Key to Phrynoponera species

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The 5 species of the genus Phrynoponera are all found in Africa. The key to workers given below is based on Bolton, B. and B. L. Fisher. 2008. The Afrotropical ponerine ant genus Phrynoponera Wheeler. Zootaxa. 1892:35-52


1

  • With the head in full-face view the anterior clypeal margin with a roughly semicircular median excavation, the excavation flanked on each side by a projecting, bluntly tooth-like prominence (Figs 2d, 7d) . . . . . 2
  • With the head in full-face view the anterior clypeal margin medially shallowly convex to very shallowly and feebly concave; if the latter the shallow concavity rounds evenly into the margin on each side and is not flanked by projecting blunt tooth-like prominences . . . . . 3

2

  • With head in full-face view some or all of the vertex behind the level of the eyes with arched, transverse, subsulcate sculpture (Fig. 7d). (Gabon, Central African Republic) . . . . . Phrynoponera transversa
  • With head in full-face view the vertex costulate, the costulae radiating outwards and posteriorly from the midline (Fig. 2d). (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya) . . . . . Phrynoponera gabonensis

3

  • Much smaller species; HW <1.50, SL <1.20, PW < 1.20. Funicular segments 2–4 distinctly much broader than long (Fig. 1c). (Ghana, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Phrynoponera bequaerti
  • Much larger species; HW > 2.00, SL > 1.80, PW > 1.60. Funicular segments 2–4 at least as long as broad (Figs 5c, 6c) . . . . . 4

4

  • First and second gastral tergites finely and very densely punctulate-shagreenate, matte and dull; both tergites with a dense pelt of appressed pubescence; longest standing setae on first tergite short, ca 0.22 (Fig 5a). Median spine on petiole only slightly longer than the intermediate spines between it and the outer pair (Fig. 5b). Head at least as broad as long, CI 100 or more; scape shorter, SI 78–80. (Kenya, Tanzania) . . . . . Phrynoponera pulchella
  • First and second gastral tergites longitudinally costulate and reticulate-punctate; both tergites with sparse appressed pubescence; longest standing setae on first tergite longer, ca 0.36 (Fig. 6a). Median spine on petiole distinctly longer than the intermediate spines between it and the outer pair (Fig. 6a). Head slightly longer than broad, CI 95–98; scape longer, SI 87–91. (Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Phrynoponera sveni