The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Microdaceton
Contents - Myrmicinae - MYRMICINAE Introduction

Genus Microdaceton Santschi (1913g: 478)

In Tribe DACETINI.

Diagnostic Features - Mandibles elongate, linear, without preapical armament; apical armament of three spiniform teeth. Antennae 6-segmented; no antennal scrobes; eyes dorsolateral. Gena in front of the eye with a laterally projecting tooth; occipital lobes of head armed with teeth. Promesonotum posteriorly, propodeum and petiole bispinose or bidentate; postpetiole with lateral alar appendages.

Santschi's (1913g) genus description is at {original description}. Arnold (1917: 383) gave a translation of the genus description, this is at {original description}.

According to Bolton (1983: 401), a genus of two known species, both small to minute soil and leaf-litter dwellers, and restricted to the Afrotropical region - "tibialis being found in West and central Africa, and exornatum being widely distributed in East and South Africa". Translating Bernard's (1952) report on the Mt. Nimba surveys in Guinea raises questions as to the usually sound analysis by Bolton. Thus, I include my translation below the species separated by Bolton.

Species separation

1 {Microdaceton tibialis.viriosum petiole}Postpetiole narrow < 0.7 of base of gaster 2
-- {Microdaceton exornatum pedicel}Postpetiole very broad, almost as wide as base of gaster 3
2 {Microdaceton tibialis}TL 3.1 mm; postpetiole narrow < 0.7 of base of gaster; protuberances on head small; gaster entirely smooth and shiny; colour blackish brown to black, with contrasting yellow appendages; internal margin of mandible with fine long hairs along whole length West Africa and the Congo Basin - tibialis
-- {Microdaceton viriosum}TL < 3.0 mm; generally more heavily built; petiole in dorsal view pear-shaped; gaster dull with very fine puncturation; head, alitrunk and petiole coarsely sculptured and stockier Uganda (western montane) - viriosum
3 {short description of image}With very pronounced spines on alitrunk and petiole, propodeal spines slender; base of gaster smooth and weakly shiny; dark brown, with contrasting white tibiae and tarsi Cameroun - tanyspinosum
-- Spines on alitrunk and petiole relatively short; base of gaster with fine longitudinal rugulae; lighter brown to yellow brown 4
4 {Microdaceton bernardi}TL 2.8 mm (excluding mandibles); segments 2-4 of funiculus equi-sized; scapes not reaching lateral protuberances on head; these protuberances being very distinct; occiput with deep U-shaped impression; mandibles and clypeal margin without hairs; brown, petiole and gaster darker Guinea workers - "leakeyi" Bernard - bernardi new status
-- {Microdaceton exornatum}TL 2.8 mm; segment 2 of funiculs about one-fith longer than segments 3 & 4; scapes surpassing lateral protuberances on head; the protuberances being no more than dentcles; occiput with shallower and less sharp sided U-shaped impression; internal apical margin of mandibles and clypeal margin with quite long fine hairs; reddish yellow, gaster brownish medially Kenya southwards to South Africa - exornatum
Kenya queen - leakeyi Patrizi
Contents MYRMICINAE Introduction
2007, 2008, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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