Bothroponera notaula

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Bothroponera notaula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Bothroponera
Species group: sulcata
Species: B. notaula
Binomial name
Bothroponera notaula
Joma & Mackay, 2017

Fig. 15, Joma and Mackay 2017, B. notaula, lateral view.png

The specimens of B. notaula were collected mainly from three of the East African countries, Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania.


Joma and Mackay (2017) - A member of the Bothroponera sulcata species complex. Worker characterized by the narrowed mandibles that have 8 teeth, which alternate in size. The mandibles are covered with fine striae and a few scattered shallow punctures. The anterior medial margin of the clypeus is convex with a medial raised area that has a longitudinal wide, shallow shiny groove. The scape extends slightly past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The eyes are larger in diameter than the length of the malar area and project slightly past the sides of the head (full face view).

The head surface is rough with weak evidence of moderately distributed small punctulae. The dorsum of the pronotum, petiole and postpetiole are roughly sculptured with a few scattered poorly defined punctulae. The dorsopropodeum is smoothly curved posteriorly to form an obtuse angle with the posteropropodeum. The posteropropodeum is slightly concave with angulated margins (side view). The anterior face of the petiole (seen from above) is rounded and the posterior face is slightly concave. The total length is moderately small (7.60 mm).

The entire body is covered with fine silver hairs (up to 0.02 mm) and erect silver hairs from 0.20 up to 0.35 mm. The entire surface is black to dark brownish.

could be compared with those of Bothroponera ilgii, Bothroponera crassa, B. silvestrii, Bothroponera kruegeri of the Bothroponera sulcata species complex species as the dorsopropodeum is generally identical in those five species in being broadly curved and the posteropropodeum gradually slopes posteriorly to reach the petiolar insertion between the propodeal lobes. This configuration is different in Bothroponera soror, Bothroponera pilosuperficia, Bothroponera ryderae, Bothroponera silvestrii, Bothroponera ancilla and Bothroponera picardi. In those species, the posteropropodeum is nearly vertical, flat (not concave).

The anterior medial area of the clypeus forms a narrow longitudinal strip that may have a slight groove in a majority of the species including B. ancilla, B. ryderae, B. ilgii, or a raised shiny longitudinal strip in B. picardi, B. crassa and B. pilosuperficia. In B. notaula, the anterior medial raised area of the clypeus forms a wide groove while B. soror usually has a completely or partially striated longitudinal depression.

The eyes are large in B. notaula, similar to those of B. picardi, B. ryderae, B. crassa and B. ilgii. The eyes in B. kruegeri are larger than those of B. notaula, but they are smaller in B. soror, B. ancilla, B. silvestrii and B. pilosuperficia than that in B. notaula.

The head of B. notaula is rough with weak evidence of punctures on the surface similar to the pronotum, mesopleuron, petiole, postpetiole and the surfaces of the 4th to 7th abdominal segments. Bothroponera ilgii, on the other hand, has a rough surface on the head, pronotum, mesopleuron, petiole and the postpetiole is with tiny dense shallow punctures scattered on the entire surface. The 4th to 7th abdominal segments are smooth, shiny without any evidence of punctures.

The surface (pronotum, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 7th abdominal segments) in B. notaula is covered with dense fine silver hairs and moderately scattered erect silver hairs while the top of the head is covered with relatively short erect silver hairs and dense fine silver hairs similar to those of B. kruegeri. The hairs in B. ancilla and B. soror are relatively long and moderately dense on the mesosoma, petiole and the gaster; meanwhile, the top and frons of the head are covered with a few erect hairs in those species (B. ancilla and B. soror). The head, mesosoma, petiole and the gaster in B. pilosuperficia are covered with relatively long erect silver hairs and dense fine silver hairs. In B. silvestrii and B. ryderae, the erect hairs are present on the dorsum of the pronotum, petiole, postpetiole and gaster whereas the head lacks the erect hairs. The head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and 4th to 5th abdominal segments in B. picardi lack erect hairs.

Male The head of the B. notaula male is nearly round, excluding the mandibles. The medial ocellus is large, slightly smaller than the distance between it and the lateral ocelli The scape distance between it and the lateral ocelli The scape is nearly three times as long as the pedicel, shorter and thicker than the second funicular segment (0.60 mm length). The clypeus is convex with a small peak that points ventrally on the lower anterior medial margin.

The pronotum is quadrate laterally and rounded anteriorly. The notauli are present on the dorsum of the scutum, but they are not connected posteriorly. The metanepisternum is well developed and separated from the propodeum and mesopleuron with a suture, while the metakatepisternum is narrowed and poorly defined. The dorsopropodeum is gradually sloped posteriorly to reach the insertion of the petiole between the propodeal lobes.

The entire body is covered with fine, silver, short, dense hairs. The dorsum of the scutellum, scutum, metanotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole and the gastral segments are covered with scattered, moderately long silver erect hairs.

The color of the entire body is mostly light brown to medium brown or yellowish.

Collection of the male of B. notaula is very important for identification because the worker of B. notaula is nearly identical to the worker of B. ilgii. The male of B. notaula was mounted with a worker on the same pin, which strongly suggests that they are from the same nest. The male of B. notaula can be compared with males of B. ilgii, B. crassa, B. soror, B. kruegeri, B. ryderae and B. silvestrii. The males of B. picardi, B. ancilla and B. pilosuperficia are unknown. Bothroponera notaula has large ocelli, which is similar to those of B. kruegeri and B. crassa. The ocelli of B. ilgii, B. soror, B. ryderae and B. silvestrii are smaller than those of B. notaula, B. kruegeri and B. crassa. The notauli are present on the dorsum of the scutum of B. notaula, which resemble those of B. soror, B. ryderae and B. silvestrii. Conversely, the notauli are not present on dorsum of scutum of B. crassa and B. ilgii. Bothroponera kruegeri has weak evidence of notauli presence. The worker of this species is similar to the worker of B. ilgii and B. crassa, but the males of both of these species lack the notauli.

Keys including this Species


Eastern Africa (Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.




Fig. 17, Joma and Mackay 2017, B. notaula male, head.pngFig. 18, Joma and Mackay 2017, B. notaula male, lateral view.png


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • notaula. Bothroponera notaula Joma & Mackay, 2017: 28, figs. 15-18, pls 8, 9 (w.m.) TANZANIA, KENYA, SOMALIA.

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



(n=1), HL 1.65, HW 1.45, ML 1.05, EW 0.25, EL 0.40, SL 1.30, FL 2.20, WL 2.50, WPL 3.15, PL 0.65, PW 0.85, PH 1.15, CI 87.87, OI 27.58, Mandl 63.63, SI 89.65, Peti 130.76. Head subquadrate; malar space length 0.20 mm, length from upper edge of eye to edge of posterior lobe 0.70 mm; basalar sclerite oval-shaped; pronotal humerus rounded anteriorly; petiole slightly rounded from top, strongly curved lateroposteriorly, vertical anterior and posterior faces, apex of petiole slightly higher than postpetiole and dorsopropodeum. Entire body covered with fine silver hairs, head covered with shorter (0.05 - 0.07 mm) erect hairs than those on mesosoma and gastral tergites; hairs on ventral surface moderately long (0.25 mm); pygidium and hypopygium covered with longer (up to 0.35 mm) erect hairs; dorsum of pronotum, propodeum covered with moderately short (0.12 mm) erect silver hairs; petiole and postpetiole covered with moderately long (0.17 - 0.20 mm) erect hairs; long (0.25 mm) erect hairs arranged on edges of posteropropodeum; color of entire body brownish dark; legs, scapes, mandibles brown.


(n=5), HL 1.00 - 1.10, HW 0.57 - 0.80, ML 0.25 - 0.30, EW 0.40 - 0.45, EL 0.70 - 0.75, SL 0.30, FL (incomplete segments), WL 2.45 - 2.75, WPL 2.95 - 3.40, PL 0. 50 - 0.65, PW 0.50 - 0.55, PH 0.85 - 0.90, CI 57 - 72, OI 122.80 - 93.75, Mandl 25.00 - 27.27, SI 52.63 - 37.5, Peti 100 - 84.61. The total length ranges from 5.60 - 7.90 mm; eyes large, cover most of sides of head, distance between eyes 0.55 - 0.70 mm from upper inner margins, medial ocellus width 0.22 - 0.25 mm, lateral ocellus 0.27 mm; scape shorter (0.30 - 0.35 mm) and thicker than second funicular segment (0.60 mm), two to 2 ½ times length of pedicel (first funicular segment, 0.10 – 0.15 mm); scutum rounded, separated from scutellum by scutoscutellar suture, scutellum subtriangular and elevated in lateral view; metanotum raised between scutellum and propodeum; basilar sclerite rounded; petiole small, width less than dorsopropodeal width (seen from above), higher than postpetiolar height, with bluntly rounded apex; postpetiole smoothly rounded anteriorly; pronotum, scutum, scutellum, propodeum, petiole roughly sculptured with few scattered punctures; gastral segments smooth and shiny; fine, silver, short (less than 0.02 mm), dense hairs cover entire body; moderately short (less than 0.07 – 0.10 mm) hairs scattered on dorsum of scutellum, metanotum, propodeum, petiole, postpetiole; long (0.25 mm) erect hairs on petiole; moderately long (0.15 – 0.17 mm) erect hairs on gastral segments, longer (0.25 – 0.35 mm) hairs between gastral segments; hairs on ventral surface of all gastral segments (up to 0.15 mm) denser than on other parts.

Type Material

Tanzania: Tanganyika, 6°0'0" S; 35°0'0" E, Windy Gap, W. slope Ngorongoro Crater, 23-X-1957, 2100m, collectors E. S. Ross & R. E. Leeon, B. notaula (1 paratype w, 1 holotype m, Museum of Comparative Zoology).


The specific epithet of B. notaula is a plural noun in apposition that refers to the distinct notauli that are present on the dorsum of the male's scutum (mesoscutum), which characterizes this species. The noun was feminized to match the gender of the genus.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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