The Ants of Africa
Genus Tetraponera
Tetraponera aethiops F Smith

Tetraponera aethiops F Smith

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server}Type location South Africa (Tetraponera Æthiops, F Smith, 1877b: 71, worker; Santschi, 1911g: 207, male, from Gabon; Forel, 1913c: 352, queen, name only, from Nigeria) - see below
junior synonym spininoda (Sima spininoda, nov. sp., André, 1892a: 51, worker & queen; synonymy Emery, 1912b: 97) from Gabon, Samkita, by F. Faure - see below
all forms described (see Bolton, 1995) .


{short description of image}Smith's (1877b) description is at {original description}. André's (1892a) description of spininoda worker & queen is at {original description}. Santschi's (1911g) description of the male, from Gabon, is at {original description}. Emery's (1912b) illustrated description of the queen and what he determined as the new subgenus Pachysima is at {original description}. Arnold (1916: 174) gave a translation; this is at {original description}.

Note: The type record "Hab.-S. Africa" (confirmed by the simple label, below) is curious as the host plant Barteria fistulosa is described as occurring from western Nigeria east to the Central African Republic and south to DR Congo [Medicinal plants by G.H. Schmelzer, A. Gurib-Fakim, AGROOH., Plant Resources of Tropical Africa (Program]. Arnold (1916) simply has "South Africa. (G.A. coll.)", whereas he normally gave details of collections.


Wheeler (as Pachysima æthiops, 1922, illustrated, profile and full-face view) listed it from Nigeria (Oni Camp, east of Lagos, W.A. Lamborn), Cameroun (Bipindi, Zenker; Mundame, Conradt; Bibundi, Tessmann; Metit, G. Schwab); and many Congo basin locations. He gave considerable details - TL 9-10 mm, shining jet-black; living in the twigs of Barteria fistulosa, and in Cameroun, where Tessmann found it in and on the trunks of Epitaberna myrmoecia; much more square-headed than the free-ranging species, eyes smaller and nearer the posterior margin of the head, three ocelli; noticeable ventral processes on both the petiole and postpetiole. In the report of the Lang-Chapin expedition there also is much information on the relation between the ant and the plant (Bequaert, 1922) and on the woody structure of the plant (by Professor Bailey) (see Ant Plants).


Tetraponera aethiopsThe photomontage of the holotype worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0902813.


Tetraponera aethiopsThe photomontage of the spininoda type worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0913718. This appears identical to the type above.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
 Cameroun
G Debout & A Dalecky
Cameroon 89

18.iv.2001
Bella
3°14.45' N
10°13.33' E
Found in domatia of Barteria fistulosa

2
{album}
Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
DO

26.i.2005
Dzanga-Sangha
02°48’20.5" N
16°06’14.0" E
Camp1; 26.01.2005, 8h30,
larves nymphes et fourmis dans tige de N’Goma N’Goma (Barteria sp., Flacourtiacées); 350m asl
dark purple colour
2
{album}
Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
IL
14.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°03'58.3" N
16°08'59.6" E
528 m; Camp 1; 20h-3h A 20 m de l'Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae) dans la forêt
2
{album}
Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
IR 1
15.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°03'55.6" N
16°07'43.1" E
543 m; Camp 1; Journée Prospection en forêt
2

Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
Queen
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
KK
22.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
03°01'49.5" N
16°08'31.7" E
567 m; Camp 2; 9h-14h; vers ancienne saline du camp vers une ancienne saline
1
{album}
Tetraponera aethiops
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
Camp 3
Dzanga-Sangha
02°50’01.8" N
16°08’13.7" E
Camp 3, in N'Goma; 375m asl
2
{album}

{Tetraponera aethiops}The photomontage is of workers collected in Cameroun - south-western tropical coastal forest area between Edéa and Campo (McKey Wolbachia project, Cameroon 89). Found in domatia of Barteria fistulosa (Wheeler illustration right above, click for linked page).


{Tetraponera aethiops}The photomontage is of a worker from the Central African Republic, N'Goma; collector Philippe Annoyer (CAR Camp3), 2005; 4 workers, 1 queen, 1 male.
This is larger than the general descriptions, with a rectangular head appearing to match the Wheeler drawing. The worker from Gabon (above) and the specimen below have the size and head shape described by Arnold (1916). 


{Tetraponera aethiops}The photomontage is of a worker from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; collector Philippe Annoyer (CAR IL).


{Tetraponera aethiops queen}Queen


{Tetraponera aethiops queen}The photomontage is of a queen from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; collector Philippe Annoyer (CAR KK).


{Tetraponera aethiops variant}The photomontage is of a variant dark purple worker from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; collector Philippe Annoyer (CAR DO). This has weaker processes on the underside of the petiole and postpetiole.

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