Cataglyphis congolensis (Stitz) - new status
Type location Chad
[French Congo] (Myrmecocystus bicolor F. v. congolensis
n.v., Stitz, 1916, worker, illustrated) collected at Fort Archambault,
Schubotz - see below .
Stitz's (1916) description is at .
Agosti (1990, p 1469) listed it under the bicolor
group, setipes complex but later in his text (p 1487) has it
simply as bicolor var. congolensis. The inclusion under
setipes has to be seen as erroneous.
(1929b) provided a key to species, subspecies
and varieties of Cataglyphis
bicolor. The following separations seem relevant here:
Thorax red or dull red;
bicolor s.s. - petiole node rounded; little
pubescence on pronotum or shorter than on propodeum; head, thorax and
appendages uniform clear red in large workers; gaster entirely black
shiny above; smaller workers with lower legs and thorax tending to
brownish-black; north of 30° N.
congolensis - pubescence of tibiae and tarsi fine
and close together; petiole node triangular with rounded summit and
height less than length; south of 30° N; note his petiole illustration
(Fig. 16) is wrong.
In addition to the distinct petiole, Santschi noted that
congolensis had the red a little darker than the
type bicolor (although less so than desertorum).
Appendages as the body; gaster matt black. Occipitum, lower head and
gaster and legs somewhat shiny. Sides of thorax and femora pubescent;
lower head, thorax and gaster pilous; upper body glabrous. Apparently
widespread in Sudan and Senegal. The name is misleading, as it
stemmed from the type location being in "French Congo", at the time of
the collection (already by 1929 the area was in Chad).
Other specimens seen by Santschi came from mid-Niger,
Ouro N'Geirou [Ouro Nguérou, Mali?], by R. Chudeau; and Tassakante, Mali
[French Sudan], by Chevalier, locations from a relatively small area;
also Senegal, by Le Moult, Baol Oriental, at Thiès by A.
Chevalier, 1904. Thus it would be wrong to see it as a Congo Basin
Specimens labelled by Stitz as Myrmecocystus bicolor
v gibbosus and in the Berlin Zoological Museum clearly are
identical to congolensis, see the photomontage at the bottom.