Bothroponera sulcata species complex

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The following is based on: Joma, A.M.A. & Mackay, W.P. 2017. Revision of the African ants of the Bothroponera sulcata species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae). Transactions of the American Entomological Society. 143:7-71.



Worker Description - Specimens in the Bothroponera sulcata species complex are very similar within the group. Head shape excluding mandibles subquadrate, slightly narrowed anteriorly; posterior border concave; mandibles narrowed, shorter than head length, with 6 to 9 teeth that alternate in size in most species; anterior border of clypeus broadly convex, clypeus with raised medial area, convex, smooth or with medial longitudinal groove instead of narrowed flat strip in some species, often with longitudinal striae that do not form carinae; frontal lobes divided by frontal furrow, frontal lobes subquadrate anteriorly rather than rounded; scape extends slightly past posterior lateral corner of head in most species; compound eyes relatively small to large; pronotal humerus rounded; mesonotum and propodeum completely fused; meso-metapleural suture well developed; propodeum angulate or rounded posteriorly, basalar sclerite oval or round, propodeal spiracle elongated; metapleura compressed in one species (B. crassa ), convex in other species; petiole large with spiracle and developed sternopetiolar process; metatibial gland present. Head roughly sculptured, rarely foveolate; mandibles smooth or covered with fine striae; pronotum, mesopleuron, propodeum, petiole and postpetiole roughly sculptured with scattered punctures on mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole in some species. Entire body covered with moderately short to long (0.22 - 0.36 mm) erect golden hairs or without hairs. Color usually black, red, or brown.

Female description - Head subquadrate; scape extends slightly past posterior lateral corner of head; pronotum rounded anteriorly; scutum widened anteriorly, reaching same width as pronotum, narrowed posteriorly, reaching same width as scutellum; sutures present on dorsum of scutum; scutum elevated, narrowed, well separated from propodeum and scutellum; mesopleuron divided by anapleural sulcus to form lower katepisternum and upper anepisternum; meso-metapleural suture well defined; basalar sclerite rounded, propodeal spiracle elongate; petiole thick with anterior face rounded, posterior face nearly vertical (straight); postpetiole and remainder of gaster larger than mesosoma; metatibial gland present; color pale black to brown.

Male description - Head excluding mandibles suborbiculate; eyes large, cover most of sides of head; scape shorter and thicker than second segment of funiculus; maxillary palps with 5 segments, labial palps with 4 segments, pronotum triangular, scutum with or without notauli and parapsidal sutures present, scutellum triangular in dorsal view, raised between scutum and propodeum, mesopleuron divided by anapleural sulcus into infra katepisternum and supra anepisternum, propodeum gradually sloping posteriorly to reach insertion of petiole; petiole small, width less than width of propodeum and height less than postpetiolar height, with pointed apex; postpetiole rounded; color usually light brown; metatibial gland apparently absent.

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