Contents Miscellaneous ants - Sri Lanka
Paratrechina vagabunda Motschoulsky

Paratrechina vagabunda Motschoulsky

return to list {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Sri Lanka (Paratrechina vagabunda, Motschoulsky, 1863: 13, illustrated, worker) Patannas Mountains.

Paratrechina vagabunda Motschoulsky's (1863) description is at {original description}

I translate the French description of the new Genus as: Very close to Tapinoma, but the clypeus with an arcuate anterior margin without any incision, antennae more linear (narrow?), with the first segment of the funiculus longer than the second, alitrunk (mesosoma) terminated posteriorly by two more or less raised tubercles, gaster triangularly acuminate behind and covered with long hairs that are sparse as on the rest of the body. Head without ocelli.

With the aid of Dr & Mrs Francis Gilbert, my translation from the Latin, of Paratrichina vagabunda MOTSCHOULSKY is: TL 2.54 mm (1 line = 2.117 mm), HW 0.53 mm, subelongate, dark erect hairs, piceous, legs femora and tarsi testaceous white; eyes black, oblong and flat, placed on top of the head; head oblong, raised laterally (transversely) between the antennae, clypeus convex, semilunate, without a median carina; antennae slightly shorter than the body, first segment of the funiculus longer than the second; alitrunk (mesosoma) narrower than the head, subelongate, medially constricted, posteriorly gibbous (humped or dome-shaped), apex bituberculate to bilobed; petiole scale oblong; gaster ovate, slightly wider than the head, shiny, hairy, apex acuminate; tarsi moderate. From the Patannas Mountains (Ceylon).

Then, translating again from the French: A second smaller species, more slender and of a lighter colour on the alitrunk and legs is not rare (uncommon) on the plants in our hot houses [he lived in Moscow] and I have named this Paratr. currens. (BOLTON, 1995: 313, erroneously listed the type location as Sri Lanka).

A native French speaker, Dr Philippe Annoyer, feels that MOTSCHOULSKY used "je l'ai nommée" because he had observed the second species many times before and had thought of the name currens well before writing the paper. Philippe suggests the name may spring from the species running quickly.

Arguably, MOTSCHOULSKY included the species as an aside because it fitted his new genus.

MOTSCHOULSKY (1868) listed all the insect species he had described. On page 65 the entry is as follows: Paratrechina B. 1863, III, p. 13. vagabunda. Ceylan. B. 1863, III, p.13. currens. Ind. or. B. 1863, III, p.14. This shows a) the priority of the species names and b) that there was no earlier publication of the name currens.

Although there is a similarity to Paratrechina bourbonica that has dense pubescence on the mesopleuron (type images from Antweb) and has a dull appearance. This has none and has a distinctly more rounded head in full face view. The illustration compares Paratrechina longicornis (left), the Motschoulsky illustration (centre) and the fresh vagabunda (right). Also from Sri Lanka is Paratrechina yerburyi (Forel, 1894c: 409) but that is larger and readily separated from vagabunda - see

Oxford University Museum specimens

Paratrechina vagabunda
B Taylor det.

Sri Lanka
N.R. Gunawardene

Sinharaja Forest Reserve
6°21' N
80°21' E

pitfall trap

{Paratrechina vagabunda} The photomontage is of a worker from Sri Lanka, Sinharajah Forest Reserve; collector Nihara Gunawardene (SL088).

{Paratrechina vagabunda} The photomontage is of a second worker from Sri Lanka; collector Nihara Gunawardene (SL088).

© 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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