Hypoponera transvaalensis (Arnold),

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: 108-109

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Hypoponera transvaalensis (Arnold)


Hypoponera transvaalensis (Arnold)  HNS 

Ponera transvaalensis Arnold  HNS  , 1947: 132, fig. 2. Holotype worker, SOUTH AFRICA: Transvaal, Mariepskop (J.C. Faure) (SAMC) [not seen]. [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 216.]

WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.88, HW 0.74, HS 0.810, SL 0.70, PrW 0.56, WL 1.26, HFL 0.70, PeNL 0.26, PeH 0.58, PeNW 0.40, PeS 0.413. Indices: CI 84, SI 95, PeNI 71, LPeI 45, DPeI 154.

A large, darkly coloured species, very closely related to sulcatinasis  HNS  and answering the general description of that species, but differing as follows.

1 Dorsum of propodeum weakly sculptured anteriorly; the sculpture fades out posteriorly so that the posterior half is almost smooth. In sulcatinasis  HNS  the entire propodeal dorsum is uniformly reticulate-punctate.

2 Propodeum without a sharply defined boundary between dorsum and declivity that is brought about by an abrupt loss of sculpture. In sulcatinasis  HNS  the boundary between propodeal dorsum and declivity is strongly demarcated by the abrupt disappearance of sculpture at the junction of dorsum and declivity.

3 Punctate sculpture of pronotal and mesonotal dorsa weak and superficial; punctures very small and widely separated. In sulcatinasis  HNS  the punctures on the pronotal and mesonotal dorsa are dense, sharply incised and conspicuous .

4 Metanotal groove with weakly defined anterior and posterior sutures, so that a narrow metanotal sclerite is present on the mesosomal dorsum. In sulcatinasis  HNS  merely a groove is present.

It seems probable that sulcatinasis  HNS  and transvaalensis  HNS  may eventually prove to be nothing more than two geographical variants of a single species. But because the little material available can be separated by the characters given above, they are maintained as separate for the present.

Material examined. South Africa: Transvaal, Pilgrim’s Rest, Mt Sheba Forest (S. Zoia).