The Ants of Africa
Bothroponera pumicosa (Roger)

Bothroponera pumicosa (Roger)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Ponera pumicosa n. sp., Roger, 1860: 290, worker; Forel, 1901f: 344, male, as Pachycondyla (Bothroponea) pumicosa; in Bothroponera, Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 76) Kafferland; no images on Antweb (June 2014)
sculpturata (Pachycondyla (Bothroponea) sculpturata n. sp., Santschi, 1912b: 151, queen; reduced to variety of pumicosa by Wheeler, 1922: 772; given as a subspecies in Bolton, 1995: 308) from Zimbabwe, Demarchi
all forms described .

Roger's (1860) description is at {original description}. Arnold (1915) gave a translation, this is at {original description}. Forel's (1901f) description of the male is at {original description}. Santschi's (1912b) description of sculpturata is at {original description}.

WORKER - Head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole coarsely punctate, punctate-rugulose or striated; but mandibles smooth, sparsely punctate; petiolar node truncated behind; gaster more or less shining.

Wheeler (1922) listed it also from Cameroun (Mundame, L. Conradt), plus several southern Africa locations.

There is a puzzle here. Roger (1860) gave the size of the worker as TL 10.5 mm. In Arnold (1915) the size is given as 12-13 mm. From the scale, the specimen shown below is about the Roger size, so it seems reasonable to assume Roger's size was about right.

As for the status of sculpturata, Santschi (1912b) whose descriptions, in this case quite complete, were usually sound, notes a number of apparently significant differences to pumicosa. Santschi remarks on the shape of the clypeus and sculpturation of the gaster as easily separating the species. His description also has the queen as with densely and entirely striated mandibles (shown in the type images, below).

In the descriptions and the photomontage worker the mandibles are smooth and shining in pumicosa. Curiously, Arnold (1915: & 1952a: 460) in dealing with Bothroponera species, in the later paper he treats this as a genus, never mentioned sculpturata. Wheeler (1922: 772) is a listing in his catalogue of African ants and there is no evidence that he actually examined material other than the Congo expedition ants. In his introduction to the catalogue, he refers to Dr. Bequaert as doing much of the work and literature search (Wheeler, 1922: 711) . Moreover, Wheeler listed "var. berthoudi (Forel)" under pumicosa but that now is placed under Pachycondyla strigulosa.

{Pachycondyla pumicosa sculpturata}The photomontage of the type sculpturata queen is collated from

{Pachycondyla pumicosa}The photomontage is collated from
South Africa: Cape Province; Burntkraal, nr Grahamstown; 3317'00"S 02629'00"E 647m
Collection Information: Collection codes: SAM-HYM-C000154 Date: 21 May 1986
Collected by: H.G.Robertson Method: turning over rocks
Habitat: karoo: false

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