The Ants of Africa
Genus
Megaponera
Megaponera analis (Latreille)

Megaponera analis (Latreille)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ghana (Formica analis Latreille, 1802c: 282; name which replaced Formica foetens Fabricius, 1793: 354, collected by Isert, a name preceded by a myrmicine species Formica foetens Olivier, etc., 1792: 503; Emery, 1897e: 597, male, no details; note Arnold, 1915: 48, queen, probably was P. laeviuscula; in Pachycondyla, Bolton, 1995: 302; status revived Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 125) - no images on Antweb (June 2014)
subspecies
amazon (Megaponera foetens Fabricius, var. amazon, nov., Santschi, 1935b: 257, illustrated, male) from Ethiopia, Bourillé and Diré-Daoua - no images on Antweb (June 2014)
foetens had junior synonyms
abyssinica (Ponera abyssinica, Guérin-Méneville, 1849: 352, illustrated, worker; not listed by Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 107) from Ethiopia - no images on Antweb (June 2014)
dohrni (Megaponera Dohrni n. sp., Emery, 1902c: 30, worker; Forel, 1909b: 64; not listed by Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 107) from Ghana, Akropong - no images on Antweb (June 2014)
.

Note: Marcus Stüben has told me (September 2009) that Isert (Paul Erdmann Isert), who often is listed from Fabricius (1793) as collecting in "Guinea" (and was by me also until now) actually collected in "Danish Guinea" = Gold Coast = modern Ghana. See Chapter 2 - Geography and History - Ghana for more.


Fabricius's (1793) description is at {original description}. Latreille's (1802c) description is at {original description}. Guérin-Méneville's (1849) description is at {original description}. Emery's (1902c) description of dohrni is at {original description}. Mayr's (1907b) description of the male is at {original description}. Santschi (1935b) described amazon at {original description}.

WORKERS - TL major ca 15 mm, minor 9-11 mm; HW 2.40-2.96 mm majors, 1.39-1.99 mm minors (Longhurst & Howse, 1979b; in my guide as Megaponera foetens but only in the index). Although usually described as dimorphic, Longhurst & Howse found it to display monophasic allometry, with some 50% being majors, 25% intermediates and 25% minors, as determined from HW measurement.

My first encounter with the species was the specimens from Cameroun and the markedly different appearance of the minor morph led me astray at first. The minor has a very shiny head and pronotum, plus peculiarly reduced forelegs. Both morphs, however, have the genae (cheeks) with a distinct longitudinal carina - previously regarded as diagnostic for the monotypic Genus Megaponera (as in Wheeler, 1922, & Bolton, 1973).


nestWheeler (1922) (who provided the nest illustration, right, and linked) listed very many findings from sub-Saharan Africa; from West Africa were Senegal (Thiès, F. Silvestri), Sierra Leone (F. Silvestri), Ghana (Akropong, Imhoff), Togo (at ?, H. Brauns; Bismarckbrug, Conradt), Nigeria (Agege, Ibadan, by Farquharson) and Cameroun (Metit, G. Schwab).

Pictured in Hölldobler & Wilson (1990, page 88, as Megaponera foetens). Bolton (1973a) describes it as being confined to savannah areas, being soil nesting and raiding termite nests. An aromatic species, it stridulates audibly when disturbed.

In Ghana, Room (1971) found it in the cocoa growing area, on open ground at the Mampong Cemetery farm.

In Nigeria, it was studied at Mokwa, in the southern Guinea savannah, by Longhurst & Howse (1979a, b, et ante), who described its predation on termites, and the biology of males. Almost half of the 73 nests which they examined were in deserted nests of the termite Macrotermes bellicosus (Smith), most of the rest were in the ground under bushes. Activity was either early morning (0700-0930 h) or late afternoon (1630-1830h). Major "scout ants" locate foraging termites, by detecting chemicals in the soil sheeting built by the termites. The scout, then recruit other workers, scent trails being used once the route is established. Only the minor workers enter the sheeting and bring out captured termites, stacking the prey around the entry points. At the end of the raid the termites are carried back to the analis nests, mainly by the majors. This behaviour appears to differ from the much more aggressive attacks launched on and into termite mounds by laeviuscula - see below.

Ivory Coast studies, Lévieux (1976a) gives the colony size as 450-600 adults. Nest density there can be as many as 20 colonies per hectare, but foraging recruitment appeared not to involve a scout ant.

Male on linked page


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Senegal
B Ndiaye
5.v.2009
Tandiankunda
13°06'30"N
12°05'18" W
Tandiankunda 05-V-09 St 2 P18F
Soudanian savannah, pitfall traps
2
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Mali
Z Yefremova & V Kravchenko


xii.2010
Sevare
14°32' N
04°06' W
Niger River, bank of lagoon
CDC trap

2
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Male
Mali
Z Yefremova & V Kravchenko
95448
25.xii.2010
Sevare
14°32' N
04°06' W
Niger River, bank of lagoon
malaise trap

3
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
G Debout & A Dalecky
Cameroon 131

15.vi.2001
Poli
8°29' N
13°15' E
30 km east of Poli at a Sudan-Guinea savannah location
2
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
FE

08.ii.2005
Dzanga-Sangha
02°50’01.8" N
16°08’13.7" E
Camp 3; 08.02.2005, 24h, fourmis passant en colonne sur le camp; 375m asl
2
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer

1998
Bayanga-Lidjombo


1

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
HA SOUCHE
09.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°07'06.4" N
16°07'59.2" E
373 m; Camp de transit 1; 14h30-17h30; Bord fleuve Sangha
1

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
JA

16.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°03'58.3" N
16°08'59.6" E
528 m; Camp 1; 17h30-4h;
A 20 m de l'Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae) dans la forêt
1
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Queen
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
JA

16.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°03'58.3" N
16°08'59.6" E
528 m; Camp 1; 17h30-4h;
A 20 m de l'Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae) dans la forêt
1

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
DG-03

20.i.2005
Dzanga-Sangha
04°04’34.5" N
17°02’27.7" E
Forêt de N’go; 537 m asl
1

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Male
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
DG-03

20.i.2005
Dzanga-Sangha
04°04’34.5" N
17°02’27.7" E
Forêt de N’go; 537 m asl
1

Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
S 1-15

2005-6
El Obeid
13.1833333 N
30.2166667 E

1
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
S 2-19

2005-6
El Obeid
13.1833333 N
30.2166667 E

1
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
S 2-21

2005-6
Jebel alnuba


1
{album}
Pachycondyla (Megaponera) analis
B Taylor det.
Male
Sudan
Z Mahmoud
2009-25

Abbasiya
12°1'9.01" N
27°58'3.17" E
Hand collected
1
{album}

Majors


{Pachycondyla analis major} The photomontage is of a major collected in Cameroun - 30 km east of Poli (ca °29' N 13°29' E) at a Sudan-Guinea savannah location (McKey Project). 


{Pachycondyla analis major}The photomontage is of specimens from Sudan, El Obeid, collected by Awatif Omer, 2006, Sudan 15.


{Pachycondyla analis major}The photomontage is of a major from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; Assiette jaune Ayous, 15-18-x, 2008; collector Philippe Annoyer


Minors


{Pachycondyla analis minor}The photomontage is of a minor collected in Cameroun - 30 km east of Poli (ca °29' N 13°29' E) at a Sudan-Guinea savannah location (McKey Project)


{Pachycondyla analis minor}The photomontage is of a minor from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; 16.x.2008; 17h30-4h; Camp 1; 03°03'58.3" N 16°08'59.6" E 528 m; A 20 m de l'Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae) dans la forêt; collector Philippe Annoyer. .

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© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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