The Ants of Africa
Genus Tetraponera
Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Equatorial Guinea (Sima tessmanni n. sp., Stitz, 1910: 131, illustrated, worker; Santschi, 1919h: 84, queen; Wheeler, 1922: 110, male; in Tetraponera, Ward, 1990: 489) collected at Alen, by Tessmann - see below: type queen at https://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=focol1166
junior synonym
castanea (Viticola tessmanni variety castanea, new variety, Wheeler, 1922: 112, worker & queen) from Zare, at Avakubi, by Lang & Chapin; synonymy by Brown, 1950e: 248) - see below
worker, male and queen described (see Bolton, 1995) .


{Tetraponera tessmanni}Stitz's (1910) description is at {original description}. Santschi (1919h) described the female at {original description} - commenting close to mayri but that has a more distinctly dentate clypeus (simply sinuous in tessmanni).


{short description of image} Description and illustration from Wheeler (1922)
WORKER -
Length 3 to 3.5 mm. Head longer than broad, a little broader behind than in front, with feebly concave cheeks, rounded posterior corners and nearly straight posterior border, and, on the vertex, with a short longitudinal impression at one end of which the anterior ocellus is sometimes distinctly developed. Posterior ocelli absent. Eyes very small, flat, shorter than half their distance from the mandibular insertions, placed a little in front of the middle of the head. Mandibles short, rather strongly angulate at the base externally, their apical margins oblique, with 5 or 6 denticles, those at the base often indistinct. Clypeus convex and evenly rounded in the middle, its anterior border projecting, entire, strongly emarginate on the sides. Frontal groove absent. Antennae short, scapes not reaching to the middle of the head, first funicular joint much longer than broad, joints 2 to 8 much broader than long, crowded together, joints 9 to 11 forming a three-jointed club, the last joint being as long as both the others, which are subequal and somewhat broader than long. Thorax narrower than the head, constricted in the mesonotal region. Pronotum from above a little broader than long, evenly rounded and convex; mesonotum transversely subelliptical, feebly convex, surrounded by impressed sutures. Metanotum nearly as long as the mesonotum, concave, with uneven surface. Propodeum very convex and rounded, egg-shaped from above, semiglobose in profile, as high as the pronotum or slightly higher, with the slit-shaped epinotal glands shining through the integument and conspicuously enlarged. Petiole short, scarcely longer than broad, broader behind than in front, convex and rounded above. In profile, its ventral surface is also convex and protuberant, with a small, compressed, blunt, translucent tooth anteriorly. Postpetiole a little broader than the petiole, scarcely broader than long and scarcely broader behind than in front, convex and rounded above and below. Legs and gaster of the usual shape, the latter with well-developed sting.
Very smooth and shining, including the mandibles; impunctate under a magnification of 20 diameters. Hairs golden yellow, erect, of uneven length, sparse, most numerous on the gaster, especially along its sides. These regions also have more numerous short hairs or suberect pubescence. Antenna and legs with shorter, more appressed hairs. Cheeks and clypeus densely and conspicuously pubescent, the latter without a fringe of cilia-like bristles.
Clear brownish yellow, with the borders of the mandibles, clypeus and frontal carinae brown. The variety castanea was morphologically similar but the body and legs were pale chestnut brown, with the antennae paler and more yellowish.

Wheeler (1922) described how several hundred specimens were taken at Medje, Zare, by Mr Lang, from the hollow stems of Vitex staudtii Guerke. In the report of the Lang-Chapin expedition there also is much information on the relation between the ant and the plant (Bequaert in Wheeler, 1922, p 447) and on the woody structure of the plant (by Professor Bailey, in Wheeler, pp 585-593 & 605-6) (see Ant Plants).


{Tetraponera tessmanni}The photomontage of a cotype worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0907476.


Tetraponera tessmaniThe photomontage of the castanea type is collated from http://mcz-28168.oeb.harvard.edu/mcz/FMPro?-DB=Image.fm&-Lay=web&-Format=images.htm&Species_ID=20530&-Find.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Tetraponera tessmanni
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
VI

15.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
0303'58.3" N
1608'59.6" E
528 m; Camp 1; 18h-5h;
Sur plate-forme 54 m du sol dans un Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon, Sterculiaceae) 50 m du camp
1
{album}
Tetraponera tessmanni
B Taylor det.
Central African Republic
P Annoyer
Camp 1F
13-15.x.2008
Dzanga-Sangha
0303'58.3" N
1608'59.6" E
528 m; Camp 1; Piege Barber, Vin de Palme
1
{album}

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


{Tetraponera tessmani}The photomontage is of a worker from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; collector Philippe Annoyer (CAR Camp 1F). 


Tetraponera tessmani sexualsIllustration from Wheeler (1922).

Male, TL 2.6-3.0 mm, pale yellow, wings grayish yellow


Tetraponera tessmani queenThe photomontage of a cotype queen of castanea is collated from The Smithsonian Institute images at http://ripley.si.edu/ent/nmnhtypedb/public/specimeninfopage.cfm?publicconsumption=1&typespecimenID=400.

Contents
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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