Myrmecologist David Emmanuel M. General of the UPLB Museum of Natural History has described a new ant species from Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park (MGGNP) in Sibuyan Island in Romblon Province, naming it Odontomachus ferminae.

According to General, the ant is actually locally abundant near Camp 1 of the MGGNP situated at around 300 meters above mean sea level. "This new species of ant can be observed foraging along the trails, leaf litter and open ground in the camp," he said. "Its presence in Mt. Guiting-guiting has probably escaped the attention of many other entomologists because ant taxonomy and systematics in the Philippines is just fairly studied," General added.

Ants of the genus Odontomachus have high species diversity in the Philippines with 11 species out of 71 valid species. According to AntWiki, only New Guinea, with 17 species, and Brazil, with 15 species, have more species of Odontomachus than the Philippines.

General's description of Odontomachus ferminae, based on a worker and alate female collected, can be read in the journal HALTERES (Volume 9, pp. 157-162) and downloaded from https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1434108

According to the article, Odontomachus ferminae possesses acute apical and subapical teeth and hence clearly belongs to the infandus species group of Odontomachus.

General reported that the new species "is distinguished from the known species of the group by its smooth posterior dorsum of head, mesopleuron that is mostly smooth, transversely striate dorsum of the pronotum, first gastral tergite flattened but without a longitudinal impression, and its unique coloration of light orange head and body and yellow legs."

The holotype worker has been deposited at the UPLB Museum of Natural History along with seven paratype workers and the alate female. The rest of the paratypes have been distributed to the Philippine National Museum of Natural History, Australian National Insect Collection, Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology, US National Museum of Natural History and the British Natural History Museum.


 


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