The Ants of Africa
Contents - Amblyoponinae - Subfamily Amblyoponinae

Genus Prionopelta Mayr (1866a: 503)


Diagnostic Features - Petiole broadly attached to the first gastral segment, the two separated dorsally and laterally only by a constriction; so that the petiole is without a free posterior face. Mandibles relatively short triangular and closing against the clypeus, apical tooth followed by two more teeth. Antenna 8- to 12-segmented with a 3- or 4-segmented club. Alitrunk not marginate nor constricted.

A cryptobiotic genus, post-dating Bolton (1973a) but included in the key in Hölldobler & Wilson (1990).

Terron's (1974) paper is at {original description}.

NOTE: Ward & Fisher (2016) placed Concoctio as a junior synonym of Prionopelta based on DNA phylogenetics. That is separable by its 9-segmented antennae and a somewhat heart-shaped head in full face view.

Key to African and Madagascar species

1 {short description of image}8 segmented antennae; TL 1.5-1.7 mm; most of dorsum puncturate; abundant short pilosity; variable yellow-brown, appendages lighter West Africa - amieti
-- 10-11 segmented antennae 2
2 {short description of image}TL 2.0 mm; alitrunk with only the promesonotal suture visible (metanotal suture visible but not incised in Rwanda specimen); antenna 10-segmented with 4-segmented club; petiole with a sub-rectangular antero-ventral process with a distinct translucent area Cameroun & Rwanda - humicola
-- Alitrunk with promesonotal and impressed metanotal sutures 3
3 {short description of image}TL 2.2 mm; antenna 11-segmented; with fine dense sculpturation all over South Africa & Gabon - aethiopica
-- {short description of image}TL 1.8 mm; antenna 12-segmented; with reduced sculpturation on the alitrunk, petiole and gaster; and a quite sharp transition from the dorsum to the declivity on the propodeum; petiole in dorsal view ovoid Madagascar - descarpentriesi
© 2007, 2016, 2018 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
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