Cataglyphis hannae , Agosti, D., 1994

Agosti, D., 1994, A new inquiline ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Cataglyphis and its phylogenetic relationship., Journal of Natural History 28, pp. 913-919: 914-916

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Cataglyphis hannae

n. sp.

Cataglyphis hannae  HNS  n. sp.

Material examined

Holotype: [malE], HL 1.40, HW 1.20, EL 0.50, SL 2.18, AL 2.63, CI 86, SI 181, El 41.7, FI 35.4, LI 100.8, TAI 114-3.

Diagnosis of male

Ant of the Cataglyphis bicolor  HNS  species group (Agosti, 1990), with the following diagnostic features:

(1) Black head and alitrunk.

(2) Alitrunk length 2-63 mm.

(3) Subgenital plate distally trilobed with the median process triangular and not digitiform.

(4) In ventral view, median process with hair-carrying pits to the tip.

(5) In lateral view, apicolateral appendix of sagitta not overreaching outline of apical, serrated plate.

(6) Apicolateral appendix of sagitta short and terminally rounded; in ventral view only slightly raised above the plane of the apical, serrated plate.

(7) Long hind tibiae (TAI 114.3).

Paratype: [males] HL 1.30-1.43, HW 1.05-1.19, EL 0.44-0.50, SL 1.98-2.23, AL 2.48-2.73, CI 80.8-86.6, SI 175.5-195.6, El 41 1-43.0, FI 91.4-103.2, LI 101.7-105.5, TAI 108.3-116.0 (re = 8).

There is a slight variation in size, but the extremes of the range of absolute measurements are always far below those of the other males of the bicolor  HNS  species group. Compared with all the other males of the bicolor  HNS  group, hannae  HNS  has the longest hind tibiae (TAI> 108). Head and alitrunk always black in colour.

Diagnosis of female

Ant of the Cataglyphis bicolor  HNS  species group with the following diagnostic features (Fig. IB):

(1) Small size, alitrunk <3-2 mm.

(2) Scape much longer than head length (SI> 120).

(3) Long hind tibiae (TAI> 90).

(4) Head and alitrunk bright red.

(5) First funicular segment of intermediate length (28 <FI<35).

(6) Low rounded petiole in lateral view.

Paratypes: [queens] HL 1.75-1.88, HW 1.65-1.73, EL 0.48-0.50, SL 2.00-2.18, AL 2.95-3.13, CI 90.4-94.3, SI 121.2-129.9, Fl 29.0-31.1, El 28.4-29.0, LI 101.8-107.1, TAI 93.5-100.8 (n = 5).

Deposition of type material

Holotype: [male], Tunisia, El Guettar, 34.33°N, 8.92°E, 300 m; in Oasis, at the edge of irrigated fields under Eucalyptus trees, D. Agosti, 08.06.1992, sample F92039, in nest with Cataglyphis bicolor  HNS  (MHNG).

Paratypes: 5 [queens], (alates) and 14 males, same as holotype. 7 males, Tunisia, El Guettar, 34.33°N, 8.92°E, 300 m; in Oasis, at the edge of an irrigated lucerne field, D. Agosti, 08.06.1992, sample F92309, in nest with Cataglyphis bicolor  HNS  (BMNH, CDA, CRW, MCZ, MHNG).

C. hannae  HNS  can be separated from all the other known species in the bicolor  HNS  group by the above mentioned diagnostic characters, especially by the body size, the long antennal scape and hind tibiae, the low rounded petiole, and the male genitalia. C. abyssinicus  HNS  , the only species with small females, has a much shorter scape (SI<113), and shorter hind tibiae (TAI<85); no males of this species are known. The long black hairs on the occiput of the head as seen in bicolor  HNS  are not present in hannae  HNS  , and thus exclude the possibility of hannae  HNS  being a microgyne of bicolor  HNS  .

Although> 1500 different samples of species of the bicolor  HNS  complex are in our collections, and most of them from Tunisia, no further hannae  HNS  specimens have been collected before. The host of hannae  HNS  is distributed along the southern foothills of the Atlas mountains in the transitional zone from the Mediterranean to the Desert region, not reaching the Atlantic in the West and not extending into Libya (Agosti et ai, in preparation). Thus, hannae  HNS  might be more common, certainly if one considers that the southern extension of the Mediterranean vegetation during the Pleistocene reached as far south as the Saharan mountains Tassili and Hoggar (Quezel, 1965). But social parasitic ants tend to have a clumped distribution (Buschinger, 1985) and the restricted collecting area might truly reflect its distribution. Finally, these males and females were collected as alates, during a survey where> 200 nests were at least partially dug up.

The habitat was at the edge of an irrigated Medicago sativa field and on a sandy place in the shade of some tall Eucalyptus trees on the side of a track within the oasis. In this desert region, the occurrence of species of the bicolor  HNS  group is restricted to oases.