Camponotus liandia Rakotonirina & Fisher

Rakotonirina, Jean Claude & Fisher, Brian L., 2018, Taxonomic revision of the Malagasy Camponotus subgenus Mayria (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) using qualitative and quantitative morphology, Zootaxa 4438 (1), pp. 1-58: 33-35

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Camponotus liandia Rakotonirina & Fisher

sp. n.

Camponotus liandia Rakotonirina & Fisher  sp. n.

( Figures 6A View Figure , 19 View Figure , 25 View Figure )

Holotype worker. Madagascar: Province Antananarivo, Andohony I Non Protected Area , 22.62 km SW Antsirabe, -20.06784, 46.99068, 1451 m, transect subsample #16, soil digging 20 sample transect, 10 m, ex soil, Savannah grassland, 6–7 Mar 2012 (A. Ravelomanana) collection code: ARA1637, specimen code: CASENT0803903 ( CASC)  .

Paratypes. 4 workers with same data as holotype but with specimen codes: CASENT0803901, CASENT0803902, CASENT0803904, CASENT0803905  ; 4 workers with collection code: ARA1636, specimen codes: CASENT0803900, CASENT0803897, CASENT0803898, CASENT0803899 (CASC, BMNH, MHNG, PBZT).

Diagnosis. Median portion of clypeus with longitudinal carina; anteromedian margin of clypeus projecting into an obtuse triangular lobe; in lateral view, mesosoma long and low; petiolar node tapered dorsally; body entirely dark brown to black, coxa without white color; dorsum of mesosoma covered with 6 to 10 short erect hairs and abundant and long pubescence.

Description. Minor worker. In full-face view, head elongate and rectangular, lateral margins parallel, posteriorly rounding to a more or less straight posterior margin. Anterior clypeal margin projecting into obtusely angulate lobe. Eyes not breaking lateral outlines of head, their posterior margins located far behind the mid-length of the head (PoOc/CL: 0.26±0.01; 0.24–0.27). Mandible triangular, masticatory margin with six teeth. Antennal scape long, roughly its distal half surpassing posterior cephalic margin. In lateral view, pronotum and mesonotum convex; propodeal dorsum slightly concave medially; junction of propodeal dorsum and declivity surface broadly rounded; propodeal dorsum approximately three times longer than height of declivity; propodeal spiracle slit-like. Petiolar node tapering dorsally.

Dorsum of head, mesosoma, petiole, and gaster covered with scattered erect hairs, shorter than height of propodeal declivity, and abundant, long pubescence. Body color reddish-black to black

Major worker. Differing from minor worker in the following characters: larger head, with slight medial concavity on posterior margin; more or less straight anterior clypeal margin; antennal scape barely surpassing posterior cephalic margin; in lateral view, mesosoma characterized by even convexity of pronotum and mesonotum, separated from propodeum by distinct metanotum.

Discussion. Camponotus liandia  is similar to C. lubbocki  with respect to the shape of the body, but C. lubbocki  is characterized by its broadly rounded anteromedian clypeal margin.

The grouping of the C. liandia  samples in the same cluster presented by the dendrogram of multivariate morphometric analysis is supported by the cumulative LDA at 100% identification success. This finding is congruent with that of the qualitative morphology-based study. Also, the location of the C. liandia  cluster next to that of C. lubbocki  proves the close qualitative morphological similarity between these two species.

Distribution and biology. This species has only been collected in the grasslands of the central and the southern high plateaux of Madagascar. While its workers forage either on the ground or on low vegetation, nest sites are under stones and branches on the ground.

Additional material examined. Province Antananarivo: Andohony I Non Protected Area , 22.62 km SW Antsirabe, 1451 m, -20.06784, 46.99068, Savannah grassland, (A. Ravelomanana) ( CASC)  ; Province Toliara: Réserve Spéciale Kalambatritra , 1365 m, -23.4185, 46.4583, grassland, (B.L. Fisher et al.) ( CASC)  ; Réserve Spéciale Kalambatritra, Ambinanitelo , 1345 m, -23.45373, 46.45773, grassland, (B.L. Fisher et al.) ( CASC)  .