Hypoponera ursa

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to: navigation, search
Hypoponera ursa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Hypoponera
Species: H. ursa
Binomial name
Hypoponera ursa
(Santschi, 1924)

Hypoponera ursa casent0915211 p 1 high.jpg

Hypoponera ursa casent0915211 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Hypoponera ursa.

Identification

Answers the description of Hypoponera jeanneli and apparently is only separated from it by the proportions of the funicular segments. In ursa the sum of the lengths of funicular segments 7–10, divided by the sum of their widths, gives a ratio of about 1.68 in the syntype. In jeanneli and the closely related Hypoponera quaestio the ratio is 1.20–1.46.

A member of the abeillei group.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Kenya.

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

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.

  • ursa. Ponera ursa Santschi, 1924b: 197 (w.q.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Combination in P. (Hypoponera): Santschi, 1938b: 79; in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 216. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2011: 110.

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 0.62, HW 0.51, HS 0.565, SL 0.44, PrW 0.38, WL 0.80, HFL 0.42, PeNL 0.18, PeH 0.39, PeNW 0.26, PeS 0.277. Indices: CI 82, SI 86, PeNI 68, LPeI 46, DPeI 156.

Answers the description of Hypoponera jeanneli and apparently is only separated from it by the proportions of the funicular segments, as noted in the key. This is not satisfactory because the degree of telescoping and variation of this character in ursa cannot be assessed, and also the view of its funiculus is somewhat distorted by the glue in which it is embedded. For the present it is regarded, somewhat arbitrarily, as dividing the two taxa and this status will have to suffice until the fauna is better known. In ursa the sum of the lengths of funicular segments 7–10, divided by the sum of their widths, gives a ratio of about 1.68 in the syntype. In jeanneli and the closely related Hypoponera quaestio the ratio is 1.20–1.46.

Type Material

Syntype workers and queen, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Ruwenzori, 2000 m (Bequaert) (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel) [examined]. Both syntype workers of ursa are damaged. The head and prothorax of one is broken from the remainder of the mesosoma and petiole and mounted separately. The gaster of this specimen is on a separate card, mounted above the second syntype. The latter has the head detached, with much of the right hand side embedded in glue. The only funiculus that remains for examination is on this second specimen and is in the glue, which has probably saved it from damage.

References

  • 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
  • Santschi, F. 1924b. Descriptions de nouveaux Formicides africains et notes diverses. II. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 12: 195-224 (page 197, worker, queen described)
  • Santschi, F. 1938b. Notes sur quelques Ponera Latr. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 43: 78-80 (page 79, Combination in P. (Hypoponera))