Hypoponera camerunensis

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Hypoponera camerunensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. camerunensis
Binomial name
Hypoponera camerunensis
(Santschi, 1914)

Hypoponera camerunensis P casent0217335.jpg

Hypoponera camerunensis D casent0217335.jpg

Specimen Label

Hypoponera camerunensis has been collected from rainforest leaf litter.

Identification

A member of the abeillei group. In general appearance Hypoponera camerunensis is a larger version of the more widespread and common Hypoponera coeca.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun (type locality), Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Uganda.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Hypoponera inhabit and nest in leaf litter, the surface layer of soil, downed rotten wood, and soil around plant roots. Nests are typically found by turning objects on the ground, like downed wood and rocks, or through the ripping away of bark found on rotting downed wood or at the base of dead trees. Litter samples in tropical areas, especially in moist forested sites, often contain individuals of this genus. All Hypoponera are thought to be predators of small arthropods but published details about their diet are sparse. A lack of information about other aspects of their biology is also typical for most species.

The genus is most diverse in the tropics. Species found in higher latitudes tend to be more widespread, common and abundant than their tropical and subtropical congeners.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • camerunensis. Ponera abeillei var. cammerunensis Santschi, 1914d: 321 (w.) CAMEROUN. Combination in P. (Hypoponera): Santschi, 1938b: 79; in Hypoponera: Taylor, 1967a: 12. Spelling justifiably emended to camerunensis: Santschi, 1938b: 79. Raised to species: Taylor, 1967a: 12. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 33.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - As in coeca there is sufficient variation among samples of camerunensis to imply that more than one sibling species may currently be hidden within this name. In some (including the syntype) the scape apex, when laid straight back in full-face view, fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin of the head by a noticable distance. In others it fractionally fails to reach the midpoint, while in most of the Ugandan specimens the scape apex just touches the midpoint. Coupled with this are differences in petiole shape and width (note in particular the large range of DPeI) and in the appearance and degree of development of the subpetiolar process. For the present all are treated as constituting a single species, but more material and further analysis is certainly needed.

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Measurements: HL 0.51–0.57, HW 0.42–0.46, HS 0.470–0.530, SL 0.32–0.40, PrW 0.32–0.37, WL 0.68–0.76, HFL 0.32–0.41, PeNL 0.16–0.18, PeH 0.30–0.33, PeNW 0.23–0.28, PeS 0.227–0.260 (25 measured). Indices: CI 78–85, SI 75–91, PeNI 69–81, LPeI 48–56, DPeI 133–173.

Eyes absent. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, fails to reach, or just touches, the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.63–0.72. Funiculus distinctly with 5 enlarging apical segments. Metanotal groove often entirely absent from dorsum of mesosoma but in some a remnant of its former path may be represented by a slight change of slope or vestigial indentation of the cuticle. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeal declivity separated from sides by bluntly rounded curves or moderately defined blunt angles; never with an acute raised margin or a sharp carina. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate from just above the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile short-nodiform, the anterior and posterior faces converge dorsally so that length of node just above anterior tubercle is usually noticeably greater than length of dorsum; dorsal surface is almost flat to shallowly convex. Subpetiolar process in profile conspicuous; usually with a descending anterior face that terminates in a distinct ventral angle or broad tooth that is variably developed. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view is noticeably less than width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Sides of second gastral tergite shallowly convex in dorsal view. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is less than the maximum width of the segment. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite short, fine and densely crowded. Disc of second gastral tergite with densely crowded, small, superficial punctures so that the surface appears microreticulate at lower magnifications. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of short standing setae that project just above the level of the pubescence. Full adult colour yellow.

Type Material

Syntype worker, CAMEROUN: Victoria (F. Silvestri) (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel) [examined].

References

  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118. PDF