Simopone grandis

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Simopone grandis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Simopone
Species: S. grandis
Binomial name
Simopone grandis
Santschi, 1923

Simopone grandis casent0173047 profile 1.jpg

Simopone grandis casent0173047 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Known from only two collections and a total of just three specimens. One worker was collected from a palm in a swampy forest.

Identification

A member of the emeryi species group. This large species is very conspicuous and should not be confused with any other Afrotropical form. The Banga specimen noted below (in MCZC) was discussed by Brown (1975). It is larger than the examined syntype and differs somewhat from the syntype in its sculpture. The longitudinal costulae of the pronotum are more strongly developed in the Banga specimen, more extensive, and also occur on the anterior mesonotum. In contrast, the mesopleuron in the Banga specimen is almost smooth, whereas in the syntype it is microreticulate, with superimposed fine longitudinal rugulae that also extend onto the metapleuron. These variations may be a function of overall size, but as so few specimens are known it is impossible to be definite. For the present the variation is regarded as without taxonomic significance at species-rank because otherwise the two share a common morphology. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), Kenya.

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

Nomenclature

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

  • grandis. Simopone grandis Santschi, 1923e: 259 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. See also: Brown, 1975: 79; Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 26, figs. 13-15.

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) - Anterior half of clypeus with a median longitudinal carina that extends to the clypeo-labral junction. Clypeus relatively shallowly downcurved anteriorly so that the clypeo-labral junction is not strongly reflexed but almost exactly below the anteriormost point of the apparent anterior margin. In full-face view the frontal lobes broad on each side of the clypeus, only very feebly elevated. Frontal carinae extend back almost to the level of the anterior margins of the eyes, but are feeble for most of their length and consist of an angle between antennal fossa and dorsum rather than a distinct carina. Eyes located well behind the cephalic midlength, EP > 1.50; in full-face view outer margins of eyes clearly interrupt the outlines of the sides. Leading edge of scape with 1–3 projecting setae present, SW/SL 0.42–0.47. Sides of head below and behind eyes with projecting setae present; cephalic dorsum with numerous standing long setae. Mandibles with superficial shagreenate to microreticulate sculpture and also with scattered weak punctures. Cephalic dorsum, from between frontal carinae to at least the level of the posterior margins of the eyes, very finely longitudinally costulate and with fine dense reticulate-punctate ground sculpture. Costulae tend to fade out behind level of posterior ocelli. In dorsal view pronotum with a sharply raised anterior carina and with a few short longitudinal cuticular ribs immediately behind the carina; humeri not sharply angulate; promesonotal suture with a few weak ribs or striolae that tend to be confused with the ground sculpture. Metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Propodeal declivity meets sides and dorsum in a continuous weak carina, much weaker than the pronotal carina. Entire dorsum of mesosoma with superficial fine, dense, microreticulate to reticulate-punctate ground sculpture, upon which there are a few broad, shallow punctures. Fine longitudinal costulae present at least posterolaterally on pronotal dorsum, which may be more extensive and extend onto anterior mesonotum. All dorsal surfaces of mesosoma with numerous standing setae. AII (petiole) with a transverse, weak anterior carina, but posteriorly the dorsum slopes down to the foramen, with a trace of a transverse ridge immediately above the foramen. In dorsal view the sides of AII convex, broadest at about the midlength then converging posteriorly; posterior corners produced into a small, triangular outcurved tooth on each side. Anteroventral process of AII a recurved hook or spur. AII slightly longer than broad, AIII about as broad as long, AIV much larger (maximum width 1.62–1.84, maximum length 1.24–1.40) and distinctly much broader than long. Tergites of AII, AIII and AIV with the same microreticulate to finely reticulate-punctate ground sculpture as the mesosoma; AII and AIII also with scattered but conspicuous broad shallow punctures. Abdominal tergites from AII to apex with numerous standing long setae; sternites from AIII to apex also with standing setae. Femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs with projecting setae present. Pygidial fork short and stout, the pygidial margins on each side with a row of 5–7 spiniform denticles. Full adult colour of head and body black.

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - Syntype workers, Democratic Republic of Congo: Kunungu, 2.iv.1921 (H. Schouteden) (Musee Royal de I' Afrique Centrale, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel) [NHMB syntype examined].

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.
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search Agric. (Ithaca N. Y.) 5(1 1: 1-115 (page 79, see also)
  • Santschi, F. 1923e. Descriptions de nouveaux Formicides éthiopiens et notes diverses. I. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 11: 259-295 (page 259, worker described)