Simopone conradti

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Simopone conradti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Simopone
Species: S. conradti
Binomial name
Simopone conradti
Emery, 1899

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Specimen labels

Specimens have been collected in rainforest habitat; little else is known about the biology of Simopone conradti.

Identification

A member of the emeryi species group. The presence of a median clypeal prominence, coupled with the very distinctive sculpture on the tergites of AII–AIV, laterally marginate anterior portion of AIII and almost complete lack of dorsal setae, make conradti immediately recognisable.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun (type locality), Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda.

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Little is known about the biology of most species of Simopone. Specimens are rarely collected, and the number of species known only from workers is telling in regards to a lack of nest samples. Species are almost entirely arboreal but on occasion foraging workers are found on the ground or in rotten logs. Prey records are extremely sparse. They consist only of Crematogaster brood by Simopone vepres, and the brood of Terataner by Simopone sicaria. Nevertheless, these two records support the general supposition by Brown (1975) that most or all members of tribe Cerapachyini prey on other ants, or more probably the brood of other ants, but actual records are extremely rare. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Castes

Worker

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • conradti. Simopone conradti Emery, 1899e: 475 (w.) CAMEROUN. Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 22, figs. 7-9 (w.q.).

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

Description

Worker

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - HL 1.28–1.80, HW 0.78–1.10, SL 0.34–0.48, EL 0.34–0.50, PW 0.59–0.84, AIIW 0.57–0.84, AIIL 0.63–0.89, AIIIW 0.66–1.03, AIIIL 0.78–1.08, WL 1.46–2.00, MFL 0.64–1.00, CI 59–62, SI 42–46, EL/HW 0.44–0.46, EP 0.85–0.95, AIIW/AIIL 0.90–0.98, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.85–0.97 (9 measured).

Clypeus strongly reflexed so that the clypeo-labral junction is conspicuously below and far behind the anteriormost point of the apparent anterior margin; the latter with a projecting rounded to bluntly triangular median tooth or prominence, the margin not transverse, not evenly convex. Frontal carinae extend back to the level of the anterior margins of the eyes. Eyes located just in front of the cephalic midlength, EP < 1.00; in full-face view outer margins of eyes do not interrupt the outlines of the sides. Scape flattened apically but not extremely broad, SW/SL 0.50–0.57. Leading edge of scape with 1–3 very short inconspicuous setae present. Sides of head below and behind eyes without projecting setae; cephalic dorsum with a single pair of standing setae, at about level of midlength of eye. Cephalic dorsum with dense superficial microreticulate ground sculpture, upon which are scattered punctures; between the eyes also with very fine, dense, longitudinal striolae or costulae that tend to diminish or fade out posteriorly. In dorsal view pronotum with a conspicuous anterior carina; humeri not sharply angulate; promesonotal suture with small cuticular ribs. Metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Propodeum with a very weak ridge between dorsum and declivity, which continues down the sides of the declivity. Entire dorsum of mesosoma with sculpture similar to that on the head, but the longitudinal fine costulate component best developed on the pronotum and tending to fade out posteriorly; on the propodeum it may even be absent. Sides of mesosoma microreticulate. Dorsum of mesosoma with a single pair of setae, located at the pronotal humeri. AII (petiole) with a mere angle or extremely weak transverse ridge between anterior and dorsal surfaces. Posteriorly AII without trace of a carina; instead the dorsum of the tergite forms an uninterrupted curve down to the posterior foramen. At least the median third of AII dorsally with distinct longitudinal costulate sculpture. In dorsal view the sides of AII terminate in acute posterior angles, which in some (but not all) specimens are slightly produced posterolaterally at their apices. Anteroventral process of AII a short cuticular flange with an acute, dentiform apex. Dorsum of AIII marginate laterally for at least the anterior quarter of the length, mid-dorsally with distinct longitudinal costulae at least on the median third, this sculpture contrasting strongly with the dorsum of AIV, which is extremely densely microreticulate to reticulate punctate and with numerous small pits. Tergites of AII and AIII in dorsal view longer than broad, AIV distinctly broader than long; maximum width of AIV 0.84–1.26, maximum length 0.70–1.00. Abdominal tergites AII to AV without setae of any form, but pubescence is distinct on AIII–AV. Setae absent from shafts of femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs but one or two minute setae may occur at their extreme apices. Pygidial fork stout, the pygidial margins on each side with a row of 6–10 spiniform denticles. Full adult colour of head and body black; on the head the scapes dull yellow and contrasting strongly with the head capsule.

Queen

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - (dealate gyne; not previously described). HL 1.52–1.76, HW 0.94–1.16, SL 0.38–0.52, EL 0.38–0.48, PW 0.74–0.91, AIIW 0.69–0.89, AIIL 0.74–0.91, AIIIW 0.82–1.02, AIIIL 0.96–1.17, AIVW 1.01–1.27, AIVL 0.84–1.04, WL 2.14, MFL 0.82–1.04, CI 62–66, SI 40–45, SW/SL 0.52–0.57, EL/HW 0.40–0.42, EP 0.90–0.93, AIIW/AIIL 0.93–0.98, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.85–0.87 (2 measured).

Matching the description and general shape of the worker but the mesosoma with a full complement of flight sclerites.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - Holotype worker, Cameroun: Lolodorf, iii.95 (L. Conradt) (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [examined] In the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa collection are two specimens of conradti collected by Conradt in Cameroun; both are labelled “typus”. But at the end of the original description Emery (1899a) states that his examined material is “un exemplaire”, so obviously one of these is the holotype and the other has no type status. Both specimens match the original description except for size, which Emery gives as “5½ mill.” By direct measurement the total length of one specimen is 6.6, the other 8.2; the smaller specimen is recognised here as the holotype.

References

  • 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.
  • Emery, C. 1899d. Fourmis d'Afrique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 43: 459-504 (page 475, worker described)