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Species: Crematogaster (Crematogaster) nosibeensis   Forel, 1891 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Crematogaster hova r. nosibeensis Forel, 1891c PDF: 181 (q.) MADAGASCAR. Malagasy. Primary type information: Type-material: neotype queen (by designation of Blaimer, 2010 PDF: 25). Type-locality: neotype Madagascar: Nosy Bé, R.N.I. Lokobé, -13.41944, 48.33117, 30 m., 19-24.iii.2001, BLF3420, at light, rainforest (B.L. Fisher, et al.). Type-depository: CASC. Type-specimen: CASENT0436030 (neotype). Type notes: Original syntype queens: Madagascar: Nosibé (O’Swald), deposited in Musée de Hambourg, destroyed in World War II. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Neotype designation: Blaimer, 2010 PDF: 25.
[Misspelled as nossibeensis by Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 82 (footnote), 84.]
Subspecies of Crematogaster hova: Emery, 1893m PDF: 82 (footnote); Wheeler, 1922: 1026; Emery, 1922c PDF: 138; Bolton, 1995b: 158.
Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 84; Blaimer, 2010 PDF: 25 (redescription).
// Distribution

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Madagascar
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Malagasy

Distribution Notes:

MADAGASCAR
This species shows a distribution mostly restricted to low and mid-elevation rainforests of the Sambirano Region of Madagascars northwest, including the island of Nosy Be, the Ampasindava peninsula and the Manongarivo massif. Isolated populations of Crematogaster nosibeensis exist in the transitional dry forests of the R.S. Ambre in the foothills of the Montagne d'Ambre massif in the far north of Madagascar and the R.S. Ambohitantely in the central highlands. Ambohitantely forest is one of the last remnants of montane transition forest in this region as most of the surrounding vegetation has been altered into grasslands, probably due to excessive burning related to agricultural practices. It seems therefore likely that the species once spanned a more continuous distribution reaching from Madagascars north southwards to the central highlands.

Biology:

In the R.S. Manongarivo, I collected workers of Crematogaster nosibeensis from a trunk of Calantica (Salicaceae) that were transporting wood fibers to a carton nest out of reach in the canopy. I therefore assume that this species makes carton nests in the Manongarivo region, although it has never been collected from a carton nest at any of the northern localities. Brian Fisher et al. collected workers of C. nosibeensis with various ground-sampling techniques, but never in association with its nest site. In R.S. Manongarivo this species seems to belong to the rarer and less dominant species of Crematogaster. In contrast however, C. nosibeensis is a conspicuous and dominant element of the canopy ant fauna in R.S. Ambohitantely, side by side with the Crematogaster hova-complex. Here I found the species nesting exclusively in carton nests, mostly constructed high up (ca. 15-25m) in the canopy, and in highly polydomous colonies. One remarkable collection event involved two very large, polydomous carton nest colonies that had nests in neighbouring trees of the endemic genus Sarcolaena (Sarcolaenaceae). Each colony consisted of two large (15x15cm to 20x25cm) nests housing either workers, reproductives and brood, or just workers and brood. Close to the main nests, 4-6 smaller (ca. 2x1cm to 5x5cm) satellite carton nests or shelters were present, containing worker ants and mealybugs of an undescribed species in the genus Tylococcus (Pseudococcidae) (P.J. Gullan, pers. comm.). The sole function of these satellite carton shelters appears to be the protection of the mealybugs. Massive numbers of alates, both queens and males, in the main nests suggest that February was the height of reproduction for this species in the region.

Identification:

  • Antenna 10-segmented
  • Sculpture on head and promesonotum reduced-aciculate
  • Face with a single pair of erect setae near frontal carinae
  • Small to medium size (HW 0.86-1.04, WL 0.80-1.05)
  • Propodeal spines small to medium size (SPI 0.15-0.20)
  • Subpetiolar process developed as broad protuberance

Taxonomic Notes:

Taxonomic history:
Crematogaster hova r. nosibeensis Forel,1891: 180. Queen syntypes from MADAGASCAR, Nosibe (Oswald). [syntypes destroyed in WWII]
Crematogaster nosibeensis Forel, Dalla Torre, 1893: 84. Raised to species.
Crematogaster hova nosibeensis Forel, Wheeler, 1922b: 1026. Combination in C. (Decacrema); subspecies of hova.
Crematogaster hova nosibeensis Forel, Emery, 1922: 138. Subspecies of hova.
Crematogaster nosibeensis Forel, Blaimer, 2010: 25. Raised to species; neotype designated (CASC).

References:

Blaimer, B. B. (2010) Taxonomy and Natural History of the Crematogaster (Decacrema) group in Madagascar. Zootaxa, 2714, 1-39.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in secondary transition forest, 8 times found in rainforest, 5 times found in tropical dry forest, 2 times found in montane rainforest, 2 times found in primary transition forest, 2 times found in secondary rainforest, 1 times found in humid forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: Tree 1 times ex carton nest, collections BBB188-200, 2 trees, 2 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 4 times on low vegetation, 1 times ground forager(s), 1 times on tree trunk, carton nest, ca.10m high in the canopy, tree not climbable, 1 times on tree trunk, carton nest on tree, 1 times canopy foragers on tree trunk, carton nest, ca. 25m on highest tip of tree, way.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times Beat 25 sample transect, 10m, beating low vegetation, 2 times pitfall trap, PF 50 traps, 11 cm dbh with water, soap, formalin, nonlinear placement, 2 times at light, 1 times MW 75 sample transect, 5,10m, 1 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 1 times Malaise trap.

Elevations: collected from 30 - 1620 meters, 891 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1989-08-29 and 2011-05-12

Type specimens: neotype of Crematogaster nosibeensis: casent0436030



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