The Ants of Africa
Genus Lepisiota
Lepisiota canescens (Emery)

Petiole with no more than denticles

Body colour black; with slender pale long, erect hairs; ovoid heads - canescens-group

Lepisiota canescens (Emery)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Somalia (Acantholepis capensis Mayr, var. canescens n. var., Emery, 1897e: 601, worker) Coromma, Lago Abaja; also Sciotel, Beccari - see below
subspecies latior (Acantholepis canescens Emery v. latior n. v., Santschi, 1935a: 268, worker) from Zaïre, N'gazi, Elskens - see
unavailable name anodon (Acantholepis (Acantholepis) capensis Mayr st. canescens Em. v. anodon n. var., Santschi, 1933b: 107, worker) from Kenya -  no images on Antweb (October 2014) .

Emery's (1897e) description is at {original description}. Smaller, TL 2.0-2.5, and petiole with blunter teeth than capensis. Santschi's (1933b) description of anodon is at {original description}.

Listed from locations across sub-Saharan Africa by Wheeler (1922); these included Senegal (Dakar, F. Silvestri), Guinea (Kindia, F. Silvestri), Ghana (Aburi, F. Silvestri) and Nigeria (Lagos, F. Silvestri).

Wheeler described it (as a subspecies of capensis) as a form with long, white pilosity and abundant pubescence "distributed throughout the Ethiopian Region". In Zaïre, Mr. Lang found the nest in dirt in the axils of cut leaves of oil palms. There seem to be strong similarities with my Lepisiota validiuscula.

Collingwood (1985), who described a number of genus members from Saudi Arabia, commented that is small, black and shining; separable (from Arabian species) by having the antennal scape only slightly longer than the HW, overreaching the occiput by a third or less of its length; head and gaster smooth and brilliant; whole dorsum thickly clothed with pale hairs; adding it has widely spaced broad propodeal teeth and a moderately indented petiole - differing from capensis by its smaller size, finer pilosity and absence of propodeal sculpture.

Bernard (1952) described it as one of the most common species of all Africa, found close to water, even in desert oases; in Guinea [by assumption] it did not seem to occur in primary forest, but was abundant in savanna, rarer on the mountain crests between 1300 and 1600 m.

Santschi (1935a) described latior thus - more robust than the common type; head same shape, but distinctly bigger, as with the larger examples of the type, that is straighter before the rear, the occipital margin convex, some straight, angles slightly rounded and sides arcuate. Eyes near to a third bigger than their distance to these angles which are more backturned and less convex. Frontal margin of head as distinct and similar length; Clypeus with a single more distinct carina and the summit sharper. Antennae more slender but funiculus segments similar. Alitrunk wider, sides of propodeum slightly more divergent and summit strongly reticulo-punctate. Petiole scale (?) matt but without teeth or denticles. Head always slightly reddish. Pilosity a little longer but rest similar. Under his notes on Leisiota tenuipilis, Santschi implied that canescens has longish and regualrly spaced fine white pilosity on the legs.

Forel (1911f) reported canescens (as a variety of capensis) from Zaïre, Congo da Lemba by Mayné.

{Lepisiota canescens}The photomontage of a worker listed in the type description is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

{Lepisiota canescens}The photomontage is of a specimen from Congo, Réserve de Lésio-Louna, S 03°21'23.1" E 015°29'51.2"; 6-9.ii.2008; n sp 65; pitfall trap 13, t 3; Village Mah; collected by Eric Zassi.

{Lepisiota canescens}The photomontage is of a specimen from Benin; Collection details - Forêt de Gbèvozoumè, 06°55’32.8 N 02°29’13 E; lisière fourmis (forest edge/ border ants); 28.ii.2007; S Tchibozo. 

{Lepisiota canescens}The photomontage is of a specimen collected in Sudan, Ar Roseris, 11°50'60"N 34°22'60"E; by Awatif Omer, 2009.

Lepisiota canescensThe photomontage is of a worker from Sudan, collected by J Mathews, by pyrethrum fogging of Acacia senegal, semi-natural forest, Abu Gmein, Blue Nile, 11°21' N 34°27' E,, JM 211.

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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