Tapinoma longiceps Wheeler new status
Type location Zaïre (Tapinoma
luridum Emery subspecies longiceps, new subspecies,
Wheeler, 1922: 209, worker); worker only described (see Bolton, 1995) .
(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.