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MADAGASCAR: Toliara: P.N. Zombitse: -22.84333, 44.71000, 770m, tropical dry forest, sifted litter, 5–9.ii.2003, B.L.Fisher et al.
holotype worker: pinned, CASENT0032779, BLF07510(19), sifted litter; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Toliara, P.N. Zombitse, 19.8 km 84°E Sakaraha 770m, 5–9.ii.2003, 22°50.6’S, 44°42.6’E, Fisher et al. BLF7510; deposited at CASC.
4 paratype workers: #1: pinned, CASENT0473872, BLF04605(29), spiny forest/thicket, ex dead tree stump; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Toliara, Kirindy, 15.5 km 64 ENE Marofandilia, 28.xi.–3.xii.2001, 100m 20°03'S, 44°40'E, Fisher et al. BLF4605; deposited at SAMC. #2: pinned, CASENT0473867, BLF04605(7), same habitat and label data as #1; deposited at MHNG. #3: pinned, CASENT0419808, BLF4434(7), tropical dry forest, ex rotten log; original locality label: MADG’R: Prov. Mahajanga, P.N. Tsingy de Bemaraha, 10.6 km 123°ESE Antsalova, 150m 18°43'S, 44°43'E, 16–20.xi.2001, Fisher et al. BLF4434; deposited at MCZC. #4: pinned, CASENT0193950, BLF04434(7), same habitat and label data as #3; deposited at UCDC.
Other material examined
(CASC). MADAGASCAR: Fianarantsoa: P.N. Isalo: -22.31333, 45.29167,500m; (B.L.Fisher et al.); F Analalava: -22.59167, 45.12833, 700m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Mahajanga: F Tsimembo-19.02139, 44.44067, 20m (B.L.Fisher et al.); P.N. Tsingy de Bemaraha: -19.14194, 44.82800, 50m; -19.13222, 44.81467, 100m; -18.70944, 44.71817, 150m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Toliara: R.S. Ambohijanahary: -18.26667, 45.40667, 1050m (B.L.Fisher et al.); Kirindy: -20.04500, 44.66222, 100m (B.L.Fisher et al.); P.N. Zombitse: -22.84333, 44.71000, 770m; -22.88650, 44.69217, 840m (B.L.Fisher et al.); P.N. Andohahela: -24.75850, 46.85370, 275m (B.L.Fisher et al.).
(n=16). Holotype: HW 0.58; HL 0.55; EL 0.15; SL 0.44; WL 0.58; SPL 0.07; PTH 0.13; PTL 0.20; PTW 0.17; PPL 0.13; PPW 0.18; LHT 0.45; CI 1.06; OI 0.27; SI 0.80; SPI 0.13; PTHI 0.64; PTWI 0.82; PPI 1.34; LBI 1.29.
HW 0.50–0.58; HL 0.47–0.56; EL 0.12–0.14; SL 0.39–0.46; WL 0.52–0.69; SPL 0.06–0.11; PTH 0.10–0.15; PTL 0.17–0.22; PTW 0.14–0.17; PPL 0.10–0.13; PPW 0.15–0.19; LHT 0.38–0.48; CI 1.02–1.09; OI 0.23–0.28; SI 0.78–0.87; SPI 0.10–0.19; PTHI 0.51–0.70; PTWI 0.67–0.89; PPI 1.22–1.60; LBI 1.24–1.67.
Workers of Crematogaster telolafy can be differentiated from all other Malagasy Orthocrema species except Crematogaster madecassa by the presence of two distinct vertical carinae on the clypeus (Figure 16). From Crematogaster madecassa, which shares this feature, Crematogaster telolafy workers are distinguished by the form (triangular) and the shorter length of their propodeal spines (Figures 18B and C), and by the shorter antennal scape. Queens of Crematogaster telolafy are unknown, but are expected to be morphologically similar to Crematogaster madecassa queens.
(Figure 29A, C–D). Very small species (HW 0.50–0.58, WL 0.52–0.69), with characters of the Crematogaster madecassa-group, in addition to the following. Clypeus with two distinct median vertical carinae; antennal scapes reaching, or barely surpassing posterior margin of head.
Metanotal groove constricted to less than half as wide as pronotal width; propodeal spines short to medium-sized (SPI 0.10–0.19), usually in form of acute triangular points, sometimes more elongate and spiniform, distinctly directed upwards in lateral view, in dorsal view parallel or moderately diverging; subpostpetiolar process usually present, often as acute minute tooth.
Promesonotum usually with 6 erect, long flexuous setae: 2 humeral setae, and 2 setae each at anterior and posterior end of mesonotal carinae. Color pale to medium yellow.
Queen, male and intermediate
Distribution and biology
No colony collections of Crematogaster telolafy have been made that could give clues on the biology of this species. It has been collected by methods of litter sifting, malaise, pitfall and pan traps, as well as beating low vegetation. Crematogaster telolafy is distributed mainly in the dry and spiny forests of southern and western Madagascar at low elevations (Figure 29B), with some notable exceptions of records from remnant patches of western rainforest, e.g. Rés. Ambohijanahary, or gallery forest such as exists in the Isalo region. This species is allopatric with the closely related Crematogaster madecassa (see above), except for a narrow sympatry or parapatry in the Andohahela region, where one collection of Crematogaster telolafy has been made in low elevation rainforest. Otherwise Crematogaster telolafy occurs in sympatry only with Crematogaster rasoherinae among the species treated here.
This species is named for the triangular form of its propodeal spines, as “telolafy” is the Malagasy word for triangle. This name should be treated as a noun in apposition.
- Blaimer, B; 2012: Taxonomy and species-groups of the subgenus Crematogaster ( Orthocrema) in the Malagasy region (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) ZooKeys, 199: 23-70. doi