Prionopelta menininha, Ladino & Feitosa, 2020

Ladino, Natalia & Feitosa, Rodrigo M., 2020, Taxonomic revision of the genus Prionopelta Mayr, 1866 (Formicidae: Amblyoponinae) for the Neotropical region, Zootaxa 4821 (2), pp. 201-249 : 232-233

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Prionopelta menininha

sp. n.

Prionopelta menininha sp. n.

Figures 22 View FIGURE 22 , 35B View FIGURE 35

Holotype worker: BRAZIL: Bahia: São Desidério, Gruta do Catão, Epígeo , 03.xi.2012, SDes146, DZUP549778 (1 specimen) [ DZUP].

Paratype worker: same data as holotype, DZUP549779 (1 specimen) [ DZUP] .

Diagnosis. Lateral portion of frons deeply sculptured in full-face view. Eleven antennomeres. Subpetiolar process forming a relatively broad lobe; posteroventral angle of subpetiolar process obtuse. T1W greater than 0.40mm.

Holotype measurements. HL 0.54; HW 0.50; SL 0.30; WL 0.68; PrL 0.28; PrW 0.36; PetNL 0.24; PetW 0.30; PetH 0.22; PetL 0.22; T1L 0.30; T1W 0.46; TL 1.74; CI 92; SI 60; PetI 125; PetHI 100; PetWI 136.

Worker measurements (n=5). HL 0.54–0.56; HW 0.46–0.50; SL 0.28–0.32; WL 0.60 –0.70; PrL 0.24–0.28; PrW 0.30–0.36; PetNL 0.16–0.24; PetW 0.28–0.32; PetH 0.20–0.22; PetL 0.18–0.22; T1L 0.26–0.30; T1W 0.42– 0.46; TL 1.58–1.76; CI 85–92; SI 56–66; PetI 125–200; PetHI 100–122; PetWI 136–177.

Worker description. Body light brown. Integument covered by deep and dense punctate sculpturing; space between the punctures of lateral portion of frons corresponding to one or almost two puncture diameters.

Head slightly longer than broad; length of median tooth of mandible shorter than basal tooth; basal margins of mandibles convex. Clypeus evenly rounded. Eleven antennomeres; antennomeres 1–4 separated by shallow constrictions. Eye placed at the midlength of the head.

Pronotum broader than long. Distance between the propodeal spiracle and the bulla of the metapleural gland corresponding to one spiracular diameter; distance between the propodeal spiracle and the propodeal dorsum corresponding to three spiracular diameters.

Petiolar node slightly higher than long. Subpetiolar process forming a relatively broad lobe, with its anterior and posterior margins subparallel; posterior margin concave; posteroventral angle obtuse.

Queen. Unknown.

Male. Unknown.

Etymology. The species is named in honor of Maria Escolástica da Conceição Nazaré, also known as “Mãe Menininha do Gantois”, a descendant of the Nigerian Yoruba royalty enslaved in Brazil, and one of the most prominent Brazilian iyalorixá (spiritual leader of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé). The species name is a recognition to the Afro-Brazilian religions and community, and to the state of Bahia, from where P. menininha is mainly known. The specific epithet is a Portuguese noun in apposition, indeclinable in accordance to articles 31.2.1 and 31.2.3 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

Distribution ( Fig. 35B View FIGURE 35 ). The species is known from northeastern and southeastern Brazil, in the states of Bahia, Ceará, and Minas Gerais.

Comments. This species can be confused with P. punctulata and P. tapatia because of the presence of eleven antennomeres. However, morphological features allow the separation of these three species. Prionopelta punctulata has the clypeus strongly projecting medially and the subpetiolar process with margins apically convergent, in contrast to P. menininha . It can be distinguished from P. tapatia mainly by the obtuse posteroventral angle of the subpetiolar process, acute in P. tapatia . Also, P. menininha has the petiolar node and the first gastral segment wider and longer than P. tapatia . Finally, so far, P. tapatia is a species endemic to Mexico.

Natural history. Most specimens are known from pitfall and soil samples collected in dry forest areas.

Additional material examined (5 specimens). BRAZIL: Bahia: Itaberaba, Faz. Riacho do Uruçu, 5.xii.1990, CRF Brandão , JLM Diniz & PS Oliveira cols., (1 worker) [ MZSP]. Salvador, vii e x.2012, Melo T.S. col., (2 workers) [ DZUP] . Ceará: Cratéus, São Luis , 05°08’S 40°51’W, 20-30.iv.2003, Y. Quinet col., pitfall, mata seca (1 worker) [ MZSP] GoogleMaps . Minas Gerais: Manga, Parque Estadual da Mata Seca, Estágio Intermediário , 26.ix.2008, Marques T. & estagiários, parcela 07, am. 3, estrato sub, UFV LABECOL n°000115 (1 worker) [ UFV] .


Universidade Federal do Parana, Colecao de Entomologia Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure


Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo