Rediscovery of the Baltic amber ant genus Prionomyrmex (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) and its taxonomic consequences

Authors
Citation
Cb. Urbani, Rediscovery of the Baltic amber ant genus Prionomyrmex (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) and its taxonomic consequences, ECLOG GEOL, 93(3), 2000, pp. 471-480
Citations number
18
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Earth Sciences
Journal title
ECLOGAE GEOLOGICAE HELVETIAE
ISSN journal
0012-9402 → ACNP
Volume
93
Issue
3
Year of publication
2000
Pages
471 - 480
Database
ISI
SICI code
0012-9402(2000)93:3<471:ROTBAA>2.0.ZU;2-M
Abstract
Two specimens of the Baltic amber monotypic ant genus Prionomyrmex, known o nly on a few specimens supposed to have been destroyed during the Second Wo rld War, are described as a new species, P. janzeni, P. janzeni shows remar kable similarities with the Recent Australian genus Nothomyrmecia. A parsim ony analysis of the relationships between the three most closely related ge nera, i.e. Myrmecia (Recent Australian), Nothomyrmecia (Recent Australian), and Prionomyrmex (Baltic Eocene) based on 34 morphological characters, sug gests the following phylogeny: (Myrmecia, (Nothomyrmecia, Prionomyrmex)). I n this reconstruction, however, Nothomyrmecia is characterised by only two, doubtful, apomorphies and Prionomyrmex is paraphyletic to it. As a consequ ence of this, the following nomenclature changes are proposed: 1. The genus Nothomyrmecia Clark, 1934 is a junior synonym of Prionomyrmex Mayr, 1868. 2. Prionomyrmex macrops (Clark) is a new combination (from Nothomyrmecia). 3. The subfamily Nothomyrmeciinae Clark, 1951 is a junior synonym of the tr ibe Prionomyrmeccini Wheeler , 1915. 4. The tribe Prionomyrmecini Wheeler, 1915 is raised to subfamilial status (Prionomyrmeccinae, new status). In this classification the Myrmeciinae result characterised by four apomorp hies and the Prionomyrmecinae by three: one undoubted, the appearance of a lateral cylpeal carina, and two verified in the Recent species only and ass umed by extrapolation from similarity in "Bauplan" to be present in the fos sils as well, presence of a ventral stridulitrum and of a biaculeate subgen ital plate. It is stressed by a hypothetical future demonstration of absence of the las t two characters in the fossil species will not affect the classification p roposed in this paper. This hypothetical discovery, in fact, would render a gain Prionomyrmex paraphylectic to Nothomyrmecia and hence its senior synon ym.