The Ants of Africa
Contents - Ponerinae - PONERINAE Introduction

Genus Cryptopone Emery (1893a: cclxxv)

{Cryptopone sp}In Tribe PONERINI.

Diagnostic Features - The key feature is a distinct circular or near-circular pit or fovea on the basal, dorsolateral portion of the mandible (Emery, 1893a: cclxxv; type species Cryptopone testacea from Sri Lanka) Emery's (1893a) genus description is at {original description} and Emery (1893f: 240; drawings unavailable) at{original description}.

Brown (1963) had the features of the worker as -
Small in size, generally under 4 mm total length, depigmented (ferruginous or yellowish); eyes absent or extremely reduced, body compact; mandibles downcurved, with a few (4-6) coarse teeth set on more or less oblique masticatory borders. Dorsolateral mandibular surface with a conspicuous basal pit or fovea, circular or elliptical in outline. Middle tibiae with stout spinules covering about 2/3 or more of their extensor surfaces. Palpal segmentation 2,2 or less.
He continued - "True Cryptopone has not been taken in Africa south of the Sahara and C. angustata Santschi (type examined) and C. hartwigi Arnold should be transferred to Ponera as that genus is currently constituted". The first now is Hypoponera angustata but Bolton (1995) appears to regard hartwigi as a true Cryptopone (see below).

Bolton (1973a) included this genus on the basis of the probability of members being found in sub-Saharan Africa. The sole African species listed by Bolton (1995) was Cryptopone hartwigi Arnold (1948: 213, illustrated, worker), from South Africa, which he had as a "revived combination" from Hypoponera. The illustration (right) is from Bolton (1994), where no source is given. Other examples of genus members can be seen on pages of the Japanese Ant Color Image Database, of which the link is one of two pages. Arnold (1948) does not mention a fovea on the mandible in his otherwise detailed description and none is shown on his illustration, so it seems far from certain to me that hartwigi is a true Cryptopone.

Cryptopone hartwigi.

Cryptopone new species (undescribed)

Known from 2 workers collected from leaf litter at Juaso, secondary forest, in Ghana (Belshaw & Bolton, 1994b).

Contents PONERINAE Introduction
2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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