Carebara perpusilla

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Carebara perpusilla
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Carebara
Species: C. perpusilla
Binomial name
Carebara perpusilla
(Emery, 1895)

Carebara perpusilla casent0904661 p 1 high.jpg

Carebara perpusilla casent0904661 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Individuals and nest series were collected in leaf-litter and from soil, using Winkler, pitfall and pan traps. A queenright colony was excavated from Gorongosa NP, Mozambique.


Fischer et al. (2014) - Antennae with eleven segments. Major worker: Head in full-face view distinctly longer than wide, almost rectangular with subparallel sides and rounded posterolateral corners, a transverse carina present near posterior head margin, sculpture on mesosoma reduced, mostly consisting of weak to superficial areolae on katepisternum and lateropropodeum. Minor worker: Head in full-face view subrectangular, with weakly convex sides, face and pronotum smooth and shiny, posterior head margin weakly concave medially, posterolateral corners rounded.

Carebara perpusilla is similar to, but smaller than Carebara silvestrii. Also, major workers of C. perpusilla have a smooth and shiny lateropronotum and anepisternum, while these parts are densely areolate in C. silvestrii. The minor workers of C. perpusilla have a smooth and shiny face and pronotum, while in C. silvestrii these parts are never completely smooth, and usually have some areolate or rugose sculpture.

Keys including this Species


Carebara perpusilla is a widespread southern Africa species,

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya (type locality), Rwanda, South Africa (type locality), Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Mainly found in primary rainforest (Kenya) and miombo woodland (Zambia). Carebara perpusilla has been collected at elevations ranging from 42–2100 m.



Carebara perpusilla workers, soldiers and brood from Gorongosa, Mozambique. Photo by Christian Peeters.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • perpusilla. Pheidologeton perpusillum Emery, 1895h: 26, pl. 2, figs. 8-11 (s.w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in P. (Aneleus): Emery, 1900c: 327; in Aneleus: Santschi, 1914b: 77; in Oligomyrmex: Ettershank, 1966: 124; in Carebara: Fernández, 2004a: 235. See also: Arnold, 1916: 254.
  • arnoldi. Pheidologeton perpusillum r. arnoldi Forel, 1914d: 242 (w.) ZIMBABWE. [Junior secondary homonym of Oligomyrmex arnoldi Forel, 1913a: 123, above.] Replacement name: arnoldianus Ettershank, 1966: 123. Arnold, 1916: 255 (s.); Arnold, 1926: 238 (q.). Combination in Aneleus: Arnold, 1916: 255; in Oligomyrmex: Ettershank, 1966: 123. Junior synonym of Carebara perpusilla: Fischer, Azorsa & Fisher, 2014: 86.
  • arnoldianus. Oligomyrmex perpusillus subsp. arnoldianus Ettershank, 1966: 123. Replacement name for arnoldi Forel, 1914d: 242. [Junior secondary homonym of arnoldi Forel, 1913a: 123.]
  • concedens. Aneleus perpusillus st. concedens Santschi, 1914b: 77 (s.w.) KENYA. Combination in Oligomyrmex: Ettershank, 1966: 123. Junior synonym of Carebara perpusilla: Fischer, Azorsa & Fisher, 2014: 86.
  • spinosa. Pheidologeton (Aneleus) perpusillus subsp. spinosus Forel, 1907a: 17 (s.) TANZANIA. Combination in Aneleus: Emery, 1924d: 214; in Oligomyrmex: Bolton, 1995b: 300. Junior synonym of Carebara perpusilla: Fischer, Azorsa & Fisher, 2014: 86.

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



Fischer et al. (2014) - Major (n=5): HW 0.52–0.70 (0.62), HL 0.68–0.95 (0.80), SL 0.28–0.38 (0.32), MDL 0.32–0.49 (0.38), EL 0.0–0.05 (0.03), WL 0.53–0.69 (0.62), PNH 0.24–0.35 (0.31), PNW 0.29–0.39 (0.36), MNH 0.37–0.51 (0.44), PDH 0.23–0.29 (0.26), PTL 0.22–0.30 (0.26), PPL 0.14–0.17 (0.15), PTH 0.16–0.22 (0.19), PPH 0.14–0.18 (0.16), PTW 0.13–0.18 (0.16), PPW 0.18–0.24 (0.22), PSL 0.07–0.11 (0.09), MFL 0.32–0.44 (0.38), MTL 0.27–0.40 (0.32), CI 74–80 (77), SI 48–54 (52), MDI 56–69 (62), EI 0–7 (5), FI 57–63 (61), PSLI 14–16 (15), LPpI 88–95 (92), DPpI 132–167 (151), PpWI 128–163 (142), PpLI 50–65 (58), PpHI 81–90 (85).

Head longer than wide (CI 74–80), in full-face view nearly rectangular. Posterior margin of head roundly concave in middle, posterolateral corners slightly rounded or truncate, sides of the head weakly convex, nearly straight. Mandibles with six teeth. Anterior margin of clypeus concave in middle, sides angulate. Antennae eleven-segmented, scapes short, not surpassing cephalic midlength (SI 48–54). Eyes present, usually consisting of six to eight ommantidia (EI 0–7).

In profile, promesonotum roundly convex and higher than propodeum. Scutum and scutellum fused, promesonotal suture absent dorsally, metanotum small but separated from promesonotum. Dorsal face of propodeum straight, or slightly concave, declining posteriorly, propodeal spines subtriangular, directed slightly forward, posterior declivity of propodeum concave in profile. Propodeal spiracle roundly convex, situated closer to dorsum of propodeum than middle, lamella present but not well-developed.

Petiole with long peduncle, in profile ventrally nearly straight or weakly convex, anterior subpetiolar process present as small tooth, petiole node relatively high, dorsally weakly rounded and anteriorly and posteriorly relatively straight to slightly convex. Postpetiole in profile dorsally roundly convex, lower than petiole. In dorsal view petiole node wider than long, anteroposteriorly flattened and slightly convex, sides somewhat rounded, postpetiole about 1.5 times wider than long (DPpI 132–167), on average 1.4 times wider than petiole (PpWI 128–163), shaped almost as a half-circle, with weakly concave anterior, and convex lateral and posterior faces.

Mandibles, clypeus and face mostly smooth and shiny with scattered punctures, head laterally and posteriorly with fine or well-defined, irregular striations or reticulations, gena with well developed and longitudinal reticulations extending to eye level, weakly marked reticulations present on frontal lobes, frontal carinae absent or inconspicuous. Dorsom of promesonotum smooth and shiny, remainder of mesosoma areolate-rugose to weakly areolate, but sculpture on antero- and lateropronotum and on anepisternum often effaced to partly smooth. Petiole node and postpetiole dorsally smooth and shiny, lateroventrally finely areolate. Gaster smooth and shiny with scattered punctures on dorsum.

Head and body with moderately long, suberect standing hairs and fine, decumbent to subdecumbent pilosity, both hair types abundant on gaster. Scapes and tibiae with abundant, decumbent pilosity. Color reddish brown, legs and antennae yellowish.

Minor (n=7): HW 0.31–0.39 (0.35), HL 0.37–0.46 (0.42), SL 0.24–0.30 (0.28), MDL 0.20–0.27 (0.23), EL 0.01–0.02 (0.02), WL 0.38–0.56 (0.44), PNH 0.14–0.20 (0.17), PNW 0.20–0.25 (0.23), MNH 0.21–0.28 (0.25), PDH 0.15–0.20 (0.17), PTL 0.14–0.18 (0.15), PPL 0.09–0.11 (0.10), PTH 0.09–0.10 (0.11), PPH 0.06–0.08 (0.07), PTW 0.05–0.09 (0.07), PPW 0.08–0.11 (0.09), PSL 0.05–0.07 (0.06), MFL 0.25–0.32 (0.28), MTL 0.20–0.27 (0.24), CI 83–87 (85), SI 77–79 (78), MDI 63–69 (65), EI 4–6 (5), FI 77–81 (80), PSLI 14–19 (17), LPpI 133–173 (153), DPpI 81–93 (87), PpWI 122–143 (132), PpLI 59–71 (66), PpHI 60–67 (64).

Head longer than wide (CI 83–87), in full-face view weakly subrectangular, with convex sides, posterior margin slightly concave in middle, posterolateral corners rounded. Mandibles with five teeth, apical and preapical teeth larger than the rest. Anterior margin of clypeus nearly straight, or weakly concave, bicarinate. Frontal carinae not reaching midlength of head, ending posterior of eye level. Antennae with eleven segments, scapes ending before posterior margin of head (SI 77–79). Eyes consisting of one ommatidium (EI 4–6).

In profile, promesonotum weakly convex, anterodorsally marginate, metanotal groove rounded and deeply impressed. Dorsum of propodeum straight, declining towards posterodorsal corners, and about as long as weakly concave posterior declivity, spines acute-triangular and upwardly directed. Propodeal spiracle rounded and situated closely beneath the base of spines.

Peduncle of petiole about as long as petiole node, in profile ventral face anteriorly weakly concave, with very short to almost inconspicuous angulate tooth, and posteriorly convex, petiole node low and dorsally rounded to subtriangular. Postpetiole in profile on average 1.5 times longer than high (LPpI 133-173), lower than petiole (PpHI 60-67), weakly convex dorsally and ventrally weakly concave. In dorsal view, petiole node slightly wider than long, weakly convex laterally, anteriorly and posteriorly slightly convex, postpetiole on average 1.3 times wider than petiole (PpWI 122-143), posterior face roundly convex, with sides oblique and tapering anteriorly.

Mandibles, clypeus and face smooth and shiny with relatively abundant punctures. Promesonotum smooth and shiny, remainder of mesosoma areolate. Petiole and postpetiole areolate–rugose, except for smooth and shiny dorsum of petiole node and lateral and dorsal face of postpetiole. Gaster smooth and shiny.

Head and body with relatively few erect to suberect standing hairs and relatively abundant, decumbent pilosity. Scapes and tibiae with decumbent pilosity. Color yellowish orange.

Type Material

Fischer et al. (2014) - Lectotype (major worker, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa: ANTC24569/ CASENT0904661) [designated here]: SOUTH AFRICA: Gauteng, Pretoria (Simon) [examined].


  • Arnold, G. 1916. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part II. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 159-270 (page 254, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1895i. Voyage de M. E. Simon dans l'Afrique australe (janvier-avril 1893). 3e mémoire. Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 64: 15-56 (page 26, pl. 2, figs. 8-11 soldier, worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1900b. Formicidarum species novae vel minus cognitae in collectione Musaei Nationalis Hungarici quas in Nova-Guinea, colonia germanica, collegit L. Biró. Publicatio secunda. Természetr. Füz. 23: 310-338 (page 327, Combination in P. (Aneleus))
  • Ettershank, G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171 (page 124, Combination in Oligomyrmex)
  • Fernández, F. 2004a. The American species of the myrmicine ant genus Carebara Westwood (Hymentoptera: Formicidae). Caldasia 26(1): 191-238 (page 235, Combination in Carebara)
  • Fischer, G., Azorsa, F. & Fisher, B.L. 2014. The ant genus Carebara Westwood (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): synonymisation of Pheidologeton Mayr under Carebara, establishment and revision of the C. polita species group. ZooKeys 438:57–112. doi:10.3897/zookeys.438.7922
  • Santschi, F. 1914b. Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale, 1911-1912. Résultats scientifiques. Insectes Hyménoptères. II. Formicidae. Paris: Libr. A. Schulz, pp. 41-148. (page 77, Combination in Aneleus)