The Ants of Africa
Genus Lepisiota
Lepisiota capensis (Mayr) revised status

Petiole with short spines

Body colour dark, usually black; TL > 2.2 mm; erect hairs relatively short, dark coloured, may be sparse - capensis-group

Lepisiota capensis (Mayr) revised status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Acantholepis capensis n. sp., Mayr, 1862: 699, worker; Mayr, 1862: 770, male; also Mayr, 1866: 57, male; Emery, 1877b: 366, queen) - see below
Junior synonym subopaciceps (Acantholepis capensis Mayr v. subopaciceps n. v.,  Santschi, 1937d: 235, worker; synonymy here) from Angola, Kangela, Monard - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0912375
see Bolton (1995) and also Bingham (1903: 316) and Arnold (1920a: 568) .


{Lepisiota capensis}Mayr's (1862) brief description is at {original description}, Mayr (1865: 57) gave a full description of the worker, plus that of the male, and illustrations, these are at {original description}. Emery's (1877b) description of the queen is at {original description}, Arnold (1920a) provided a translation of Mayr's (1862) description with a fuller description of his (Arnold) own, this is at {original description}.

Mayr (1865) and Arnold (1920a) gave the size as TL 2.8-3.2 mm; the scape surpassing the occiput by about one-third their own length.

Santschi's (1937d) description of subopaciceps is at {original description}. TL not given; appears to have a matt appearance, with quite strong reticulation on head; petiole scale less strongly incised than validiuscula; rectilinear toward summit.


{Lepisiota capensis}The photomontage of a type worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0915714.


{Lepisiota capensis ex Alex Wild}{Lepisiota capensis}Re-definition of true capensis
There seems little doubt that the true type form has the propodeum with quite pronounced blunt prominences; the petiole scale is only moderate in height and has low spines on the dorsal margin. The overall appearance is near black and shiny, with the antennae wholly brown or blackish. The pilosity is short, dark and fairly sparse.

See also the note on true capensis, i.e. from the Cape of Good Hope, by Emery (1897e) in his description of canescens - {original description}. Santschi (1937d) noted the capensis type has antenna which are entirely brown or blackish.

Some of the confusion may stem from Forel (1892a: 43) where his key had - capensis (from South Africa, Madagascar and Indian continent) with the erroneous "erect pilosity whitish, abundant on body, none on tibiae and scapes".

The photograph right is of Lepisiota capensis from Cape Town, South Africa, and is from one of three superb Myrmecos.net originals taken by Alex Wild.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Lepisiota capensis
B Taylor det.

South Africa
S Danflous


14.xii.2007
Nelspruit
2528'50" S
3058258" E
Backpackers, Mpumalanga  Province; 283 m
2
{album}
Lepisiota capensis
B Taylor det.
South Africa
S Danflous

6.xii.2007
Sudwala Caves
2522'09" S
3041'58" E
Gaufeng Province; 166 m
1
{album}
Lepisiota capensis
B Taylor det.
South Africa
KZ Natal
P. Jaloszynski
03.xii.2012
27.53154 S
32.66992'E
Sodwana bay, swamp forest
5 m
Under bark
4
{album}
Lepisiota capensis
B Taylor det.
Zimbabwe
S Renner
SB 05
vii.2012
Harare
1751’50" S
3101’47" E
Visiting flowers of an Apodanthaceae
1
{album}
Lepisiota capensis
B Taylor det.
Zimbabwe
S Renner
SB 06
vii.2012
Harare
1751’50" S
3101’47" E
Visiting flowers of an Apodanthaceae
1
{album}

{Lepisiota capensis}The photomontage is of a worker collected from South Africa, Nelspruit; collector Sam Danflous,.

TL ca 2.8 mm, HL 0.73  HW 0.65 EL 0.23 PW 0.49 SL 0.70 CI 92 SI 130


{Lepisiota capensis}The photomontage is of a second worker from South Africa, Sudwala Caves, Gaufeng Province; collector Sam Danflous, 6.xii.2007.

TL ca 2.8 mm, HL 0.73  HW 0.65 EL 0.23 PW 0.49 SL 0.70 CI 92 SI 130


{Lepisiota capensis}The photomontage is of a worker collected from Zimbabwe, Harae; collector S Renner.


{Lepisiota capensis}The specimens in these field photographs, feeding group below, were taken in Pretoria, South Africa, by Joan Young; nos 100_6382 to 6385.


{Lepisiota capensis feeding}Feeding activity, Joan Young.


{Lepisiota capensis}The photomontage of a worker from South Africa, collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0100958

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

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