Key to Bothroponera sulcata species complex

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This key is based on Joma & Mackay (2017)[1]

1

  • Lateropropodeum (side view) strongly compressed, distinctly concave as seen from above; dorsopropodeum narrowed, about ½ width of remainder of propodeum, slightly curved posteriorly, margins of posteropropodeum not forming granulated or carinated edges, but distinctly angulate with lateropropodeum; posteropropodeum flat, without depression; rarely collected, known only from Eritrea and Kenya .....Bothroponera crassa
Bothroponera crassa casent0217115 p 1 high.jpg
  • Lateropropodeum (side view) not compressed, or slightly concave, dorsopropodeum about as wide as width of posteropropodeum, sometimes slightly inflated; dorsopropodeum curved or forming slight or sharp obtuse angle with posteropropodeum, which is flat or slightly concave, with or without slight medial depression seen from above or from posterior side; margins between latero- and posteropropodeum sometimes forming granulated and carinated edges; commonly collected and widely distributed .....2

2

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  • Mandibles striated, rough, sometimes with scattered elongate punctures.....3
  • Mandibles smooth, shiny, sometimes only moderately shining.....5

3

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  • Larger body length (TL 9 -13 mm); shaft of scape with more than 20 nearly completely erect hairs; collected from Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.....Bothroponera kruegeri
Pachycondyla kruegeri sam-hym-c000535a profile 1.jpg
  • Smaller body length (TL 6 9.5 mm); shaft of scape with fewer than 20 nearly erect hairs; widely distributed.....4

4

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  • Surface sculpture rough without punctures; clypeus with wide shallow groove on raised longitudinal area of anterior medial area; usually without or with few erect hairs on posterior tibia; male with well-developed notauli; rarely collected, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania.....Bothroponera notaula
  • Surface sculpture rough with strong evidence of punctures; clypeus without groove, or slightly narrowed groove present on raised longitudinal area of clypeus; generally with many suberect hairs on posterior tibia; male without or with poorly developed notauli; very common, eastern countries of Africa including Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe .....Bothroponera ilgii
Bothroponera crassior hal.jpg

5

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  • Surface of head covered with moderately long (up to 0.5 mm on clypeus, 0.3 mm on posterior border of head) erect silver hairs, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments covered with abundant erect and suberect hairs ranging in length from 0.20 to 0.36 mm; Gabon and Cameroon.....Bothroponera pilosuperficia
  • Surface of head bare, lacking or nearly lacking erect hairs, possibly few relatively short hairs on posterior border or on frons, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments covered with or without moderately long erect hairs, range in length from 0.15 to 0.30 mm; widely distributed .....6

6

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  • Head without erect hairs, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments bare; rarely collected, known from Angola.....Bothroponera picardi
Bothroponera picardi hal.jpg
  • Head usually with few hairs on posterior border or on frons, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments covered with moderately long erect hairs.....7

7

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  • Total length nearly always greater than 7 mm; anterior medial area of clypeus partially or completely striated; common, widespread species, collected from Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo (DRC), Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi and Mozambique.....Bothroponera soror

HW 1.50 - 1.65

Pachycondyla soror casent0217568 p 1 high.jpg
  • Total length nearly always less than 7 mm; anterior medial area of clypeus, not striated,forming shiny, smooth longitudinal narrowed strip with slight groove in some specimens or with weak evidence of fine striae in others; widespread but rarely collected.....8

HW < 1.50

8

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  • Eye large, about 0.3 mm in maximum diameter, approximately as long as distance to anterior edge of head; head lacking of erect hairs, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments covered with few moderately long scattered erect hairs; rarely collected, Guinea and Nigeria.....Bothroponera ryderae
  • Eye smaller, up to 0.2 mm in greatest diameter, shorter than distance to anterior edge of head; head usually with at least few hairs, with hairs on posterior border, surface of pronotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments covered with moderately long erect hairs.....9

9

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  • Smaller, total length (5 - 6 mm); MandI 45.45 - 60.00; Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania.....Bothroponera silvestrii

HW 0.95 - 1.10

Pachycondyla silvestrii casent0317061 p 1 high.jpg
  • Larger total length (6 - 7 mm); MandI 58.62 - 64.70; widespread, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.....Bothroponera ancilla

HW 1.25 - 1.48

MCZ Bothroponera soror ancilla hal.jpg

References

  1. Joma, A.M.A. & Mackay, W.P. 2017. Revision of the African ants of the Bothroponera sulcata species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society. 143: 7-71