Simopone schoutedeni

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

Simopone schoutedeni casent0173048 profile 1.jpg

Simopone schoutedeni casent0173048 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Brown (1975) - Simopone species appear to be dwellers in hollow twigs. Raignier and van Boven wrote me that they found S. schoutedeni in such microhabitats in Zaire.

Identification

A member of the schoutedeni species group. Still known only from the holotype, schoutedeni is most likely to be confused with Simopone rabula, but this species differs in a number of critical characters, as detailed under rabula. Elsewhere in the group, schoutedeni may be confused with Simopone wilburi and Simopone vepres, because the size and prominence of its eyes (ES 0.28) are intermediate between these two larger-eyed species (ES 0.31–0.35) and the remainder of the group, in which the eyes are smaller (ES 0.20–0.26), and generally just fail to break the outline of the side of the head in full-face view. However, in schoutedeni the sides of AII (petiole), in dorsal view, are remarkably straight and parallel so that the width of the segment across its anterior carina is the same as across its posterior carina. In both vepres and wilburi the sides of AII in dorsal view are convex and diverge posteriorly, so that the width of the segment across its anterior carina is distinctly less than across its posterior carina. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: 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 Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • schoutedeni. Simopone schoutedeni Santschi, 1923e: 260, fig. 1 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. See also: Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 38.

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 0.98, HW 0.67, SL 0.32, EL 0.32, PW 0.51, AIIW 0.49, AIIL 0.52, AIIIW 0.60, AIIIL 0.64, WL 1.14, MFL 0.52, CI 68, SI 48, EL/HW 0.48, EP 1.00, AIIW/AIIL 0.94, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.94.

With head in full-face view the midpoints of the outer margins of the eyes just interrupt the outlines of the sides of the head. ES 0.28 and width of head across broadest part of eyes 0.68; minimum distance between eyes 0.32. Frontal lobes almost flat, only minutely raised away from level of clypeus. Frontal carinae extend back to level of anterior margins of eyes and are weakly divergent posteriorly. 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 0.48), broadest across the propodeum (maximum width 0.54). Anterior margin of pronotum marginate rather than sharply carinate; the junction of anterior and dorsal surfaces marked by an angle and change of sculpture rather than a sharp carina. 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 appears smooth but is difficult to see because the anterior surface of AII is very close to it. 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 visible on right profemur and left mesotibia of holotype (obscured elsewhere on legs by glue and poor mounting). AII (petiole) in dorsal view longer than broad, with a weak transverse carina both anteriorly and posteriorly, the sides straight and parallel so that the width across the anterior margin the same as across the posterior margin. Dorsum of AII with large, shallow punctures whose diameters are 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 greater than the distances between them. AIII longer than broad, AIV broader than long (width 0.68, length 0.62). Head capsule and body black; scapes and funiculi dull yellow; coxae and femora brown; tibiae and tarsi yellow.

Type Material

Bolton and Fisher (2012) - Holotype worker, Democratic Republic of Congo: Kamaiembi près Luebo, 17.ix.1921 (H. Schouteden) (Musee Royal de I' Afrique Centrale) [examined].

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec M. L. 2016. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 608: 1–280.