Hypoponera sinuosa

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Hypoponera sinuosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. sinuosa
Binomial name
Hypoponera sinuosa
(Bernard, 1953)

Hypoponera sinuosa casent0915476 p 1 high.jpg

Hypoponera sinuosa casent0915476 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The lectotype was collected in a forested ravine.

Identification

See the nomenclature section below.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Guinea (type locality), Ivory Coast.

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

Queens and males have not been collected.

Nomenclature

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

  • sinuosa. Ponera sinuosa Bernard, 1953b: 204, fig. 3 (w.q.) GUINEA. Combination in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 216. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 100.

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

Only a single damaged worker specimen of this strange little species is known and no other specimen that approaches the sinuosa lectotype has been seen. In general there is some resemblance to workers of Hypoponera coeca and Hypoponera inaudax, but in those common species there is never a developed metanotal groove on the dorsal mesosoma. Bernard’s description is misleading on several counts. His fig. 3E, showing a widely sinuate propodeal declivity, is inaccurate as only its lateral margin curves in towards the metapleural gland bulla at its base. He also says that the mandible has six spaced teeth where in reality the left mandible has a total dental count of 9 and the right mandible has 8. The petiole in profile is not shaped as indicted in his fig. 3E. In reality the anterior and posterior faces are markedly convergent dorsally and the LPeI is 47; in the figure the faces are nearly parallel and the LPeI obtained from the sketch is about 39.

The position of sinuosa in the key is conjectural. In the single worker available, the base of the cinctus of the second gastral tergite cannot be seen. The tergites of gastral segments one and two are jammed very tightly together and disturbing them could cause even more damage to the unique lectotype. However, because of its overall similarlity to Hypoponera punctatissima and Hypoponera ragusai, cross-ribs are assumed to be absent. Thus two assumptions are made to place sinuosa in the key. First, that the detached and separately mounted gaster is actually associated with the head and mesosoma, and second, that because cross-ribs are absent in related species on the tergal cinctus, they will also be absent here.

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Lectotype. Measurements: HL 0.52, HW 0.43, HS 0.475, SL 0.37, PrW 0.33, WL 0.74, HFL 0.38, PeNL 0.14, PeH 0.30, PeNW 0.22, PeS 0.220. Indices: CI 83, SI 86, PeNI 67, LPeI 47, DPeI 157.

Eyes at first glance absent, but appropriate lighting conditions and viewing angle reveal a blister-like minute ommatidium, about 0.11 from the anterolateral clypeal margin. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just touches the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.71. Funiculus with 5 enlarging segments. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture entirely absent. Anterior margin of mesopleuron obtusely angulate, almost rounded, without a projecting angle or tooth. Metanotal groove distinct on dorsum, transverse; in profile not impressed. Sides of propodeum in dorsal view bilaterally pinched just posterior to the metanotal groove. In profile the pinched side appears as a broad, shallow depression that extends from the posterior margin of the mesopleuron about half-way to the propodeal spiracle. Propodeal declivity and side meet in a distinct angle, but no carina is present. In profile base of lateral margin of propodeal declivity curves anteriorly to metapleural gland bulla. Petiole node in profile with anterior and posterior faces markedly convergent dorsally, the dorsal surface narrowly rounded; in profile the dorsal length of the node is less than half the length just above the anterior tubercle of the petiole. In dorsal view the petiole node broader than long, with posterior face transverse and anterior face convex. Posterior surface of node smooth, without vertical cuticular ridges above the peduncle. First gastral tergite with quite dense decumbent pubescence and apparently with a few short, standing setae also present (condition of gaster is poor). Disc of second gastral tergite microreticulate. In dorsal view second gastral tergite at its midlength is broader than the maximum width of the first tergite. Full adult colour yellow.

Type Material

LECTOTYPE worker (by present designation), GUINEA: ravin 1 de la forêt du Mont Tô, 21.ii. (Lamotte) (Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle) [examined].

References

  • Bernard, F. 1953b [1952]. La réserve naturelle intégrale du Mt Nimba. XI. Hyménoptères Formicidae. Mém. Inst. Fr. Afr. Noire 19: 165-270 (page 204, fig. 3 worker, queen described)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 216, 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