The Ants of Africa
Genus Lepisiota
Lepisiota ambigua (Santschi)

Petiole with spines longer than their basal interval - incisa-group

Lepisiota ambigua (Santschi)

return to key{link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zare (Acantholepis ambigua n. sp., Santschi, 1935a: 270, illustrated, holotype worker), collected by L. Burgeon at Ituri, La Moto: Madyu: worker only described .

Santschi's (1935a) description is on {original description}.

{Lepisiota ambigua}Santschi description - Worker TL 2.5 mm; dark red brown; mesonotum and petiole scale more translucent; mandibles and articulations of tarsi yellow brown; gaster black. Matt, densely and finely reticulo-punctate; gaster smooth and shiny. Totally without erect hairs, except the posterior of the gaster with numerous brown hairs which are slender and almost as long as the width of the legs. Whole body covered with very fine short pubescence.
Head a rounded rectangle, narrower anteriorly, a little longer than wide. Clypeus with a strong but diffuse medial carina. Mandibles smooth, when closed no more than two teeth visible under the clypeus. Postclypeal notch slightly indicated, frontal area matt and wider than long; frontal carinae sinuous and near parallel. Eyes occupying the median third of the face. (Antennae missing) Thorax narrower than the head but pronotum as wide as long and sides very rounded; meso-metanotum one-fourth longer than wide; propodeum dorsum wider than long, teeth reduced; declivity near perpendicular with almost a right angle from the dorsum. Petiole scale much higher than pedicel, armed with two fine spines, longer than the basal separation and curved backwards.

Related to Lepisiota spinosior Forel (type location Zimbabwe) but that has finer sculpturation, the pronotum more impressed dorsally, dorsum of propodeum more concave, angles with more pronounced teeth and the petiole scale with longer spines. Santschi (1935) described it as in a small group with spinosior and schoutedeni; the latter being darker, near black and somewhat smaller. It also appears to be similar to the specimens I drew and labelled as "species Bolton collected" below.

{Lepisiota ambigua}The photomontage of the type worker is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Lepisiota ambigua
B Taylor det.

S Sky Stephens
In S Sky Stephens collection

{Lepisiota ambigua}The photomontage is of a worker from Ghana, collected by S Sky Stephens, 2006.

{Lepisiota species} Nigeria specimens (as Lepisiota species Bolton collected, Taylor, 1978: 37). WORKER. TL 1.90 mm, HL 0.47, HW 0.42, SL 0.50, PW 0.26
Colour dark red-brown, with yellow tarsi and antennal scapes. Shiny and unsculptured. A few erect hairs and sparse pilosity. Propodeal prominences are near round tubercules. Petiole a sharp scale with slightly concave dorsal margin.
Collected by B. Bolton at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi Ayunre, but no details available, other than from dead wood on the ground.

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