The Ants of Africa
Genus Lepisiota key to Sub-Saharan species
Genus Introduction

Notes on sub-Saharan Africa species

Strickland (1951a) described Acantholepis as small black ants, more likely to be found on seedling cocoa than on mature trees and essentially soil nesting. He regarded them as of little economic importance as far as cocoa was concerned.

Bernard (1952) described genus members (as Acantholepis) as more common than their relatives Plagiolepis and Anoplolepis in the Guinea, Mt. Nimba surveys; adding that the nests often are very resistant to inundation, which leads to their being abundant among the ants known from close to the River Niger (according to Monod). Under one of the species, he added that the Acantholepis are individually very variable, and refrained from describing new species as it would be better to await more examples. Bernard also referred to species in the subgenus Pseudacantholepis Santschi, being very small and poorly collected forms; and, other than A. laevis [see below as a subspecies of capensis], previously unknown from French West Africa. Bolton (1995) noting that he found no record of type species for the subgenus and (apparently) no Santschi reference, regarded the subgenus name as "unavailable".


Lepisiota capensis (Mayr) - listing as in Bolton (1995: 227) with links to species as I have separated them

{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Mayr, 1862: 699, worker; Mayr, 1862: 770, male; also Mayr, 1866: 57, male; Emery, 1877b: 366, queen)
subspecies
acholli (Acantholepis capensis Mayr, acholli subsp. nov., Weber, 1943c: 382, illustrated, worker & queen) from South Sudan
anceps (Acantholepis capensis Mayr v. anceps n. var., Forel, 1916: 438, worker) from Zare
guineensis (Acantholepis capensis Mayr var. guineensis nov. var., Mayr, 1902: 296, worker) from Ghana, Accra, by R. Buchholz
issore (Acantholepis capensis Mayr, issore subsp. nov., Weber, 1943c: 383, illustrated, worker & queen) from South Sudan; variety thoth (Weber, 1943c: 383, illustrated, worker & queen) from South Sudan
junodi (Acantholepis capensis Mayr r. Junodi n. stirps, Forel, 1916: 438, worker) from South Africa
laevis (Acantholepis laevis n. sp., Santschi, 1913c: 312, illustrated, worker) from Senegal, St. Louis by Claveau,
lunaris (Acantholepis lunaris n. sp., Emery, 1893f: 250, illustrated, worker) from Sri Lanka - South Asian key
minuta (Acantholepis simplex For. v. minuta n. var., Forel, 1916: 438, worker) from South Africa
simplex (Acantholepis simplex Forel, 1892a: 43, in key, worker; Forel, 1892e: 350, queen & male) from Somalia
simplicoides (Acantholepis capensis Mayr var. simplicoides n. var., Forel, 1907g: 86, footnote, worker) from South Africa - variety of simplex
specularis (Acantholepis laevior Santschi stirps specularis n. st., Santschi, 1935a: 278, worker) from Zare - variety of laevis.
subopaciceps (Acantholepis capensis Mayr v. subopaciceps n. v., Santschi, 1937d: 235, worker) from Angola
validiuscula (Acantholepis capensis Mayr var. validiuscula n. var., Emery, 1897e: 602, worker) from Somalia
(see Bolton, 1995).


Key to Lepisiota species-groups

Petiole with spines or sharp denticles
Petiole much longer than height of the node
angolensis, arenaria, longinoda
longinoda-group - all from southern Africa
Petiole with spines longer than their basal interval
ambigua, dendrophila, gerardi, incisa, rugithorax, schoutedeni, spinosior, species undet. (1)
incisa-group - pan-African
Petiole scalloped or with short spines
Body colour black; with sparse, coarse, dark erect hairs
capensis, depressa, egregia
capensis-group
Body colour black or brown; with slender dark, long, erect hairs
mlanjiensis, nigrisetosa
gerardi-group
Body colour variable brown; with sparse, coarse, pale erect hairs
carbonaria, erythraea, guineensis, nigriventris, palpalis, validiuscula
nigriventris-group - West Africa & Congo Basin
Body colour black; with slender pale short, erect hairs
alexis, anceps, depilis
depilis-group - Eastern Africa
Body colour black; with abundant pale erect hairs
crinita, hirsuta
crinita-group - pan-African
Petiole with no more than short blunt denticles
Elongated species, with exceptionally long legs and antennae - ajjer, gracilicornis, omeri
gracilicornis-group
Small TL < 2.2 mm, shiny black species - laevis, minuta
laevis-group - northern savannah
Small TL < 2.2 mm - brown or lighter
arnoldi, foreli, mota, rubrovaria
rubrovaria-group - southern Africa
TL > 2.2 mm; body colour black; with abundant coarse dark coloured erect hairs
affinis
simplex-group - eastern Africa
TL > 2.2 mm; with pale to white erect hairs
Body colour black; with erect, relatively short, light coloured erect hairs
curta, obtusa, oculata, simplex (varieties simplicoides, subopaciceps)
curta-group - eastern Africa
Body colour black or brown; ovoid heads, with slender yellowish, long, erect hairs
acholli, piliscapa, silvicola
silvicola-group - Zare and eastern Africa
Body colour black - square heads, clothed with long white fine hairs - albata, capitata, imperfecta, quadraticeps, Nigeria species T (but appears to be major worker of a dimorphic species, probably cacozela) imperfecta-group - Zare and eastern Africa
Body colour black; ovoid heads, with slender white, long, erect hairs
cacozela, canescens, fervida, monardi, ngangela, submetallica, tenuipilis
canescens-group - pan-African
Unassignable species
megacephaladeplanata, somalica (sexuals only may be curta)
miscellaneous

Key to workers (2010)

I have given scape index (SI) figures based in several instances from the original drawings - these are in brackets (SI xx), as SI seems to be one of the more useful diagnostic features.

Queens & males only (image of queen on species page)
Somalia - somalica
{short description of image}TL 2.5 mm; petiole not described; scapes surpass occiput by 0.4 of their length; head and alitrunk microscopically punctate, sides of mesonotum longitudinally striate; dark castaneous brown, gaster black, antennae, tibiae & tarsi yellow-brown; close to depressa (Santschi 1914b) Tanzania - deplanata
Lepisiota fervidaApparently undescribed, SI 110; probably an example of L. hirsuta
West Africa & Congo Basin - fervida
- Major workers
-
0 {Lepisiota megacephala}TL 4.3 mm (assumed major) HL 1.54 HW 1.45, CI 94, scapes reaching 2/3 back to occiput; petiole with acute dorsal spines about as long as interval between their bases; head densely and finely punctate; bicoloured - head mahogany red, rest of body black; the fine whitish erect hairs suggest an affinity with capitata (below).
South Sudan - megacephala
-- {Lepisiota species T3}TL 3.2-3.6 mm, CI 103-115, SI 79-82 ; in full face view eyes distant from edges of face (for minor worker see 45) .
. {Lepisiota cacozela major} West Africa & Congo Basin - cacozela
-- Lepisiota capitataTL 3 mm, SI 63; occipital margin distinctly impressed; scapes just failing to reach occiput; propodeum with obtuse teeth; petiole emarginate but without spines or even teeth; legs relatively short; head weakly shiny but abundantly and grossly punctate; erect hairs yellowish fairly oblique and with quite dense yellowish pubescence; black, appendages reddish, femora brown Congo Basin - capitata
- Workers -
1 {Lepisiota spinosior petiole}Petiole with a pair of long, usually sharp, spines on dorsal margin 2
-- {Lepisiota oculata petiole}Petiole emarginate or with denticles or spines that are much shorter than the width of the petiole apex 18
2 {Lepisiota longinoda}Petiole very long, two and a half times as long as the node is high, petiole spines long, thin and straight 3
-- Petiole short, little or nor longer than node is high 5
-- Petiole much longer than height of node --
3 {Lepisiota arenaria}TL 2.8-3.1 mm, CI 82, SI 166; head elongate ovoid, occiput straight; eyes about 0.33 X length of side of head; erect hairs scanty, whitish-yellow and fairly long; head and alitrunk ochreous, smooth and shining .
. {Lepisiota arenaria} Zimbabwe & South Africa - arenaria
-- Head and alitrunk reddish-brown, dull and reticulate-punctate 4
4 {short description of image}TL 3.0-3.8 mm, CI 88, SI 150; gaster with short, black and obtuse hairs .
. {short description of image} Zimbabwe & South Africa - longinoda
-- {Lepisiota angolensis}TL 2.4 mm; erect hairs whitish clear, gaster more slender and shiny than longinoda; spines on petiole even longer and narrower Angola - angolensis
-- Petiole short --
5 Petiole as high or higher than propodeum, with long coarse spines 5A
-- Petiole clearly lower than propodeum and with narrow sharp spines 6
5A {Lepisiota rugithorax}TL 3.3 mm, scape exceeding occiput by about half its length; heavily sculptured, with head, petiole and gaster finely and densely reticulate-punctate, alitrunk grossly rugose; erect hairs restricted to clypeus and apex of gaster; dark red-brown almost black Angola - rugithorax
-- Lepisiota nsp Cameroun FKTL ca 3.4 mm, SI 144; sculpturation on alitrunk dense spiculation; head and alitrunk with sparse short pale hairs Cameroun - n sp Cameroun FK 70
-- Lepisiota nsp RVA 3108TL ca 3.4 mm, SI 144; sculpturation on alitrunk dense spiculation; head and alitrunk with sparse short pale hairs Benin & Nigeria - sp RVA 3108
-- {Lepisiota n sp Wassa}TL 3.2-4.0 mm, SI 140; petiole spines long; pubescence (pilosity?) abundant and larger; black and shiny, mid-alitrunk often dark red; mesonotum widened behind
Senegal - n sp wassa
-- Petiole clearly lower than propodeum and with narrow sharp spines --
6 With few or no erect hairs, other than on gaster 7
-- With more than a few erect hairs 11
-- With few or no erect hairs, other than on gaster
--
7 Body colour dark near black 8
-- Body colour predominantly brown or red-brown
10A
8 {Lepisiota ambigua}TL 2.5 mm; CI 90, SI 125-130; head quite round; eyes ca 0.36 X length of side of head; petiole in face view lyre-shaped, with tips of spines wider apart than the bases; spines long and curved backwards; head and alitrunk matt, densely and finely reticulo-punctate .
. {Lepisiota ambigua} West Africa & Congo Basin - ambigua
-- {Lepisiota incisa}TL > 2.5 mm; petiole in face view relatively narrow, with long sharp spines 9
9 Lepisiota schoutedeniBody colour nearer black; TL 2.3 mm, SI 125; head smaller and narrower, scape surpassing occiput by around 1/3 its own length; petiole spines closer, with distance apart about the same as basal separation; head, pronotum and gaster smooth and shiny brown Zare - schoutedeni
-- Body colour predominantly brown 10
10 {Lepisiota incisa}Petiole as above; TL 3.1-3.4 mm, SL 121; eyes very convex and large; scape surpassing occiput by less than 1/3 of own length; head with irregular puncturation; erect hairs blackish and thick, with obtuse apices

. {Lepisiota incisa} Eastern & southern Africa - incisa
10A {Lepisiota dendrophila}TL 3.0-3.2 mm, CI 87, SI 136; head near circular in full face view; eyes unusually small, ca 0.22 X length of side of head; scapes surpassing occiput by well over half its own length; body with head and gaster brown, alitrunk and appendages distinctly paler, no more than reddish brown to ochreous .
. {Lepisiota dendrophila} Zimbabwe - dendrophila
-- {Lepisiota spinosior petiole}TL 2.7-3.0 mm, CI ca 80; scapes long surpassing occiput by more than two-fifths of own length, SI 133; differs from ambigua as pronotum more impressed dorsally, dorsum of propodeum more concave, angles with more pronounced teeth and the petiole scale (shown right) with longer spines, which are round in cross-section, thicker at the base than the apex, and distinctly curve backwards; also finer sculpturation than ambigua; head alitrunk and petiole dark rusty red (dark burnt sienna), gaster dark brown; gaster with thick bristly brownish-black erect hairs
.
. {Lepisiota spinosior petiole} Zimbabwe & South Africa - spinosior
-- Lepisiota n sp YekepaTL ca 2.7 mm, HL 0.58, HW 0.50, SL 0.65, PW 0.49; CI 73, SI 128 EI (eye length/HL) 28; head in full face view sub-rectangular, occiptal corners quite sharply rounded, eyes oval;deeply incised metanotal groove, propodeum dorsum flat, with distinct longitudinal incavation, propodeum with short sharp spines; petiole with long back-curved apical spines; no erect hairs on head (other than clypeus) and alitrunk; dark orange-brown, the gaster with a relatively pale base contrasting with the posterior half, funiculi with a contrasting dark club; head with fine surface sculpture giving a matt appearance, alitrunk finely but densely spiculate Liberia - n sp Liberia Yekepa
return to key With abundant erect hairs --
11 Erect hairs black; body colour variably brown to black 12
-- Erect hairs no darker than brown 13
12 Lepisiota gerardiErect hairs, sparse, long black and silky, but white pubescence; TL 2.5 mm, CI 90, SI 129; scape surpassing occiput by about one-third its own length; body generally black, appendages brown; overall dull matt, except gaster shiny Zare - gerardi
-- {Lepisota nigrosetosa}Erect hairs long, black and abundant on head and gaster; TL 3.2 mm, CI 88-94, SI 124-142; head a short oval; in full face view eyes not reaching sides of head; petiole scale distinctly triangular in profile .
.. {Lepisiota nigrisetosa} Zare & Equatorial Guinea - nigrisetosa
-- {Lepisiota mlanjiensis}TL 3.3 mm, CI 92, SI 133; head ovate, eyes large; propodeum with raised cone-shaped lateral processes; petiole with short spines each terminating in a distinct hair; head closely reticulate and dull; lateral alitrunk fairly strongly rugulose
.
. {Lepisiota mlanjiensis} Malawi & South Africa - mlanjiensis
-- Erect hairs other than black --
13 Lepisiota nigriventrisTL 1.7-2.0 mm, SI 160; erect hairs short and whitish; body distinctly bicoloured, alitrunk reddish yellow, head darker, gaster black; scapes surpass occiput by less than two-fifths of own length; propodeal spiracles at apex of short processes
Fresh specimen slightly larger than type
Cameroun - nigriventris
-- Erect hairs long 14
14 Body black 15
-- Body brown rather than black 16
15 scape without dense suberect pubescence 15A
-- scape with dense suberect pubescence 15B
15A {Lepisiota egregia}TL 3.0-3.4 mm, SI ca 120; head square, sides nearly straight; scape surpassing occiput by about half its own length; propodeum with distinct teeth; petiole narrow about one and a half times as high as wide, with moderate spines; erect hairs thin, long and dark brown; scapes with basal two-thirds ochreous .
. {Lepisiota egregia} Zimbabwe (?Ghana) - egregia
-- Lepisiota crinita CamerounLacking erect hairs on the scapes; TL ca 2.9 mm, HL 0.73, HW 0.58, SL 0.85, CI 78, SI 158; propodeum with short sharp teeth, petiole with long back-curved apical spines; abundant erect hairs; dark brown, anterior of head lighter; antennae entirely yellow-brown, tarsi and tibia same; head with very fine surface sculpture giving a matt appearance, alitrunk finely but densely spiculate. Cameroun - Cameroun fk sp2
-- {Lepisiota hirsuta}TL 2.8-3.3 mm, CI 90, SI 126; jet black, except tibiae brown, tarsi yellowish-brown, base of scape ochreous; shiny, even propodeum which has longitudinal rugae; erect hairs abundant. .
. {Lepisiota hirsuta} Eastern Africa & Egypt (Sinai) - hirsuta
-- Lepisiota junodiTL 2.5-2.8 mm, SI 105; head ovoid (capensis shape); shorter scapes, surpassing occiput by about 1/4 of own length; body fairly stocky; propodeum with conical apices; all except metanotum and propodeum shiny; erect hairs long and whitish, no obvious pubescence; black, except apices of mandibles, most of antennae and tarsi reddish-brown to yellow
South Africa  - junodi
-- Lepisiota crinita CamerounTL 2.4 mm, SL 110; head ovoid (capensis shape); shorter scapes, surpassing occiput by about 1/4 of own length; body fairly stocky; propodeum with conical apices; all except metanotum and propodeum shiny; erect hairs long and whitish, no obvious pubescence; black, except apices of mandibles, most of antennae and tarsi reddish-brown to yellow - very densely hairy, including on scapes

South Africa (?Cameroun) - crinita
-- Body no more than dark brown --
16 {short description of image}Erect hairs dark; TL 2.86-3.08 mm, CI 91, SI 130; colour black or dark red-brown, with yellow tarsi. Sculpturation of fine striations on the pronotum, of rugae on the mesonotum and propodeum. Erect hairs stout, dark, moderately abundant on body and head. Propodeal prominences dentate but not spinose. Petiole spines moderately developed and straight. .
. {Lepisiota validiuscula} Somalia; ? Benin & Eastern Africa - validiuscula
-- Erect hairs pale, yellowish 17
17 {Lepisota palpalis}TL 2.0-2.2 mm, CI 91, SI 130; erect hairs few but long, and yellow; head a distinct oval; with large eyes in full face view protruding beyond the sides; long maxillary palps; apex of petiole with moderately long posteriorly curved spines [NOTE head shape of guineensis is ovoid if viewed titled backwards, so mandibles more exposed] .
. {Lepisiota palpalis} Zare & Sudan - palpalis
-- {short description of image}TL 2.5-2.7 mm, CI 91, SI 129-137; erect hairs pale, moderately long and fairly abundant; sole sculpturation long rugae on lateral mesonotum; petiole scale with distinct spines; colour variable brown to black-brown
.
. {Lepisiota guineensis} West Africa -  guineensis 
return to key Petiole emarginate or with no more than short spines or denticles --
18 Highly elongated with very long appendages, scapes more than twice the length of the head 19
-- Not greatly elongated 20
19 {Lepisiota gracilicornis}Median ocellus set at about the posterior level of the eyes; TL ca 3.7 mm (range 2.5-5); HW 0.7 HL 0.7 PW 0.5 AL 1.5 Hind tibia 1.6; CI 85 SI 194-200 EL/HW 0.32; dark brown-black, except for brownish-yellow appendages, overall appearance dull; almost hairless Ethiopia, Senegal, Sudan, Egypt & Middle East - gracilicornis
-- {Lepisota nsp Sudan}Median ocellus set well back from posterior level of the eyes; TL ca 3.0 mm; HW 0.6 HL 0.82 PW 0.42 AL 1.3; hind tibia 1.5; CI 82 SI 192 EL/HW 0.37; shiny chestnut brown, head slightly darker; almost without pubescence Sudan - omeri
-- {Lepisiota ajjer}Propodeum with sharp spines; median ocellus set just forward the posterior level of the eyes; TL ca 3.5 mm (range 2.5-3.5); HW 0.6 HL 0.7 PW 0.4 AL 1.4 Hind tibia 1.6; CI 85 SI 215 EL/HW 0.40; dark brown-black, except for brownish-yellow appendages; overall appearance shiny; almost hairless Tunisia
 - ajjer
Not highly elongated --
20 Small species, TL 2.2 mm or less, with very short or no pilosity; body not entirely black or dark brown 21
-- Mostly larger species, TL > 2.2 mm; body entirely or in greater part black or dark brown 29
-- TL < 2.2 mm and with no more than very short pilosity
--
21 Whole body very smooth and shining 22
-- {Lepisiota foreli}TL 1.6-1.9 mm, CI ca 90, SI 100; scapes just reach occiput; whole body dull; head and thorax bright red, gaster dark brown .
.
Lepisiota foreli
Zimbabwe - foreli
-- TL 1.6-1.9 mm, CI ca 90, SI 110; scapes just reach occiputLepisiota foreli
Sudan  - Sudan JM073
22 Scapes just surpass occiput 23
. Scapes surpass occiput by about one third of own length 26
23 Generally unicolourous 24
. With alitrunk, at least, distinctly lighter than head and gaster 25
24 {Lepisiota mota}TL 1.8 mm, CI 93, SI 92; quite dark reddish brown Angola & Gabon - mota
-- Lepisiota minutaTL 1.5 mm, SI 100; scapes just surpassing occiput; jet black South Africa - minuta
25 Lepisiota rubrovariaTL 1.7-1.9 mm, SI 100; head subquadrate; scapes longer than simplex ?; thorax ferruginous, head and gaster dark brown (variety avunculus TL 2.3-2.5 mm) Zimbabwe - rubrovaria
-- Lepisiota arnoldiTL 1.7-2.0 mm, SI 100; head about 1/6 longer than wide; entirely shining; dark-reddish ochreous (deep orange-yellow), apex of gaster blackish Zimbabwe & South Africa - arnoldi
-- Scapes surpass occiput by about one third of own length --
26 Overall colour orange or red-brown
27
-- Colour dark brown to black
28
27 Lepisiota nsp SUdan JM074-02Small, occiput near straight; eyes almost flat and slightly inset into surface of head, narrow ovoid ca 1.7 longer than wide (0.37 X length of side of head); pronotum shallowly convex, in dorsal view alitrunk short and relatively wide (pronotum wider than length of promesonotum); petiole emarginate, moderately thick; legs unusually short with wide, seemingly flattened femora; sparse short yellow pilosity on gaster only (ca 0.05 mm); shiny unsculptured, alitrunk yellow brown, head and gaster darker;
TL ca 1.7 mm, HL 0.49, HW 0.42, CI 83, SL 0.50, SI 121, PW 0.30
Lepisiota nsp Sudan JM074
--

28 {Lepisiota laevis}TL 1.7 mm, CI 90, SI 100; head rectangular, as wide in front as behind; scape surpasses occiput by 1/3 its own length; quite deep promesonotal suture; shiny black, basal third of scape and tarsi clear yellow, rest of appendages brown .
. {short description of image} Senegal east across to Sudan - laevis
-- {Lepisiota alexis}TL 2 mm, CI  85, SI 110; scape surpasses occiput by 1/3 its own length; altrunk convex transversely; propodeum with prominent cones; petiole fairly deeply emarginate, almost bidentate; almost no erect hairs, those seen are whitish, short and blunt; pubescence very sparse; entirely smooth & shining, except deeply striate mandibles; black .
. {Lepisiota alexis} Southern Africa - alexis
return to key TL in most > 2.2 mm --
29 Overall colour pale brown to orange
30
-- Colour dark brown to black
32
30 Lepisiota np Sudan JMIT6Head sub-circular, in profile also sub-circular; frons with a long median impression; eyes moderate and set more or less on the front of the face, so that hardly breaking outline of sides (0.328 X length of side of head); scape unusually thick and apically widening; petiole scale with quite narrow profile, as high as the propodeal declivity; erect hairs abundant and quite thick (ca 0.12 mm long); base colour dusky yellow to dull yellow-grey, appearance overall is dull
TL ca 2.6 mm, HL 0.68, HW 60, CI 89, SL 0.73, SI 128, PW 0.40
Lepisiota nsp  Sudan JMIT6
-- Overall appearance shiny 31
31 Lepisiota nsp Sudan 2009-29Head subsquare, widest at level of the eyes; eyes ovoid strongly convex (0.37 X length of side of head); in profile head ovoid with weakly convex lower side; clypeus with a weak median carina running right to anterior margin; pronotum dorsally flattened; petiole narrow and emarginate apically; abundant sub-erect yellow pilosity (ca 0.13 mm long) and abundant appressed pubescence, giving a shaggy appearance to the head; shiny, unsculptured, but with mesonotum and propodeum weakly spiculate, very distinctive broad metanotal groove with marked rugae; near unicolorous yellow brown
TL ca 3.0 mm, HL 0.68, HW 0.57, CI 88, SL 0.82, SI 135
Lepisiota nsp Sudan 2009-29
-- Lepisiota nsp Sudan JM362Very distinctive shiny unsculptured, yellow brown, gaster darker; pronotum dorsally flattened; head sub-square, widest behind the eyes; eyes ovoid moderately convex (0.37 X length of side of head); in profile head sub-circular with broadly convex lower side; clypeus with strong median carina running right to anterior margin; propodeum dorsum with distinctive longitudinal septum; petiole narrow and emarginate apically; abundant erect yellow pilosity (ca 0.16 mm long)
TL ca 2.7 mm, HL 0.68, HW 0.58, CI 90, SL 0.73, SI 13
Lepisiota nsp Sudan JM362
-- Lepisiota nsp Sudan 2009-49Head elongated ovoid, widest behind the eyes, occiput weakly concave; eyes sub-circular weakly convex (0.35 X length of side of head); in profile head sub-circular with lower side almost as convex as upper; clypeus without a median carina; pronotum dorsally flattened; propodeum with trinagular teeth; petiole short and thick in profile, emarginate apically; sparse short erect yellow pilosity (ca 0.08 mm long); shiny, wholly unsculptured; uniform yellow brown
TL ca 2.5 mm, HL 0.62, HW 0.48, CI 70, SL 0.72, SI 145
Lepisiota nsp Sudan 2009-49
return to key Colour dark brown to black
--
32 Overall colour very shiny black 33
-- Colour no more than dark brown 34
33 Lepisiota submetallicaBlack, except for brownish-yellow appendages, with a distinctive and unique metallic sheen, greenish on the head and thorax, violaceous on the gaster; pilosity of long, erect whitish hairs; TL 3.2-3.8 mm, SI 130; CI ca 90?, scape reaching back past occiput by about 1/3 of its length; pronotum dorsally flattened
Zimbabwe & Angola - submetallica
-- {Congo n sp 51}Head almost square and scapes unusually short; eyes quite small, only ca 0.30 X length of side of head; very shiny black and almost unsculptured but without a metallic sheen; pilosity limited to longish white hairs on anterior of head, propodeum and gaster; TL ca 3.0 mm, CI 95, SI 104
Congo - new species - zassii
34 Erect hairs relatively short, may be sparse 35
-- Erect hairs long and abundant 43
35 Erect hairs brown 36
-- Erect hairs whitish and eyes not breaking outline of head in full face view 39
36 Head and alitrunk shiny 37
-- Head and alitrunk matt 38
37 {Lepisiota capensis}TL ca 2.0 mm, CI 100, SI 133, head in full face view near ovoid, occiput straight; shiny, appendages yellow; propodeum sculptured; petiole scale simply dentate .
. {Lepisiota capensis} Southern and eastern African - capensis
-- {Lepisiota depressa}TL 2.2-2.3 mm, CI 86, SI 130; head laterally and occiput convex; eyes slightly convex, occupying about one-third length of head and set a little forward of the mid-point of the head; scape surpassing occiput by about half its own length; petiole feebly oval, with small teeth at each side of summit; mostly subopaque with dense striations, finer on the head, gaster smooth and shiny; erect pilosity black and setiform, longer than on capensis, abundant on the gaster; pubescence sparse and pale; black but with metallic violaceous blue sheen, appendages rust, funiculi brown; .
. {Lepisiota depressa} East Africa - depressa
-- {Lepisiota affinis}TL 2.7-2.9 mm, CI 100, SI 132, head in full face view near ovoid, occiput straight; shiny, appendages dark; propodeum sculptured; petiole scale simply dentate .
. {Lepisiota capensis} Kenya - affinis
Head & alitrunk matt -
38 Lepisiota carbonariasimilar to capensis but larger, TL 2.0-2.7 mm, SI 120; head and alitrunk matt, gaster shiny; pubescent, with sparse yellow erect hairs; blackish
Somalia & Sudan  (Arabia) - carbonaria
--
TL 2.5 mm; head wider than long; head and promesonotum shiny, finely punctate; metanotum and propodeum subopaque/matt, gaster densely punctate; black, femora and antennal club brown; gaster with yellowish pubescence; erect pilosity pale yellow
subsp. baumi
-- {short description of image}TL 1.6-2.4 mm, CI 82, SI 150; head longer than wide, with convex sides; matt, brown, appendages reddish, gaster metallic bronze (carbonaria relative) Egypt (Sinai) & Eritrea (Ethiopia) - erythraea
return to key Erect hairs whitish and eyes not breaking outline of head in full face view -
39 {Lepisiota oculata}TL 2.4 mm, CI 80, SI ca 123; erect hairs very few but white and sparse pubescence; head rectangular; eyes large and in full face view unusually angled
. {Lepisiota oculata} Congo Basin - oculata
-- Abundant whitish pubescence; head relatively square 40
40 Petiole scale with narrow profile; erect hairs only moderately abundant 41
-- Petiole scale a quite low thick node; erect hairs quite abundant 42
41 {short description of image}Scape surpassing occiput by > one-third of own length, TL 2.2-2.4 mm, SI 134; erect hairs coarse and sparse, yellowish-white .
. {Lepisiota depilis} Somalia, Sudan (& Egypt) - depilis
. {Lepisiota issore} South Sudan - issore
-- {Lepisiota curta}TL 2.3-2.5 mm, CI 88, SI 103 but 117-124 on fresh Sudan specimens; head somewhat wider and more truncate than depilis, with scape surpassing occiput by < one-third of own length; eyes quite small .
. Lepisiota curta Somalia & Sudan - curta
42 {Lepisiota obtusa}With dense covering of coarse whitish hairs (dimorphic), legs long, femora with dense long pubescence; TL > 2 mm, CI 87, SI 124; propodeum profile with almost flat dorsum Eritrea (also Sinai & Arabia) - obtusa
-- Lepisiota ancepsTL 2.4-2.7 mm, CI 90, SI 107 [like simplex] propodeum simply enlarged and angular posteriorly; petiole scale feebly scalloped without teeth; [like depilis] moderately abundant yellowish-white pilosity, pubescence sparse white appressed Congo Basin - anceps
return to key Erect hairs long and abundant --
43 Lepisiota simplexErect hairs dark brown; TL 2.3-2.8 mm, SI 110 (simplicoides); black, tarsi and mandibles brownish-yellow eastern & southern Africa - simplex
-- Erect hairs no more than yellow brown 44
44 Erect hairs noticeably coloured, at least yellow brown 45
-- Erect hairs whitish or colourless 47
-- Erect hairs yellowish to brown --
45 {Lepisiota acholli}TL 2.7-2.9 mm, CI 82, SI 124; erect hairs brown and lacking on inferior border of femur; eyes about one-third of face in size, reaching sides of face; scapes surpassing occiput by about half their own length; black, smooth and shining Senegal east across to Sudan - acholli
-- Erect hairs yellow-brown 46
46 Lepisiota piliscapaTL 2.7 mm, SI 140; head slightly longer than wide; with head in full face view eyes barely reaching the sides of the head; petiole scale with short teeth; with long pointed hairs on the inferior border of the femur; head finely and densely puncturate, alitrunk strongly striated, both matt; black, scape, femora and tibia dark brown Zare - piliscapa
-- {Lepisiota silvicola}TL 3.4-3.8 mm, CI 92, SI 136; separable by greater size and deep mesonotal and metanotal sutures, plus a peculiarly raised propodeum; petiole scale emarginate; head, and most of alitrunk very finely and densely granulate, mesonotum and propodeum laterally sharply and longitudinally striate; dark brown, gaster black
.
. {Lepisiota silvicola} Mozambique - silvicola
return to key Erect hairs abundant and whitish --
47
{Lepisiota albata}Head distinctly square in full face view 48
-- {Lepisiota sp T2}Head oval or nearly so 51
-- Squarish head --
48 {short description of image}Head distinctly square, with barely rounded corners 49
-- {Lepisiota T3}Head square but with rounder corners 50
49 {Lepisiota albata}TL 2.3 mm, CI 94, SI (major?) 93; eyes in full face view reaching edges; erect hairs long white and very abundant; smooth and shiny
Minor SI 135 - below
.
. {Lepisiota albata} Zare & Sudan  - albata
-- {Lepisiota quadraticeps}TL 1.8-2.2 mm, CI 86, SI 100; eyes protruding from sides of head; hairs on head and thorax sparse; appearance entirely dull; due to unique very fine scabrous sculpture Zimbabwe - quadraticeps
50 {short description of image}Apparently dimorphic, major TL 3.2-3.6 mm, CI 103-115, SI 79-82; in full face view eyes distant from edges of face .
. {Lepisiota cacozela major} West Africa - cacozela
-- Lepisiota imperfectaTL 2.0 mm, SI 106; eyes convex, larger than 1/3 of side of face; scapes surpassing occiput by 1/4 of own length; colour of erect hairs not given but no more than moderate in length; black, basal half of scape, articulations of legs and tarsi rust; very shiny and smooth
Eastern Africa (maybe also Guinea) - imperfecta
return to key Ovoid head --
51 {Lepisiota cacozela petiole }TL 2.6 mm, CI 92, SI 123; eyes quite small; petiole scale low only about 2/3 height of propodeal declivity and thick; erect hairs white and very abundant, ca 0.15 mm long; dark brown to near black, antennae wholly yellow-brown (based on fresh specimens){Lepisiota sp T2} .
. {Lepisiota cacozela minor} West Africa & Congo Basin - cacozela
-- Petiole with slender profile 52
52 Scapes within only fine appressed pubescence
53
-- Scapes with dense sub-erect pubescence
54
53 {Lepisiota monardi}TL 2.2 mm, CI 92, SI 140; relatively large eyes; propodeum relatively short, high petiole scale; funiculus with shorter segments than canescens; little pubescence and solely long hairs; smooth and shiny
.
. {Lepisiota monardi West Africa}West Africa form Angola & West Africa - monardi
-- {Lepisiota canescens}Petiole lower than propodeal dorsumTL 2.0-2.5 mm; CI 89, SI 118; black and shining; petiole moderately indented; dense covering of whitish hairs a mixture of long and short hairs, femora without hairs Sahel zone or fringes thereof - canescens
54 {Lepisiota ngangela}TL 1.7 mm, CI 93, SI 100; black and shining, head subrectangular; petiole scale at least dentate .
. {Lepisiota ngangela} Angola & Gabon - ngangela
-- {Lepisiota tenuipilis}TL 1.8-2.0 mm, CI 91, SI 100; scape surpasses occiput by less than one-third its own length; erect hairs very fine, propodeum smooth; petiole scale oval from front, summit near straight; scapes with dense sub-erect pubescence
Zare & Congo - tenuipilis

Previously published as Acantholepis species:

Lepisiota species F 517

Reported from Ghana by Strickland (1951a) as being taken from time to time tending mealybugs.


Lepisiota species F 169

In Ghana, three workers were collected by pkd from the canopy of Amelonado cocoa by Bigger (1981a).


Lepisiota species near carbonaria

This is my designation for a form reported by Bernard (1952) as " Acantholepis n.sp?" from Guinea, one worker and an alate queen, labelled "Nimba", and close to the equatorial form "Acantholepis carbonaria Emery", but specifically distinct.

the Lepisiota carbonaria type location is Somalia (Emery, 1892a, worker and queen), with subspecies baumi from Angola (see Bolton, 1995). Wheeler, 1922, listed several findings of carbonaria from Zare.


Lepisiota species A

In Ghana, 11 workers were found on the ground in Amelonado cocoa by Bigger (1981a).


Lepisiota species B

In Ghana, 16 workers were found on the ground in Amelonado cocoa by Bigger (1981a).


Lepisiota species A5

Found in Ghana, on cocoa mistletoe at the Mampong Cemetery Farm, and in 15 samples from the cocoa canopy survey by Room (1971).


Lepisiota species 1

Found on Ghana cocoa at Kade (Majer, 1975).


Lepisiota species 2

Found on Ghana cocoa at Kade (Majer, 1975, 1976b), by pkd, with 23-28 workers per sample.


Lepisiota species 5

From Ghana on cocoa mistletoe (Room, 1975).


First published as Lepisiota forms:

Lepisiota species (indet.) (1)

Four workers found in leaf litter at two sites in Ghana (Ofinso, cocoa, and CRIG, secondary forest) by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).


Lepisiota species (indet.) (2)

Two workers found in Ghana, in leaf litter under a logged area at Atewa Forest Reserve, by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).


Lepisiota species (indet.) (3)

A single worker found in Ghana, in leaf litter under a logged area at Atewa Forest Reserve, by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).


Lepisiota species (indet.) (4)

Ten workers found in leaf litter and soil at two sites in Ghana (under cocoa at Ofinso and Bunso) by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).


Lepisiota species (indet.) (5)

A single worker found in Ghana, in leaf litter under cocoa at Bunso, by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).


Lepisiota species (indet.) (6)

A single worker found in Ghana, in leaf litter under cocoa at Bunso, by Belshaw & Bolton (1994).

Contents Subfamily Formicinae
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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