Hypoponera faex

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Hypoponera faex
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. faex
Binomial name
Hypoponera faex
Bolton & Fisher, 2011

Hypoponera faex P casent0902545.jpg

Hypoponera faex D casent0902545.jpg

Specimen Label

Only known from the type worker. According to the specimen label it was found "sifted from humus under bamboos near waterfall" on the southside of the Bonghé valley.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - This is a large, conspicuous and coarsely sculptured species, the only known Afrotropical species that combines the presence of radiating cuticular ridges at the base of the posterior face of the petiole node with relatively well-developed eyes. The condition of the metanotal groove is between absent and vestigially present. There is no strong, deep groove that cuts across and interrupts the surface, but a slight change of slope and vague hint of a depression remains.

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Ethiopia (type locality).

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

Only known from the (holotype) worker.

Nomenclature

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

  • faex. Hypoponera faex Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 51, (w.) ETHIOPIA.

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

Description

Worker

Measurements: HL 0.88, HW 0.72, HS 0.800, SL 0.66, PrW 0.57, WL 1.30, HFL 0.72, PeNL 0.26, PeH 0.58, PeNW 0.44, PeS 0.427. Indices: CI 82, SI 92, PeNI 77, LPeI 45, DPeI 169.

Eyes present, of 5–6 small ommatidia. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to touch the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.75. Cephalic dorsum coarsely and densely reticulate-punctate. Lateroventral surfaces of head completely covered with very coarse and conspicuous reticulate-punctate to punctate-rugulose sculpture, without discrete punctures separated by areas of smooth shining cuticle. Side of pronotum reticulate-punctate, strongly so but slightly less coarsely and densely than the head; this sculpture fades out dorsally and towards the midline the pronotum is almost entirely smooth. Mesonotum finely and densely punctate dorsally; the propodeal dorsum with disorganised punctate sculpture anteriorly, but this fades out posteriorly so that the mid-dorsal area just before the declivity is smooth. Metanotal groove absent on dorsum of mesosoma but a slight change of slope is present between mesonotum and propodeum. In profile the anterior margination of the mesopleuron is merely obtusely angled behind base of anterior coxa; without a projecting acute angle or tooth. Propodeum narrowly marginate between declivity and sides. Posterior face of petiole node with a series of short cuticular ridges that arise from the base of the peduncle. Petiole node with weak sculpture present on sides, and more weakly so on dorsum, fading out towards the midline. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view is greater than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with cross-ribs conspicuous in dorsal view. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, very slightly broader than long. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised punctures that are separated by areas of smooth cuticle; distance between punctures averages distinctly greater than diameters of the punctures.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker, Ethiopia (Abyssinia on main label): Gamo Prov., Bonghé valley, Gughé highlands, c. 9500– 10000 ft, 8.xii.1948, Ethiopia 1948-49, BM 1949-184, sifted humus under bamboo, near waterfall, south side of valley (H. Scott) (The Natural History Museum).

Right funiculus is missing from holotype.

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