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Antananarivo, Madagascar

Rakotonirina J.C.,Madagascar Biodiversity Center | Rakotonirina J.C.,University of Antananarivo | Csosz S.,California Academy of Sciences | Fisher B.L.,California Academy of Sciences
ZooKeys | Year: 2016

The Malagasy Camponotus edmondi species group is revised based on both qualitative morphological traits and multivariate analysis of continuous morphometric data. To minimize the effect of the scaling properties of diverse traits due to worker caste polymorphism, and to achieve the desired near-linearity of data, morphometric analyses were done only on minor workers. The majority of traits exhibit broken scaling on head size, dividing Camponotus workers into two discrete subcastes, minors and majors. This broken scaling prevents the application of algorithms that uses linear combination of data to the entire dataset, hence only minor workers were analyzed statistically. The elimination of major workers resulted in linearity and the data meet required assumptions. However, morphometric ratios for the subsets of minor and major workers were used in species descriptions and redefinitions. Prior species hypotheses and the goodness of clusters were tested on raw data by confirmatory linear discriminant analysis. Due to the small sample size available for some species, a factor known to reduce statistical reliability, hypotheses generated by exploratory analyses were tested with extreme care and species delimitations were inferred via the combined evidence of both qualitative (morphology and biology) and quantitative data. Altogether, fifteen species are recognized, of which 11 are new to science: C. alamaina sp. n., C. androy sp. n., C. bevohitra sp. n., C. galoko sp. n., C. matsilo sp. n., C. mifaka sp. n., C. orombe sp. n., C. tafo sp. n., C. tratra sp. n., C. varatra sp. n., and C. zavo sp. n. Four species are redescribed: C. echinoploides Forel, C. edmondi André, C. ethicus Forel, and C. robustus Roger. Camponotus edmondi ernesti Forel, syn. n. is synonymized under C. edmondi. This revision also includes an identification key to species for both minor and major castes, information on geographic distribution and biology, taxonomic discussions, and descriptions of intraspecific variation. Traditional taxonomy and multivariate morphometric analysis are independent sources of information which, in combination, allow more precise species delimitation. Moreover, quantitative characters included in identification keys improve accuracy of determination in difficult cases. © Jean Claude Rakotonirina et al. Source

Rakotonirina J.C.,Madagascar Biodiversity Center | Rakotonirina J.C.,University of Antananarivo | Rakotonirina J.C.,California Academy of Sciences | Fisher B.L.,California Academy of Sciences
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Leptogenys is the most diverse ponerine ant genus in the world; it is widespread throughout tropical and subtropical regions and there are over 200 extant species described. Most species have ergatoid queens, and many have falcate, bowed mandibles and are specialists on isopod prey. Here, the Malagasy Leptogenys are revised with 60 species recognized, of which 40 are newly described, 18 redescribed, and two subspecies raised to species rank and redescribed. Included in the revision are a key to species based on the worker caste, geographic distributions, descriptions of intraspecific variation, and notes on natural history. The following species are redescribed: L. acutirostris Santschi, L. alluaudi Emery, L. angusta (Forel), L. antongilensis Emery, L. arcirostris Santschi, L. coerulescens Emery, L. falcigera Roger, L. gracilis Emery, L. grandidieri Forel, L. incisa Forel, L. maxillosa (F. Smith), L. oswaldi Forel, L. pavesii Emery, L. ridens Forel, L. saussurei (Forel), L. stuhlmanni Mayr, L. truncatirostris Forel, and L. voeltzkowi Forel. The following are raised to species and redescribed: L. imerinensis Forel stat. rev., stat. n.; and L. suarensis Emery stat. rev., stat. n. The following are described as new: L. alamando sp. n., L. alatapia sp. n., L. ambo sp. n., L. andritantely sp. n., L. anjara sp. n., L. avaratra sp. n., L. avo sp. n., L. barimaso sp. n., L. bezanozano sp. n., L. borivava sp. n., L. chrislaini sp. n., L. comajojo sp. n., L. diana sp. n., L. edsoni sp. n., L. fasika sp. n., L. fiandry sp. n., L. fotsivava sp. n., L. johary sp. n., L. lavavava sp. n., L. lohahela sp. n., L. lucida sp. n., L. malama sp. n., L. mangabe sp. n., L. manja sp. n., L. manongarivo sp. n., L. mayotte sp. n., L. namana sp. n., L. namoroka sp. n., L. pilaka sp. n., L. rabebe sp. n., L. rabesoni sp. n., L. ralipra sp. n., L. sahamalaza sp. n., L. tatsimo sp. n., L. toeraniva sp. n., L. tsingy sp. n., L. variabilis sp. n., L.vatovavy sp. n., L. vitsy sp. n., and L. zohy sp. n. Most of these species are endemic to the region. Of the endemic species, two are restricted to the Comoros (L. comajojo, L. mayotte), 52 occur only in Madagascar, and two are shared by both islands (L. fiandry, L. gracilis). Three species in the maxillosa group, considered introduced to the region, are recorded from Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, and Seychelles. Leptogenys stuhlmanni, the only species in the stuhlmanni group, which was collected and first described from Moheli by Forel in 1907, has not been rediscovered and may have gone locally extinct. Copyright ©. 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Rakotonirina J.C.,Madagascar Biodiversity Center | Rakotonirina J.C.,California Academy of Sciences | Fisher B.L.,California Academy of Sciences
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

The Malagasy ponerine Pachycondyla sikorae-group is revised and a worker-based key to species is presented. Fourteen species are recognised, of which 13 are described as new. The species group is redefined and divided into two species complexes: the sikorae-complex (P gorogota sp. n., P. haratsingy sp. n., P ivolo sp. n., P.maeva sp. n., P.mialy sp. n., P. nosy sp. n. and P.sikorae Forel) and the vohitravo-complex (P agnivo sp. n., P antsiraka sp. n., P daraina sp. n., P rovana sp. n., P tahary sp. n., P vohitravo sp. n. and P. zoro sp. n.). A11 14 species are endemic to Madagascar and distributed across the rainforests in the east and the transitional humid habitats in the northwest of Madagascar. Distribution maps of each species are included. © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Rakotonirina J.C.,Madagascar Biodiversity Center | Rakotonirina J.C.,California Academy of Sciences | Fisher B.L.,California Academy of Sciences
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

Defining species limits and describing species of ants are important to identify taxa and habitats with elevated diversity in areas of high conservation priority such as the Malagasy region. The Pachycondyla wasmannii-group is revised in the Malagasy region where eight species are recognized, four of which are new: P. masoala sp. n., P. planicornis sp. n., P. tavaratra sp. n., and P. vazimba sp. n. Four species have been previously described: P. cambouei Forel, P. comorensis (André), P. perroti Forel, and P. wasmannii Forel. Pachycondyla perroti admista Forel is newly synonymized under P. perroti. Pachycondyla cambouei is widespread in eastern Madagascar, morphologically variable, and divided into seven morphotypes. An identification key to species and distribution maps are provided for the genus in the Malagasy region. All species are known only from Madagascar except P. wasmannii, which occurs also on Anjouan of the Comoros Islands. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Heinze J.,University of Regensburg | Schrempf A.,University of Regensburg | Wanke T.,University of Regensburg | Rakotondrazafy H.,Madagascar Biodiversity Center | And 3 more authors.
Sociobiology | Year: 2014

The ant genus Cardiocondyla exhibits a fascinating diversity of its reproductive biology, with winged and wingless males, long-winged and short-winged queens, strict monogyny and facultative polygyny with or without queen fighting. Here we report on the previously unstudied Malagasy ant C. shuckardi. We describe the nesting habits, male morphology and colony structure of this species. Furthermore, based on the genotypes from three microsatellite loci we document a very high incidence of sib-mating. Source

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