Axinidris acholli Weber

Snelling, R. R., 2007, A review of the arboreal Afrotropical ant genus Axinidris., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 551-579: 556-557

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Axinidris acholli Weber


Axinidris acholli Weber   HNS  

Figures 1, 11, 21

Axinidris acholli Weber   HNS   , 1941: 193 (w). SUDAN: Imatong Mountains, 4800 and 6200 ft. (N. A. Weber) (MCZC) examined. Shattuck, 1991: 109 - 111; figs. 5 - 7, 35.

Worker diagnosis. Pronotal disc with 8 - 10 coarse rugae that more or less diverge behind; mesepisternum with 4 or 5 coarse longitudinal to oblique rugae; medial propodeal carina compressed and conspicuously higher than long and longer dorsally than at base; head and body with abundant long, slender whitish hairs.

Worker measurements (mm) (n = 12). HW 0.79 - 0.90; HL 0.91 - 1.01; SL 0.79 - 0.88; EL 0.18 - 0.23; EW 0.11 - 0.13; OVD 0.36 - 0.42; PNW 0.46 - 0.59; PPW 0.33 - 0.40; WL 1.08 - 1.29. Indices. CI 85 - 91; CNI 71 - 87; OI 23 - 26; SI 95 - 103.

Worker description. The worker caste has been adequately described by Shattuck (1991), except for the presence of numerous long flexuous hairs as noted above in the diagnosis.

Queen and male unknown.


In addition to the lectotype and lectoparatype, I have collected numerous workers from KENYA, Kakamega District, Isecheno , Kakamega Forest (00.24 ° N 034.85 ° E), 1550 - 1600 m ( LACM), GoogleMaps   running on vines, except two in litter. All specimens were in dense forest as opposed to being on trees at the edge of a clearing.


The bizarrely developed propodeal structures (Figs. 11, 21) are sufficient to separate A. acholli   HNS   from all the known remaining species. Additionally, no other species is known that has such an abundance of long, flexuous white hairs. Only A. lignicola   HNS   and A. stageri   HNS   are almost as hairy, but in both the propodeal structures are much less extreme, the hairs are shorter and straighter, and the antennal scapes are proportionately much shorter.

I had originally regarded the Kenyan specimens as a previously undescribed species. When I examined the two type specimens of A. acholli   HNS   , however, I began to doubt that this was correct. The only difference that I could discern was that the Kenyan specimens were abundantly hairy while the A. acholli   HNS   types were almost completely devoid of hairs. The type specimens, lectotype and lectoparatype, consist of fragments mounted on points. The lectotype head has only a single antenna. The lectoparatype is in even worse condition: the head lacks antennae, the mesosoma is partly broken, and only a single detached hind leg is present. Both specimens appear to be severely abraded, lacking hairs where all other species possess hairs (e. g., the mandibles, clypeus, frontal carinae). Once it was clear that these poor specimens had been artificially denuded, it was obvious that my fresh Kenyan samples were conspecific.

In addition to Sudan and Kenya, I expect that A. acholli   HNS   will also be found in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the very least.


USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History