The Ants of Africa
Genus Tetraponera
Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Congo (Sima anthracina n. sp., Santschi, 1910c: 355, worker; illustrated head in Santschi, 1911c: 352; in Tetraponera, Wheeler, 1922: 106; Terron, 1968: 339, queen & male) collected at Combra Tora, by A. Weiss; all forms now described .

{Tetraponera anthracina}Santschi's (1910c) description is at {original description}.

{Tetraponera anthracina}Terron's (1967: 339-348) illustrated, photographs, and whole body profile, including male and female castes, study is at {original description}.

Tetraponera anthracinaThe photomontage of the type worker is collated from

{Tetraponera anthracina}Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1976: 39). WORKER. TL 6.46 mm, HL 1.18, HW 0.93, SL 0.62, PW 0.72
Colour dark red-brown, extremities orange. Shiny but with dense pubescence all over. Eye length 0.56 mm (0.47 of HL). Two ocelli. Note - the worker I drew appears from the type images on Antweb (2014) to have affinities with the Santschi (1941d) Tetraponera triangularis Stitz stirps illota the type locality of which, Ilokomeji, is only a few km from CRIN. It is, however, smaller than the illota worker and type photos of triangularis are not yet on Antweb.

Relatively common on cocoa throughout Nigeria, on up 1.5% of trees (Taylor, 1977; Taylor & Adedoyin, 1978), but the ants forage singly and little is known of its biology, other than it nests in dead wood with small colonies. Also found on native trees and herbaceous vegetation, cashew, coffee and kola (Taylor, 1977). Earlier from the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi Ayunre (as Sima anthracina) perhaps on 2-5% of cocoa in pkd collections from two cocoa blocks, W13/2 and W18/1 (Booker, 1968).

TL 6.7-8.6 mm; from measurements of 849 individuals from Cameroun by Terron (1967, illustrated, photographs, and whole body profile, including male and female castes), who noted Santschi's original TL was 6.5-7 mm. Terron gave the colour as black, with yellow-brown extremities; body very finely punctuate.

Described as occasionally found on Ghana cocoa, probably as "chance migrants", by Strickland (1951a). Later collected from cocoa canopy by Room (1971), where it was quite common, featuring in 31 of his 168 cocoa canopy collections. It was negatively associated with Oecophylla longinoda but otherwise he felt it was fairly randomly distributed high in the canopy. From cocoa mistletoe (Room, 1975). Found on cocoa at Kade by Majer, who found it in 45.2% of his 144 pkd samples, with 8-9 workers per sample (1975, 1976a, b, c) by Majer (1975), using pkd.

Terron (1967, 1969 & 1977) described castes, queen determination, parasitism, morphology and biology in Cameroun. Also in Cameroun, it was among the non-dominant species recorded in the Cameroun forest canopy studies at Campo by Dejean and colleagues. They noted it as nesting in the middle stratum only (hollowed branches) with 14 findings on 30 trees examined (11 findings were on the tree Dialium pachyphyllum, of which 15 were examined).

Wheeler (1922) listed several findings from Zaïre - St. Gabriel by Kohl; Congo da Lemba by H. Mayné (also in Forel, 1911g); Thysville and Lubutu by J. Bequaert; and Kinshasa [Stanleyville] by Lang & Chapin.

Oxford University Museum specimens

Tetraponera anthracina
B Taylor det.
Ivory Coast
Erena Dupont
Taï National Park
5˚45'00" N
7˚07'00" W16

Tetraponera anthracina
B Taylor det.
C A Wiggins

ca 3800' asl
woodland by lake shore
(3 specimens on mount)


{Tetraponera anthracina}The photomontage is of a worker from Uganda, Entebbe; collector C A Wiggins. A close match to the type worker shown above.

{Tetraponera anthracina}The photomontage is of a worker from Ivory Coast, Tai National Park; collector Erena Dupont.

{Tetraponear anthracina}The photomontage is collated from
Collection details - Central African Republic: Prefecture Sangha-Mbaéré; Parc National Dzanga-Ndoki, 38.6 km 173° S Lidjombo; 02°21'36"N 016°03'12"E. 350m. Collection Information: Collection codes: BLF4148. Date: 20-28 May 2001. Collected by: B.L.Fisher. Method: EC14 on low vegetation. Habitat: rainforest.

© 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
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