Simopone persculpta

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Simopone persculpta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Simopone
Species: S. persculpta
Binomial name
Simopone persculpta
Bolton & Fisher, 2012

Simopone-persculpta-MCZ001L.jpg

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Specimen Label

A worker was collected in secondary forest on vegetation.

Identification

A member of the emeryi species group. This very striking species appears to be closely related to Simopone grandis because of the shapes of the clypeus and petiole, and the position of the eyes. They are easily distinguished by the characters given in the key and by their very different sculpture. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya (type locality), Mozambique, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania.


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.

  • persculpta. Simopone persculpta Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 36, figs. 28-30 (w.q.) KENYA.

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

Description

Worker

(holotype in parentheses). HL 1.66–1.80 (1.66), HW 1.18–1.36 (1.18), SL 0.57–0.70 (0.57), EL 0.48–0.52 (0.48), PW 0.89–1.00 (0.89), AIIW 0.84–0.98 (0.84), AIIL 0.96–1.04 (0.96), AIIIW 1.06–1.17 (1.06), AIIIL 1.18–1.23 (1.18), WL 2.08–2.20 (2.08), MFL 1.10–1.30 (1.10), CI 71–76 (71), SI 48–51 (48), EL/HW 0.37–0.41 (0.41), EP 1.50–1.73 (1.52), AIIW/AIIL 0.88–0.94 (0.88), AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90–0.95 (0.90) (4 measured).

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 to the level of the anterior margins of the eyes. Eyes located well behind the cephalic midlength, EP at least 1.50; in full-face view outer margins of eyes just touch, or very slightly break, the outlines of the sides at their midlengths. Leading edge of scape with inclined projecting setae present, SW/SL 0.46–0.48. Sides of head below and behind eyes with a few (2–4) projecting setae present, but these seem easily lost by abrasion; cephalic dorsum with standing setae present, mostly behind the level of the eyes. Mandibles with superficial shagreenate to microreticulate sculpture and also with scattered weak punctures. Entire cephalic dorsum finely and extremely densely reticulate-punctulate to microreticulate, without longitudinal costulae but with scattered larger, shallow punctures whose bases are also reticulate-punctulate. Reticulate-punctulate to microreticulate ground sculpture also duplicated on sides and ventral surface of head. In dorsal view pronotum with a narrow anterior carina; humeri not sharply angulate; promesonotal suture with minute weak cuticular ribs that are largely confused with the dense ground sculpture. Metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Propodeal declivity meets sides and dorsum in a poorly defined, low, continuous ridge. Entire dorsum and sides of mesosoma sculptured as the head but with a few larger punctures. Dorsal surfaces of mesosoma with sparse standing setae; pronotum anteriorly with 1–3 pairs, mesonotum anteriorly with 0–2 pairs, propodeum posteriorly with 1–2 pairs. AII (petiole) with a weak transverse anterior carina, and another posteriorly, just above the foramen. In dorsal view the sides of AII shallowly 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 and AIII both slightly longer than broad, AIV much larger (maximum width 1.30–1.50, maximum length 1.14–1.20) and distinctly broader than long. Tergites of AII, AIII and AIV microreticulate to finely reticulate-punctate; AII and AIII also with shallow punctures, usually more conspicuous on AIII. Abdominal tergites, from AII to apex, with standing long, curved setae; sternites from AIII to apex also with standing setae. Femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs with very sparse short scattered setae. Pygidial fork short and stout, the pygidial margins on each side with a row of 7 spiniform denticles. Full adult colour of head and body dark brown to black.

Queen

(a single dealate gyne from Tanzania, in SAMC). Slightly larger than any worker examined, HL 1.88, HW 1.40, SL 0.70, EL 0.53, PW 1.11, AIIW 0.97, AIIL 1.08, AIIIW 1.22, AIIIL 1.35, AIVW 1.56, AIVL 1.38, WL 2.56, MFL 1.28, CI 74, SI 50, SW/SL 0.45, EL/HW 0.38, EP 1.52, AIIW/AIIL 0.90, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90. Matching the description and general shape of the worker but the mesosoma with a full complement of flight sclerites and more numerous setae.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Kenya: Mombasa area, 1969 no. 93, CIE A4271, on Lynometra webberi (no collector’s name) (The Natural History Museum). Paratype. One worker with same data as holotype; specimen broken and mounted in two parts (BMNH).

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.