Holotype Worker. Measurements: TL: 2.62 mm, HL 0.65, HW
0.65, SL 0.60, PW 0.45, WL 0.90, EL 0.175. Indices:CI 100, SI 92, OI
27, EPI 117, DTI 122
Paratype workers. Measurements: TL 2.62-3.0, HL
0.62-0.72, HW 0.60-0.67, SL: 0.62-0.72, PW 0.42-0.47, WL:0.80-0.92, EL
0.15-0.17. Indices: CI 89-100, SI 100-112, OI 22-29; EPI 73-114, DTI
105-128 ( 9 measured).
Worker description. In profile the head has a single
pair of elongated long setae at the level of the anterior margin of the
eye, posterior to this is a pair of relatively short setae at the level
of the posterior margin of the eye; sometimes there is a pair between
the latter and the posterior margin of head. Commonly there are 1 or 2
pairs at the occipital margin but sometimes these are absent bare. In a
few specimens the head dorsum is completely lacking setae. The anterior
clypeal margin is transverse. In full-face view the posterior margin of
the head appears transverse or even very slightly convex, but when the
head is tilted slightly forward from full-face the margin appears very
shallowly and evenly concave across its entire width. The outer margins
of the eyes just fail to break the outlines of the sides in full-face
view. The mesosoma (alitrunk) frequently is without setae but in some
specimens there are paired setae distributed as follows - pronotum 1-2;
mesonotum bare rarely with 2; propodeum dorsum 0; lateral margin of
propodeal declivity 1. In profile the mesonotum is evenly rounded,
without a differentiated declivitous face. In profile the propodeal
dorsum is very short, much shorter than the depth of the declivity to
the spiracle; the dorsum and declivity meet in an angle. Gastral
tergites 1-4 have sparse greyish pubescence, gastral tergites 2-3
mostly are completely lacking erect setae but sometimes there is a pair
of setae or, rarely, 3 pairs of long setae. The head and gaster are
brown to dark brown, the mesosoma is distinctly contrasting and much
lighter yellowish-brown. The antennae and all leg segments are yellow,
clearly lighter than the mesosoma. Holotype worker, Saudi Arabia: Wadi
Abha, 18.iii.2004, 18°12'59"N, 42°30'19"E, 2261 m.a.s.l. ( Mostafa R.
Sharaf). Paratypes, 9 workers with same data as holotype.
Remarks. This new species is a member of the Technomyrmex
albipes group, within the pallipes complex as defined by
Bolton (2007) and cannot be identified with Bolton's key to Technomyrmex
species. Technomyrmex briani appears taxonomically closest to T.
setosus Collingwood, 1985, which was described from Saudi Arabia.
The two species are similar in size and colour, with head and gaster
brown to dark brown, mesosoma yellowish brown, antennae and legs
yellow. Moreover both of the two species has a very similar complement
and arrangement of setae. Comparing Technomyrmex briani with T.
setosus, the eye position index (EPI) in T. briani is
larger, EPI 73-114, versus EPI 75-78; this means that the eyes are
located relatively posteriorly in T. briani compared with being
set in front of the midlength in T. setosus. The metanotal
groove in T. briani is deep whereas in T. setosus it
is shallow, as mentioned in Collingwood (1985). Moreover, T. briani
can be separated by the limited number of paired setae on gastral
tergites 1-4. First gastral tergite always bare; second and third
gastral tergites mostly bare, sometimes with a single seta; the third
rarely with three pairs of setae; the fourth gastral tergite always
with several pairs of setae. In T. setosus gastral tergites
1-4 have several pairs of setae, the longest on the first tergite about
equal to the maximum diameter of the eye or fractionally shorter.
Furthermore, T. briani has the posterior margin of head mostly
with a single pair of setae, sometimes two or completely bare. In T.
setosus two pairs of setae are present on the posterior margin of
head. Derivatio nominis. A patronymic name (T. briani)
is proposed in honor of my dear friend Dr Brian Taylor, Nottingham,
SHARAF, M.R. 2009. A new ant species of the Technomyrmex
albipes-group from Saudi Arabia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fauna
of Arabia, 24, 211-216.
Worker specimen in Oxford University Museum collection