The Ants of Africa
Genus Fisheropone
Fisheropone ambigua (Weber)

Fisheropone ambigua (Weber)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Sudan (Ponera ambigua, Weber, 1942a: 46, illustrated, worker; new genus Fisheropone with this as type species defined by Schmidt & Shattuck, 2014: 87) from Mount Imatong, collected by the author, worker only (see Bolton, 1995) .

Genus separation:  Clypeus narrowly inserted between frontal lobes, the antennal sockets closely approximated; metatibiae with  single pectinate spur; tarsal claws unarmed; mandibles not elongated, inserted at or near the anterolateral corners of the head; eyes not set on prominent ocular prominences; (mesotibiae dorsally without abundant stout traction setae (a few stout setae sometimes present near tarsus but never extending along length of tibia;  eyes absent (or present only as a pigmented spot); metanotal groove angular, the propodeum depressed below the mesonotum.

Schmidt and Shattuck gave: "Diagnosis. Fisheropone workers can be diagnosed by the following unique combination of characters: mandibles narrowly triangular, relatively long and without a basal pit or fovea; clypeus narrowly inserted between small frontal lobes, the antennal sockets closely approximated; propodeal spiracle slit-shaped; mesotibiae dorsally without abundant stout traction setae and ventral apex of the metatibia with a single pectinate spur; and petiole scale-like and thin. These ants bear a superficial resemblance to Hypoponera and Mesoponera in being relatively slender and with elongate mandibles and an impressed metanotal groove. They can be separated from Hypoponera by the slit-shaped rather than round propodeal spiracle, and from Mesoponera by the presence of only a single metatibial spur. Separation from the single African species of Cryptopone is based on the lack of a basal mandibular pit and mesotibial pusher setae, both of which are present in Cryptopone."

Although they gave the distribution of the two genus members, F. ambigua and an unnamed form, as "Cameroon, Gabon, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda" they gave no supporting information, other than the Uganda worker shown below, and do not appear to have sighted the Weber type specimen.  Their description of F. ambigua in itself falls below normal standards.

{Hypoponera ambigua}Weber's (1942a) description is at {original description}.

WORKER (after Bernard, 1952) - TL 2.5 mm, yellow-brown, scape length surpassing the posterior border of the head, eyes minimal and placed at about the centre of the cheeks.

My note from 2007, unreferenced by Schmidt & Shattuck, was "Clearly it differs from Pachycondyla (Mesoponera) ambigua (lower), therefore, I have included it here [in Hypoponera], but point out that its status as a Hypoponera is unresolved".

Bolton (1995) did not list it under Hypoponera but under Pachycondyla as an "unresolved junior secondary homonym of Pachcondyla ambigua" adding "Combination in Pachycondyla: Brown, new combination".

Presumably, from its inclusion in his key, Bernard was satisfied its distribution included West Africa.

{Hypoponera ambigua}

{Fisheropone ambigua}The photomontage of the worker used to illustrate the genus and species by Schmidt and Shattuck (2014: Fig. 13) is collated from

2007, 2008, 2010, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.