The Ants of Africa
Genus Plagiolepis
Plagiolepis (Plagiolepis) mediorufa Forel

Plagiolepis Mayr sensu stricto

Plagiolepis (Plagiolepis) mediorufa Forel

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zaïre (Plagiolepis pygmaea, var mediorufa, Forel, 1916: 437, not illustrated; raised to species by Wheeler, 1922: 213)
worker only known (see Bolton, 1995) .

Forel's description (1916, my translation) was -
WORKER- TL 1.1-1.4 mm; different from type (of pygmaea) by having a narrower head, which is not impressed, especially convex behind, with convex sides. Characteristic colour is head and gaster brown; thorax of a more or less reddish yellow; coxae and funiculi brown; rest of appendages yellowish.
Congo, St Gabriel, by Kohl, in a myrmecophytic plant.
Three specimens.

Raised to full species by Wheeler (1922: 213) with the following comments -
numerous workers from Kisangani (Stanleyville; by Lang and Chapin), taken from the leaf-pouches of Cola laurentii (also reported by Bequaert, 1922: 418). This form was originally described as a simple variety of the Palearctic P. pygmaea (Latreille), from specimens taken by Kohl "dans une plante myrmécophile," near Stanleyville. It should, in my opinion, be regarded as a distinct species on account of its peculiar habitat, for pygmaea nests in the soil under stones. Moreover, the worker mediorufa, is decidedly smaller, with much shorter antennae, the median funicular joints especially being distinctly shorter than long, whereas in pygmaea they are longer than broad. The head is proportionally smaller and narrower, with more rounded sides and with the occipital border straight or slightly convex, not concave as in pygmaea. [Pl. pygmaea has a curious distribution with a type locality of France; a subspecies minu from Greece; and two subspecies, bulawayensis and mima, from Zimbabwe].

Collingwood (1985), describing species from Saudi Arabia, separated pygmaea (which he noted as being South European, not found south of the Maltese Islands) by its uninterrupted outline to the dorsal alitrunk; eyes about the middle of the head; first funiculus segment as long as combined 2 to 4; 2 & 3 subequal, broader than long and each much shorter than 4; larger than 1.5 mm; colour pale brown to dark brown, eye length two fifths or more of head length.

{Plagiolepis mediorufa}The photomontage of the type worker is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Plagiolepis (Plagiolepis) mediorufa
B Taylor det.

Central African Republic
P Annoyer

02°53’25.9" N
16°10’26.4" E
Camp 5; A vu 17h aux abords du camp; 409 m asl

{Plagiolepis mediorufa} The photomontage is of a worker from the Central African Republic, Dzanga-Sangha NP; 02°53’25.9" N 16°10’26.4" E 409m; A vue 17, 11.ii.2005, collector Philippe Annoyer.

{Plagiolepis mediorufa}The photomontage is derived from that shown on taken by Mike Lush, Gambia, 3.iv.2007.

Contents Subfamily Formicinae
© 2007, 2008, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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