Hypoponera sulcatinasis (Santschi),

Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2011, Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2843, pp. 1-118: 103

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Hypoponera sulcatinasis (Santschi)


Hypoponera sulcatinasis (Santschi)  HNS 

(Figs 115 – 117)

Ponera sulcatinasis Santschi  HNS  , 1914c: 4. Syntype workers and queen, SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Richmond (I. Trågärdh) (NHMB) [examined]. [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 216.]

Ponera spei st. devota Santschi  HNS  , 1914c: 5. Syntype worker (teneral), SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Richmond (I. Trågärdh) (NHMB) [examined] Syn. n. [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 214.]

NOTE. It is suspected that type-material of sulcatinasis  HNS  and devota  HNS  had their origins in a single collection and were only separated because of the teneral nature of the latter.

WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.78 – 0.82, HW 0.65 – 0.70, HS 0.715 – 0.760, SL 0.60 – 0.65, PrW 0.48 – 0.54, WL 1.08 – 1.20, HFL 0.61 – 0.66, PeNL 0.22 – 0.24, PeH 0.50 – 0.56, PeNW 0.36 – 0.41, PeS 0.360 – 0.400 (15 measured). Indices: CI 82 – 85, SI 88 – 96, PeNI 72 – 79, LPeI 42 – 44, DPeI 164 – 178.

Eyes present, small but distinct, of about 4 – 6 ommatidia. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, touches or slightly exceeds the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.75 – 0.80. Reticulate-punctulate sculpture of cephalic dorsum strong and conspicuous. Pronotal dorsum punctate, less densely so than head, the individual punctures distinct and more widely spaced. Lower half of side of pronotum much less densely sculptured than dorsum. Propodeal dorsum reticulate-punctate, the sculpture covering the entire surface; the sculptured dorsum contrasts strongly with the smooth, shining declivity. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent to vestigially present, and sometimes with a weak remnant of a transverse suture on the mesopleuron. Metanotal groove distinctly incised on dorsum of mesosoma; mesonotum with a well-defined posterior margin. Propodeal declivity separated from side by an angle or a weak margination, without sharp carinae. Mesopleuron mostly unsculptured but there may be weak sculpture peripherally. Petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces of the node usually very weakly convex and weakly convergent dorsally; node distinctly longer just above the anterior tubercle than at the dorsum. Subpetiolar process a lobe with a sharp or blunt ventral angle. Anterior margin of subpetiolar process, near its base, with a conspicuous pit from which a sensory seta arises. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view subequal to or slightly greater than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with strong cross-ribs. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, distinctly broader than long. Disc of second gastral tergite reticulate-punctate to microreticulate, the sculpture strong and conspicuous. With first gastral segment in profile its dorsum usually without standing setae except at the apex of the tergite; occasionally one or two very short, inconspicuous setae may be present. Full adult colour dark brown, blackish brown, or mostly black; sometimes with reddish areas.

This large, darkly coloured species is immediately recognisable by its densely sculptured propodeal dorsum, which is easily the most strongly sculptured in the boerorum  HNS  group. In the region as a whole the propodeal sculpture of sulcatinasis  HNS  is approached only by hebes  HNS  , but that species belongs to the abeillei  HNS  group.

Material examined. South Africa: Natal, Richmond (I. Trågärdh); Natal, Ekombe, nr Kranskop (Ross & Leech); Kwazulu Natal, Karkloof, Leopard Bush Nat. Res., Howick (B.L. Fisher); Kwazulu Natal, Good Hope Estate, Boston (B.L. Fisher).