Simopone rabula

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

The lone specimen of this species was obtained from a canopy fogging sample.

Identification

A member of the schoutedeni species group. Closely related to Simopone schoutedeni and separated from it by the characters given in the key. In general, rabula is a larger species than schoutedeni but has smaller eyes and a distinctly broader AII (broader than long) in which the sides are weakly convex, rather than straight. In addition, in perfect full-face view the midpoints of the outer margins of the eyes just interrupt the outlines of the sides of the head in schoutedeni, whereas in rabula they fail to do so. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: 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.

  • rabula. Simopone rabula Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 38 (w.) TANZANIA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. HL 1.10, HW 0.80, SL 0.34, EL 0.31, PW 0.61, AIIW 0.62, AIIL 0.58, AIIIW 0.71, AIIIL 0.73, WL 1.40, MFL 0.60, CI 73, SI 43, EL/HW 0.39, EP 0.86, AIIW/AIIL 1.07, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.97.

With head in full-face view the midpoints of the outer margins of the eyes just fail to break the outlines of the sides of the head. ES 0.28 and width of head across broadest part of eyes 0.79; minimum distance between eyes 0.41. Frontal lobes shallowly elevated away from level of clypeus. Cephalic dorsum with scattered broad, shallow punctures. Weak longitudinal ground sculpture also present between the eyes, but this fades out and vanishes behind the level of the posterior margins of the eyes. Leading edge of scape with a few setae, inclined toward the scape apex. Sides of head below and behind eyes with projecting short setae, inclined anteriorly. Cephalic dorsum with numerous short, curved setae that are mostly subdecumbent to decumbent, curved anteriorly near the posterior margin. Ventral surface of head with numerous short setae. Mesosoma in dorsal view narrowest across the mesonotum (maximum width 0.61), broadest across the propodeum (maximum width 0.67). Anterior margin of pronotum marginate to weakly carinate. Propodeum with a fine weak carina between dorsum and declivity. Entire dorsum of mesosoma with broad, shallow punctures, denser on the mesonotum and propodeum than on the pronotum. Mesopleuron almost smooth, with just 1–2 punctures and a distinct transverse sulcus. Propodeal declivity with a band of weak sculpture immediately below the carina. In profile, dorsal surfaces of mesosoma and all abdominal tergites with numerous short, posteriorly curved setae that are subdecumbent to decumbent and densest on AIII and AIV. Standing setae are sparsely present on dorsal surfaces of middle and hind tibiae. AII (petiole) in dorsal view broader than long, its anterior and dorsal surfaces meeting in an angle but without a distinct carina; with a weak transverse ridge and impression posteriorly. Sides of AII shallowly convex in dorsal view, broadest near the midlength, the width across the anterior margin slightly less than across the posterior margin. Dorsum of AII with large, shallow punctures whose diameters are mostly greater than the distances that separate them. On AIII the punctures are slightly smaller than on AII but are even more crowded. On AIV punctures are even smaller but are still crowded, with their diameters at least equal to the distances between them. AIII longer than broad, AIV broader than long (width 0.82, length 0.74). Head capsule and body black; scapes and funiculi dull yellow; coxae and femora brown; tibiae and tarsi yellow.

Type Material

Holotype worker, Tanzania: Mkomazi Game Reserve, 3°57.43’S, 37°46.12’E, 10.i.1996, tree canopy fogging, 3/49, Drypetes parvifolia, SAM-HYM-C024490 (G. McGavin) (South African Museum).

References