Hypoponera petiolata (Bernard),

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: 112-113

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Hypoponera petiolata (Bernard)


Hypoponera petiolata (Bernard)  HNS 

Ponera petiolata Bernard  HNS  , 1953: 203, fig. 3D. Holotype worker, GUINEA: Sérengbara, B6-6 (Lamotte) (not in MNHN, presumed lost). [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 216.]

Except for a couple of details, the original description would appear to indicate a specimen of punctatissima  HNS  . The exceptions that confuse the issue are:

1 The mesosoma is said to have fine transverse rugulae ( “ fines rides transversales ”). If this is correct, it would make petiolata  HNS  unique in Hypoponera  HNS  . No Afrotropical specimen of the genus has been seen that has such sculpture , nor has it been observed in any of the species, collected from around the world, that are stored in BMNH. Bernard's descriptions are often inaccurate, but the statement was made and must be provisionally accepted.

2 The petiole appears large in profile and in dorsal view its node is relatively long. From the sketch that is Bernard's fig. 3D, a DPeI of about 125 is obtained, which is well outside the measured range of punctatissima  HNS  (DPeI 140 – 165). However, a comparison of his drawings of other species with his actual specimens shows that the drawings are not reliable.

The general similarity of the original description to punctatissima  HNS  , coupled with its DPeI ca 125, suggest some similarity with the examined material of ragusai  HNS  , which has DPeI values of 120 – 140. However, neither species has any trace of transverse rugulae on the mesosoma.

Although petiolata  HNS  must be regarded strictly as a species inquirenda, an attempt has been made to incorporate it in the key. The sculpture character mentioned above has been used to differentiate petiolata  HNS  from other punctatissima group species, but there is really no way of knowing whether it is accurate. Because the description is reminiscent of punctatissima  HNS  the assumption has been made that the base of the cinctus on the second gastral tergite of petiolata  HNS  is likely to be the same, a point reflected by its position in the key.

The colour quoted by Bernard for petiolata  HNS  may imply that the specimen is teneral, a developmental grade that he did not seem to recognise, but as he initially gives the colour as “ entirely dark yellow ”, then later states that it has “ pale colour ”, it is difficult to be certain.

Extralimital species