The Ants of Africa
Genus Melissotarsus
Melissotarsus tchibozoi Taylor new species

Melissotarsus tchibozoi Taylor new species

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Benin - holotype worker only .

WORKER DESCRIPTION - This meets all the criteria for the genus but is immediately separable from the described sub-Saharan species by the shiny black gaster contrasting with the yellow postpetiole; also by the almost complete absence of any erect hairs. The anterior margin of the pronotum is sharply defined by a transverse carina, laterally the alitrunk has a distinct transition from the finely striated dorsum to the smooth sides. In full face view the head is near square and only weakly narrower at the anterior margin, with evenly convex sides and a shallowly concave occiput. The eye appears relatively larger than the other species with four distinct longitudinal rows of facets. In dorsal view the alitrunk is weakly waisted and distinctly narrower posteriorly. The postpetiole is almost as wide as the anterior gaster and has a remarkable lamina overlapping and, presumably, attaching it to, the first tergite of the gaster.

TL 2.0 mm, HW = HL = 0.56, CI 100, SL 0.23, SI 0.22, PW 0.3, AL 0.5.

Named after the collector Séverin Tchibozo, Centre de Recherche pour la Gestion de la Biodiversité et du Terroir (CERGET).

Specimens deposited in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Oxford University Museum specimens

Melissotarsus tchibozoi
B Taylor det.

S Tchibozo
Benin 8

06°50-55' N
Forêt de Gnanhouizoumè, Pitfall trap

{Melissotarsus nsp Benin 8}Collection data - Benin, Bonou, Forêt de Gnanhouizoumè, 06°50-55 N 02°20-30'E; Pitfall trap; S Tchibozo; 27.viii.2006.

Curiously for a genus whose members all appear to tunnel in living wood and nest under the bark of living trees, this specimen came from a pitfall trap.

© 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.