specimens (as Acantholepis capensis, Taylor, 1978:
34). WORKER. Size variable; TL 2.68-2.49 mm, HL 0.65, HW 0.59, CI 91,
SI 129, PW 0.42
Colour black, extremities red-brown, especially the base of the
antennal scape, shiny. No sculpturation other than marked long rugae on
mesonotum. Erect, colourless hairs relatively abundant. Propodeal
prominences blunt. Petiole with a pair of spines.
The specimens drawn and described represent the Lepisiota
form most commonly seen at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi
Ayunre, CRIN, where it was one of the most abundant of all ant species.
Nests are usually made in dead wood both on
standing trees or on the ground. Forage widely across the ground and on
almost any vegetation or trees.
Dominant on 9-10% of cocoa, and 53/76 farms
(combined result with Lepisiota sp. T²) in
Nigeria (Booker, 1968?, as Ac. capensis incisa;
Taylor, 1977; Taylor & Adedoyin, 1978), where they are avid
tenders of aphids and coccids, often building tents of soil material
over these Homoptera; curiously these soil tents have not been found to
be associated with black pod disease. Also found on coffee, kola, oil
palm and plantains.
Found in Ghana cocoa, as Ac.
capensis Mayr, but apparently not very common. Leston (1973)
described it as a savannah ant which had penetrated only the more
degraded areas of the forest zone, but on cocoa could have colonies
extending at times over several dozen trees. Collected by Room (1971)
on cocoa canopy and on open ground and herbs (at Mampong Cemetery Farm
and in his canopy survey), and by Majer (1975, 1976b) at Kade, using
pkd, apparently one worker only. Nineteen workers were collected on the
ground from a block of mature Amelonado cocoa at CRIG by Bigger (1981a).