Hypoponera transvaalensis

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Hypoponera transvaalensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. transvaalensis
Binomial name
Hypoponera transvaalensis
(Arnold, 1947)

Hypoponera transvaalensis sam-hym-c000707a profile 1.jpg

Hypoponera transvaalensis sam-hym-c000707a dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Specimens have been collected from leaf litter.

Identification

A member of the boerorum group. See the worker description information below.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: South Africa (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.

  • transvaalensis. Ponera transvaalensis Arnold, 1947: 132, fig. 2 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 216. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 108.

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) - It seems probable that sulcatinasis and transvaalensis may eventually prove to be nothing more than two geographical variants of a single species. But because the little material available can be separated by the characters given above, they are maintained as separate for the present.

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2011) - Measurements: HL 0.88, HW 0.74, HS 0.810, SL 0.70, PrW 0.56, WL 1.26, HFL 0.70, PeNL 0.26, PeH 0.58, PeNW 0.40, PeS 0.413. Indices: CI 84, SI 95, PeNI 71, LPeI 45, DPeI 154.

A large, darkly coloured species, very closely related to Hypoponera sulcatinasis and answering the general description of that species, but differing as follows.

1 Dorsum of propodeum weakly sculptured anteriorly; the sculpture fades out posteriorly so that the posterior half is almost smooth. In sulcatinasis the entire propodeal dorsum is uniformly reticulate-punctate.

2 Propodeum without a sharply defined boundary between dorsum and declivity that is brought about by an abrupt loss of sculpture. In sulcatinasis the boundary between propodeal dorsum and declivity is strongly demarcated by the abrupt disappearance of sculpture at the junction of dorsum and declivity.

3 Punctate sculpture of pronotal and mesonotal dorsa weak and superficial; punctures very small and widely separated. In sulcatinasis the punctures on the pronotal and mesonotal dorsa are dense, sharply incised and conspicuous.

4 Metanotal groove with weakly defined anterior and posterior sutures, so that a narrow metanotal sclerite is present on the mesosomal dorsum. In sulcatinasis merely a groove is present.

Type Material

Holotype worker, SOUTH AFRICA: Transvaal, Mariepskop (J.C. Faure) (South African Museum) [not seen].

References

  • Arnold, G. 1947. New species of African Hymenoptera. No. 7. Occas. Pap. Natl. Mus. South. Rhod. 2: 131-167 (page 132, fig. 2 worker 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