Hypoponera tecta 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: 106

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Hypoponera tecta Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Hypoponera tecta Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 121 – 123)

HOLOTYPE WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.60, HW 0.48, HS 0.540, SL 0.44, PrW 0.37, WL 0.84, HFL 0.44, PeNL 0.16, PeH 0.36, PeNW 0.26, PeS 0.260. Indices: CI 80, SI 92, PeNI 70, LPeI 44, DPeI 163.

Eyes absent. With the head in full-face view the mid-point of the anterior clypeal margin is overhung by a small but acute, very conspicuous denticle; in profile the denticle can be seen as the apex of the sharp mid-clypeal ridge. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just touches the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.73. Cephalic dorsum reticulate-punctate; lateroventral surfaces of head with small, spaced punctures that are separated by areas of smooth cuticle. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma but a slight change of slope between the mesonotum and propodeum is retained. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture weakly present on side of mesosoma. Propodeum marginate between declivity and side, above level of metapleural gland bulla. Posterior surface of petiole node with a series of short, inconspicuous cuticular ridges that radiate from the peduncle; in the holotype the ridges are more strongly developed on the right-hand side. Node of petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces almost parallel, only minutely convergent dorsally, so that the length of the dorsum (0.14) is only fractionally less than PeNL 0.16. Subpetiolar process with a blunt ventral angle. In dorsal view petiole node with posterior face transverse; sides of anterior face converge medially and meet through a broad, bluntly rounded, median angle. Prora in profile a long and deep outcurved flange that is very distinct; upper margin of prora conceals the junction of the helcium sternite with the gaster. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view subequal to width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite short but conspicuous. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is equal to the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised small punctures that are quite close-packed but separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are equal to, or slightly less than, the distances that separate the punctures. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of conspicuous, stiff, standing setae that project considerably above the level of the pubescence.

Holotype worker, Kenya: Western Prov., Mwanza, Western Kenya Sugar, Transect 27, 1650 m., 11.ix.2007, 34°49 ’40.8’’ E, 00°22 ’45’’ N (F. Hita Garcia) (CASC).

The holotype was damaged during mounting and its head is mounted separately from the body, upon the same card point.

In the complex of species related to jeanneli  HNS  , tecta  HNS  is unique in its possession of an anterior median clypeal denticle. The denticle is not actually on the anterior margin itself, but arises from the midline of the clypeus immediately behind the margin. The only other species with such a development is dema  HNS  , a much larger species (HW 0.64 – 0.68, SL 0.55 – 0.61) that lacks short ribs at the base of the posterior surface of the petiole, and has the petiole node wider in relation to the pronotum (PeNI 82 – 89).