Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr subspecies kibaliensis , Wheeler, W. M., 1922

Wheeler, W. M., 1922, The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition., Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, pp. 39-269: 164-165

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Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr subspecies kibaliensis

new subspecies

Solenopsis punctaticeps Mayr subspecies kibaliensis  HNS  , new subspecies

Worker.- Length 2 to 2.8 mm.

Apparently less polymorphic than the typical punctaticeps  HNS  and the subspecies caffra  HNS  Forel and therefore more like the subspecies erythrxa Emery. Head in all the individuals rectangular, with straight sides, as broad in front as behind, not longer than broad in the largest, distinctly longer in the smallest individuals. Median teeth of the clypeus long and slender, lateral teeth obsolete or indicated only by feeble projections. Petiolar node broader than the petiole, its upper border straight and transverse..

Sculpture much as in typical punctaticeps  HNS  and the hairs almost as abundant as in that form, but much shorter and less erect, especially on the head. Color yellowish brown, legs and antennae yellow; mandibular teeth dark brown. Small workers scarcely paler.

Male.- Length 4.3 mm.

Head with very large eyes and ocelli, the latter extremely prominent; without the mandibles broader than long. Mandibles with 3 denticles. Antennal scapes nearly as long as the first two funicular joints together. Thorax broadly elliptical, slightly flattened above, only slightly longer than broad, much broader than the head. Epinotum bluntly subangular in profile, the base distinctly longer than the declivity. Nodes of petiole very low, rounded. Wings rather long; legs very slender.

Smooth and shining; head subopaque and finely longitudinally striate behind.

Hairs sparser and more reclinate than in the worker.

Brown; head black around the ocelli; mandibles, antennae and legs yellowish. Wings rather opaque brownish hyaline, with very distinct brown veins and pterostigma.

Described from twenty workers and a single male from Vankerckhovenville(Lang and Chapin), on the Kibali River or Upper Uele. The specimens were living in small craters in the soil and were seen feeding on dead insects.

Emery1 has recently revised the various subspecies and varieties of S. punctaticeps  HNS  . The form described above is certainly distinct. I am not sure that I have seen the largest workers, although the series of specimens is rather large. The single male is smaller and much paler than that of the typical punctaticeps  HNS  , which is described by Arnold as "black" and as measuring 5 mm. He found that the typical form of the species lives in large colonies, independent of other ants or termites, though it is hypogaeic, "rarely coming to the surface except in dull weather."