Cerapachys occipitalis (Bernard)
Type locality Guinea
(Phyracaces occipitalis, Bernard, 1952: 216, illustrated,
worker); holotype worker only from log mould, Mt. Nimba, Station B6.14,
Camp IV, 1000 m, forest, by Lamotte - resurrected here from
synonymy with foreli (by Brown, 1975: 22; and in Bolton, 1995)
- see below
Worker only described .
TL 3.9 mm; colour black,
shiny, appendages red-brown; head
shiny anteriorly but posterior third with 20 strong longitudinal rugae,
not reaching as far forward as the eyes. Dorsum of whole thorax and
declivity of propodeum with 16 similar rugae. On the petiole these
rugae intercross, giving the appearance of elongated dimples. The
gastral segments have serrated rows of large round puncturations. Also,
fine yellow hairs are less dense than most other species, giving a
relatively shining appearance. Head rounded less angular than most
other African relatives. Lower border of cheeks limited by an
entrenched carina for the whole length, as in foreli (after
Bernard remarked on the poor original description of foreli
by Santschi (1914d, type location Ghana), and noted that he had not
found the foreli holotype in Santschi's collection although it
be in the Silvestri collection. Nevertheless, apparently basing his
comparison on "foreli"
specimens from Ivory Coast, he felt clear differences
could be used to separate the two forms, viz - foreli
had an entirely smooth head, with more marked posterior angles; the
eyes were bigger, taking up one-third of the head length (here eyes
about one-quarter); declivity of propodeum concave (here flat); petiole
much less strongly sculpted; base of gastral tergites with transverse
striae (here without). Certainly, comparison with the Phyracaces langi
image from the MCZ and an Antweb worker from Gabon, justifies Bernard's
decision to define
a new species (I suspect that Brown, 1975: 56, as with others of his
revisions, paid insufficient attention to Bernard's descriptions).
Brown (1975) wrote of it as "very crudely described and figured by
The MCZ (H O Lang) specimen of Phyracaces langi and an Antweb
worker from Gabon are some 20% larger
than the occipitalis I have
have proportionally smaller eyes.
Bernard's (1952) description is at
specimens (as Phyracaces langi, Taylor, 1976: 35). WORKER. TL
3.73 mm, HL 0.78, HW 0.68, SL 0.39, PW 0.50
Colour black, shiny. Extremities red-brown, orange tarsi. Abundant
coarse hairs all over. Smooth areas on front of head, scattered small
foveolae on remainder. Antenna 12-segmented with apical three segments
forming a club. Sculpturation of longitudinal striations on alitrunk,
less marked on lateral surfaces. Dorsum of petiole and first gastral
tergite with large foveolae, remainder of gaster with small foveolae.
Node of petiole distinctly marginate laterally, armed posterodorsally
with a pair of large teeth.
I collected it from leaf litter, at the Cocoa Research Institute of
Nigeria, Idi Ayunre, Block E5/1; and on a cocoa pod growing at ground
level. Nest in soil and dead wood on the ground.
Now (August 2013) I find this matches exactly the
Liberia and Ivory Coast workers shown below.
So, either one should accept Brown's comments on
variability within the species "Cerapachys
foreli" or one should separate the Congo Basin forms as being Cerapachys langi Wheeler (1922:
54) and the West African form as Cerapachys foreli. More needs
photomontage of the type worker is
collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0915487
Oxford University Museum
B Taylor det.
Degraded secondary forest
518 m asl
photomontage is of a worker from Liberia, Yekepa;
collector E Poirier (Yekepa PF 12).
The photomontage of a worker from Ivory Coast,
originally denoted as Phyracaces
santschii by W L Brown matches exactly the Liberia worker above,
with the smaller size and same eye proportions. The montage is
collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0173075