The Ants of Africa
Genus Melissotarsus
Melissotarsus weissi Santschi

Melissotarsus weissi Santschi

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location (holotype female) Congo (Melissotarsus Weissi, n. sp., Santschi, 1910c: 356, illustrated, queen; Bolton, 1982: 335, male) collected at Brazzaville by A. Weiss - damaged type see
junior synonyms
titubans (Delage-Darchen, 1972: 216, illustrated, all forms) from Ivory Coast - see
major (Melissotarsus major, n. sp., Santschi, 1919h: 85, worker; Santschi, 1923e: 277, queen & male) from Zaïre, collected at Penghe, by J Bequaert - see
all forms known (see Bolton, 1982, 1995) .

{Melissotarsus weissi}Santschi's (1910c) description of the queen is at {original description} and Santschi's (1919h) description of major is at {original description}. Santschi's (1923e) description of the queen and male of major is at {original description}. Delage-Darchen's description of titubans (1972a) is at {original description}. Bolton's modern description (1982) is at {original description}.

WORKER - TL 2.3-3.0 mm; similar to beccarii but darker in colour; anterior margin and lateral margins of alitrunk dorsum both angled (Bolton, 1982 illustrated, profile and head).

In the wider text, page 335, Bolton had: "I define weissi as having a dark brown to strongly scletoized male and a similarly coloured female in which the postpetiole in dorsal view is quite narrow (1.2-1.40 broader than long) and has a rounded or even hemispherical anterior margin.

Bolton (1982) reported a finding by himself at CRIG, Ghana and another at Kamaiembi, Zaïre, by H. Schouteden.

{Melissotarsus titubans}The illustration of titubans by Delage-Darchen (1972, right), although somewhat of a sketch, appears to show the sharp angle at the anterior of the pronotum but gives no impression of there being a well-marked angle between the sides and dorsum of the alitrunk. She also noted that all specimens were similarly coloured and sculptured. This is comfirmed by the photomontage below.

As Melissotarsus titubans described from Lamto, Ivory Coast by Delage-Darchen (1972), who reported its biology. Nests in narrow tunnels under the bark of forest gallery trees and has the curious habit of holding its middle legs upwards, apparently touching the roof of the tunnels. They live in large groups, possibly being polygynous and tend coccids.

{Melissotarsus titubans}The photomontage of titubans is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Melissotarsus weissi
B Taylor det.

Central African Republic
P Annoyer

392 m; nuit, UV, Azobé, sol, camp de base lac 1


{Melissotarsus weissi male}The photomontage is of a male from Central African Republic, Dzangha-Sangha NP; collector P Annoyer (CAR PU)

{Melissotarsus weissi}The photomontage is collated from (note - there it is is labelled as emeryi, but the lateral margins of the alitrunk are distinctly angled).
Collection details - Locality: Central African Republic: Prefecture Sangha-Mbaéré; Parc National Dzanga-Ndoki, Mabéa Bai, 21.4 km 53° NE Bayanga; 03°02'00"N 016°24'36"E, 510m. Collection Information: Collection codes: BLF4000. Date: 1-7 May 2001. Collected by: B.L.Fisher. Method: EC19 sifted litter (leaf mould, rotten wood). Habitat: rainforest. Transect Type: MW 50 sample transect, 5m Transect Sample No.: 45.

© 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
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