Hypoponera tecta

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

Hypoponera tecta P casent0226551.jpg

Hypoponera tecta D casent0226551.jpg

Specimen Label

Known from a single worker, nothing is known about the biology of Hypoponera tecta.

Identification

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - In the complex of species related to Hypoponera jeanneli, Hypoponera tecta is unique in its possession of an anterior median clypeal denticle. The denticle is not actually on the anterior margin itself, but arises from the midline of the clypeus immediately behind the margin. The only other species with such a development is Hypoponera dema, a much larger species (HW 0.64–0.68, SL 0.55–0.61) that lacks short ribs at the base of the posterior surface of the petiole, and has the petiole node wider in relation to the pronotum (PeNI 82–89).

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya (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

Nomenclature

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

  • tecta. Hypoponera tecta Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 106, figs. 121-123 (w.) KENYA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. Measurements: HL 0.60, HW 0.48, HS 0.540, SL 0.44, PrW 0.37, WL 0.84, HFL 0.44, PeNL 0.16, PeH 0.36, PeNW 0.26, PeS 0.260. Indices: CI 80, SI 92, PeNI 70, LPeI 44, DPeI 163.

Eyes absent. With the head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin is overhung by a small but acute, very conspicuous denticle; in profile the denticle can be seen as the apex of the sharp mid-clypeal ridge. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just touches the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.73. Cephalic dorsum reticulate-punctate; lateroventral surfaces of head with small, spaced punctures that are separated by areas of smooth cuticle. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma but a slight change of slope between the mesonotum and propodeum is retained. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture weakly present on side of mesosoma. Propodeum marginate between declivity and side, above level of metapleural gland bulla. Posterior surface of petiole node with a series of short, inconspicuous cuticular ridges that radiate from the peduncle; in the holotype the ridges are more strongly developed on the right-hand side. Node of petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces almost parallel, only minutely convergent dorsally, so that the length of the dorsum (0.14) is only fractionally less than PeNL 0.16. Subpetiolar process with a blunt ventral angle. In dorsal view petiole node with posterior face transverse; sides of anterior face converge medially and meet through a broad, bluntly rounded, median angle. Prora in profile a long and deep outcurved flange that is very distinct; upper margin of prora conceals the junction of the helcium sternite with the gaster. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view subequal to width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite short but conspicuous. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is equal to the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised small punctures that are quite close-packed but separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are equal to, or slightly less than, the distances that separate the punctures. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of conspicuous, stiff, standing setae that project considerably above the level of the pubescence.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker, Kenya: Western Prov., Mwanza, Western Kenya Sugar, Transect 27, 1650 m., 11.ix.2007, 34°49’40.8’’E, 00°22’45’’N (F. Hita Garcia) (California Academy of Sciences).

The holotype was damaged during mounting and its head is mounted separately from the body, upon the same card point.

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