The Ants of Africa

Key to workers developend and enhanced from Bolton & Fisher (2011)
Contents - Ponerinae - PONERINAE Introduction

Genus Hypoponera (Santschi, 1938b: 79)

Key to workers:

. Sexuals only known .
¤ {Hypoponera breviceps}Queen and male only; queen with head black, shiny, rest of body dull red-brown, appendages dark yellow; dorsum of body with clear reticulation, but shiny with large puncturations; recumbent white pilosity on head and body; TL 3.0-3.5 mm; ocelli small (B&F synonym of punctatissima) Guinea - breviceps
¤ {short description of image}Queen only described; petiole scale with triangular profile similar to transvaalensis but much smaller TL 3.2 mm; ocelli relatively large (B&F synonym of dulcis) Sudan - muscicola
¤ {Hypoponera male Congo Sud}Male only; TL ca 3.2 mm; uniform brown, ocelli large. The colour and gaster pilosity resembles Hypoponera inaudax, which is from the Congo Basin, but the large size suggests perhaps not (H. abellei has a male that is smaller than the worker) Congo - sp. undet. Hypoponera male
. Workers .
1 {Hypoponera punctatissima}Dorsum of propodeum separated from that of the mesonotum by a groove or distinct suture - Hypoponera - similoponera-group - 2
-- {Hypoponera abyssinica}Dorsum of mesonotum and propodeum forming a smooth unbroken surface without a distinct suture - (true Hypoponera?) Hypoponera - hypoponera-group - 28
. Hypoponera - similoponera-group .
2 Petiole scale thick, in dorsal view triangular or at least less than square [similoponera-complex] 3
-- Petiole scale thin, dorsally twice as wide as long, in profile high and flat [squamoponera-complex] 15
. similoponera-complex .
3 {Hypoponera ambigua}TL 2.5 mm, yellow-brown, scape length surpassing the posterior border of the head, eyes minimal and placed at about the centre of the cheeks Sudan - ambigua
-- Scape not reaching the occiput; eyes set well forward 4
4 Propodeum profile with declivity equal in length to dorsum; generally brown, TL 2.5-3.0 mm; eye of 3-5 facets 5
-- Propodeum profile with declivity and dorsum not equal in length, other features also different 6
5 {Hypoponera cognata}TL 2.5-3.0 mm; head with sides parallel, occiput slightly concave; eyes 3-5 facets; mandibles with 6 spaced out teeth, 3 long then 3 short; in profile declivity of propodeum similar length to dorsum; head brown, shiny; body dark red, gaster darker, tarsi yellow (B&F syn of punctatissima)
Pan-African - cognata
-- {Ponera coarctata}TL in range 2.5-3.0 (2.7-3.5) mm; occiput convex; antennal scape not reaching the occiput of the head; mandibles with 3 long anterior teeth, plus 12-15 shorter teeth; eye set well forward of head mid-length, with 3-5 facets; in profile propodeum with declivity and dorsum of similar length; petiole scale thick, height less than three times the width; subpetiolar process distinctively shaped with clear fovea; hind tarsus with large pectinate spur and smaller spur; head black or rust-red, matt Pan-Mediterranean; tramp - Ponera coarctata
. Propodeum profile with declivity and dorsum not equal in length .
6 {Hypoponera mesoepinotalis}TL 3.0 mm; propodeal declivity much longer than dorsum; antennal scape not surpassing the occiput; eyes very close to the mandibles; mandibles probably with less than 8 teeth; propodeum angle more obtuse than breviceps (queen) colour brown Sudan - mesoepinotalis
-- Propodeum with declivity much shorter than dorsum; elongated species, eyes with 0-2 facets 7
7 Petiole scale remarkable in its great volume, equal to that of the propodeum, very high and thick 8
-- Petiole smaller not as large as propodeum; mandibles with 5 teeth 9
8 {Hypoponera petiolata}TL 2.6 mm; head elongated (HL 0.75, HW 0.50) and very convex, sides straight but widening gently from the clypeus to a maximum just before the occiput; mandibles slightly puncturated, with 4 large black teeth, subtended by 5 smaller yellow teeth; clypeus slightly convex, with a vague median carina, anterior margin rectilinear; eyes of a single large, rounded facet, about one-sixth back from the mandibles; alitrunk profile almost flat; propodeum short, rounded with declivity flat, a little shorter than the dorsum, without marked lateral margins; pilosity whitish-yellow, short and recumbent, densest on the tarsi; head, propodeum and gaster densely puncturated with large punctures, regularly spaced by twice their diameter; alitrunk with few punctures, but with fine transverse rugae; entirely deep yellow, shiny, with only the borders of the head brownish. Guinea - petiolata
-- {Hypoponera imatongica}TL 2.7-2.8; HL 1.2 X HW; mandibles with 8 denticles; propodeum apparently very short; shiny, densely punctate; yellowish-brown, head darker Sudan - imatongica
9 TL 3.5-3.8 mm; black, appendages and gastral apex reddish South Africa - sulcatinasis
-- Shades of yellow to brown not black 10
10 {Hypoponera spei}TL 3.7 mm; metanotal suture faint (not shown on drawing); head, alitrunk and petiole dark yellowish-red, gaster rusty-red apex paler South Africa - spei
-- TL < 3.5 mm 11
11 Overall slender; petiole in profile with an obtuse to flat dorsum; propodeum with near right-angled transition from dorsum to declivity 12
-- Stockier; petiole in profile with a rounded summit; propodeum with angled but rounded transition from dorsum to declivity 14
12 Petiole in profile with near vertical anterior and posterior faces so that summit no narrower than base 12A
-- Petiole in profile with distinctly angled faces so that summit narrower than the base 13
12A {Hypoponera punctatissima}TL 2.5-3.0 mm, head large, with convex sides; scape almost reaching occiput; mandibles with 5 large, spaced out, teeth; eye of ca 4 facets; penultimate segment of funiculus distinctly wider than long; first segment of gaster shorter than second; dull red (yellowish) Seifert characters - CS 616 CL/CW 1.172 SL/CS 0.773 PEW/CS 0.469
. {Hypoponera punctatissima} warm temperate tramp species (possibly not in sub-Saharan Africa) - punctatissima
-- Scape reaching no more than nine-tenths of way back to occiput; penultimate segment of funiculus of equal width and length; first segment of gaster longer than second segment (B&F synonym of punctatissima)
Seifert characters - CS 558 CL/CW 1.181 SL/CS 0.734 PEW/CS 0.456
. {Hypoponera schauinslandi} tropical tramp species - schauinslandi
13 {Hypoponera ragusai}TL 2.4-2.8 mm; elongated species similar to but smaller than punctatissima ; mandibles with 4 large and one small teeth; propodeum declivity shorter than dorsum; clypeus and alitrunk very shiny (dull in ssp); yellowish-brown .
. {Hypoponera ragusai} tramp species known from East Africa - ragusai
-- TL 2.1 mm; HL 1.25 X HW; mandible with 9-10 teeth; eye position simply marked but no facets; propodeum declivity flat and distinctly margined; shiny; yellow, head and gaster rust South Africa - traegaordhi
. Stockier; petiole in profile with a rounded summit; propodeum with angled but rounded transition from dorsum to declivity .
14 {Hypoponera natalensis}TL 2.7 mm; head rectangular; shorter mandibles & longer scapes almost reaching occiput; eye of single facet; testaceous red with a brown spot on front of head; appendages yellowish South Africa - natalensis
-- TL 2.4-2.8 mm; head trapezoidal, narrower anteriorly; fairly deep metanotal suture; yellow or slightly reddish; petiole node similar to that of Ponera coarctata South Africa - boerorum
. Hypoponera - similoponera-group - squamoponera-complex, petiole squamiform .
15 Colour dark brown or black 16
-- Colour brown to yellow 17
16 TL 3.0 mm; colour black; appendages dark yellow (B&F synonym of eduardi)
South Africa - dideroti
-- {Hypoponera transvaalensis}TL 5.5 mm; dark brown, head almost black .
. {Hypoponera transvaalensis} South Africa - transvaalensis
17 Scape short not reaching occiput 18
-- Scape longer even surpassing occiput 23
18 Propodeum declivity twice as long as dorsum; clypeus very short, without a carina, anterior margin feebly arcuate 19
-- Without the above combination of characters 20
19 {Hypoponera incisa}TL 4.0 mm; general features apparently similar to ursoïdea; mandibles with 7 teeth; shiny, colour reddish
(B&F synonym of punctatissima)
Nigeria - incisa
-- {Hypoponera ursoidea}TL 2.4-2.8 mm; head elongated, sides slightly convex, occiput concave; eyes of 3-4 facets, placed about one-fifth of side back from mandibles; mandibles with 3 anterior teeth, remainder denticles; antennal scape not reaching the occiput by about its own width; generally matt, dull, due to recumbent white hairs, dense over all the body. colour deep red-brown, head even darker, appendages yellow-ochre
(B&F synonym of punctatissima)
Guinea - ursoïdea
20 Colour clear brown, anterior margin of clypeus feebly rounded; mandibles with 9-10 irregular denticles 21
-- Colour yellowish or clear rust; mandibles different 22
21 {Hypoponera lea}TL 2.46 mm; head slightly elongated (HL 0.62, HW 0.5) with parallel sides; eyes small, 2-3 facets; clypeus with short carina, not ridged in the middle; dorsum of propodeum a little longer than the declivity, and with clear angle at junction; shiny with relatively dense pilosity; dark yellow-brown
. {Hypoponera lea} West Africa & Gabon - lea
-- {short description of image}TL 2.9 mm; eye of 5-6 facets; clypeus with feebly rounded anterior margin, and a longer carina than lea, elongated by a ridge; propodeum angle more rounded than lea; colour clear brown
(B&F synonym of punctatissima)
East Africa - petri
22 TL 2.5; antennal scape not reaching the posterior border of the head; declivity of propodeum straight; reddish-yellow (B&F synonym of ragusae) eastern Africa - aethiopica
-- {Hypoponera sinuosa}TL 2.2 mm; in profile propodeal declivity very sinuous; head relatively short only slightly longer than wide, sides sub-parallel, widest in anterior third; eyes distinctive, 3-4 facets, black, very elongated, set some 1.5 times their length back from the mandibles; occiput concave; antennal scapes not reaching the occiput; shiny, with little puncturation; fine whitish hairs; testaceous yellow, gaster darker except anteriorly Guinea - sinuosa
. Scapes reaching or surpassing occiput .
23 Propodeal declivity twice as long as the dorsum, with transition smoothly rounded; although declivitous face distnctly bordered 24
-- Propodeal declivity only slightly longer than the dorsum 25
24 {Hypoponera dulcis}TL 2.7-3.0 mm; scapes surpassing the occiput; clypeus rectilinear, or feebly concave apically; mandibles with 3-4 clear teeth, and 9-10 reduced denticles; colour yellow-brown to yellow-red .
. {Hypoponera dulcis} eastern Africa, Gabon & ?Guinea - dulcis
-- {Hypoponera lotti}TL 2.6 mm; antennal scape surpassing the occiput; eye of one facet, close to the mandibles, which have only feeble teeth; clypeus margin with an obtuse central tooth; propodeum profile similar to that of dulcis; colour brown .
. {Hypoponera lotti} Sudan & Congo - lotti
25 Petiole scale with narrow rearwardly curved profile 26
-- Petiole scale with wholly vertical profile 27
26 {Hypoponera lea}TL 2.5-2.7 mm; head elongated (HL 0.75, HW 0.48), sides somewhat convex, widest towards the occiput, which is concave; eye with 3-4 facets, sited about one-fifth of length from anterior; scape slightly surpassing the occiput; clypeus strongly convex, with a limited carina, anterior margin straight or feebly concave; mandibles with 5 clear teeth, the last two small, preceded by 7-9 more or less distinct denticles; yellow pubescence all over, moderately dense except on the gaster; head and petiole dark brown, alitrunk and gaster redder appendages brownish-yellow (B&F synonym of dulcis) Guinea - lamottei
-- {Hypoponera mandibularis}TL 2.5-2.7; head moderately elongated (HL 0.76, HW 0.55) with subparallel sides, occiput near straight; scape clearly passing the occiput; eye black and very distinct, even though of a single large facet; placed about one-sixth of way back from mandibles; clypeus short, nearly flat, little puncturated, anterior margin straight; mandibles distinct, being slender and puncturated, with 12-13 teeth of which 4 are large and inequal; less puncturation than sinuosa and petiolata; on head and gaster dense but very fine puncturation; generally shiny, with little pilosity. colour entirely testaceous
(B&F synonym of dulcis)
Guinea - mandibularis
27 {Hypoponera rothkirchi}Petiole scale in profile tapering and narrow even at base; no description given .
. {Hypoponera rothkirchi} Cameroun, Gabon & Fernando Po - rothkirchi
-- {Hypoponera angustata}TL 1.7 mm; head 1.25 longer than wide, sides straight; anterior margin of clypeus slightly arcuate; petiole scale in profile quite thick narrowing only at apex; yellow, appendages paler Guinea - angustata
-- Hypoponera - hypoponera-group --
28 {Hypoponera villiersi}Petiole squamiform; eyes rounded, 6 facets; placed about one quarter back from mandibles;
TL 2.2 mm; head shortish (HL 0.75, HW 0.58), sides feebly convex, largest in anterior third; occiput concave, slightly surpassed by the antennal scapes; mandibles a little more elongated than other relatives; distally with 3 large teeth, then 3 shorter teeth, subtended by 13 denticles; clypeus very distinct, very short, with a prominent central triangular plate, extended centrally with a median tooth; alitrunk profile very flat; declivity of propodeum twice as long as dorsum, flat with an arched face, limited by fine margins, not dilated as wings; abundant white pilosity on the gaster, less dense elsewhere; dorsum very finely but distinctly puncturate; matt testaceous-yellow; paler on the head; pronotum, petiole, femora and antennae darker dirty yellow (B&F synonym of dulcis)
Guinea - villiersi
-- Eyes reduced to no more than 2 facets; petiole scale a thick scale or node 29
29 TL 1.8-2.2 mm; eyeless; propodeal declivity with no more than slight bordering or rounded; generally yellow; petiole scale in profile narrowing dorsally; (once all regarded as races of coeca) 30
-- TL 2.6-3.3 mm; eyes with 1-2 facets or position visible; petiole scale thick; colour dark yellow to brown 32
. TL 1.8-2.2 mm, generally yellow and eyeless .
30 {short description of image}TL 1.8-2.0 mm; dorsal profile of thorax rectilinear, with no lateral waisting between mesonotum and propodeum; dark yellow-brown (B&F synonym of coeca) Cameroun - myrmicariae
-- From above sides of alitrunk with distinct narrowing of posterior mesonotum to propodeum 31
31 {Hypoponera coeca}TL ca. 2.2 mm; occiput narrower than maximum width, scapes not reaching the occiput, mandibles with 6 teeth; anterior 5 larger, clypeus without an apical point; petiole scale triangular; pale yellow, testaceous .
Hypoponera coecaSpecimen from Gabon (as with inaudax? below)
West Africa & Congo Basin - coeca
-- {short description of image}TL in range 1.8-2.2 mm; mandible with only 5 visible teeth - otherwise as for coeca of which it may be a variety; colour dark reddish-yellow Congo Basin - inaudax
. TL at least 2.6 mm .
32 TL 2.0-2.8 mm; generally slender with low body profile; petiole scale thick with a domed dorsum profile; propodeum with a vertical, slightly concave declivity that is shorter than the dorsum 33
-- TL 2.6-3.3 mm; eyes nil or around 2 facets; petiole scale thick and vertical 34
33 {Hypoponera abeillei}TL 2.3-2.5 mm; HL 1.5 X HW; mandibles with 4 large teeth and 7-12 denticles; yellow-red, appendages yellower .
. {Hypoponera abeillei} North African - abeillei
-- {Hypoponera orba}TL 2.0-2.8 mm; eye distinct - similar to abeillei but head slightly shorter and funiculus with distinct club (may be synonymous with abeillei) Ethiopia - orba
-- {Hypoponera cammerunensis}TL 2.0-2.5 mm; head wider (HL 0.47, HW 0.39); petiole scale with dome apex in profile; shiny with relatively dense pilosity; yellow-brown, appendages paler .
. {Hypoponera cammerunensis} West Africa - cammerunensis
- TL 2.6-3.3 mm; eyes nil or around 2 facets; petiole scale thick and vertical -
34 {Hypoponera jeanneli}Eyes minute set about 1/6 from anterior margin of head; propodeum with short rounded angle, declivity not bordered; petiole 1/4 wider behind than long, truncate dorsally in profile, narrowing so dorsum 1/4 shorter than base
TL 2.7 mm; head rectangular 1/5 longer than wide, sides slightly arcuate, occiput straight; scape reaching occiput; head submatt, very densely and finely puncturate, alitrunk more shiny, gaster more like head; pubescence more obvious; clear chestnut-brown, appendages brown-yellow
. {Hypoponera jeanneli} Kenya & Tanzania - jeanneli
-- Propodeal declivity distinctly bordered; petiole scale a thick scale or node 35
35 Clypeus with feeble median carina; brown or red, with dense whitish pilosity 36
-- Clypeus with strong median carina; propodeum laterally bordered; body shiny brown or yellow matt but without dense pilosity 37
- Clypeus with feeble median carina; brown or red, with dense whitish pilosity -
36 {Hypoponera occidentalis}TL 3.0-3.3 mm; head only slightly elongated (HL 0.8 HW 0.7) sides slightly convex, widest at the midpoint; clypeus short, feebly angular anteriorly; mandibles very puncturated and less curved than other species, 7-8 denticles subtend a short tooth, followed by 4 sharp teeth; the concave occiput is not reached by the antennal scapes, although those attain the mid-point of the occiput concavity; no sign of eyes, although that may be due to the density of the puncturation; puncturation denser than the other brown species, composed of medium sized punctures, separated by spaces of a similar size to the punctures, specially regularly arranged on the head; dull reddish-brown, head lighter and more shiny, but this is hidden by the dense recumbent white pilosity, giving a matt appearance to the rest of the body Guinea - occidentalis
-- {Hypoponera ursa}TL 2.6-2.8 mm; mandibles shiny, eyes with 1-2 facets; clypeus feebly carinated, carina rounded, most visible anteriorly; declivity of propodeum bordered with a distinctly concave declivity; overall shiny but head and gaster less shiny due to dense whitish recumbent pilosity, densest on the gaster; dark brown, appendages and apex of gaster dull yellow Eastern Africa - ursa
-- {Hypoponera madecassa}TL 3.5 mm; eye of 1 or no facets; mandibles with distinct teeth; petiole scale narrows from base to apex in profile Madagascar (for comparison) - madecassa
. Clypeus with strong median carina; body shiny brown or yellow mat but without dense pilosity; propodeum laterally bordered .
37 {Hypoponera abyssinica}TL in range 2.6-3.3 mm; differs from jeanneli in structure of clypeus and thorax; head more shiny and eyeless; clypeus with distinct medial carina, mandibles with 3-5 teeth; body without flattened pilosity; brown
. {Hypoponera abyssinica} East Africa & Guinea - abyssinica
-- {Hypoponera intermedia}TL 2.8 mm; head elongated, sides relatively straight and parallel, eyeless, occiput near rectilinear; clypeus longer than coeca, with strong carina, rounded anteriorly; mandibles similar to coeca, with 4-5 large teeth, following 8-9 denticles, a little puncturated; head densely covered with fine puncturations, pilosity feeble; shiny, uniform yellow, funiculus darker
(B&F synonym of occidentalis)
Guinea & Cameroun  - intermedia
-- {Hypoponera hlavaci}TL ca 3.5 mm; petiole scale with anterior and posterior faces in profile completely parallel; petiole apex higher than the level of the propodeum dorsum; propodeum declivity shallowly concave South Africa - new species - hlavaci
Contents PONERINAE Introduction
© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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