Key to Afrotropical Simopone Queens

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A key to Simopone queens of the Afrotropical region. Based on: Bolton, B. & Fisher, B.L. 2012. Taxonomy of the cerapachyine ant genera Simopone Forel, Vicinopone gen. n. and Tanipone gen. n. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 3283, 1–101. PDF

Two species from this region, matthiasi and miniflava, are known only from queens. Queens for the majority of species are unknown (amana, brunnea, dryas, fulvinodis, grandis, laevissima, occulta, rabula, schoutedeni, vepres.)

1

  • Dorsal surfaces of AIII and AIV with standing setae very sparse, at most with a transverse row at the extreme apex of each; without suberect to subdecumbent curved setae on the anterior halves of each sclerite . . . . . 2
  • Dorsal surfaces of AIII and AIV with numerous to abundant suberect to subdecumbent curved standing setae, many of which arise on the anterior halves of the sclerites . . . . . 4

2

return to couplet #1

  • Head and body entirely yellow except for pygidium and presclerites of AIV, which are dark brown. (South Africa) . . . . . Simopone marleyi
  • Head and body not entirely yellow, pygidium and presclerites of AIV not strikingly darker than remainder . . . . . 3

3

return to couplet #2

  • At least the median third of the dorsum of AII and AIII strongly longitudinally costulate. Head relatively long and narrow, CI 62–66. Pygidium with a strong apical fork that is separated by a long diastema from a flared portion of the margin that bears 8–9 marginal teeth, the first four of which are considerably more peglike than the remainder. Full adult colour uniform black. (Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya) . . . . . Simopone conradti
  • Entire dorsal surface of AII and AIII punctate, without race of longitudinal costulae. Head relatively short and broad, CI 81. Pygidium with a short apical fork, each prong of which consists of two teeth that are fused basally; lateral pygidial margin anterior of the fork with only two teeth. Full adult colour uniform light brown. (Cameroun) . . . . . Simopone matthiasi

4

return to couplet #1

  • Distinctly larger species, HW > 1.30 (HW 1.35–1.37 in known specimens) . . . . . 5
  • Distinctly smaller species, HW < 0.80 (HW 0.57–0.74 in known specimens) . . . . . 6

5

return to couplet #4

  • Clypeo-labral junction strongly reflexed, considerably behind the apparent anterior clypeal margin. Scape in dorsal view extremely flattened and very broad, SW/SL 0.77. Tergites of AIII and AIV smooth and shining, with scattered punctures. (Sierra Leone, Ghana, Gabon) . . . . . Simopone latiscapa
  • Clypeo-labral junction not reflexed, almost immediately below the apparent anterior clypeal margin. Scape in dorsal view much less flattened, not strikingly broad, SW/SL 0.52. Tergites of AIII and AIV very densely and strikingly microreticulate, AIII tergite also with numerous larger punctures. (Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa) . . . . . Simopone persculpta

6

return to couplet #4

  • Full adult colour of head, mesosoma, AII and AIII yellow. Dorsum of head between eyes almost entirely smooth, with a few very shallow broad punctures but without distinct ground sculpture between them. Dorsum of AII almost entirely smooth. (Gabon) . . . . . Simopone miniflava
  • Full adult colour of head, mesosoma, AII and AIII dark brown to black. Dorsum of head between eyes with conpicuous broad shallow punctures, between which there is distinct costulate or microreticulate ground sculpture. Dorsum of AII with distinct broad, foveolate punctures . . . . . 7

7

return to couplet #6

  • With the head in full-face view the outer margins of the eyes strongly convex and distinctly projecting far beyond the outlines of the sides of the head; sides of head completely concealed in distinctly more than the median third of the eye length. (Cameroun, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Simopone wilburi
  • With the head in full-face view the outer margins of the eyes shallowly convex and failing to reach, or at eye midlength just barely touching, the outlines of the sides of the head; sides of head visible for most or all of the eye length. (Ghana, Cameroun, Gabon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo) . . . . . Simopone annettae