AENICTUS

(Subfamily Aenictinae)

Taxonomy

Aenictus is the single genus-rank taxon of the subfamily Aenictinae. The worker of Vietnamese species has a combination of the following morphological features (see Bolton 1994; Bolton 2003).

Images


Aenictus ceylonicus, worker, body in lateral view.


Aenictus ceylonicus, worker, head in full-face view.

Distribution

Aenictus occurs in the southern part of the Palaearctic region, Oriental region, Austro-Malayan and Australian subregions (subunits of Australian region), and Afrotropical region, but strongly represented in the Oriental region and Austro-Malayan subregion. Twelve species have so far been collected from Vietnam.

aratus Forel Cuc Phuong NP (Ninh Binh), Tam Dao NP (Vinh Phuc)
artipus Wilson Ba Vi NP (Ha Tay)
binghami Forel Ba Vi NP (Ha Tay), Chua Yen Tu (Quang Ninh), Pu Mat NP (Nghe An), W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
camposi Wheeler et Chapman Sa Pa (Lao Cai)
ceylonicus (Mayr) Ba Vi NP (Ha Tay), Cuc Phuong NP (Ninh Binh), Pu Mat NP (Nghe An), Sa Pa (Lao Cai), Tam Dao NP (Vinh Phuc)
dentatus Forel Chua Yen Tu (Quang Ninh), Cuc Phuong NP (Ninh Binh), Tam Dao NP (Vinh Phuc), W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
fergusoni Forel Ba Vi NP (Ha Tay), Chua Yen Tu (Quang Ninh), Cuc Phuong NP (Ninh Binh), Tam Dao NP (Vinh Phuc), W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
nishimurai Terayama et Kubota Ba Vi NP (Ha Tay), W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
thailandianus Terayama et Kubota W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
sp. eg-3
cf. ceylonicus (Mayr)
W. Yen Tu NP (Bac Giang)
sp. eg-9
cf. gracilis Emery
Cuc Phuong NP (Ninh Binh), Tam Dao NP (Vinh Phuc)
sp. eg-10
cf. changmaianus Terayama et Kubota
My Yen (Thai Nguyen), Pu Mat NP (Nghe AN)

Bionomics

Aenictus species have a constellation of behavioral and morphological features of "true amy ant", including two foremost attributes: group predation and nomadism (see Gotwald, 1995). Most species of Aenictus are specialized predators of other ants. In Vietnam we have frequently encountered legions of Aenictus raiders: A. binghami preying on Camponotus (Tanaemyrmex) species; A. dentatus preying on Pheidole species; A. fergusoni preying on a variety of formicine species (Eguchi & Bui, pers. observ). Nomadic columns form temporary bivouacs in cavities on the ground surface or under shelters (stones, logs, etc.).

© Katsuyuki EGUCHI & BUI Tuan Viet, 2007. All rights reserved.