Tetraponera grandidieri species group

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This is a small homogeneous group, endemic to Madagascar. The relatively large size, slender appendages, presence of three ocelli, and orange-brown body coloration set this group apart from other Tetraponera species on the island


Worker diagnosis

Medium to large species (HW 0.95-1.59, HL 1.05-2.01, LHT 1.05-1.83); masticatory margin of mandible with four teeth; basal margin with 0-1 teeth and subequal in length to masticatory margin; labrum with a pair of tubercles closely flanking the midline near the proximal margin but lacking a median tubercle; palp formula 6,4; anteromedial margin of clypeus crenulate or emarginate; distance between frontal carinae exceeding basal scape width (FCI 0.11-0.18), scape length three-quarters or more of head width (SI 0.72-0.83); eye length about one-third of head length (REL 0.28-0.36); head capsule with three distinct ocelli; pronotum laterally marginate, but not strongly so; mesopropodeal impression well developed; petiole relatively long (PLI 0.49-0.59, PWI 0.40-0.65); posteroventral margin of petiole lying adjacent to helcium venter; metabasitarsal sulcus present; legs long and slender (FI 0.28-0.36, LHT /HL 0.85-1.12); appressed pubescence sparse on abdominal tergite 4; standing pilosity uncommon (CSC 2-3, MSC 1-6), absent from mesonotum, propodeum, and extensor surfaces of the tibiae. Orange to reddish-brown, head concolorous or darker; gaster and portions of femora may also be infuscated.

Distinctive features of the worker caste of the T. grandidieri group include the relatively large body size, long legs and antennal scapes, presence of three ocelli, deeply impressed mesopropodeal impression, and conspicuous orange to reddish-brown body coloration. Other Malagasy Tetraponera species have shorter scapes and legs (SI 0.40-0.70, LHT /HL 0.58-0.82), 0-2 ocelli on the head, a shallower mesopropodeal impression, and usually darker body color. Additional differences between the T. grandidieri group and the other four species groups of Afrotropical Tetraponera are given in Ward (2006).



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