The Ants of Africa
Genus Pseudolasius
Pseudolasius bufonus Wheeler

Pseudolasius bufonus Wheeler

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zare (Pseudolasius bufonum new species, Wheeler, 1922: 220, illustrated, all forms), see Bolton, 1995)
junior synonym gowdeyi (Pseudolasius gowdeyi new species,Wheeler, 1922: 223, illustrated, soldier & worker) from Uganda - new synonymy (2011)
all stages known .


Wheeler's (1922) descriptions of the Congo Basin species is at {original description}.

{Pseudolasius bufonus}Wheeler's description is as follows -
WORKER MAJOR [probably a media worker, see below] - length 2.8 to 3 mm. Head scarcely longer than broad, subrectangular, with nearly straight, subparallel sides and sinuately excised posterior border. Mandibles 5-toothed, the median tooth small, the apical long and pointed, the others shorter and subequal. Clypeus convex, subcarinate in the middle, its anterior border entire, only slightly projecting over the bases of the mandibles. Eyes very small *, consisting of only three or four ommatidia, situated a little in front of the median transverse diameter of the head. Antennal scapes not reaching to the posterior corners of the head; first funicular joint longer than the two succeeding joints together; second joint as broad as long, joints 3 to 7 slightly longer than broad. Thorax short, stout; pronotum large and broad, longer than the mesonotum, which is as long as broad; propodeum broader than long. In profile the pro- and mesonotum form a large convexity with rather uneven outline, interrupted by the strong promesonotal suture. Metanotal groove short and not very deep, the stigmata prominent. Propodeum decidedly lower than the mesonotum, in profile rounded and sloping, with very short base and long sloping declivity. Petiole small, rather strongly compressed antero-posteriorly, with entire superior border, Gaster elongate elliptical. Legs rather stout. Mandibles opaque, very finely and longitudinally striated. Remainder of body shining, very finely and rather densely punctate, but not more coarsely on the head and thorax than on the gaster. Clypeus smoother and more shining than the remainder of the head. Hairs and pubescence yellowish, abundant; the former erect, longest on the thoracic dorsum, sparser and shorter on the scapes and legs; pubescence rather long and dense over the whole body but only slightly obscuring the shining surface. Yellowish brown; gaster and appendages paler and more yellow; mandibles castaneous, their teeth and a blotch on the vertex blackish.

Note: * none of the several Cameroun specimens have eyes and the cotypes below also show no sign of eyes


[Pseudolasius bufonus]The photomontage of a cotype is collated from The Smithsonian Institute images at http://ripley.si.edu


The fresh Cameroun specimens (see below) show that this is a media worker.

WORKER MINOR - length 2.5 to 3 mm. Differing from the major worker in the shape of the head, which is decidedly smaller, distinctly longer than broad, with straight sides and only feebly excised posterior border. Eyes reduced to a single ornmatidium or absent. Antennal scapes reaching to the posterior corners of the head; first funicular joint broader than long, joints 3 to 7 not longer than broad. Sculpture, pilosity, and color as in the major worker, but the black spot on the vertex fainter or altogether absent.


FEMALE - length 5.5 to 6 mm. Head, excluding the mandibles, broader than long, slightly broader behind than in front, with feebly convex sides and broadly and feebly excised posterior border. Eyes slightly convex, very broadly elliptical, occupying the median third of the sides of the head. Antennal scapes extending nearly one-third their length beyond the posterior corners of the head; all the funicular joints longer than broad. Thorax broader than the head; the mesonotum and scutellum flattened. Apical border of petiole blunt, straight, and transverse. Gaster large, elliptical. Wings long. Sculpture, pilosity, and color much as in the worker, but the body darker brown, the gaster not paler than the thorax. Anterior border of clypeus blackish. Hairs lacking (possibly rubbed off), pubescence shorter and more delicate, and the surface, especially of the head and thorax, somewhat more opaque than in the worker. Wings blackish, with dark brown veins and pterostigma.


MALE - length 2.5 mm. Head as broad, as long, somewhat narrowed behind and in front. Eyes convex, hemispherical, somewhat in front of the middle of the sides, the posterior border nearly straight. Mandibles denticulate, overlapping. Clypeus convex, Antennal scapes extending about one-fourth their length beyond the posterior border of the head; all the funicular joints distinctly longer than broad, the first nearly as long as the two succeeding joints together. Thorax and petiole shaped somewhat as in the female. Gaster and legs slender, external genital valves rather long and pointed. Sculpture and pilosity much as ill the worker. Color yellowish brown above, with brownish yellow appendages, genitalia, venter, and anterior portion of head. Ocellar triangle dark brown. Wings paler than in the female.

Described from four major and eleven minor workers, three females, and eight males, all taken from the stomachs of toads (Bufo superciliaris and polycercus) captured at Medje (Lang and Chapin). This species differs from weissi in the shape of the head of the major worker, the slightly larger eyes, more strongly striated and more opaque mandibles, shorter antenna, and much more abundant pilosity and pubescence, and especially in having erect hairs on the scapes and legs. The female is smaller than that of weissi, with a differently shaped head, less excised behind, larger and more nearly circular eyes and longer antennae.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Pseudolasius bufonus
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 49

24.iii.2008
Awae II
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
major & minor
2
{album}
Pseudolasius bufonus
B Taylor det.
Cameroun
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 37

17.vii.2007
Awae II
0354'30" N
1125'58" E
minors
1
{album}

{Pseudolasius bufonus}The photomontage shows the polymorphism of workers from Cameroun; Awae II; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted 49)

See the Cameroun specimens page


Pseudolasius gowdeyi Wheeler

Type location Uganda (Wheeler, 1922: 223, illustrated, soldier & worker); soldier and worker only described (see Bolton, 1995) .


{Pseudolasius gowdeyi}Wheeler's description was -
WORKER MAJOR - length 2.5 mm. Head as broad as long, subrectangular, as broad in front as behind, with straight sides and feebly but distinctly excised posterior border. Eyes absent. Mandibles with five acute teeth on their oblique apical borders, the median tooth small, the apical twice as long as the other three. Clypeus convex but not carinate, its anterior border nearly straight. Antennae slender, the scapes extending about one-fifth their length beyond the posterior corners of the head; the second funicular joint not longer than broad, the succeeding joints slightly longer than broad. Thorax short and robust, the pro- and mesonotum forming together an evenly rounded convexity; mesopleura somewhat compressed; propodeum short, nearly horizontal, lower than the mesonotum, passing through a curve into the sloping, flat declivity. Petiolar scale narrowed above, its sides curved, its superior border rather blunt, truncated, entire. Gaster elliptical. Legs rather short. Whole body smooth and shining, except the mandibles) which are opaque and very finely and densely striated. Integument of the body and appendages apparently microscopically but not densely punctate. Hairs and pubescence white, the former sparse, conspicuous only on the clypeus, thorax, and gaster, the appendages being without erect hairs. Pubescence short, rather dense on the head and gaster, longer on the latter, slightly oblique on the scapes and legs. Pale yellow, the head and thorax a little darker, mandibular teeth dark brown.

WORKER MINOR - length 1.8 to 2 mm. Differing from the major worker in its smaller head, which is elongate and with very feeble occipital excision. Antennal scapes reaching nearly one-fourth their length beyond the posterior corners of the head; joints 2 to 6 of the funicuhls as broad as long.

Described from two major and sixteen minor workers taken by Mr. C. C. Gowdey at Entebbe, Uganda. They were found attending subterranean coccids (Risso) about the roots of coffee. This is readily distinguished from all the preceding species by its smaller size, paler color, the complete absence of eyes even in the major workers, the shape of the head and thorax, and the pilosity.


Pseudolasius gowdeyiThe photomontage of a cotype is collated from The Smithsonian Institute images at http://ripley.si.edu/
The fresh Cameroun specimens (above) show that this is a minor worker.


{Pseudolasius bufonus gowdeyi}The photomontage of the sordida type, clearly a small minor (compared to the type minor above) is collated from - http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0912330

Contents
2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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