The Ants of Africa
Genus Simopone
Simopone latiscapa Bolton & Fisher

Simopone latiscapa Bolton & Fisher

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ghana (Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 29, illustrated, worker & queen) Tafo, K2, 12.ii.1974 (C. Campbell) (BMNH) .


WORKER (holotype in parentheses). HL 1.80–1.96 (1.96), HW 1.32–1.48 (1.46), SL 0.62–0.70 (0.68), EL 0.54– 0.62 (0.60), PW 1.00–1.14 (1.12), AIIW 0.94–1.09 (1.09), AIIL 0.90–1.03 (1.03), AIIIW 1.16–1.35 (1.35), AIIIL 1.03–1.20 (1.20), WL 2.00–2.30 (2.30), MFL 1.04–1.20 (1.20), CI 73–76 (74), SI 47 (47), EL/HW 0.41–0.42 (0.41), EP 1.82–1.91 (1.91), AIIW/AIIL 1.04–1.06 (1.06), AIIIW/AIIIL 1.13–1.14 (1.13) (3 measured).
Clypeus strongly reflexed so that the clypeo-labral junction is conspicuously below and far behind the anteriormost point of the apparent anterior margin. In full-face view the frontal lobes only feebly elevated on each side of the clypeus. Frontal carinae extend back almost or just to the level of the anterior margins of the eyes. Eyes located well behind the cephalic midlength, EP > 1.50; in full-face view outer margins of eyes just fail to break the outlines of the sides at their midlengths. Sides of head behind eyes shallowly convex, in front of eyes distinctly concave. Scape enormously flattened and extremely broad, SW/SL 0.79–0.81, appearing disproportionately massive in fullface view. Leading edge of scape with inclined projecting setae present, and leading edge abruptly narrowed basally to allow scape to move relative to the frontal lobes. Sides of head below and behind eyes with projecting short setae present; cephalic dorsum with standing setae present. Cephalic dorsum glossy, with scattered punctures, the surface between the punctures with minute and faint microreticular patterning. In dorsal view pronotum with a conspicuous anterior carina that is reinforced posteriorly by a number of short, longitudinal cuticular ribs; humeri not sharply angulate; promesonotal suture with short cuticular ribs. Metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Entire dorsum of mesosoma sculptured as the head but the superficial microreticulation fainter and tending to fade out posteriorly. Dorsal surfaces of mesosoma with numerous curved setae that vary from suberect to almost decumbent. AII (petiole) without a distinct transverse anterior carina, instead with an accentuated angle where anterior and dorsal surfaces meet; posteriorly with a very weak carina. In dorsal view the sides of AII shallowly convex, broadest at about the midlength then converging posteriorly; posterior corners produced into a small, bluntly triangular outcurved prominence on each side. Anteroventral process of AII a recurved hook or spur. AII in dorsal view about as long as broad, AIII and AIV distinctly broader than long; maximum width of AIV 1.40–1.60, maximum length 1.04–1.28. Abdominal tergites, from AII to apex, with numerous curved setae that are mostly subdecumbent to decumbent; more elevated on posterior margin of each tergite; sternites from AIII to apex also with setae. Femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs with numerous, very conspicuous, elevated setae. Pygidial fork short and stout, the pygidial margins on each side with a row of 9–10 spiniform denticles. Full adult colour of head and body black.
QUEEN (dealate gyne). HL 1.72–1.76, HW 1.27–1.34, SL 0.60–0.63, EL 0.52–0.56, PW 1.08–1.14, AIIW 0.94–0.96, AIIL 0.86–0.88, AIIIW 1.20–1.25, AIIIL 1.12, AIVW 1.42–1.44, AIVL 1.08–1.16, WL 2.26, MFL 1.08, CI 74–76, SI 47, SW/SL 0.73–0.76, EL/HW 0.41–0.42, EP 1.75, AIIW/AIIL 1.06–1.12, AIIIW/AIIIL 1.08– 1.12 (2 measured). Matching the description and general shape of the worker but the mesosoma with a full complement of flight sclerites.
Holotype worker, Ghana: Tafo, K2, 12.ii.1974 (C. Campbell) (BMNH).
This spectacular species is immediately identified by its enormously hypertrophied antennal scapes in both worker and queen. It is known from only three workers and two queens; the Leston series from Ghana (BMNH) consists of one of each and the other queen, from Sierra Leone, was captured after it had flown into a house, though it was dealate when discovered.

{Simopone latiscapa}The photomontage of a non-paratypic worker from Gabon is collated from  http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0004517

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

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