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Technomyrmex (Technomyrmex) briani Sharaf new species

Technomyrmex (Technomyrmex) briani Sharaf

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Saudi Arabia (Sharaf, 2009: 211, illustrated, worker).

{Technomyrmex briani} Draft description:

Holotype Worker. Measurements: TL: 2.62 mm, HL 0.65, HW 0.65, SL 0.60, PW 0.45, WL 0.90, EL 0.175. Indices:CI 100, SI 92, OI 27, EPI 117, DTI 122

Paratype workers. Measurements: TL 2.62-3.0, HL 0.62-0.72, HW 0.60-0.67, SL: 0.62-0.72, PW 0.42-0.47, WL:0.80-0.92, EL 0.15-0.17. Indices: CI 89-100, SI 100-112, OI 22-29; EPI 73-114, DTI 105-128 ( 9 measured).

Worker description. In profile the head has a single pair of elongated long setae at the level of the anterior margin of the eye, posterior to this is a pair of relatively short setae at the level of the posterior margin of the eye; sometimes there is a pair between the latter and the posterior margin of head. Commonly there are 1 or 2 pairs at the occipital margin but sometimes these are absent bare. In a few specimens the head dorsum is completely lacking setae. The anterior clypeal margin is transverse. In full-face view the posterior margin of the head appears transverse or even very slightly convex, but when the head is tilted slightly forward from full-face the margin appears very shallowly and evenly concave across its entire width. The outer margins of the eyes just fail to break the outlines of the sides in full-face view. The mesosoma (alitrunk) frequently is without setae but in some specimens there are paired setae distributed as follows - pronotum 1-2; mesonotum bare rarely with 2; propodeum dorsum 0; lateral margin of propodeal declivity 1. In profile the mesonotum is evenly rounded, without a differentiated declivitous face. In profile the propodeal dorsum is very short, much shorter than the depth of the declivity to the spiracle; the dorsum and declivity meet in an angle. Gastral tergites 1-4 have sparse greyish pubescence, gastral tergites 2-3 mostly are completely lacking erect setae but sometimes there is a pair of setae or, rarely, 3 pairs of long setae. The head and gaster are brown to dark brown, the mesosoma is distinctly contrasting and much lighter yellowish-brown. The antennae and all leg segments are yellow, clearly lighter than the mesosoma. Holotype worker, Saudi Arabia: Wadi Abha, 18.iii.2004, 1812'59"N, 4230'19"E, 2261 m.a.s.l. ( Mostafa R. Sharaf). Paratypes, 9 workers with same data as holotype.

Remarks. This new species is a member of the Technomyrmex albipes group, within the pallipes complex as defined by Bolton (2007) and cannot be identified with Bolton's key to Technomyrmex species. Technomyrmex briani appears taxonomically closest to T. setosus Collingwood, 1985, which was described from Saudi Arabia. The two species are similar in size and colour, with head and gaster brown to dark brown, mesosoma yellowish brown, antennae and legs yellow. Moreover both of the two species has a very similar complement and arrangement of setae. Comparing Technomyrmex briani with T. setosus, the eye position index (EPI) in T. briani is larger, EPI 73-114, versus EPI 75-78; this means that the eyes are located relatively posteriorly in T. briani compared with being set in front of the midlength in T. setosus. The metanotal groove in T. briani is deep whereas in T. setosus it is shallow, as mentioned in Collingwood (1985). Moreover, T. briani can be separated by the limited number of paired setae on gastral tergites 1-4. First gastral tergite always bare; second and third gastral tergites mostly bare, sometimes with a single seta; the third rarely with three pairs of setae; the fourth gastral tergite always with several pairs of setae. In T. setosus gastral tergites 1-4 have several pairs of setae, the longest on the first tergite about equal to the maximum diameter of the eye or fractionally shorter. Furthermore, T. briani has the posterior margin of head mostly with a single pair of setae, sometimes two or completely bare. In T. setosus two pairs of setae are present on the posterior margin of head. Derivatio nominis. A patronymic name (T. briani) is proposed in honor of my dear friend Dr Brian Taylor, Nottingham, U.K.

SHARAF, M.R. 2009. A new ant species of the Technomyrmex albipes-group from Saudi Arabia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Fauna of Arabia, 24, 211-216.

Worker specimen in Oxford University Museum collection {album}

2009, 2010, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.