Pachycondyla perroti (Forel)

Rakotonirina, J. C. & B. L. Fisher, 2013, Revision of the Pachycondyla wasmannii - group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Malagasy region, Zootaxa 3609, pp. 101-141: 125-126

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Pachycondyla perroti (Forel)

Syn. n.

Pachycondyla perroti (Forel) 

(Figures 13, 42-43, 60)

Bothroponera perroti Forel, 1891  : 131 pl. 4, fig. 6. Holotype worker, Madagascar, Toamasina, Fenerive (E. Perrot), AntWeb specimen code: CASENT0101401 (MNHN) [examined]. [Further description by Dalla Torre 1893: 36. Combination in Ponera (Bothroponera)  : Emery, 1899: 267; in Pachycondyla (Bothroponera)  : Emery, 1901: 45; Combination in Bothroponera  : Wheeler, 1922: 1007; in Pachycondyla  : Bolton, 1995: 308].

Bothroponera perroti admista Forel, 1892  : 251. Lectotype worker, present designation Madagascar, Anosibe Bezanozano Province Moramanga (Sikora), AntWeb specimen code: CASENT0101035 (MHNG) [examined]. Syn. n. Paralectotype worker with the same data but specimen coded as CASENT0101034 (MHNG) [examined]. [Raised to species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 35; returned to subspecies: Wasmann, 1897: 250, Forel, 1897: 188, Emery, 1901: 45. Combination in Ponera (Bothroponera)  : Emery, 1899: 267; in Pachycondyla (Bothroponera)  : Emery, 1901: 45, 1911: 78; Combination in Bothroponera  : Wheeler, 1922: 1008; in Pachycondyla  : Bolton, 1995: 302].

Worker diagnosis:

With head in full-face view, antennal scape not surpassing posterior cephalic margin; dorsum of head and mesosoma not finely striate, dorsum of the body with erect slender hairs and pubescence; basal half of antennal scape rounded; dorsal outline of mesosoma forming a continuous convexity with a nearly rounded junction between propodeal dorsum and declivitous surface; anterior half of fourth abdominal tergite (gastral tergite 2) mostly smooth and shiny between large punctures.

Worker measurements (n=26): HL: 2.42-2.71, HW: 2.27-2.58, CI: 91-98, SL: 1.69-2.01, SI: 69-81, PW: 1.58-1.81, WL: 3.10-3.55, NL: 0.87-1.04, NW: 1.02-1.23, NH: 1.18-1.45, DNI: 108-130, LNI: 125-144.


Worker. Head as long as broad, but narrower in front than behind, with slightly convex sides; posterior margin markedly medially excised, and strongly concave. With head in full-face view, eyes large but less than maximum width of antennal scape, located more to the front and not splitting the sidelines of head. Scape subcylindrical, with rounded leading edge, not reaching the posterior margin of head. Median lobe of clypeus not projecting anteriorly, anterior margin truncate and strongly notched medially. Mandible triangular, the masticatory margin bearing eight short, robust, and distinct teeth. With mesosoma in profile, the outline of dorsum a continuous convexity, with rounded junction of propodeal dorsum and declivitous surface. Mesopleural sulcus not clearly visible or absent. Hind legs with rounded basitarsus, the inside surface of which is not concave. In dorsal view, petiole node anteriorly rounded and posteriorly truncate. Sculpture of head dorsum finely ruguloreticulate and usually superimposed with punctures which become larger on the front toward the posterior margin; the lateral surface reticulate-punctulate.

Mandibles faintly rugulose basally, with scattered piligerous punctures, and increasingly smooth and shining approaching the apical margin; in some specimens mandibles striate or smooth and shiny apart from the piligerous pits. Dorsum of mesosoma and petiole, and first two gastral tergites, with sparse and coarse shallow punctures, the spaces between which are smooth or with closely spaced, small punctures. Lateral portion of mesosoma and petiole node densely and finely reticulate to reticulate rugulose, superimposed with small punctures; occasionally the petiole is coarsely punctate or with effaced large punctures. Brown-yellowish, slender and erect hairs covering the entire body except the lateral portion of mesosoma; pubescence quite abundant. Integument matte or shiny, coloration dark red to black, with lighter tip of gaster and appendages.

Queen. Measurments (n=7): HL: 2.52-2.81, HW: 2.44-2.81, CI: 96-101, SL: 1.86-2.07, SI: 69-76, EL: 0.48-0.51, OI: 17-20, PW: 2.00-2.31, WL: 3.82-4.16, NL: 1-1.11, NW: 1.34-1.50, NH: 1.41-1.51, DNI: 131-142, LNI: 136-143. The queen of P. perroti  is relatively similar to workers, but with the typical differences of the queen caste: Head relatively broader, body size much larger, and mesopleural sulcus distinct.


Pachycondyla perroti  is recognized by the following combination of characters: continuous convexity of the dorsal outline of its mesosoma, nearly rounded junction of the propodeal dorsum and declivity, strong median excision of the posterior cephalic margin, and strongly concave anterior margin of clypeus.

Along its geographical range, P. perroti  shows a large range of phenotypic variation. Based on these morphological variations, and the scarcity of specimens collected earlier in Madagascar, this species likely misled taxonomists, who erected a separate subspecies, P. perroti admista Forel  , for a different populations. Forel (1892) had to decide on the species-level status of admista  without being able to compare it with the type of P. perroti  or with additional samples of P. perroti  throughout its range. However, the large number of samples of P. perroti  collected during recent ant inventories in Madagascar, covering most of this ant’s distributional range, present evidence to synonymize the subspecies perroti admista  under P. perroti  .

Distribution and biology:

Pachycondyla perroti  is endemic to Madagascar, generally occurs in the humid habitats in the east of the island, ranging from the littoral region to the mountaintops, as well as the transitional forests of the Ampasindava peninsula (Ambilanivy Forest) and Daraina in the western slope of the northern part of the island (Fig. 60). This species is also known to occupy secondary and disturbed habitats. Although the large size of the species offers an opportunity for behavioral studies, very little is known about its biology. Field work over the past 15 years has found this species foraging most frequently on the ground and in leaf litter, and very rarely on lower vegetation. It usually nests in rotten logs, soil layers, or rarely tree stumps.

Other material examined:

MADAGASCAR: Antsiranana: Ambohitsara, 10 km SW Antalaha (MCZC); Chutes de la Mort (E.S. Ross) (MCZC); 10 km Cap Est, 5 km W, -15.36667, 50.43333, 20 m, lowland secondary forest (B.L. Fisher) (MCZC); 14 km W Cap Est, Ambato, -15.29128, 50.33803, 100 m, secondary rainforest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); 2.0 km S Andrakata, -14.65, 49.71667, 520 m, disturbed rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); 30 km N Antalaha, 3 km W of a hill (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); 5 km SW Antalaha, -14.93806, 50.26167, 50 m, secondary forest (G.D.Alpert) (MCZC); 5 km SW Antalaha, secondary forest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); RS Anjanaharibe-Sud, 6.5 km SSW Befingotra, -14.75, 49.5, 875 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); Ampasindava, F d'Ambilanivy, 3.9 km 181° S Ambaliha, -13.79861, 48.16167, 600 m, rainforest (Fisher, Griswold et al.) (CASC); Betaolana Forest, Ambodihazovolabe village along Ambolokopatrika River, -14.54484, 49.45163, 740 m, disturbed forest patch next to tavy (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); F Ambanitaza, 26.1 km 347° Antalaha, -14.67933, 50.18367, 240 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); F d' Antsahabe, 11.4 km 275° W Daraina, -13.21167, 49.55667, 550 m, tropical dry forest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); Fotodriana, Cap Masoala, -15.69694, 50.27028, 25 m, rainforest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); Marojejy RNI. #12, -14.44533, 49.78564, 375 m, rainforest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); PN Marojejy, Manantenina River, 27.6 km 35° NE Andapa, 9.6 km 327° NNW Manantenina, -14.435, 49.76, 775 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); PN Marojejy, Manantenina River, 28.0 km 38° NE Andapa, 8.2 km 333° NNW Manantenina, -14.43667, 49.775, 450 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); PN Marojejy, -14.43817, 49.774, 488 m, rainforest (Rin'Ha, Irwin) (CASC); PN Montagne d'Ambre, 3.6 km 235° SW Joffreville, -12.53444, 49.1795, 925 m, montane rainforest (Fisher, Griswold et al.) (CASC), PN Montagne d'Ambre, Antomboka, -12.51269, 9.17807, 970 m, montane rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RS Manongarivo, 10.8 km 229° SW Antanambao, - 13.96167, 48.43333, 400 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); RS Manongarivo, 12.8 km 228° SW Antanambao, - 13.97667, 48.42333, 780 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); Fianarantsoa: F d'Ambalagoavy Nord, Ikongo, Ambatombe, -21.8275, 47.33889, 625 m (R. Harin'Hala & M.E. Irwin) (CASC); PN Ranomafana, Miaranony Forest, 700 m, montane forest (E. Rajeriarison) (MCZC); Mahajanga: RS Marotandrano, Marotandrano 48.3 km S Mandritsara, -16.28322, 48.81443, 865 m, transition humid forest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); Toamasina: 19 km ESE Maroantsetra, -15.48333, 49.9, 350 m, rainforest (P.S.Ward) (MCZC); 5.3 km SSE Ambanizana, Andranobe, - 15.66667, 49.96667, 600 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); 6.3 km S Ambanizana, Andranobe, -15.6813, 49.958, 100 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); Ile Sainte Marie, F Kalalao, 9.9 km 34° Ambodifotatra, -16.9225, 49.88733, 100 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); Mahavelona (Foulpointe); -17.66667, 49.5, sandy forest (A. Pauly) (CASC); Montagne d'Akirindro 7.6 km 341° NNW Ambinanitelo, -15.28833, 49.54833, 600 m, rainforest (Fisher, Griswold et al.) (CASC); Montagne d'Anjanaharibe, 18.0 km 21° NNE Ambinanitelo, - 15.18833, 49.615, 470 m, rainforest (Fisher, Griswold et al.) (CASC); Nosy Mangabe, 7.43 km S Maroantsetra, - 15.4973, 49.76223, 5 m, littoral rainforest edge (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); PN Mananara-Nord, 7.1 km 261° Antanambe, -16.455, 49.7875, 225 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); Parcelle K7 Tampolo, -17.28333, 49.41667, 10 m, littoral forest (Malagasy ant team) (CASC); Réserve. Ambodiriana, 4.8 km 306° Manompana, along Manompana River, -16.67233, 49.70117, 125 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RNI Betampona, Camp Rendrirendry 34.1 km 332° Toamasina, -17.924, 49.19967, 390 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RNI Betampona, Camp Vohitsivalana, 37.1 km 338° Toamasina, -17.88667, 49.2025, 520 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RNI Betampona, 35.1 km NW Toamasina, -17.91801, 49.20074, 500 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RNI Betampona, 34.08 km 332° Toamasina, -17.91977, 49.20039, 525 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); RNI Betampona, 34.1 km 332° Toamasina, -17.916135, 49.20185, 550 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); RS Ambatovaky, Sandrangato River, -16.81753, 49.29498, 360 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RS Ambatovaky, Sandrangato River, -16.81745, 49.2925, 400 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RS Ambatovaky, Sandrangato River, -16.77274, 49.26551, 450 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); RS Ambatovaky, Sandrangato River, -16.76912, 49.26704, 475 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); SF Tampolo, 10 km NNE Fenoarivo Atn, -17.2825, 49.43, 10 m, littoral rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC); Sahafina Forest 11.4 km W Brickaville, -18.81445, 48.96205, 140 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC); 1 km W Andampibe, Cap Masoala, -15.69361, 50.18139, 125 m, rainforest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); 4 km W Rantovato, Cap Masoala, rainforest (G.D. Alpert) (MCZC); F Ivohibe 55.6 km N Tolagnaro, -24.56167, 47.20017, 650 m, rainforest (B.L. Fisher et al.) (CASC).