The Ants of Africa
Genus Tapinoma
Tapinoma longiceps (Wheeler) new status

Tapinoma longiceps Wheeler new status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zaïre (Tapinoma luridum Emery subspecies longiceps, new subspecies, Wheeler, 1922: 209, worker); worker only described (see Bolton, 1995) .

{Tapinoma longiceps}Wheeler's (1922) description was -
WORKER - 2.5 to 3 mm. Larger than the typical form and the subspecies connexum Santschi and differing also in the following characters. The head is longer, narrower behind and the posterior border is straight, not convex, as figured by Santschi for connexum, nor concave, as described by Emery for the type. The anterior clypeal border is straight in the middle, not feebly notched, and the scapes surpass the occipital border by nearly a third of their length. The eyes are decidedly smaller than in either of the other forms of the species. The thorax and petiole agree with Santschi's figure of connexum. The body is uniformly lustrous or moderately shining, the pilosity as described by Emery for the type, the pubescence exceedingly fine so that it somewhat dims the shining surface. The colour is uniformly brown, except the tarsi, which are pale brownish yellow.
Described from numerous specimens found by Lang, Chapin, and Bequaert nesting in a deserted carton termitarium on a tree on the forested bank of the Congo River at Zambi. This form is so distinct that it may prove to be an independent species."
The photomontage of a cotype of Tapinoma longiceps from Zaïre, is collated from the MCZ, Harvard University, website at - MCZ link.

With the availability of the MCZ images and the Fisher material of what clearly is Tapinoma luridum, I believe that the subspecies is worthy of full species status. From the description, it appears also to be a very close match (albeit slightly smaller) to that of Tapinoma menozzii Donisthorpe (TL 3.7 mm). If so, the latter would become a junior synonym of longiceps.

Bernard (1952) reported longiceps from Guinea; 4 workers from Mt. Nimba, Station F 35, Zouépo.

Oxford University Museum specimens

Tapinoma longiceps
B Taylor det.
Y Braet

4° 15' 33" S
15° 17' 5" E
24h pitfall trap; forest around the GERDIB laboratories; 317 m asl
Tapinoma longiceps
B Taylor det.
Y Braet
Gabon 45
00°34' N
09°19' E
Point Wingombe, botanic path, malaise trap
Tapinoma longiceps
B Taylor det.
A Fotso Kuate
Sample 32b

03°54'30" N
11°25'58" E


{Tapinoma longiceps}The photomontage is of a worker from Gabon; Tog; collector A Fotso Kuate (fk unmounted 32);

{Tapinoma longiceps}The photomontage is of a worker from Gabon; Pongara National Park, South Point Ngombé; collector Yves Braet (Gabon 45).

{Tapinoma longiceps}The photomontages are of specimens from Congo, Brazzaville; collectors Yves Braet & Eric Zassi (collection t 1.1)

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.