The Ants of Africa
Genus Dorylus Subgenus Typhlopone
Dorylus (Typhlopone) badius Gerstäcker - revived status

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Dorylus (Typhlopone) badius Gerstäcker - revived status

Type location Mozambique (Dorylus badius n. sp., Gerstäcker, 1859: 261, male; wrongly given by Bolton, 1995: 178 as worker; Santschi, 1914b: 63, worker; status as a synonym of Dorylus fulvus by Emery, 1895j: 724) - no images on Antweb (June 2014).

I have elevated the much smaller species Dorylus (Typhlopone) rhodesiae to separate species status.

Gerstäcker's (1859) description of badius is - "Dorylus badius, n.sp.; pedunculo abdominis quadrato, mandibulis elongatis, acutis, dilute rufo-brunneus, cano-tomentosus, abdomine sericeo-micante, segmento ultimo laevi, apice rufo-piloso; capite negro, vertice alto elevato, alarum venis nigro-fuscis. Long. lin. 14-15½. Mas.". {original description}

Santschi's (1914b) description of the badius workers is at {original description}.

{Dorylus fulvus badius}Arnold (1915) gave the following notes and descriptions -
"The type species appears to be confined to the northern portion, of Africa, and is replaced in equatorial and S.E. tropical Africa by the following race, which has not been recorded to my knowledge from temperate South Africa.
The sub-genus includes only this species and D. labiatus of the Indian region.
Description - race badius Gerstaecker. (Plate IV., figs, 31, 31a, 32, 32a, 32b.)
Major worker. TL 13 mm, head 3.2 mm long X 2.8 mm wide.Mandibles piceous brown, scape of antenna, head and thorax dark castaneous red, but getting gradually lighter from the head to the petiole; abdomen dark brownish yellow, or ochreous with a slight reddish tinged; legs ferruginous; funiculus dark brown above, lighter underneath. Head, thorax and abdomen very shining, except the anterior third of the head, the vertical anterior face of the pronotum, the mesopleura, the petiole and the propodeum, which are duller, owing to a rugulosity of the surface which is almost microscopic on the head, but somewhat stronger on the other parts. Head sparsely punctured, with small, discrete and shallow punctures; scape of antenna more coarsely punctured. Pro- and mesonotum sparsely, but much more coarsely punctured than the head. Propodeum and petiole very shallowly and more closely punctured, the punctures being smaller than on the pronotum. Gaster finely and sparsely punctured. A short, yellow pubescent hair is inserted in each puncture, those on the head being very fine.
Head very slightly narrowed posteriorly, the sides are almost parallel, posterior margin shallowly arcuate. Mandibles sub-nitidulous, striato-punctate, the apex sub-acute, the pre-apical tooth small and blunt, the sub-apical very obtuse or represented only by a swelling on the margin. The frontal carinae are considerably raised, divergent and vertical, in front, and project distinctly over the very short clypeus; they are angularly bent just above the antennal sockets, so that their posterior half is horizontal. Between them posteriorly is a very smooth and shining oval area, which is continued into a, moderately deep groove with rounded margins which becomes very faint on the vertex, and again deepens towards the occipital margin. The frontal carinae are not spinously produced backwards as in helvolus and affinis. Antennae 11-jointed; the scape is strongly incrassate towards the apex, and not longer than the first 7 joints of the funiculus. The 1st joint of the funiculus very short and about as long as wide, all the other joints except the apical much wider than long; all the joints closely punctured and densely pubescent beneath.
Pronotum narrowed and depressed anteriorly to form a short neck; it is widest behind this part and. narrows towards the mesonotum, from which it is separated by a distinct and angular suture. The mesonotum widens posteriorly, where it is two-thirds wider than long. The propodeum is widest at its base (on each side of which lies a prominent spiracle), and narrows but slightly towards the short and vertical declivity; the brow of the latter is considerably rounded above and at the corners. The dorsum of the propodeum has a longitudinal median impression. Seen from the side, the dorsum of the whole thorax is flat and rather distinctly delimited from the sides, which are vertical or nearly so.
The node of the petiole is almost sub-quadrate, or a little wider behind than in front, as long as, or only very little longer than wide, all the angles strongly rounded; the ventral lamella is produced into a triangular projection.
The gaster widens gradually towards the apical margin of the 3rd segment, all the segments wider than long. The pygidial area of the 5th segment is dull and only shallowly impressed, forming a more or less oval fovea, not semi-circular or bounded by a sharp raised margin, as in the subgenus Dorylus. By this character, and also by the longer petiole and the frontal carinae without spines, all the workers of this species can be distinguished at a glance from those of the subgenus Dorylus.
Worker minor - TL 8-3 mm. In these the colour is much lighter, or more or less reddish yellow. Antennae 11-jointed, as in the maxima. Proportionately the head is wider in front than in the maxima. The puncturation is finer and the pubescence is more apparent. In the smaller forms, the frontal carinae project further forwards and are more convergent posteriorly, or even meet to form a single lamina. The median impression on the head is much shallower and shorter, or almost obsolete. The mandibles are more shining, with three teeth more acute and distinctly defined.
Worker minima. It is probable that there are some of this class, and measuring less than the smallest of the minor class. I do not, however possess any smaller than 3 mm, nor do I know of any workers of of a smaller size of this race having been described by any author.
The males of this species are exceedingly common at light during the rainy season in Zimbabwe (South Rhodesia); the workers however, do not appear to be so frequently met with as helvolus. Females unknown.
(G.A., R.M., S.A.M. colls.)"

Arnold's (1915: 126 ff) descriptions are at {original description} and male {original description}.

{Dorylus badius male}The male of the South African form badius was drawn by Arnold (1915).

{Dorylus badius male}

Oxford University Museum specimens

Dorylus (Typhlopone) badius
B Taylor det.

South Africa
M Snizek

North Cape
27.45 S
23.4333333 E
Dorylus (Typhlopone) badius
B Taylor det.
South Africa
S Danflous

Kruger National Park
31°16'06" S
25°28'51" E

Pretoriuskop Rest Camp, Mpumalanga Province


{Dorylus fulvus badius}The photomontage is of a male from South Africa, North Cape, Kuruman env.; collector M. Snizek.

{Dorylus fulvus badius}The photomontage is of a male from South Africa, Kruger National Park; collector Sam Danflous.

{Dorylus fulvus badius}The specimens in these field photographs were taken in Pretoria, South Africa, by Joan Young; nos 100-5775 to 100-5823.
© 2009, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.