The Ants of Africa
Genus Anoplolepis
Anoplolepis (Zelalleyella) samori Taylor new species

Anoplolepis (Zelalleyella) samori Taylor new species

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type locality Central African Republic .

QUEEN (Gyne) DESCRIPTION: unlike the related Zealleyella species from South Africa, this has no pubescence; the form of the hind wing is also quite different, with m + cua longer than cell 1a; whereas in the three Southern Africa species it is shorter, generally only about as half as long. see Anoplolepis custodiens for comparison. Although it has obvious affinities with Anoplolepis opaciventris, of which also only the queen is known, this has a very distinct median carina on the clypeus whilts opaciventris does not.

TL ca 11.0 mm, HW 1.85, HL 1.7, SL 2.0, CI 106, SI 106

Named in recognition of Mawende Samori, the faith healer accompanying the 2005 & 2008 expeditions.

Specimens deposited in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

{Anoplolepis samori queen CAR GS}The photomontage is of the holotype queen from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha Nature Reserve, 26.ii.2005 19h-6h Camp 6 0255'05.6" N 1610'11.4" E; CAR GS; Sur plate-forme 38 m du sol dans un Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae); collector Philippe Annoyer. Other images can be seen in the folder at - {original description}.

Possibly the species recorded by Forel (1909b), as Plagiolepis custodiens, from Zare, at Banana by Busschodts. Banana, however, is coastal and over 1000 km away from Dzangha-Sangha.
Wheeler (1922) wrote of Zare findings at Banana, San Antonio (Lang and Chapin). At Banana this species was found nesting in flat craters in the pure sand of the sea-beach (PL. XIX, figs. 1 and 2). According to a note by Mr. Lang, "the ants were found very near the water, where the sand was moved by the wind or even inundated by the breakers. Only a slight excavation, marking the entrance of the nest, was visible, and it was difficult to trace out the galleries. These ants carry particles of sand considerable distances, sometimes two or three feet from the nest entrances. They work during the day-time and retreat into their nests when disturbed."
A. custodiens has been previously taken in Banana by Busschodts and in Angola by Silvestri, and is well known from other parts of the Ethiopian Region as far north as Abyssinia and as far south as the Cape. It is the host of (the parasitic species) A. nuptialis Santschi, which was discovered by Dr. Brauns at Willowmore, Cape Province.

Mawende SamoriFaith healer Mawende Samori, great helper to the expeditions.
2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.