The Ants of Africa
Genus Pheidole
Pheidole stephensi Taylor new species

Pheidole stephensi Taylor new species

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Nigeria .
MAJOR DESCRIPTION: Appears to be completely unique in having the frontal carinae excavated so as to expose the base of the scape and the torus, also in having quite distinct antennal scrobes; clypeus with a distinct median carina; the scape itself has a well developed basal expansion or flange; scapes and frontal carinae reaching three-quarter point of face; antennal scrobes while superficial quite distinct; underside of head smooth, hypostomal teeth armature with a single strong median tooth; alitrunk with transverse mesonotal welt; propodeum with sharp lateral margination and quite deeply longitudinally concave; with large distinctive propodeal spiracle; postpetiole from above smoothly ovoid; with faint rugae on the anterior dorsum of the head; other sculpturation restricted to weak spiculation on the lateral mesonotum and propodeum; erect hairs relatively long, fine and moderately abundant. colour yellow-brown, gaster darker.

TL 3.42 mm, HL 1.18, HW 1.12, SL 0.70, PW 0.50;

MINOR DESCRIPTION: Head evenly ovoid; mandibles relatively long and distinctly crossed over when closed; propodeal spines narrow, acute, upturned and triangular; also the propodeal spiracle relatively large and prominent; postpetiole small and globular; sculpturation on head solely faint short rugae on the genae, otherwise restricted to spiculation of lateral mesonotum and propodeum

TL 2.24 mm, HL 0.59, HW 0.50, SL 0.72, PW 0.34

Distribution - Ghana eastwards to Gabon. Named in recognition of one of the collectors, Dr S Sky Stephens.

Nigeria specimens deposited with the Natural History Museum, London; others in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

In general form and appearnce similar to Pheidole decarinata but that has only short frontal carinae or scrobe and no median carina on the clypeus.


{Pheidole stephensi (species E)}Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1980a: 20).

In Nigeria it was a fairly common species nesting in dead wood and crevices and trees, including cocoa. Tends aphids and pseudococcids, and constructs tents of vegetable and arthropod debris. Also found foraging on the ground and on native trees, cashew, kola and oil palm.

Reported from the Mamfe-Mampong cocoa canopy in Ghana and twice in his wider survey of canopy, by Room (1971). Found on cocoa at Kade by Majer (1975, 1976 a, b, c), using pkd, occurring in 13.4% of samples, with 60-160 workers per sample.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Liberia
E Poirier
Yekepa Camp 4
PF 2
6.iv.2013
Nimba County
0733’04" N
0833’17" E
Pitfall trap
Floodplain & marsh
501 m asl
minor
2
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 3091.4
20.iii.2011
Tchatchou
0905'57.3'' N
0234'27.4'' E
Mangifera indica
hand collected
minor
1
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.

Gabon
Y Braet
Gabon 71 & 72

16.vii.2006
Pongara
0034' N
0919' E
Pointe Denis, savannah, edge of beach, pitfall trap
8
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Pheidole sp11

16.v.2007
Boga
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
Tuna bait in forest
3
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Gabon
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 33

12.ix.2008
Tog
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
major & minor
3
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Gabon
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 43

15.ix.2008
Bifour
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
major & minor 3
{album}
Pheidole stephensi
B Taylor det.
Ghana
S Sky Stephens
05G0002
2005
major
In personal collection of S Sky Stephens
1
{album}

{short description of image} The photomontage is of a major worker from Ghana, collected by Sky Stephens (05G0002).
Single pair of hypostomal teeth and a strong median tooth; teeth set half way between midline and sides; midline produced forward as a prominent dark tooth; underside of head smooth.


{Pheidole stephensi major} The photomontage is of a major worker from Gabon, Tog; aphid survey; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted sp33).


{Pheidole stephensi major} The photomontage is of a major worker from Gabon, Bifour; colector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted 43).


{Pheidole stephensi minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Gabon; fk unmounted sp33 as above.


{Pheidole stephensi minor}The photomontage is of a minor worker from Gabon; fk unmounted sp11 as above.


{Pheidole species E minor} The photomontage is of a minor from Gabon, Pongara National Park; collectors L Volait & L V Guieu (Gabon 71).

Contents
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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