Hypoponera inaudax

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Hypoponera inaudax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. inaudax
Binomial name
Hypoponera inaudax
(Santschi, 1919)

Hypoponera inaudax P casent0192360.jpg

Hypoponera inaudax D casent0192360.jpg

Specimen Label

Collections have been made from sifted rainforest leaf-litter.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - This small, yellow species is closely related to Hypoponera coeca and both are sometimes recovered from single litter samples. It averages smaller than coeca and tends to possess shorter antennal scapes. It seems probable that H. inaudax, as currently defined, contains more than one species. There are subtle variations in the relative length of the scape, the shape of the petiole and its ventral process that defy analysis here. These may indicate that another species, intermediate between inaudax and coeca, should properly be recognised, or conversely, that intermediate specimens may eventually prove that the two are in fact extremes of a single species.

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known from Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria.

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.

  • inaudax. Ponera inaudax Santschi, 1919h: 83 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Combination in P. (Hypoponera): Santschi, 1938b: 79; in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 214. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 61.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Measurements: HL 0.40–0.46, HW 0.33–0.37, HS 0.365–0.410, SL 0.25–0.28, PrW 0.24–0.27, WL 0.54–0.60, HFL 0.24–0.29, PeNL 0.12–0.14, PeH 0.22–0.25, PeNW 0.16–0.19, PeS 0.167–0.190 (60 measured). Indices: CI 77–84, SI 74–82, PeNI 64–73, LPeI 50–59, DPeI 125–150.

Eyes absent. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, conspicuously fails to reach the mid-point of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.60–0.66. Funiculus distinctly with 5 enlarging apical segments. Metanotal groove usually entirely absent from dorsum of mesosoma but in some a vestige of its former path may be visible. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma or at most represented by an almost effaced faint line. Propodeal declivity separated from sides by bluntly rounded curves or blunt angles; without an acute, raised, 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, usually obviously so; length of node just above anterior tubercle is noticeably greater than length of dorsum. Subpetiolar process conspicuously present in profile, somewhat variable in shape. Usually with a descending anterior face that terminates in a distinct ventral angle, behind which the outline slopes upwards. 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 are short and crowded, but conspicuous. 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

Holotype worker, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Yambuya, 26.xi., no. 82 (Bequaert) (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel) [examined]. The holotype is mostly lost. Only the head remains on the mount, together with one leg. The mandibles and the anterior clypeal margin are embedded in glue and there is a hole in the vertex.

References

  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 214, Combination in Hypoponera)
  • Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118. PDF
  • Santschi, F. 1919h. Nouvelles fourmis du Congo Belge du Musée du Congo Belge, à Tervueren. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 7: 79-91 (page 83, worker described)
  • Santschi, F. 1938b. Notes sur quelques Ponera Latr. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 43: 78-80 (page 79, Combination in P. (Hypoponera))