Anochetus kanariensis

Brown, WL Jr.,, 1978, Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography., Studia Entomologica 20, pp. 549-638: 594-595

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Anochetus kanariensis


[22] Anochetus kanariensis  HNS 

It seems to me that of the 2 peninsular Indian forms, subsp. kanariensis  HNS  (fig. 30) and var. obscurior  HNS  , that Forel assigned to A. orientalis  HNS  , at least the first one has a good chance of being a species apart, and I have raised it to species rank provisionally.

A. kanariensis  HNS  has a bright to dark red trunk and node, contrasting with the piceous or black gaster; the head may be red or infuscated. In kanariensis  HNS  , the front part of the petiolar nodal summit is more or less produced cephalad, and overhangs the anterior slope of the node, so that the slope is usually more or less distinctly concave, unfortunately a character not very well developed in the particular specimen drawn for fig. 30. The types of A. obscurior  HNS  and A. orientalis  HNS  are black or nearly so, with partly ferruginous appendages, and the head may be lighter brownish around the corners; the nodes of these forms are broadly rounded above, not noticeably produced anteriorly, and the anterior slope is straight or convex as seen from the side. In kanariensis  HNS  , the first gastric tergum is coarsely and distinctly striate almost to the posterior margin, with coarse superimposed punctures, whereas in obscurior  HNS  , at least, the punctures predominate, and the striae are indefinite or obsolete on the anterior first gastric tergum, while the posterior half of this tergum becomes more or less smooth and shining (satiny blue reflections on the gastric dorsum may often be seen in all 3 taxa).

The A. orientalis  HNS  type (MNHN-Paris), from Cochin China, has never been compared directly with the Indian forms. My brief notes made on it in 1963 indicate that orientalis  HNS  is much like the obscurior  HNS  types before me in color and form, but that the sculpture in orientalis  HNS  may be more opaque over a wider area of the gastric dorsum than in obscurior  HNS  . The wide geographic separation of the two forms (as presently known) dictates that they both be kept as provisional separate species, at least until we can compare them directly. More samples of these forms from SE Asia would of course also help in determining their status.