Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)
Tetraponera phragmotica Ward, 2006 PDF
: 127, figs. 11 - 14, 16 (w.q.) MADAGASCAR. Malagasy. Primary type information: Madagascar, Antsiranana, Nosy Be, 2 km ENE Andoany (=Helville), -13.41667, 48.3, 5 m, ex dead twig Albizia, roadside, 4.v.1989, coll. P.S. Ward, PSW10492; CASENT0106134; CASC AntCat AntWiki HOL
Distribution: Geographic regions
(According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists): Africa: Madagascar Biogeographic regions
(According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists): Malagasy
is known only from the island of Nosy Be in northwestern Madagascar.
Collections of T. phragmotica from the type locality (on Nosy Be) were taken in dead twigs of two adjacent Albizia trees (one recently felled, one standing) along a roadside next to mangroves.
Within the ambigua
group this species is recognized by a combination of the following worker features:
- relatively large species (HW 0.80-0.92) with broad head (CI 0.89-0.92)
- masticatory margin of mandibles with six teeth
- presence of phragmotic soldier subcaste
Within the T. ambigua
-group the (minor) worker of this species is easily recognized by its relatively large size (HW > 0.80, LHT > 0.70), broad head, dark shiny integument, and the presence of a metabasitarsal sulcus. The soldier subcaste is also very distinctive: the pronotum and head are much enlarged and the anterior portion of the head has an expanded and abruptly truncate clypeus. The truncate portion is semicircular in anterior view, with a raised outer rim and a coarsely pitted rugulose interior. The mandibles complete the truncation anteroventrally and have coarse setigerous pits. The portion of the clypeus posterior to the truncation has smaller scattered foveate pits, about 0.05 mm in diameter. The head of the queen is similarly phragmotic but also possesses distinct ocelli, which are essentially absent in the soldier (Ward, 2006).
Ward, P. S. 2006. The ant genus Tetraponera in the Afrotropical region: synopsis of species groups and revision of the T. ambigua-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8: 119-130.
Specimen Habitat Summary
Found most commonly in these habitats: 3 times found in roadside, 2 times found in urban garden, 1 times found in dry forest, 1 times found in gallery forest, 1 times found in lowland forest, 1 times found in park/garden.
Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times ex dead twig above ground, 3 times ex dead twig Albizia, 1 times ex dead twig Albiziz, 1 times on low vegetation, 1 times in dead branch, 1 times foragers, 1 times ex dead twig of Albizia.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times GC, 1 times Malaise trap.
Elevations: collected from 5 - 135 meters, 27 meters average
Collect Date Range: collected between 1989-05-04 and 2019-07-10
Type specimens: Holotype: casent0106134; paratype: casent0106135, casent0220809; paratype of phragmotica Ward: casent0794530, casent0794531, casent0794532
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