The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole senilifrons Wheeler - new status

Pheidole senilifrons Wheeler new status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zaïre (Pheidole caffra subspecies senilifrons, new subspecies, Wheeler, 1922: 130, illustrated, major & minor) collected at Yakuluku, by Lang & Chapin - see below
unavailable name thysvillensis (Pheidole caffra Emery subspecies bayeri Forel variety thysvillensis new variety, Wheeler, 1922: 130, major & minor) from Zaïre, collected at Thysville, by Lang & Chapin
all forms described (see Bolton, 1995) distribution.



{Pheidole caffra}

Wheeler (1922: 130) - text Figure 32, right.
MAJOR - Length 4 mm. Differing from the typical form and the subspecies bayeri in the sculpture of the head, the sharp longitudinal rugae between the prolonged frontal carinae being surrounded by the rugae from the sides of the head, which run up to the posterior corners, then turn at a right angle and run transversely on the occipital lobes to the occipital furrow. These rugae are quite as strong as those on the front, but denser. The head is a little longer and a little more depressed posteriorly than in the variety thysvillensis, the transverse welt of the mesonotum less pronounced; the blunt propodeal spines distinctly shorter. The sculpture of the thorax and pedicel and the color and pilosity are much as in that variety.

See Pheidole caffra for separation

MINOR - Length 1.8 mm. Very similar to the minor thysvillensis but the pronotum is smooth and shining and the propodeal spines are shorter, less obtuse, and more erect. From the photos of the type minor (below) the scapes are without erect hairs.
Four majors and a single minor from Yakuluku, Zaïre, where they were found "nesting in a small, mushroom shaped termitarium" (Lang and Chapin).


{Pheidole senilifrons major}The photomontage is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0003145


{Pheidole senilifrons minor}The photomontage is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0006021


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.

Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3017.1 & 3016
9.xi.2012
Korobourou
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 1, série 1, variété Gouverneur; ground nesting
Minor worker

2
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3040.4
20.ii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1000-1100 h
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3045.1
27.ii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1000-1100 h
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3056.4
27.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
0900-1000 h
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3079.3

6.iii.2013
Koro
09°22'21'' N
02°40'13'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
prey of Oecophylla longinoda
1000-1100 h
major
1
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole sp12
8.v.2007
Awae II
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
Tuna bait in fallow 1
{album}
Pheidole thysvillensis
B Taylor det.

Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole spA
17.xii.2005
Boga
03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E
pitfall in mixed crop
major worker
1
{album}
Pheidole senilifrons
B Taylor det.
Congo
Y Braet


7.x.2007
Dzio-Dzio
3°29'33" S
15°18'33" E
Ngabe, Région de Pool
collected by sweep netting (fauchage)


3
{album}

{Pheidole senilifrons major}The photomontage is of a major worker from Benin; Koro; collector J-F Vayssieres (RVA 3079). This appears an exact match for the senilifrons type shown above although the dimensions, other than TL, were not given by Wheeler and the Antweb images have no scales.

The arrangement of hypostomal teeth, with only a mid-placed recessed pair and none close to the midline, sets it apart from caffra and the form shown at the bottom, which may be thysvillensis as a separate species.


{Pheidole senilifrons minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Benin; Korobouro; collector J-F Vayssieres (RVA 3017).


{Pheidole senilifrons minor}The photomontage is of a minor specimen from Congo, Dzio-Dzio, Ngabe, Région de Pool; collector Yves Braet. 


Pheidole caffra subspecies bayeri, new variety thysvillensis

Wheeler's (1922) description of thysvillensis is -
MAJOR - Length 4 to 4.5 mm. Smaller than the typical bayeri, with the head of the same shape, but subopaque and with only the front and occiput somewhat shining. The occipital depression is less distinct than in the subspecies abyssinica Forel, and the rugae are anteriorly less numerous, coarser, and farther apart, but very fine and distinctly transverse on the occiput. The antennal scapes are shorter than in the typical bayeri, reaching only a little beyond the middle of the head. The suberect propodeal spines are not pointed as in abyssinica and bayeri but somewhat longer, of uniform thickness or even slightly enlarged at the tips, which are blunt. The propodeum dorsum is not longer than broad. The postpetiole is somewhat narrower than in bayeri and abyssinica, with blunter lateral angles. Thorax, petiole, and postpetiole more finely rugulose-punctate than in abyssinica; gaster shining, with the base of the first segment subopaque and alutaceous. Colour as in abyssinica, with the head and thorax ferruginous brown but varying in some specimens to pale ferruginous red, with the gaster black or brown and the base of the first segment and posterior borders of all the segments paler and more reddish or yellowish.
MINOR - Length 2 mm. Smaller than the minor of bayeri. Head elliptical, without posterior corners, longer than broad. Antennal scapes extending two-fifths their length beyond the occipital border, which is rather sharply marginate. Shining; head and thorax finely reticulate; mesonotum, propodeum, petiole, and ventral and lateral portions of the postpetiole opaque and densely punctate. Ferruginous brown; head castaneous; mandibles except their teeth, yellowish.
Described from numerous specimens taken both by Lang and Bequaert at Thysville, Zaïre, apparently from the same colony, "nesting in sandy soil in the savannah".


{Pheidole senilifrons major}The photomontage is of a major worker from Cameroun; Boga; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk pheidole sp a).  Possibly closer to the thysvillensisform. The arrangment of hypostomal teeth, with a pair of prominent teeth close to the midline and a pair set behind closer to the base of the mandibles, sets it closer to Pheidole areniphila


Pheidole senilifrons majorComparison, monochrome, between the Wheeler (1922) drawing and the Cameroun fk spa major. This shows the drawn head to be a little more elongated than shown in the AMNH photograph


{Pheidole senilifrons minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Cameroun; Awae II; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk pheidole sp 12).

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© 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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