The Ants of Africa
Genus Simopone
Simopone persculpta Bolton & Fisher

Simopone persculpta Bolton & Fisher

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Kenya (Bolton & Fisher, 2012: 36, illustrated, worker & queen) Mombasa. .

HL 1.66–1.80 (1.66), HW 1.18–1.36 (1.18), SL 0.57–0.70 (0.57), EL 0.48– 0.52 (0.48), PW 0.89–1.00 (0.89), AIIW 0.84–0.98 (0.84), AIIL 0.96–1.04 (0.96), AIIIW 1.06–1.17 (1.06), AIIIL 1.18–1.23 (1.18), WL 2.08–2.20 (2.08), MFL 1.10–1.30 (1.10), CI 71–76 (71), SI 48–51 (48), EL/HW 0.37–0.41 (0.41), EP 1.50–1.73 (1.52), AIIW/AIIL 0.88–0.94 (0.88), AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90–0.95 (0.90) (4 measured).

Clypeus relatively shallowly downcurved anteriorly so that the clypeo-labral junction is not strongly reflexed but almost exactly below the anteriormost point of the apparent anterior margin. In full-face view the frontal lobes broad on each side of the clypeus, only very feebly elevated. Frontal carinae extend back to the level of the anterior margins of the eyes. Eyes located well behind the cephalic midlength, EP at least 1.50; in full-face view outer margins of eyes just touch, or very slightly break, the outlines of the sides at their midlengths. Leading edge of scape with inclined projecting setae present, SW/SL 0.46–0.48. Sides of head below and behind eyes with a few (2–4) projecting setae present, but these seem easily lost by abrasion; cephalic dorsum with standing setae present, mostly behind the level of the eyes. Mandibles with superficial shagreenate to microreticulate sculpture and also with scattered weak punctures. Entire cephalic dorsum finely and extremely densely reticulate-punctulate to microreticulate, without longitudinal costulae but with scattered larger, shallow punctures whose bases are also reticulate-punctulate. Reticulate-punctulate to microreticulate ground sculpture also duplicated on sides and ventral surface of head. In dorsal view pronotum with a narrow anterior carina; humeri not sharply angulate; promesonotal suture with minute weak cuticular ribs that are largely confused with the dense ground sculpture. Metanotal groove vestigial to absent. Propodeal declivity meets sides and dorsum in a poorly defined, low, continuous ridge. Entire dorsum and sides of mesosoma sculptured as the head but with a few larger punctures. Dorsal surfaces of meso- soma with sparse standing setae; pronotum anteriorly with 1–3 pairs, mesonotum anteriorly with 0–2 pairs, propo- deum posteriorly with 1–2 pairs. AII (petiole) with a weak transverse anterior carina, and another posteriorly, just above the foramen. In dorsal view the sides of AII shallowly convex, broadest at about the midlength then converg- ing posteriorly; posterior corners produced into a small, triangular outcurved tooth on each side. Anteroventral pro- cess of AII a recurved hook or spur. AII and AIII both slightly longer than broad, AIV much larger (maximum width 1.30–1.50, maximum length 1.14–1.20) and distinctly broader than long. Tergites of AII, AIII and AIV microreticulate to finely reticulate-punctate; AII and AIII also with shallow punctures, usually more conspicuous on AIII. Abdominal tergites, from AII to apex, with standing long, curved setae; sternites from AIII to apex also with standing setae. Femora and tibiae of middle and hind legs with very sparse short scattered setae. Pygidial fork short and stout, the pygidial margins on each side with a row of 7 spiniform denticles. Full adult colour of head and body dark brown to black.

QUEEN (a single dealate gyne from Tanzania, in SAMC). Slightly larger than any worker examined, HL 1.88, HW 1.40, SL 0.70, EL 0.53, PW 1.11, AIIW 0.97, AIIL 1.08, AIIIW 1.22, AIIIL 1.35, AIVW 1.56, AIVL 1.38, WL 2.56, MFL 1.28, CI 74, SI 50, SW/SL 0.45, EL/HW 0.38, EP 1.52, AIIW/AIIL 0.90, AIIIW/AIIIL 0.90. Matching the description and general shape of the worker but the mesosoma with a full complement of flight sclerites and more numerous setae.

Holotype worker, Kenya: Mombasa area, 1969 no. 93, CIE A4271, on Lynometra webberi (no collector’s name) (BMNH). Paratype. One worker with same data as holotype; specimen broken and mounted in two parts (BMNH). This very striking species appears to be closely related to grandis because of the shapes of the clypeus and petiole, and the position of the eyes. They are easily distinguished by the characters given in the key and by their very different sculpture.

{Simopone nsp}The photomontage of the holotype is collated from

{Simopone nsp}The photomontage of a worker from Mozambique is collated from
Collection Information: CASENT0173049; Locality: Mozambique: Inhaca Island, near research station; 2602'09"S 04954'00"E 1 m; Collection codes: ANTC8125; Collected by: Gary D. Alpert; Habitat: secondary forest; Date: 21 Jun 1992; Method: on vegetation
In 2009, well prior to Bolton & Fisher, I had posted this as a new species related to grandis but considerably bigger, having a longer, proportionally narrower head and much sparser fine erect pilosity. They (2012: 37) comment on it as "initially labelled as holotype for this species, and illustrated in this paper, was lost in the post before the manuscript was submitted".

{Simopone nsp}Comparison of heads from the two "holotypes". Assuming the Antweb scales are correct, the difference is obvious (Kenya "holotype" upper right) but unremarked on by B & F, where none of published photographs have size scales.

2009, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.