Attaphila fungicola Wheeler, 1900

Bohn, Horst, Nehring, Volker, G., Jonathan Rodriguez & Klass, Klaus-Dieter, 2021, Revision of the genus Attaphila (Blattodea: Blaberoidea), myrmecophiles living in the mushroom gardens of leaf-cutting ants, Arthropod Systematics & amp; Phylogeny 79, pp. 205-280: 205

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Attaphila fungicola Wheeler, 1900


4.4. Attaphila fungicola Wheeler, 1900  

Figs 1D View Figure 1 , 3G, H View Figure 3 (A–J) , 5G, H View Figure 5 , 8A-C View Figure 8 , 12C View Figure 12 , 13F View Figure 13 , 14C View Figure 14 , 15B View Figure 15 , 16C, D View Figure 16 , 18E, F View Figure 18 , 19C, D View Figure 19 , 22E, F View Figure 22 , 25D, E View Figure 25 , 26B View Figure 26

Attaphila fungicola   Wheeler, 1900: 860, figs 3-6; Hebard 1916: 214, pl. X, figs 5-6; ? Wheeler 1928: 255 (reports from British Guiana and Panama); Princis 1963: 110; ? Brossut 1976: 167, figs 1-9; Roth 1968: 135, fig. 17; Roth 1971: 130, fig. 21.

Material studied.

Type material. Lectotype, 1♂, Texas, Austin, XI.00, Atta fervens   with Attaphila fungicola   , Nov. 20.1900, W.M.Wheeler Coll. (left tegmen and abdomen on two slides: Bo 1265) (M. New York)   . - Paralectotypes: 7L, same data as Lectotype (M. New York); 2L, Texas, Austin, 4/1900, Wheeler!, b. Atta fervens   (M. Maastricht)   . - Other material. 1♂, 1♀, Texas, Milam Co., Sugarloaf Mt. , 300', 4 mi. N Gause, 19.IX.1992, Godwin, Quinn, Riley et al. (each completely on two slides: Bo 1229, Bo 1228) (M. Maastricht, NHMM 2021 004, 005)   . - 4♀, Texas, Freestone Co., Old Spring Seat Church , nr. Donie, pit-fall in Atta   nest, 26.-31.V.[19]95, Wm.Godwin and E.Riley   ; 1♀, 9L, Texas, Milam Co., Sugarloaf Mt. , 300', 4 mi. N Gause, 19.IX.1992, Godwin, Quinn, Riley et al. (3L ♀, each completely on one slide: Bo 1435, Bo 1436, Bo 1437); 4L, LA [Louisiana], Natchitoches Par. Red Dirt Wdlf. Mn. Ar., nr. Red Buff Campgr., 26.IX.1992, E.G. and T.J.Riley et al. (1L ♀ completely on slide: Bo 1438)   ; 1♀, USA, Texas, Guadalupe Co. , 14.5 km SE Seguin, 29.48282°N 97.85017°W, ± 5 m, 4.XII.2014, A.   Graf, B. Hays, B. Lyons, J. Oswald, E.Riley and W. Ryan, ex nest of Atta texana   from depth of 2-8 ft. (Coll. TAMU) GoogleMaps   . - 1♀, Texas, Freestone Co., Old Spring Seat Church, nr. Donie , pit-fall in Atta   nest, 26.-31.V.[19]95, Wm.Godwin and E.Riley (completely on two slides: Bo 1236)   ; 1♀, USA, Texas, Travis Co., Austin, University of Texas, Brackenridge Field Lab. , Atta texana   nest, 30.28444 N 97.78194 W, 1.VII.2010, leg. U.Mueller (abdomen on one slide: Bo 1264) (ZS Munich) GoogleMaps   .


Male As in A. paucisetosa   with specialisations on T2 (msl2, but these are narrower, with simpler ridges), distinguished by having dispersed surface bristles on T2-5. For differences to A. flava   , see 4.3. Female: Well characterized by the combined occurrence of two characters: T2-5 with dispersed surface bristles, T6,7 with only few and small surface bristles. The latter feature is also shared by A. paucisetosa   , in which, however, the surface bristles of T2-5 are arranged in one line.


Size Length of body (dried): male 2.65-3.5 mm, female 2.45-3.5 mm (after Hebard 1916). Surface bristles of tergites 2-5 dispersed, not arranged in transversal rows (Fig. 8A, C View Figure 8 ). Transversal ridges tr2-5 without distinct small excurvations to the anterior (Fig. 8A, C View Figure 8 ; compare grey arrows in Fig. 11A View Figure 11 ), but male tr2 posteriorly of the specialisations with a wide excurvation to the posterior, mesally followed by a wide, very shallow excurvation to the anterior (grey arrows in Fig. 8A View Figure 8 ).

Male Tegmina (Fig. 3G, H View Figure 3 (A–J) ) widest at about 1/2 of length; obtusely wedge-shaped due to the converging course of the basalmost part of the posterior border and the apical border, connecting curvature shorter than in A. flava   thanks to the slightly more oblique course of the borders; likewise, posterior border near the tegmen base less concave, oblique apical border fairly straight; surface bristles rather fine (stronger than in A. flava   ). Hindwings fairly rhombic, with obtuse apex. Glandular pores on T2-5 in the area between the transversal ridge and the anterior border, dispersed, in moderately high density (Fig. 5G, H View Figure 5 ). Tergite 1 with long bristles on surface and borders (like T2-5); without specialisations. Tergite 2 along the anterior border with a pair of specialisations (msl2) consisting of a shallow, narrow transversal trough the bottom of which is patterned by low crossing ridges (Fig. 5G, H View Figure 5 ). Tergites 6,7: (Figs 8A View Figure 8 , 13F View Figure 13 , 15B View Figure 15 ) Median lobe of T7 scarcely visible; transversal ridge tr6 well developed, tr7 absent; posterior border of T6 and T7 with a relatively dense row of very short and thin bristles, much smaller than those of the respective lateral borders; surface of T6 and T7 only with few isolated and very small bristles, still smaller than those of the posterior borders. Subgenital lobe: (Figs 25D View Figure 25 , 26B View Figure 26 ) distal part with a deep excavation each along left side and right side; lobe posterior to level of excavations narrowly tongue-shaped and inclined leftward; only left stylus present (sll), which is conical, inserted at base of left excavation, not reaching tip of lobe; at the base of the right excavation with a group of short and strong bristles; distal lobe and stylus with few rather long and thin bristles. Phallomeres: (Fig. 25D, E View Figure 25 , 26B View Figure 26 ) Sclerotised part of hook (h) from the short, wide base (b) almost gradually narrowing (not as gradually as in A. flava   , but with a weak, yet distinct shoulder, Fig. 25C View Figure 25 ) into a slender neck (n) with a hardly curved proximal part, terminating in a slightly wider claw part (cl). Endophallic apodeme (ea) strongly narrowed at base (forking site of sclerite). Relative to the axis of the endophallic apodeme (ea), the virga (vi) shows a weak, very shallow sinusoidal curvature to the left, its apical part being hardly curved (not fully back into the ea -axis) and gradually narrowed to a rather acute tip, distinctly more acute than in A. paucisetosa   ; virga likely longitudinally grooved. Paraprocts: Both lacking a sclerotised projection (Fig. 8B View Figure 8 ).

Female Tergites 6,7: (Figs 12C View Figure 12 , 14C View Figure 14 ) Median lobe of T7 rather long; transversal ridges tr6 and tr7 complete, tr6 sublaterally at most with a very weak bend; surface bristles numerous, very few of medium size, most between very small and tiny; dispersed all over the surface between transversal ridge and posterior border. Subgenital plate (Figs 16C, D View Figure 16 , 18E, F View Figure 18 ) rounded-rectangular, with parallel lateral borders; lateral parts of transversal ridge (sr7-l) fairly straight; median part (sr7-m) with gap(s) of various size and number: two cases with one rather wide gap, and one case with two quite narrow gaps, then indicated to be slightly bisinuate. Genitalia: Spermathecal plate (sp) moderately large, pouch gcp present (size not determinable; Fig. 19C, D View Figure 19 ). In laterosternal shelf sclerite (Figs 19C View Figure 19 , 22E, F View Figure 22 ) central part (c) fairly short and posteriorly rounded, posterior and lateral margins of central part and arms together forming a quite evenly curved horseshoe arch, arms (a) fairly narrow, wing parts (w) moderately wide, their base restricted to posterior half of tubes (blue arrowhead); tubes (lst) with angular bend exceptionally far anteriorly (at red arrowhead: near midlength of lateral border), from there towards the anterior rather strongly narrowed and curved mesad. Mesal gonangulum sclerites (gg-m) distinct, lateral ones absent (Fig. 19D View Figure 19 ).

Host species.

Atta texana   (Buckley, 1860). [The current taxonomic status (according to Bolton 2021) is that (1) Atta fervens   (Drury, 1782), the name to which the sampling of Attaphila fungicola   type specimens in "Material studied" above most likely refers, is a synonym of Atta cephalotes   (Linnaeus, 1758), but that (2) the " Atta fervens   " populations from Texas, the area of this sampling, were described as a separate species Atta texana   (Buckley, 1860), which is a currently valid name.]


USA: Texas (Austin, Donie, Gause, Seguin), Louisiana (Natchitoches). The reports of Wheeler (1928) from British Guiana and Panama and of Brossut (1976) from Trinidad most likely concern other species.


In his description of the species Wheeler (1900) reported that he had collected four males, two females, and about seventy immature specimens from a nest of " Atta fervens   " (i.e. Atta texana   ) (excavated on the 10th of April). It is not indicated which of the specimens he considered as type specimens.

Specimens labelled as types of A. fungicola   are present in the Collection Wheeler, which is preserved in the American Museum of Natural History (New York). It comprises one male and seven larvae, each labelled with "Austin, Texas, W.M.Wheeler, Coll."; additionally, there is a common handwritten label: " Atta fervens   with Attaphila fungicola   , Austin, Nov. 20. 1900".

A second sample of pretended type specimens is deposited in the Wasman Collection in the Natuurhistorisch Museum in Maastricht, consisting of two immatures. They are labelled - in Wasmann’s handwriting - with " Attaphila fungicola   Wheel. (Typen), b. Atta fervens   , 4/1900 Wheeler!, Austin (Tex.)".

The agreement in the date shows that the specimens from Maastricht undoubtedly belong to the series which Wheeler described in his paper, while the New York series was collected later in the year. But the only specimen among the two series which could serve as an informative type is the sole adult specimen, the male from the New York series. Since both series were collected by Wheeler, in the same year, at the same locality, in nests of the same ant species, it appears legitimate to consider the two series together as a Syntype series, from which the male specimen is here selected as the Lectotype, while all other specimens are designated as Paralectotypes.














Attaphila fungicola Wheeler, 1900

Bohn, Horst, Nehring, Volker, G., Jonathan Rodriguez & Klass, Klaus-Dieter 2021

Attaphila fungicola

Wheeler 1900