Hypoponera blanda Bolton & Fisher, Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2011

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: 29

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Hypoponera blanda Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Hypoponera blanda Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n. (Figs 10 – 12)

WORKER (holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.44 – 0.47 (0.47), HW 0.34 – 0.37 (0.36), HS 0.395 – 0.420 (0.415), SL 0.28 – 0.30 (0.30), PrW 0.26 – 0.28 (0.26), WL 0.56 – 0.61 (0.60), HFL 0.27 – 0.30 (0.28), PeNL 0.14 – 0.16 (0.16), PeH 0.21 – 0.24 (0.24), PeNW 0.18 – 0.20 (0.20), PeS 0.177 – 0.200 (0.200) (15 measured). Indices: CI 76 – 79 (77), SI 80 – 85 (83), PeNI 69 – 77 (77), LPeI 61 – 70 (67), DPeI 120 – 136 (125).

Eyes absent. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.61 – 0.66. Funiculus with 5 enlarging apical segments. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma or a vestige of its former path may be discernible, but there is never an incised transverse groove that interrupts the surface. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeal declivity separated from sides by blunt angles; without acute raised margins or sharp carinae. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate from the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile relatively long and low, the anterior and posterior faces converge dorsally so that length of node just above anterior tubercle is noticeably greater than length of dorsum; posterior face usually shallowly convex. Dorsal surface of node is almost flat to shallowly convex in profile and both anterodorsal and posterodorsal angles are blunt and rounded. Sternite of petiole in profile usually evenly shallowly convex, without a differentiated ventral process of any form; in some a minute impression occurs at about the midlength of the sternite and in a few a minute, denticle-like projection is present. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view is less than width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Sides of second gastral tergite shallowly convex in dorsal view. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is less than the maximum width of the segment. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus short, fine and very closely packed. Disc of second gastral tergite with crowded, small, superficial punctures so that the surface appears superficially microreticulate at lower magnifications. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of short, standing setae that project just above the level of the pubescence. Full adult colour yellow.

Holotype worker. Central African Republic: P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 37.9 km. 169° S Lidjombo, 2°22 ’ N, 16°10 ’ E, 360 m., 21.v.2001, CASENT 0417325, 4130(38), sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood) rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC).

Paratypes. 10 workers and 3 queens, with same data as holotype but workers coded 4130(14), 4130(15), 4130(17), 4130(21), 4130(23), 4130(24), 4130(37), 4130(42), 4130(46), 4130(47); queens coded 4130(31), 4130(43), 4130(45) (CASC, BBRC).

Similar to coeca  HNS  but averaging smaller and with a distinctly lower, longer petiole node that usually has no ventral process.

Non-paratypic material examined. Central African Republic: Res. Dzanga-Sangha, 12.7 km. 326° NW Bayanga (B.L. Fisher). Uganda: nr Mbarara (S. Yamane).