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Species: Cerapachys fuscior   Mann, 1921 

Classification:
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Note: Not a Valid Taxon Name


Current Valid Name:

Ooceraea fuscior

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Cerapachys (Syscia) cryptus subsp. fuscior Mann, 1921 PDF: 410 (w.) FIJI IS. Oceania. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:

  Geographic regions: Not found on any curated Geolocale/Taxon lists.

Distribution Notes:

Fiji (endemic). Kadavu, Taveuni, Vanua Levu.

Biology:

Wilson (1959b), recognizing the close similarity to C. cryptus, offered that further collections of these species may demonstrate that the two are insular variants of the same species. The morphology of the single worker collected from Mt. Delaikoro on Vanua Levu shares the features that distinguish C. fuscior from C. cryptus, and adds further validation to Wilsons decision to treat the two as separate species.

Only one worker specimen (CASENT0171152) of C. fuscior has been collected since Manns expedition to Taveuni. The specimen, despite coming from a different island (Vanua Levu), strongly resembles the type series and further validates the consideration of C. fuscior to be a distinct species from C. cryptus. Furthermore, a large number of male specimens collected from Taveuni, Vanua Levu, and Kadavu are close matches to the morphology predicted by the worker caste of C. fuscior, and are readily distinguishable from the males predicted to belong to C. cryptus. The inferred males C. cryptus males are included in the material examined, and extend the range from Vanua Levu to the islands of Taveuni and Kadavu. The sympatry of both forms at several sites on Viti Levu adds additional support for the current taxonomy.

Mann (1921) obtained several small colonies of this species beneath stones after rains, and describes the workers as rolling up and feigning death when disturbed. The only other known worker specimen was collected from sifted litter.

Identification:

In Fiji. Cerapachys fuscior, like C. cryptus and Cerapachys sp. FJ06, is separated from other Fijian lineages by its 9-segmented antennae and vestigial eyes. It can be distinguished from C. cryptus by its darker reddish brown color, larger diameter foveae, and more smooth and shining sculpture between the foveae. Additionally, the subpetiolar process of C. fuscior is composed of two parts: a posterior rounded lamellae and an anterior narrowly attached tooth. The subpetiolar process of C. cryptus is a single rounded lamellae with a fenestra. The eyes of C. fuscior are composed of a single ommatidium that can be observed in most specimens despite their small size. The most obvious character separating C. fuscior from Cerapachys sp. FJ06 is its substantially larger size. Furthermore, the foveae of Cerapachys sp. FJ06 workers are of a finer and shallower quality compared to those of C. fuscior.

Taxonomic Notes:

Type locality: FIJI, Taveuni, Somosomo (W. M. Mann). Syntypes: 7 workers (MCZC, examined); 8 workers (USNM, examined).

References:

  • Mann, W. M. 1921. The ants of the Fiji Islands. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 64:401-499.
  • Wilson, E. O. 1959. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia. 5. The tribe Cerapachyini. Pac. Insects 1:39-57.


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