Key to Afrotropical Hypoponera

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Key based on: Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2011. Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi. Zootaxa 2843: 1-118.

Note. The positions of Hypoponera sinuosa and Hypoponera petiolata in the key are conjectural: see the respective discussions of these species. West Palaearctic species are included here for comparative purposes but are also keyed separately (see link just below).

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1

  • In dorsal view the base of the cinctus of the second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) is traversed by crowded longitudinal short cross-ribs or a continuous distinct row of aligned coarse punctures with raised margins between them . . . . . 2
  • In dorsal view the base of the cinctus of the second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) is smooth and shining, not traversed by crowded longitudinal short cross-ribs and without a continuous row of aligned coarse punctures with raised margins between them . . . . . 44

2

return to couplet #1

  • Metanotal groove sharply and conspicuously present in dorsal view as a depressed transverse groove that clearly interrupts the surface . . . . . 3
  • Metanotal groove absent or vestigial in dorsal view; at most there may be a slight change of angle between mesonotum and propodeum, or a superficial transverse line, or rarely there may be the merest vestige of a shallow depression, but the surface is not clearly interrupted by a transverse groove . . . . . 7

3

return to couplet #2

  • Disc of second gastral tergite almost entirely smooth; sculpture consists only of minute superficial punctures that are separated by very wide areas of shining, polished cuticle. Eye variably developed, either absent or of a single ommatidium, or a small, featureless blister. (Zimbabwe, South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera ignavia
Head of Hypoponera ignavia worker
Profile of Hypoponera ignavia worker
  • Disc of second gastral tergite densely punctate, reticulate-punctate, or with a microreticulate appearance, without minute punctures separated by broad shining areas. Eye present, small but usually conspicuous . . . . . 4

4

return to couplet #3

  • Dorsum of first gastral tergite (Abd. III) without conspicuous standing setae that arise along the entire length of the sclerite when viewed in profile. Scape relatively longer, SI 88–96 (SL/HL 0.75–0.80). Full adult colour blackish brown to black. At least anterior portion of propodeal dorsum finely and densely reticulate-punctate and opaque . . . . . 5
  • Dorsum of first gastral tergite with conspicuous standing setae that arise along the entire length of the sclerite when viewed in profile. Scape relatively shorter, SI 77–85 (SL/HL 0.66–0.76). Full adult colour yellow to light brown. Propodeal dorsum smooth and shining, with only very inconspicuous, scattered minute superficial punctures . . . . . 6

5

return to couplet #4

  • Dorsum of propodeum finely sculptured everywhere; the sculptured dorsum contrasts strongly with the smooth shining declivity and the transition between the two is sharp and abrupt. Metanotal groove in dorsal view narrow and simple, without a defined metanotal sclerite. Punctate sculpture on pronotal and mesonotal dorsa dense, sharply defined and obvious. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera sulcatinasis
Profile of Hypoponera sulcatinasis worker
  • Dorsum of propodeum with sculpture fading out posteriorly so that the posterior half is almost smooth; without a sharp and abrupt transition between sculptured dorsum and smooth declivity. Metanotal groove in dorsal view broad, with a narrow metanotal sclerite defined. Punctate sculpture on pronotal and mesonotal dorsa sparse, weakly defined and superficial. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera transvaalensis
Profile of Hypoponera transvaalensis worker

6

return to couplet #4

  • Setae on dorsum of first gastral tergite (Abd. III) long and fine. In full-face view the apex of the scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to reach or just touches the midpoint of the posterior cephalic margin. Larger species with petiole relatively broader, HW 0.61– 0.74, PeNI 68–76, DPeI 150–180. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera spei
Head of Hypoponera spei worker
Profile of Hypoponera spei worker
  • Setae on dorsum of first gastral tergite short, stiff and stubbly. In full-face view the apex of the scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior cephalic margin. Smaller species with petiole relatively narrower, HW 0.56–0.60, PeNI 61–65, DPeI 140–158. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera boerorum

7

return to couplet #2

  • Base of posterior face of petiole node with a radiating series of about 4–8 short straight cuticular ridges that arise just above the peduncle and extend a short distance up the posterior surface of the node . . . . . 8
  • Base of posterior face of petiole node smooth, flat or with a transverse groove or ridge above the peduncle, but without a radiating series of cuticular ridges that arise on the posterior surface just above the peduncle . . . . . 18

8

return to couplet #7

  • Lateroventral surfaces of head completely covered with very coarse and distinct reticulate-punctate to punctate-rugulose sculpture; without areas of smooth, shining cuticle between separated discrete punctures . . . . . 9
  • Lateroventral surfaces of head at most with small punctures that are separated by areas of smooth, shining cuticle that are at least as wide as the puncture diameters; sometimes only minute diffuse superficial punctate sculpture is present so that the surface is mostly smooth . . . . . 10

9

return to couplet #8

  • Eye absent. Smaller species: HW 0.64–0.67, HS 0.700–0.735, SL 0.54–0.57, HFL 0.58–0.62, PeH 0.52–0.54, PeS 0.393–0.417. Pronotal dorsum, except along the midline, densely and coarsely reticulate-punctate, the sculpture nearly as strong as that on the coarsely reticulate-punctate dorsum of the head. (Rwanda) . . . . . Hypoponera hebes
Head of Hypoponera hebes worker
Profile of Hypoponera hebes worker
  • Eye present and conspicuous, of 5–6 small ommatidia. Larger species: HW 0.72, HS 0.800, SL 0.66, HFL 0.72, PeH 0.58, PeS 0.427. Pronotal dorsum, except along the midline, sculptured with spaced small punctures, the sculpture much more sparse and feeble than that on the dorsum of the head. (Ethiopia) . . . . . Hypoponera faex
Head of Hypoponera faex worker
Profile of Hypoponera faex worker

10

return to couplet #8

  • Row of cuticular ridges at base of posterior face of petiole node bounded dorsally by a darkly coloured arched transverse rim or carina; the cuticular ridges lie within a shallow transverse groove of which the dark rim or carina is the upper margin . . . . . 11
  • Row of cuticular ridges at base of posterior face of petiole node not bounded dorsally by an arched transverse dark rim or carina; the cuticular ridges not lying within a shallow transverse groove . . . . . 12

11

return to couplet #10

  • Smaller species, HL 0.55, HW 0.43, SL 0.36, HS 0.490, PeH 0.30; with petiole node relatively narrower, PeNI 67, DPeI 157. In dorsal view maximum width of first gastral tergite is distinctly less than width of second tergite at its midlength. Subpetiolar process with an anteroventral angle that is followed by a long, straight ventral surface that slopes upward posteriorly, without an ascending angle at about the midlength of the sternite. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera traegaordhi
Hypoponera traegaordhi casent0915210 p 1 high.jpg
  • Larger species, HL 0.66–0.68, HW 0.52–0.54, SL 0.44–0.48, HS 0.590–0.610, PeH 0.40–0.43; with petiole node relatively broader, PeNI 72–79, DPeI 168–188. In dorsal view maximum width of first gastral tergite is subequal to or slightly greater than width of second tergite at its midlength. Subpetiolar process an elongate low lobe that has a short but distinct ascending angle at about the midlength of the sternite. (Ethiopia) . . . . . Hypoponera exigua
Head of Hypoponera exigua worker
Profile of Hypoponera exigua worker

12

return to couplet #10

  • With head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin is overhung by a small but conspicuous, acutely projecting sharp denticle that arises from the mid-line of the clypeus just behind the margin. In profile the denticle is seen to be the projecting sharp apex of the mid-clypeal ridge. (Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera tecta
Head of Hypoponera tecta worker
Profile of Hypoponera tecta worker
  • With head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin blunt and rounded, without trace of a projecting acute denticle . . . . . 13

13

return to couplet #12

  • Petiole node in profile relatively shorter and higher, LPeI 35–38; in dorsal view petiole node relatively shorter and broader, DPeI 179–200. Scape relatively short, SI 81–85, SL/HL 0.66–0.68. (Ethiopia) . . . . . Hypoponera jocosa
  • Petiole node in profile relatively longer and lower, LPeI 43–50; in dorsal view petiole node relatively longer and narrower, DPeI 137–170. Scape usually relatively longer, SI 82–93, SL/HL 0.64–0.75; if SI<85 or SL/HL<0.68 then DPeI in range 140–165 . . . . . 14

14

return to couplet #13

  • With petiole node in profile the anterior and posterior faces inclined and obviously convergent dorsally. Larger species, HL 0.68–0.74, HS 0.620–0.665, SL 0.50–0.54, HFL 0.52–0.54. (Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera mixta
Head of Hypoponera mixta worker
Profile of Hypoponera mixta worker
  • With petiole node in profile the anterior and posterior faces parallel or nearly so, at most only very slightly convergent dorsally. Smaller species, HL 0.58–0.68, HS 0.525– 0.620, SL 0.40–0.48, HFL 0.39–0.48 . . . . . 15

15

return to couplet #14

  • In profile dorsum of first gastral tergite, discounting the apical margin, densely pubescent but without conspicuous standing setae; at most one or two minute standing hairs present that appear more like erect pubescence than setae; dorsum of second tergite the same. Petiole node relatively broad, PeNI 76, DPeI 172. (Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera quaestio
Head of Hypoponera quaestio worker
Profile of Hypoponera quaestio worker
  • In profile dorsa of first and second gastral tergites, discounting the apical margins, densely pubescent and also with numerous conspicuous short standing setae that are usually easily distinguished from the pubescence. Petiole node relatively narrower, PeNI 65–74, DPeI 140–165 . . . . . 16

16

return to couplet #15

  • Petiole node in dorsal view thickly D-shaped, with a strongly convex anterior margin. Petiole larger, PeS 0.297–0.317 (PeNL 0.19–0.21, PeH 0.40–0.45, PeNW 0.28–0.30). Head larger, HS 0.585–0.620 (HL 0.63–0.68, HW 0.52–0.56). SL/HL 0.71–0.75. (Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera surda
Head of Hypoponera surda worker
Profile of Hypoponera surda worker
  • Petiole node in dorsal view not thickly D-shaped, with a shallowly convex anterior margin. Petiole smaller, PeS 0.237–0.283 (PeNL 0.15–0.19, PeH 0.34–0.40, PeNW 0.24–0.28). Head smaller, HS 0.525–0.580 (HL 0.58–0.64, HW 0.46–0.52). SL/HL 0.66–0.72. . . . . . 17

17

return to couplet #16

  • Funiculus segments 7–10 all conspicuously broader than long: the sum of the widths of funiculus segments 7–10, divided by the sum of their lengths, is 1.60 or more. (Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Hypoponera ursa
  • Funiculus segments 7–10 gradually increase in width apically: the sum of the widths of funiculus segments 7–10, divided by the sum of their lengths, is 1.50 or less. (Cameroun, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) . . . . . Hypoponera jeanneli
Head of Hypoponera jeanneli worker
Profile of Hypoponera jeanneli worker

18

return to couplet #7

  • Either: disc of second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) with sharply incised discrete small punctures that are separated from each other by at least the diameter of the punctures, the spaces between punctures glassy smooth; entire surface without a reticulate-punctate or microreticulate appearance. Or: in dorsal view the maximum width of the first gastral tergite (Abd. III) is greater than the width of the second gastral tergite at its midlength, usually obviously so; or usually both of these . . . . . 19
  • Either: disc of second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) appears reticulate-punctate, microreticulate or with crowded superficial punctures whose margins are nearly confluent, so that the surface appears disorganised; without discrete small punctures separated by distinct smooth broad spaces. Or: in dorsal view the maximum width of the first gastral tergite (Abd. III) is usually less than the width of the second gastral tergite at its midlength, at most the two are subequal; or usually both of these . . . . . 23

19

return to couplet #18

  • With head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin with a small, sharp denticle; in profile this is seen as the termination of a raised, sharp cuticular ridge on the anterior clypeal midline. (Uganda, Rwanda) . . . . . Hypoponera dema
Head of Hypoponera dema worker
Profile of Hypoponera dema worker
  • With head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin without a denticle . . . . . 20

20

return to couplet #19

  • Smaller species: HL 0.53–0.64, HW 0.40–0.48, SL 0.32–0.43, HFL 0.33–0.45. With gaster in profile the dorsum of the first tergite with abundant short, bristly erect setae that are clearly distinguished from the underlying pubescence . . . . . 21
  • Larger species: HL 0.65–0.79, HW 0.50–0.60, SL 0.46–0.58, HFL 0.47–0.60. With gaster in profile the dorsum of the first tergite without, or with only very sparse, short setae; those that are present are scarcely distinguished from the dense elevated pubescence . . . . . 22

21

return to couplet #20

  • Petiole node relatively very broad, PeNI 89–94, DPeI 170–180. (Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Hypoponera molesta
Head of Hypoponera molesta worker
Profile of Hypoponera molesta worker
  • Petiole node relatively narrower, PeNI 76–82, DPeI 139–160. (Rwanda) . . . . . Hypoponera venusta
Head of Hypoponera venusta worker
Profile of Hypoponera venusta worker

22

return to couplet #20

  • Petiole node shorter in profile, broader in dorsal view, LPeI 32–43, DPeI 180– >200. (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera segnis
Head of Hypoponera segnis worker
Profile of Hypoponera segnis worker
  • Petiole node longer in profile, narrower in dorsal view, LPeI 46–50, DPeI 154–170. (Rwanda, Uganda) . . . . . Hypoponera tristis
Head of Hypoponera tristis worker
Profile of Hypoponera tristis worker

23

return to couplet #22

  • Apex of antenna very distinctly with only 4 enlarged funicular segments that form an obvious club. Minute species, HW 0.27–0.35. (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera angustata
Head of Hypoponera angustata worker
Profile of Hypoponera angustata worker
  • Apex of antenna gradually incrassate, the incrassation involving 5–6 segments, without an obvious 4-segmented club. Size vary from minute to moderate, HW 0.30–0.57, but usually > 0.35 . . . . . 24

24

return to couplet #23

  • Petiole node in dorsal view relatively long in proportion to its width, as long as broad or only slightly broader than long; DPeI 100–120 . . . . . 25
  • Petiole node in dorsal view shorter in proportion to its width, usually very obviously broader than long; DPeI 125 or more, usually considerably greater . . . . . 28

25

return to couplet #24

  • Larger species, HL 0.54 or more, HW 0.40 or more, SL 0.36 or more, WL 0.70 or more, PeH 0.30 or more; HS 0.475–0.565 and PeS 0.240–0.260. Scape relatively long, SI 90–94 and SL/HL 0.65–0.72 . . . . . 26
  • Smaller species, HL 0.47 or less, HW 0.37 or less, SL 0.30 or less, WL 0.61 or less, PeH 0.24 or less; HS 0.350–0.420 and PeS 0.155–0.200. Scape relatively short, SI 73–85 and SL/HL 0.57–0.66 . . . . . 27

26

return to couplet #25

  • Width of petiole node in dorsal view about three-quarters the width of the pronotum, PeNI 70–76; in profile petiole relatively low in relation to its length, LPeI 67. Smaller species, HW 0.40–0.41, SL 0.36–0.37 (SL/HL 0.65–0.69). Anterodorsal and posterodorsal angles of petiole node in profile about equally rounded. (Tanzania, Zimbabwe) . . . . . Hypoponera bulawayensis
Profile of Hypoponera bulawayensis worker
  • Width of petiole node in dorsal view about half the width of the pronotum, PeNI 54; in profile petiole relatively high in relation to its length, LPeI 58. Larger species, HW 0.49, SL 0.66 (SL/HL 0.72). Anterodorsal angle of petiole node in profile distinctly more broadly rounded than posterodorsal angle. (Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera regis
Head of Hypoponera regis worker
Profile of Hypoponera regis worker

27

return to couplet #25

  • Petiole node broader, PeNW 0.18–0.20, PeNI 69–77, LPeI 61–70. Scape slightly longer, SI 80–85, SL/HL 0.61–0.66. DPeI 120 is bottom of range for the species (DPeI 120–136). Subpetiolar process absent. (Central African Republic, Uganda) . . . . . Hypoponera blanda (in part – also #40)
Head of Hypoponera blanda worker
Profile of Hypoponera blanda worker
  • Petiole node narrower, PeNW 0.14–0.16, PeNI 61–67, LPeI 52–62. Scape slightly shorter, SI 73–81, SL/HL 0.57–0.60. DPeI 120 is top of range for the species (DPeI 108–120). Subpetiolar process present. (Congo, Tanzania, South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera perparva
Head of Hypoponera perparva worker
Profile of Hypoponera perparva worker

28

return to couplet #24

  • Posterior face of petiole node with a transverse groove or impression above the posterior peduncle; the upper margin of the groove is dark, conspicuous in posterodorsal view and located well above the peduncle (South African species) . . . . . 29
  • Posterior face of petiole node without a transverse groove or impression above the peduncle, or at most with a weak ridge immediately adjacent to the peduncle . . . . . 30

29

return to couplet #28

  • Petiole in dorsal view relatively broad, DPeI 160–187; in profile somewhat shorter and higher, LPeI 41–47. Scape slightly longer, SL 0.42–0.50, SI 84–90. Dorsum of mesosoma usually with a vestigial remnant of the metanotal groove. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite usually long, coarse and strongly developed. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera natalensis
Head of Hypoponera natalensis worker
Profile of Hypoponera natalensis worker
  • Petiole in dorsal view relatively narrow, DPeI 137–150; in profile somewhat longer and lower, LPeI 47–56. Scape slightly shorter, SL 0.38–0.42, SI 80–84. Dorsum of mesosoma usually without trace of the metanotal groove. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite short, delicately developed. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera austra
Head of Hypoponera austra worker
Profile of Hypoponera austra worker

30

return to couplet #28

  • Petiole node in dorsal view very narrow in relation to width of pronotum, PeNI 56–59. Scape relatively long, SI 90–94. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, projects slightly beyond the midpoint of the posterior margin of the head; SL/HL 0.74–0.78. (Uganda, Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera hawkesi
Head of Hypoponera hawkesi worker
Profile of Hypoponera hawkesi worker
  • Petiole node in dorsal view broader in relation to width of pronotum, PeNI 63–81; if PeNI 70 or less then SI <90. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, usually distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin of the head, only very rarely just touches it; SL/HL 0.60–0.72 . . . . . 31

31

return to couplet #30

  • Petiole in profile relatively tall and more slender, LPeI 37–44 . . . . . 32
  • Petiole in profile relatively low and more stout, LPeI 46–70 . . . . . 35

32

return to couplet #31

  • On the second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) the cross-ribs at the base of the cinctus very coarse, long and stout, widely spaced and extremely conspicuous. (Ethiopia) . . . . . Hypoponera juxta
  • On the second gastral tergite (Abd. IV) the cross-ribs at the base of the cinctus fine and delicate, short and slender, closely packed and often inconspicuous . . . . . 33

33

return to couplet #32

  • Head large, HS 0.575, HW 0.51; scape longer, SL 0.44; petiole node slightly more slender, DPeI 147, PeNI 66. (Equatorial Guinea (Bioko I.)) . . . . . Hypoponera pulchra (in part – also #36)
Hypoponera pulchra casent0915205 p 1 high.jpg
  • Head smaller, HS 0.410–0.495, HW 0.36–0.44; scape shorter, SL 0.28–0.38; petiole node slightly more broad, DPeI 155–180, PeNI 67–78 . . . . . 34

34

return to couplet #33

  • Lateroventral surfaces of head densely and conspicuously punctate, almost reticulate-punctate, the punctures closely packed and sharply defined; diameters of individual punctures generally greater than the distances between them. Slightly larger species: HW 0.40–0.44, HS 0.455–0.495, SL 0.34–0.38, PeH 0.33–0.38, PeS 0.227–0.260. Scape averages slightly longer, SI 84–90. (Ivory Coast, Ghana) . . . . . Hypoponera lassa
Head of Hypoponera lassa worker
Profile of Hypoponera lassa worker
  • Lateroventral surfaces of head feebly and inconspicuously punctate, the punctures small, superficial, weakly defined and widely separated; diameters of individual punctures less than the distances between them. Slightly smaller species: HW 0.36–0.40, HS 0.410–0.450, SL 0.28–0.33, PeH 0.27–0.31, PeS 0.195–0.220. Scape averages slightly shorter, SI 78–86. (Ghana, Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera fatiga
Head of Hypoponera fatiga worker
Profile of Hypoponera fatiga worker

35

return to couplet #31

  • Clypeus in oblique dorsolateral view without a raised median longitudinal ridge or crest. Lateroventral surfaces of head finely but quite densely and conspicuously punctate. (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Cameroun, Gabon) . . . . . Hypoponera defessa
Head of Hypoponera defessa worker
Profile of Hypoponera defessa worker
  • Clypeus in oblique dorsolateral view with a raised median longitudinal ridge or crest. Lateroventral surfaces of head almost entirely smooth and polished, with only a very few minute, inconspicuous and widely separated punctulae . . . . . 36

36

return to couplet #35

  • Head large, HS 0.575, HW 0.51. (Equatorial Guinea (Bioko I.)) . . . . . Hypoponera pulchra (in part – also #33)
Hypoponera pulchra casent0915205 p 1 high.jpg

37

return to couplet #36

  • With petiole node in profile either the anterior and posterior faces are vertical and parallel, not convergent dorsally, so that length of node just above the level of the anterior tubercle is about the same as at the points where the anterior and posterior faces meet the dorsum; or the anterior face is vertical and the posterior face is very slightly inclined towards it . . . . . 38
  • With petiole node in profile either the anterior and posterior faces are both inclined and converge dorsally, so that length of node just above the level of the anterior tubercle is distinctly greater than at the points where the anterior and posterior faces meet the dorsum; or the posterior face is vertical and the anterior face is inclined towards it, usually quite distinctly so . . . . . 40

38

return to couplet #37

  • Smaller species with petiole node narrower with respect to the pronotum; HL 0.46, SL 0.28, WL 0.56, PeH 0.24, PeNW 0.17 (PeS 0.180); PeNI 65. (Uganda) . . . . . Hypoponera rigida
  • Larger species with petiole node broader with respect to the pronotum; HL 0.52–0.56, SL 0.32–0.38, WL 0.67–0.70, PeH 0.28–0.32, PeNW 0.20–0.25 (PeS 0.210–0.257); PeNI 70–78 . . . . . 39

39

return to couplet #38

  • With petiole in profile the posterodorsal angle distinctly rounded, not a right-angle; posterodorsal angle more broadly rounded than the anterodorsal angle. First gastral tegite (Abd. III) in dorsal view broader than long. Width of first gastral tergite at posterior margin ca 1.4 × the width at the anterior margin in dorsal view. Scape both absolutely and relatively slightly shorter, SL 0.32–0.36, SI 82–89, SL/HL 0.62–0.65.) (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera meridia (in part – also #59)
Head of Hypoponera meridia worker
Profile of Hypoponera meridia worker
  • With petiole in profile the posterodorsal angle a right-angle or very nearly so; anterodorsal angle distinctly more broadly rounded than the posterodorsal angle. First gastral tergite (Abd. III) in dorsal view slightly longer than broad. Width of first gastral tergite at posterior margin ca 1.6 × the width at the anterior margin in dorsal view. Scape both absolutely and relatively slightly longer, SL 0.37–0.38, SI 95, SL/HL 0.68–0.69. (circum-Mediterranean) . . . . . Hypoponera abeillei
Hypoponera abeillei casent0915488 p 1 high.jpg

40

return to couplet #37

  • Petiole in profile relatively lower and longer, LPeI 61–70. DPeI not greater than 136 (DPeI range 120–136). Petiole in profile without a ventral process or at most with a minute, denticle-like projection. (Central African Republic, Uganda) . . . . . Hypoponera blanda (in part – also #27)
Head of Hypoponera blanda worker
Profile of Hypoponera blanda worker
  • Petiole in profile relatively higher and shorter, LPeI 47–59. DPeI often greater than 136 (DPeI range 125–173). Petiole in profile with a ventral process of some form present . . . . . 41

41

return to couplet #40

  • Larger species, HS 0.470–0.530. [If HS is in the range 0.470–0.480 then SI 74–80, DPeI 156–167 and PeS 0.237–0.243.] (Cameroun, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda) . . . . . Hypoponera camerunensis
Profile of Hypoponera camerunensis worker
  • Smaller species, HS 0.365–0.470. [If HS is in the range 0.460–0.470 then SI 81–90, DPeI 125–157 and PeS 0.213–0.230.] . . . . . 42

42

return to couplet #41

  • With the following combination of indices: LPeI 47 and DPeI 150–157 and SI 90–92. In dorsal view the sides of the second gastral tegite (Abd. IV) are straight and parallel; the posttergite, from the posterior margin of the cinctus to the apex, is slightly longer than broad. (Eritrea) . . . . . Hypoponera orba
Hypoponera orba casent0903908 p 1 high.jpg
  • With the following combination of indices: LPeI 50–59 and DPeI 125–150 and SI 74–89. In dorsal view the sides of the second gastral tegite (Abd. IV) are shallowly convex; the posttergite, from the posterior margin of the cinctus to the apex, is slightly broader than long . . . . . 43

43

return to couplet #42

  • Larger species, SL 0.30–0.35, HW 0.37–0.42, HL 0.47–0.52, PeH 0.25–0.31, HS 0.415–0.465, PeS 0.187–0.233; with relatively longer scape, SI 80–89, SL/HL 0.65–0.71. (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo, Angola, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera coeca
Head of Hypoponera coeca worker
Profile of Hypoponera coeca worker
  • Smaller species, SL 0.25–0.28, HW 0.33–0.37, HL 0.40–0.46, PeH 0.22–0.25, HS 0.365–0.410, PeS 0.167–0.190; with relatively shorter scape, SI 74–82, SL/HL 0.60–0.66. Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera inaudax
Head of Hypoponera inaudax worker
Profile of Hypoponera inaudax worker

44

return to couplet #1

  • Metanotal groove sharply and conspicuously present in dorsal view as a depressed transverse groove that clearly interrupts the surface . . . . . 45
  • Metanotal groove absent or vestigial in dorsal view; at most there may be a slight change of angle between mesonotum and propodeum, or a superficial transverse line, or there may be the merest vestige of a shallow depression, but the surface is not clearly interrupted by a transverse groove . . . . . 51

45

return to couplet #44

  • Dorsum of mesosoma usually with fine punctate sculpture that varies in intensity and density between species; sometimes the punctate sculpture may be almost effaced, leaving the surface mostly smooth and shining; never with transverse rugulae . . . . . 46

46

return to couplet #45

  • Mesopleuron with very fine, dense punctulate-shagreenate to minutely striolate sculpture at least on the upper half; sculpture frequently blankets the entire sclerite and renders it opaque; upper half of mesopleuron without unsculptured shining areas . . . . . 47
  • Mesopleuron almost entirely unsculptured and shining, at most with a few scattered small punctures on a smooth surface; without fine dense sculpture that blankets at least the upper half of the sclerite and renders it opaque . . . . . 48

47

return to couplet #46

  • Full adult colour dark brown to almost black. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, touches or slightly exceeds midpoint of posterior margin of head, SL/HL 0.72–0.78. Propodeal dorsum densely superficially punctulate to reticulate-punctulate. Slightly larger species with longer scape and broader petiole node, HL 0.63–0.70, HW 0.54–0.59, SL 0.47–0.54, SI 86–93, DPeI 167–188. (South Africa; circum-Mediterranean eastwards to Turkmenistan, Macaronesian Atlantic islands; tramp species) . . . . . Hypoponera eduardi
Head of Hypoponera eduardi worker
Profile of Hypoponera eduardi worker
  • Full adult colour dull yellow. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, distinctly fails to reach midpoint of posterior margin of head, SL/HL 0.68. Propodeal dorsum almost smooth, with scattered minute superficial punctulae. Slightly smaller species with shorter scape and narrower petiole node, HL 0.56, HW 0.46, SL 0.38, SI 83, DPeI 157. (Canary Is (Tenerife) only) . . . . . Hypoponera nivariana
Head of Hypoponera nivariana worker
Profile of Hypoponera nivariana worker

48

return to couplet #46

  • Petiole node scale-like and with a narrow dorsal surface; petiole relatively higher and shorter, LPeI 32–39. In dorsal view node relatively thin from front to back, DPeI 180–218. Side of mesosoma with a suture between mesonotum and mesopleuron. In dorsal view the maximum width of the first gastral tergite is equal to or slightly greater than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Scape relatively longer, SI 90–102 and SL/HL 0.74–0.83. (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera dulcis
Head of Hypoponera dulcis worker
Profile of Hypoponera dulcis worker
  • Petiole node not scale-like and with a well-defined, flat to convex dorsal surface; petiole relatively lower and longer, LPeI 43–61. In dorsal view node relatively thick from front to back, DPeI 120–165. Side of mesosoma without a suture between mesonotum and mesopleuron (note: this suture present in intercastes). In dorsal view the maximum width of the first gastral tergite is distinctly less than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Scape relatively shorter, SI 75–87 and SL/HL 0.61–0.70 . . . . . 49

49

return to couplet #48

  • Petiole node in profile relatively longer and lower, LPeI 55–61; in dorsal view the petiole node relatively longer from front to back, DPeI 120–140. (Ethiopia, Kenya, circum-Mediterranean; tramp species) . . . . . Hypoponera ragusai
Head of Hypoponera ragusai worker
Profile of Hypoponera ragusai worker
  • Petiole node in profile relatively shorter and higher, LPeI 43–53; in dorsal view the petiole node relatively shorter from front to back, DPeI 140–165 . . . . . 50

50

return to couplet #49

  • Petiole in profile with anterior and posterior faces only weakly convergent dorsally, so that dorsal length of node is only slightly less than length immediately above the anterior tubercle. Dorsal midline of head with a narrow impression that extends back from the frontal lobes and reaches beyond the midlength of the vertex. Eye small but distinct, far forward on side of head. (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroun, Gabon, São Tomé & Principe, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa; West Palaearctic (frequently synanthropic); cosmopolitan tramp species) . . . . . Hypoponera punctatissima
Profile of Hypoponera punctatissima worker
  • Petiole in profile with anterior and posterior faces very strongly convergent dorsally, so that dorsal length of node is less than half the length immediately above the anterior tubercle. Dorsal midline of head without a narrow impression that reaches beyond the midlength of the vertex. Eye a minute vestigial blister, difficult to discern. (Guinea) . . . . . Hypoponera sinuosa
Hypoponera sinuosa casent0915476 p 1 high.jpg

51

return to couplet #44

  • Scape relatively longer, SI 99–108. DPeI 135–155. Apex of scape, when laid straight back in full-face view, just touches the midpoint of the posterior margin of the head. (Cameroun, Gabon) . . . . . Hypoponera producta
Head of Hypoponera producta worker
Profile of Hypoponera producta worker
  • Scape relatively shorter, SI 78–96. If SI in range 90–96 then either DPeI >160, or apex of scape, when laid straight back in full-face view, fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin of the head, or both of these . . . . . 52

52

return to couplet #51

  • Disc of second gastral (Abd. IV) tergite finely, sharply punctate; the individual punctures are sharply incised, minute and separated by wide areas of glassy smooth cuticle; distance between punctures is distinctly greater than puncture diameters. In dorsal view width of second gastral tergite at its midlength is less than the maximum width of the first tergite . . . . . 53
  • Disc of second gastral (Abd. IV) tergite microreticulate or superficially reticulate-punctate; individual punctures are expanded and superficial, their margins confluent and slightly raised to give a microreticulate effect; without areas of glassy smooth cuticle between isolated punctures. In dorsal view width of second gastral tergite at its midlength is at least equal to, and usually greater than, the maximum width of the first tergite . . . . . 58

53

return to couplet #52

  • Petiole node in dorsal view short but very broad, DPeI 182–200 (mean = 190) . . . . . 54
  • Petiole node in dorsal view longer and narrower, DPeI 145–180 (mean = 157) . . . . . 55

54

return to couplet #53

  • Petiole node in profile with anterior and posterior faces above level of anterior tubercle parallel or very nearly so; node longer, higher and broader, PeNL 0.20–0.22, PeH 0.48–0.53, PeNW 0.38–0.41 (PeS 0.360–0.383); in dorsal view node relatively broader with respect to pronotum, PeNI 85–95. Full adult colour of head and mesosoma dark reddish brown. (Gabon, Central African Republic, Kenya) . . . . . Hypoponera importuna
Head of Hypoponera importuna worker
Profile of Hypoponera importuna worker
  • Petiole node in profile with anterior and posterior faces above level of anterior tubercle converging dorsally; node shorter, lower and narrower, PeNL 0.16–0.17, PeH 0.39–0.41, PeNW 0.29–0.32 (PeS 0.280–0.297); in dorsal view node relatively narrower with respect to pronotum, PeNI 75–82. Full adult colour of head and mesosoma blackish brown to black. (Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera comis
Head of Hypoponera comis worker
Profile of Hypoponera comis worker

55

return to couplet #53

  • Larger species, HL 0.58 or more, HW 0.46 or more, SL 0.38 or more, PrW 0.35 or more, PeH 0.35 or more; HS 0.520 or more, PeS 0.280 or more . . . . . 56
  • Smaller species, HL 0.53 or less, HW 0.42 or less, SL 0.36 or less, PrW 0.32 or less, PeH 0.32 or less; HS 0.470 or less, PeS 0.250 or less . . . . . 57

56

return to couplet #55

  • With petiole in profile the posterior face of the node vertical and straight, the anterior and posterior faces approximately parallel; anterodorsal and posterodorsal angles of node about equally bluntly rounded and the dorsum between them convex. Petiole slightly higher, PeH 0.42–0.52. Generally averaging slightly larger, HW 0.48–0.60, SL 0.44–0.55, HFL 0.46–0.58. (Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroun, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe) . . . . . Hypoponera occidentalis
Profile of Hypoponera occidentalis worker
  • With petiole in profile the posterior face of the node weakly convex and converging on the vertical anterior face dorsally; anterodorsal angle of node distinctly more sharply developed than posterodorsal angle and the dorsum between them flat. Petiole slightly lower, PeH 0.38–0.43. Generally averaging slightly smaller, HW 0.46–0.49, SL 0.38–0.44, HFL 0.42–0.47. (Cameroun) . . . . . Hypoponera odiosa
Head of Hypoponera odiosa worker
Profile of Hypoponera odiosa worker

57

return to couplet #55

  • With base of gaster in profile the prora present, visible as a short vertical raised crest or rim that extends from just below the helcium to the anteroventral corner of the first gastral sternite and separating the anterior and lateral surfaces of the sternite; prora darker in colour than the cuticle posterior to it. (Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera dis
Head of Hypoponera dis worker
Profile of Hypoponera dis worker
  • With base of gaster in profile the prora absent; anterior and lateral surfaces of first gastral sternite meet in a blunt angle but there is no raised crest or rim separating the two surfaces. (Tanzania) . . . . . Hypoponera aprora
Head of Hypoponera aprora worker
Profile of Hypoponera aprora worker

58

return to couplet #52

  • Petiole node in profile relatively short and tall, LPeI 38–47; PeH 0.32–0.39. (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Central African Republic) . . . . . Hypoponera lepida
Head of Hypoponera lepida worker
Profile of Hypoponera lepida worker
  • Petiole node in profile relatively long and low, LPeI 52–65; PeH 0.26–0.32 . . . . . 59

59

return to couplet #58

  • With petiole in profile the anterior and posterior faces of the node are parallel. Petiole larger, PeNL 0.18–0.20, PeH 0.30–0.32, PeNW 0.24–0.25 (PeS 0.240–0.257). Head relatively narrower and scape longer, CI 73–77, SI 82–86. (South Africa) . . . . . Hypoponera meridia (in part – also #39)
Head of Hypoponera meridia worker
Profile of Hypoponera meridia worker
  • With petiole in profile the anterior and posterior faces of the node are inclined and converge dorsally. Petiole smaller, PeNL 0.14–0.15, PeH 0.26–0.27, PeNW 0.20–0.21 (PeS 0.200–0.207). Head relatively broader and scape shorter, CI 80–82, SI 78–80. (Zimbabwe) . . . . . Hypoponera obtunsa
Head of Hypoponera obtunsa worker
Profile of Hypoponera obtunsa worker