The Ants of Africa

Genus Aenictogiton Emery
Contents - Aenictogitoninae

Originally erected as a Tribe of Dorylinae by Ashmead (1905b), type genus Aenictogiton Emery (1901d). A key to species was produced by Santschi (1924b), with a revision by Brown (1975). It was raised to subfamily status by Baroni Urbani, Bolton & Ward (1992).

Although Bolton (1995) had a note that the genus distribution is "west and central Africa", he did not earlier include it among West African genera (Bolton, 1973a) and I have so far found no instances of species records from West Africa. All seven of the known species are known only from male specimens and have type locations in Zare - six were listed by Wheeler (1922) and the seventh was described by Santschi (1924b). A specimen of what may be A. emeryi is known from Zambia and another possibly of A. elongatus is known from Angola.

Genus Description (Emery, 1901d: 49, translated by me from the Italian)

MALE - Head rectangular with marked posterior but rounded angles; mandibles robust, falciform. Frontal lamina rudimentary; with a median carina reaching the anterior margin of the head and widely indented; clypeus not differentiated. Antennal insertions near the mouth; antenna with 13 segments; scape short and wide; funiculus filiform, slightly incurved apically without a distinct club; apical segment not swollen. Eyes large, occupying somewhat more than the anterior half of the sides of the head. Ocelli relatively large. Occipital margin with a semicircular indentation. Thorax oval, elongated and parallel sided, not converging at the mesonotum. Legs short and robust; femora grooved to take the tibiae; tibiae of the posterior legs with large spurs. Wing with the cubital cell closed and with a discoidal cell. Petiole trapezoidal, flattened dorsally; widened posteriorly, with an acute posterior angle; and a flattened anterior process underneath. Postpetiole not separated from the gaster. Gaster as long as the whole of the rest of the body. Subgenital lamina forked, lacking cerci. Genital armature not easily seen, and whether or not the armature is retractable could not be determined.

I have enhanced the Santschi (1924d, my translation) key as follows - all from the Congo Basin; emeryi now known also from Zambia

1 TL > 8 mm; occiput with deep arcuate fossa
-- TL < 8 mm; ; occiput without a deep arcuate fossa 3
2 Aenictogiton fossicepsPetiole as long as it is wide, alitrunk with short pilosity
Aenictogiton fossiceps petiole
-- Aenictogiton schoutedeniPetiole distinctly longer than wide, head and alitrunk covered with densely packed, often confluent, hair pits; alitrunk with longer pilosity schoutedeni
3 Aenictogiton bequaertiPetiole 25% wider than long bequaerti
-- Petiole as long or longer than wide 4
4 Aenictogiton sulcatusPetiole as long as wide, head enlarged behind the eyes sulcatus
-- Petiole slightly longer than wide, head with sides parallel behind the eyes 5
5 Aernictogiton attenuatusSlender, TL no longer than 5 mm attenuatus
-- TL at least 6 mm long 6
6 Aenictogiton emeryiPropodeum smooth, petiole quite short emeryi
-- Aenictogiton elongatusPropodeum with large hair pits, petiole longer elongatus
2007, 2008, 2010, 2013 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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