Cataglyphis israelensis, A. Ionescu & P. - A. Eyer, 2016

A. Ionescu & P. - A. Eyer, 2016, Notes on Cataglyphis Foerster, 1850 of the bicolor species-group in Israel, with description of a new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Israel Journal Of Entomology 46, pp. 109-131: 114-119

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.221456

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Cataglyphis israelensis

n. sp.

Cataglyphis israelensis  n. sp.

( Figs 4, 7–13, 23–25)


Etymology: This species is named after Israel, its known distribution area.

Description: Worker: Head. Head of large worker subquadrate with emarginated occipital margin, and slightly convex lateral margins converging apically ( Fig. 10); head of minor worker ( Fig. 11) distinctly elongate, with rounded occipital margin posterior to eye and parallel lateral margins, HW/HL=0.86–0.99; head width shows accelerating growth rate with head length; head width with ocellus-clypeal distance, and interocular distance with head length show isometrical growth; scape long (SL/HW=0.98–1.37), shows decelerating growth rate with head width; scape length variable among localities, shortest in ants from northern Coastal Plain, longest in ants from Judean Desert ( Table 2); F1L/F2L=1.64–2.02.

Mesosoma. Mesonotum in lateral view distinctly raised over pronotum ( Figs 4, 7) in 96 of 108 specimens; outline of propodeum dorsum smoothly arched in lateral view ( Figs 4, 7, 12, 13); propodeum height variable, highest in ants from northern Coastal Plain ( Fig. 13), lowest in ants from Judean Desert ( Table 2); petiole node of largest workers high, dorsally slightly rounded ( Figs 7, 13), petiole node of medium-small workers lower, more elongate ( Fig. 12); petiole node angle variable, largest in ants from northern Coastal Plain ( Table 2; Fig. 13); hindtibia 1.2–1.4 times longer than midfemur.

Sculpture. Entire body with piligerous pits; head, mesosoma and gaster dorsally and laterally reticulate/shagreened, matte; seashore populations with more accentuated sculpture, but part of specimens with laterally shiny gaster; mandible, leg and ventral surface of head and gaster Fnely striate/carinulate, shiny.

Pilosity. Pilosity white to yellowish brown: clypeus, frons, vertex, mesosoma, petiole node dorsum and gaster segments with sparse, erect, hairs; dorsum of promesonotum with 1–14 hairs, number not correlated with size; propodeum dorsum, from metanotal groove to propodeal spiracle, with 1–4 hairs (in 37/109 specimens); ventral surface of head, mandible, coxa and petiole node with erect to decumbent setae, on latter occasionally lacking; hind tibia with two rows of decumbent bristles on ventral surface; body covered with very short, appressed, white pubescence, more abundant on head and propodeum; convex face of scape with dense, appressed to subappressed pubescence on distal ¼–½ of length.

Color. Highly variable: head, mesosoma and petiole bright red to ochraceousorange, leg brownish to black, gaster black ( Figs 7, 12) in populations from Lower Galilee, Yizre’el Valley, Sea of Galilee area and Upper Jordan Valley; head, mesosoma and petiole dark red to dark reddish brown, leg concolorous, gaster black in populations from Upper Galilee, Lower Hermon, Golan Heights and from Carmel Ridge to Judean Hills; and uniformly black in populations from northern Coastal Plain (’Atlit, Hof haBonim) and Judean Desert (Allon, Ma’ale Adummim); in bicolored nest series medium workers (MW=1.0–1.5) always lighter colored than larger specimens, smallest workers black.

Measurements: TL=6.4–13.3, HL=1.48–3.20, HW=1.37–3.07, EL=0.49–0.86, iOD=1.05–2.30, OcClD=0.80–1.43, SL=1.73–3.26, F1L=0.43–0.85, F2L=0.24– 0.49, ML=2.59–4.45, MW=0.94–2.01, PrL=0.89–1.54, PrH=0.19–0.45, PNL= 0.49–0.84, PNW=0.29–0.63, PNH=0.28–0.53, PNA=65–84°, mFmL=1.95–3.91, hTbL=2.54–4.94 (n=110).

Differential diagnosis: C. israelensis  is a large species of the bicolor  speciesgroup with habitus and color pattern similar to ‘ drusa ’ and ‘ assyria ’ (AntWeb CASENT0912219 and CASENT0912218). It has symmetrically and smoothly arched propodeum outline in lateral view ( Figs 7, 13), similar to ‘ drusa ’ and C. nodus  (AntWeb CASENT0911115 and CASENT0911116), differing from higher and steeply rounded outline in C. niger  (Fig. 16), C. cf. savignyi  (Fig. 17) and C. holgerseni  (Fig. 14), but higher and less Fattened than in C. isis  (Fig. 15; Table 1); populations from ’Atlit and Hof haBonim have high propodeum ( Fig. 13), similar to neighboring C. cf. savignyi  populations from northern and central Coastal Plain ( Table 2). C. israelensis  has midfemur length similar to C. niger  ( Table 1) and to C. cf. savignyi  from northern and central Coastal Plain ( Table 2), but distinctly shorter than in C. cf. savignyi  from Negev and ’Arava Valley ( Table 2), and from C. holgerseni  and C. isis  ( Table 1). C. israelensis  has petiole node angle larger than the other species from Israel with Fattened anterior surface of petiole ( Table 1); this speciFc difference especially marked between populations from northern and central Coastal Plain (cf. Figs 13 vs. 16; Table 2). C. israelensis  differs from C. nodus  by raised mesonotum over pronotum in 89% (n=108) vs. 12% (n=48) of workers, respectively, character state intermediate in C. niger  and C. cf. savignyi  . It has scarce pilosity on propodeum dorsum, similar to C. niger  and C. cf. savignyi  vs. abundant pilosity in most examined C. nodus  (1–19 setae), and all C. isis  . Pilosity on propodeum dorsum and petiole node is less abundant than in the type of ‘ drusa ’, but never completely absent as in the type of ‘ assyria ’. Pubescence of ventral surface of hindtibia Fne and appressed, similar to other Israeli species vs. coarse in C. nigripes  Arnol’di. In bicolored worker series, small to medium specimens (MW=1.0–1.5) have coxae and petiole concolorous with mesosoma pleura ( Figs 7, 12), or to some extent darker, as opposed to black in C. cf. savignyi  (Fig. 17). Light colored specimens of C. israelensis  differ from similarly colored C. viatica (Fabricius)  by matte gaster, seldom laterally shiny, vs. completely shiny gaster in viatica  .

Material examined: C. israelensis  : Holotype ☿, Israel: Daverat [32°39'14.2"N 35°22'39.7"E], 6.v.2016, P.-A. EyerGoogleMaps  . Paratypes: same collection data as holotype (6☿); Montfort, 6.v.2016, P.-A. Eyer (7☿); Dishon, 17.v.1973, J. Kugler (3☿); Nahal Senir, 26.iv.1984, J. Kugler (2☿); Merom Golan,, J. Kugler (1Ƌ); Tel Dan,, H. Bytinski-Salz (1☿, 1♀, 2Ƌ); Panyas (Banyas), 12.v.1971, H. Bytinski-Salz (2☿); Agmon haHula #1, 2012, R. Zeltzer (3☿), #3, 2012, R. Zeltzer (4☿); Hula, 17.vii.2010, C. Drees (2☿); ’Ammi’ad #2, 2012, R. Zeltzer (1☿), #3, 2012, R. Zeltzer (1☿), #4, 2012, R. Zeltzer (1☿), #5, 2012, R. Zeltzer (5☿); Teverya [Tiberias], 12.v.19xx, H. Bytinski- Salz (1☿, 1♀, 2Ƌ); Nahal Kanaf, 28.xi.1981, W. Ferguson (2☿); Tel Qazir, iv.1955, J. Wahrman (3Ƌ); Hefzi Bah, 8.ix.2005, M. Vonshak (1☿); ’Atlit AT888, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (1☿), AT889, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), AT900, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), AT901, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), AT902, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), AT910, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), AT912, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (8☿, 5♀), AT916, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (6☿, 12Ƌ); Hof haBonim HB884, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (8☿), HB888, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (4☿), HB890, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (3☿), HB894, 12.iv.2016, T. Reiner-Brodetzki (2☿); Qedumim,, A.L.L. Friedman (1☿); Yerushalayim [Jerusalem],, H. Bytinski-Salz (3☿, 1♀, 1Ƌ); Allon, 20.iii.2011, R. Zeltzer (6☿), #3, 20.iii.2011, R. Zeltzer (1☿), #4, 20.iii.2011, R. Zeltzer (7☿), #5, 20.iii.2011, R. Zeltzer (8☿); Ma’ale Adummim, 20.iii.1979, J. Kugler (5☿).

C. nodus  : Serbia: Belgrade, 13.vii.1928, F.S. Bodenheimer (2☿); 4.ix.1928, F.S. Bodenheimer (2☿). Montenegro: Budua, 21.iii.1923 (1☿). Greece: Saloniki, 12.v.1972, Poldi (1☿); Marathon, 18.iv.1962, H. Bytinski-Salz (9☿); Nauplion, 13.vii.1928, H. Bytinski-Salz (3☿); Samos, 22.iv.1962, H. Bytinski-Salz (1☿). Turkey: Edirne [Adrianopel], C. Menozzi (1☿); Istanbul, Saudiye, 4.viii.1929, F.S. Bodenheimer (4☿), 11.iv.1972, H. Bytinski-Salz (7☿); Ankara, 28.iv.1939, F.S. Bodenheimer (6☿); 12.v.1939, F.S. Bodenheimer (3☿); 18.v.1972, H. Bytinski-Salz (3☿); Sardes, 1973, A. Shor (2☿); Sivrice, 15.viii.1939, F.S. Bodenheimer (3☿); Plage Sigirak, 25.v.1939, F.S. Bodenheimer (1☿); Diyarbakır, 17.v.1972, H. Bytinski-Salz (6☿); Slovia, 2.vii.1921, (1☿). Iran: Fars, Akabad-Kamin, 27.vii.1969, C. Felton (1☿).

C. viatica (Fabricius)  : Morroco: Oued Zate, 14.iv.1966 (1☿). Algeria: Sidi bel Abbes (1☿).

Notes: Ants from Israel were compared by Kugler (pers. comm., 2005) with types of ‘ drusa ’ and ‘ assyria ’ in the Santschi collection, and with types of Myrmecocystus viaticus var. orientalis Fore  (junior synonym of nodus  ) in the Forel collection (there is is a specimen from Jerusalem among Forel’s syntypes of orientalis  ). Specimens from northern Israel have the shape of the petiole, pilosity and color intermediate between the examined types, in accordance with Santschi (1929, 1934). Consequently, C. sp. IL0 2 (part) and C. sp. IL04 (part) were considered by Kugler as closely related to ‘ drusa ’, and published as C. n. sp. near nodus (Kugler 1988)  . ‘ C. druzus  ’ together with C. bicolor (Fabricius)  were reported as widely distributed in Lebanon by Tohmé (1969) and Tohmé & Tohmé (2014), whereas Knaden et al. (2012) reported C. bicolor  and C. viatica  from the Beqaa Valley (Lebanon). However, the relationship of these species to C. sp. IL0 2 is unknown, and according to D. Agosti (pers. comm., 1994) all reports of ‘ drusa ’ or C. nodus  from Israel are misidentiFcations. Furthermore, samples from the Beqaa Valley that were collected less than 5km from the type locality of ‘ drusa ’ by Knaden et al. (2012) cluster with C. nodus  , at a distance from the Israeli species (Eyer unpubl. data).

Males and gyne of C. nodus  were not available for this study; however, the species diagnosis based on the male and gyne morphology proposed by Agosti (1994) indicates for males SL/HW<1.70 in C. nodus  vs. SL/HW>1.70 in C. savignyi  and for gyne HW/HL<0.95 in C. nodus  vs. HW/HL>0.95 in C. savignyi  ; in both species gyne with the red head and mesosoma. The present study found for males SL/ HW=1.57–1.74 (n=21) in C. israelensis  , similar to C. cf. savignyi  from Israel (SL/ HW=1.62–1.77, n=14) and C. niger  (SL/HW=1.61–1.73, n=10); C. cf. savignyi  from Sinai have SL/HW=1.71–1.85 (n=4). For gyne, in contrast to Agosti (1994), HW/HL=0.96–0.98 (n=8) in C. israelensis  and HW/HL=0.91–0.99 (n=5) in C. cf. savignyi  , in both species color variable, similar to associated workers. According to Agosti (1990) the apical appendages of the subgenital plate are of similar length in C. nodus  (Agosti 1990, Fg. 23), whereas in C. israelensis  the median appendage of the subgenital plate is shorter than the lateral appendages (mSAL/lSAL=0.52– 0.71, n=7) (Figs 23, 24), similar to C. niger  (0.55–0.73, n=8) and to C. cf. savignyi  (0.59–0.63, n=7) (Figs 26, 27, 29, 30). Likewise, in C. israelensis  the stipites in the lateral view (Fig. 25) are similar to C. cf. savignyi  (Fig. 31), intermediate between, but closer to C. niger  (Fig. 28) than to C. nodus  as illustrated in Agosti (1990, Fgs 45, 46). Therefore, contrary to the proposed afFnity between C. sp. IL0 2 and C. nodus in Vonshak and Ionescu-Hirsch (2010)  , C. israelensis  cannot be included in the nodus  species-complex as diagnosed by Agosti (1990). It is possible that the diagnosis of the nodus  species-complex is too restrictive, thus not accounting for the variation in this widely distributed group (see Emery 1906, Fgs 28–30; Knaden et al. 2012, Fg. 4).

Cataglyphis israelensis  is distributed uniformly in northern and north-eastern Israel, parapatric with C. cf. savignyi  , and over most of its range the ants are bicolored, thus identiFable straightforwardly by their color pattern and the shape of the propodeum. However, in areas of the overlap between species containing black morphs, as in the northern Coastal Plain, Jerusalem and the Judean Desert, identiFcation of individual ants is problematic. The Frst discriminant analysis on residuals of measurements on all specimens in four groups—‘ holgerseni  ’, ‘ isis  ’, ‘ israelensis  ’ and ‘ niger  complex’—revealed 100% correct classiFcation of the unproblematic C. holgerseni  and C. isis  , 81% correct classiFcation of C. israelensis  and 94% correct classiFcation of ants in the niger  species-complex. The second analysis was limited to three groups comprising 73 C. israelensis  (19 of them bicolored), 39 C. niger  and 102 C. cf. savignyi  specimens from localities sampled for molecular analyses. The discriminant analysis (Wilks’ Lambda: 0.366 approx. F (16,408)=16.675, p<0.001) resulted in 86 % correct classiFcation of ants belonging to C. israelensis  , 84% correct classiFcation of C. cf. savignyi  and only 45 % correct classiFcation of C. niger  . The scrutiny of the results showed that accounting for color increased the correct classiFcation rate of C. israelensis  : only four were misidentiFed as C. cf. savignyi  and one as C. niger  ; and eight C. cf. savignyi  and two C. niger  were misidentiFed as C. israelensis  . A direct comparison of 54 black C. israelensis  and 49 C. cf. savignyi  collected on the Coastal Plain was carried out by recalculating the average regression lines between the two groups for PrH, PNL, PNH and PNA. For C. israelensis  , a low propodeum, short petiole node, high petiole node and large petiole node angle relative to average, and raised mesonotum over pronotum were considered characteristic. Forty-nine C. israelensis  and 37 C. cf. savignyi  displayed the characteristic condition in at least three variables, an 8% rate of misclassiFcation vs. 50 % in a random choice. Consequently, appropriate sample size and number of samples may support a reasonably high correct identiFcation rate (sensu Seifert 2014) of C. israelensis  by morphology, despite a high intraspeciFc variability within nest series and among local populations.