Hypoponera producta 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: 84-85

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Hypoponera producta Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Hypoponera producta Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 94 – 96)

WORKER (holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.72 – 0.74 (0.73), HW 0.52 – 0.55 (0.53), HS 0.620 – 0.650 (0.630), SL 0.54 – 0.56 (0.54), PrW 0.42 – 0.46 (0.44), WL 0.96 – 1.08 (0.96), HFL 0.55 – 0.59 (0.58), PeNL 0.22 – 0.25 (0.22), PeH 0.45 – 0.50 (0.48), PeNW 0.32 – 0.37 (0.32), PeS 0.333 – 0.377 (0.340) (8 measured). Indices: CI 72 – 75 (74), SI 99 – 108 (102), PeNI 73 – 83 (73), LPeI 46 – 53 (46), DPeI 135 – 155 (145).

Eyes sometimes absent but usually of 1 – 3 minute ommatidia. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just touches the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.74 – 0.78; the scape relatively long, SI 99 or more. Cephalic dorsum sharply reticulate-punctate. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, with spaced, minute, superficial punctures, obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent to very feebly present on side of mesosoma. Propodeum weakly marginate between declivity and side. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Node of petiole tall and relatively thick in profile, with the anterior and posterior faces slightly convergent dorsally and the dorsum weakly convex. Subpetiolar process with a distinct ventral angle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view greater than the width of the second gastral tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite glossy and polished, without trace of cross-ribs. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is less than the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised, small punctures that are widely separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are distinctly less than the distances that separate them. First gastral tergite dorsally pubescent and with a number of short, standing setae that conspicuously project above the level of the pubescence in profile.

Holotype worker, Gabon: Prov. Woleu-Ntem, 31.3 km. 108° ESE Minvoul, 2°04.8 ’ N, 12°24.4 ’ E, 600 m., 11.ii.1998, #1684(13)-4, sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), rainforest (B.L. Fisher) (CASC). Paratypes. 3 workers, 1 worker-queen intercaste, 1 dealate queen, with same data as holotype but coded #1684(10)- 3, #1684(11)-5, #1684(42)-5, #1684(39)-6 (intercaste), #1684(14)-10 (queen); 2 workers with same data as holotype but 10.ii.1998 and coded #1678-1, #1678-2, ex rotten log, rainforest (CASC, BMNH).

The intercaste in the type-series has the eye with about 20 ommatidia and the mesosoma somewhat more stoutly built than in the worker. Its lateral mesosoma has the mesonotal-mesopleural suture better developed than the worker, and a weak transverse suture is present on the mesopleuron, dividing it into anepisternum and katepisternum . The gaster is also larger, with the maximum width of the first tergite 0.58 in the intercaste, as opposed to a maximum width of 0.54 in the holotype (the full queen has 0.61).

This species is closely related to occidentalis  HNS  but has the longest scapes of any known Afrotropical species that lacks a developed metanotal groove and has the base of the cinctus of the second gastral tergite without cross-ribs. In occidentalis  HNS  , SI is always <100. In addition, producta  HNS  has a slightly longer and narrower head (CI 72 – 75) and a relatively slightly narrower petiole node (DPeI 135 – 155); in occidentalis  HNS  these indices are CI 76 – 82, DPeI 152 – 180 (mean = 165).

Relative dimensions are also the easiest way to distinguish producta  HNS  from importuna  HNS  because, apart from the shorter scapes of the latter, it also has a much broader petiole node, with PeNI 88 – 95 and DPeI 182 – 195, as opposed to PeNI 73 – 83 and DPeI 135 – 155 in producta  HNS  .

Non-paratypic material examined. Cameroun: Nkoemvon (D. Jackson). Gabon: For. de la Mondah, Cap Esterias, N. of Libreville (Bartolozzi & Taiti).