Simopone vepres

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

Simopone vepres casent0902704 p 1 high.jpg

Simopone vepres casent0902704 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Known from two workers, these types are labeled as being collected from "nest in rotten cherelles; prey = brood of Crematogaster".

Identification

A member of the schoutedeni species group. Known only from two specimens, this relatively large-eyed species is close to Simopone wilburi but separated from it by the characters given in the key. Also see the identification section of Simopone schoutedeni. (Bolton and Fisher 2012)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Ghana (type locality).


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.

  • vepres. Simopone vepres Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 39 (w.) GHANA.

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

Description

Worker

Holotype. (paratype in parentheses). HL 0.96 (0.96), HW 0.69 (0.69), SL 0.34 (0.34), EL 0.34 (0.34), PW 0.54 (0.52), AIIW 0.53 (0.49), AIIL 0.50 (0.48), AIIIW 0.65 (0.61), AIIIL 0.60 (0.56), WL 1.18 (1.16), MFL 0.59 (0.60), CI 72 (72), SI 49 (49), EL/HW 0.49 (0.49), EP 0.97 (0.95), AIIW/AIIL 1.06 (1.02), AIIIW/AIIIL 1.08 (1.09) (2 measured).

With head in full-face view the outlines of the outer margins of the eyes conspicuously project beyond the outlines of the sides of the head through at least the median third of their lengths. ES 0.31 and width of head across broadest part of eyes 0.70–0.72; minimum distance between eyes 0.32–0.33. Frontal carinae extend back to level of anterior margins of eyes and are weakly divergent posteriorly. Cephalic dorsum with scattered broad, shallow punctures. Between the eyes, ground sculpture is virtually absent in the holotype; the surface is more or less smooth between the punctures. Cephalic ground sculpture is more obvious between the eyes of the paratype but very weak and superficial, not organised into obvious longitudinal costulae between the punctures. 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 and with a few pairs of longer setae present; longest setae occur on the frontal carinae and above the eye. Ventral surface of head with short setae. Mesosoma in dorsal view narrowest across the mesonotum (maximum width 0.49–0.51), broadest across the propodeum (maximum width 0.56–0.58). Anterior margin of pronotum weakly, finely carinate. Propodeum with a fine weak carina between dorsum and declivity. Entire dorsum of mesosoma with widely spaced broad, shallow punctures, somewhat less dense on pronotum than elsewhere. Mesopleuron almost smooth, with a few punctures and a distinct transverse sulcus. Propodeal declivity smooth except for a narrow band of superficial sculpture immediately below the dorsal carina. In profile, dorsal surfaces of mesosoma and all abdominal tergites with numerous posteriorly curved setae. Standing setae are sparsely present on middle and hind tibiae. AII (petiole) in dorsal view with a weak transverse carina both anteriorly and posteriorly, the sides convex and divergent posteriorly, broadest just behind the midlength; the width across the anterior margin is less than across the posterior margin. Dorsum of AII with large, shallow punctures whose diameters are usually equal to or greater than the distances that separate them. On tergite of AIII the punctures are of similar size and distribution. AII and AIII both broader than long, AIV distinctly broader than long (width 0.68–0.71, length 0.58–0.60; AIVW/AIVL 1.17–1.18). Head capsule and body glossy brown; scapes and funiculi dull yellow; femora light brown, much lighter than mesosoma; tibiae and tarsi yellow.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Holotype worker (upper specimen of two on pin), Ghana: Tafo, K2, 26.v.1976, nest in rotten cherelles; prey = brood of Crematogaster (C. Campbell) (The Natural History Museum). Paratype. One worker mounted below holotype, AIII to apex detached and glued separately on same card triangle (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.