The Ants of Africa
Genus Solenopsis
Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr

Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Solenopsis punctaticeps nov. spec., Mayr, 1865: 109, worker; Forel, 1901e: 431, queen & male) Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope - see below
caffra (Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr v. caffra n. var., Forel, 1894b: 99, worker & queen) from South Africa - see
junior synonyms
cyclops Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr stirps cyclops n. st., Santschi, 1914e: 19, illustrated, major & minor workers) from South Africa - no images on Antweb (October 2014)
and diversipilosa (Solenopsis punctaticeps var. diversipilosa nov. var., Mayr, 1901b: 15, worker) from South Africa - no images on Antweb (October 2014)
cleptomana (Solenopsis cleptomana n. sp., Santschi, 1914b: 80, worker) from Kenya, Naivasha, xii.1911, Alluaud & Jeannel - see
erythraea (Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr subsp. eryhtraea n., Emery, 1915c: 64, illustrated, worker) from Eritrea, Asmara, Nefasit (not Ethiopia as given in Bolton, 1995) - see
fur (Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr stirps fur n. st., Santschi, 1926b: 230, worker, queen & male) from Zimbabwe - see below
indocilis (Santschi, 1914d: 355, worker & queen) from Guinea, Mamou, by F. Silvestri - see
juba (Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr juba subsp. nov., Weber, 1943c: 362, illustrated, worker & queen) from South Sudan - no images on Antweb (October 2014)
kibaliensis (Wheeler, 1922: 164, worker & male) from Zare - see
all forms known (see Bolton, 1995) .

{Solenopsis punctaticeps}Mayr's (1865) description is at {original description}. Forel's (1894b) description of caffra is at {original description}. Mayr's (1901b) description of diversipilosa is at {original description}. Forel's (1901e) description of the queen and male is at {original description}. Arnold (1916: 243) gave an illustrated translation, this is at {original description} and {original description}. Santschi's (1914b) description of cleptomana is at {original description}. Santschi's (1914e) illustrated description of cyclops is at {original description}. Emery's (1915g) illustrated description of erythraea is at {original description}. Emery (1915c) considered the various varieties then known, with illustrations; this is on :- {original description} , {original description}, {original description} and {original description}. Santschi's (1926b) description of fur is at {original description}. Weber's (1943c) description of juba is at {original description}.

{Solenopsis punctaticeps}Santschi (1935) noted a single worker from Kindu, Zare, collected by Dr Gerard. Earlier (1914d) he noted indocilis as TL 1.8-3.0; head and thorax reddish-yellow, remainder yellow. Pilosity quite regular, slightly shorter on the tibiae; head squarer; petiole a little wider at the base and with a shorter pedicel, summit narrower; 7 workers, 5 queens.

Wheeler (1922) described kibaliensis as living in small craters in the soil and seen feeding on dead insects. The species appears to have rectangular heads, with straight sides, rather longer than broad in the smallest individuals, workers TL 2-2.8 mm. His description follows -

WORKER - Length 2 to 2.8 mm. Apparently less polymorphic than the typical punctaticeps and the subspecies caffra Forel and therefore more like the subspecies erythraea Emery. Head in all the individuals rectangular, with straight sides, as broad in front as behind, not longer than broad in the largest, distinctly longer in the smallest individuals. Median teeth of the clypeus long and slender, lateral teeth obsolete or indicated only by feeble projections. Petiolar node broader than the petiole, its upper border straight and transverse. Sculpture much as in typical punctaticeps and the hairs almost as abundant as in that form, but much shorter and less erect, especially on the head. Color yellowish brown, legs and antennae yellow; mandibular teeth dark brown. Small workers scarcely paler.
MALE - Length 4.3 mm. (Typical form, black, TL 5 mm] Head with very large eyes and ocelli, the latter extremely prominent; without the mandibles broader than long. Mandibles with 3 denticles. Antennal scapes nearly as long as the first two funicular joints together. Thorax broadly elliptical, slightly flattened above, only slightly longer than broad, much broader than the head. Propodeum bluntly subangular in profile, the base distinctly longer than the declivity. Nodes of petiole very low, rounded. Wings rather long; legs very slender. Smooth and shining; head subopaque and finely longitudinally striate behind. Hairs sparser and more reclinate than in the worker. Brown; head black around the ocelli; mandibles, antennae and legs yellowish. Wings rather opaque brownish hyaline, with very distinct brown veins and pterostigma.
Described from twenty workers and a single male from Vankerckhovenville (Lang & Chapin), on the Kibali River or Upper Uele. The specimens were living in small craters in the soil and were seen feeding on dead insects.

{Solenopsis punctaticeps}The photomontage of a syntype worker is collated from

{Solenopsis punctaticeps}The photomontage of the type major worker of fur is collated from

{Solenopsis punctaticeps}The photomontage is collated from Locality: South Africa: Kwazulu Natal; Good Hope Estate, 10.1 km W 281 Boston; 2941'42"S 02955'24"E 1550m
Collection Information: Collection codes: BLF1793 Date: 25-30 Aug 1998
Collected by: B.L.Fisher Method: ES11 under stone
Habitat: grassland

2007, 2008, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.