.11 mm) with eye L only 0.07 mm, but it agrees well with the digm. The Kandy specimen has TL 4.2, HL 1.13, HW 0.99, ML 0.55, WL 1.27, scape L 0.85, eye L 0.10 mm; Cl 88, MI 49. Middle tibiae lacking apical spurs.
A pair of badly damaged specimens from «Camp» (1100 m) in the Cuernos Mts. of southern Negros Island in the Philippines, J. W. Chapman (MCZ), are similar to A. pupulatusHNS in size and sculpture, but are darker (brownish ferruginous) in color, have shorter scapes, have fine sculpture on the sides of the pronotum and propodeum, and have the posterior truncal dorsum forming a single convexity, only slightly interrupted by the meso-metanotal suture; propodeal angles low and obtuse, not forming teeth or tubercles.
While the Philippine sample may well represent yet another local small-eyed species, it seems prudent to wait for more adequate material before adding a new name to this group.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in evergreen forest, 1 times found in secondary forest.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times litter.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times Winkler #8.
Elevations: collected from 650 - 1200 meters, 925 meters average
Type specimens: paratype: casent0217512