Hypoponera spei (Forel),

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: 101-103

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Hypoponera spei (Forel)


Hypoponera spei (Forel)  HNS 

(Figs 112 – 114)

Ponera spei Forel  HNS  , 1910: 423. Holotype worker, SOUTH AFRICA: Montagnes du Natal (Wroughton) (MHNG) [examined]. [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 216.]

Ponera spei r. devota var. sancta Forel  HNS  , 1914: 213. Workers from SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Durban (G . A r n o ld ). Unavailable name (Bolton, 1995: 216).

Ponera spei var. fidelis Santschi  HNS  , 1926: 207, fig. 1C. Syntype worker and queen, SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Krantz Kloof, 21.i.1914 (H.D. Marley) (NHMB) [queen examined]. Syn. n. [Combination in Hypoponera  HNS  : Bolton, 1995: 214.]

WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.70 – 0.87, HW 0.61 – 0.74, HS 0.655 – 0.815, SL 0.48 – 0.59, PrW 0.43 – 0.56, WL 0.94 – 1.18, HFL 0.52 – 0.66, PeNL 0.19 – 0.24, PeH 0.44 – 0.55, PeNW 0.30 – 0.39, PeS 0.310 – 0.387 (20 measured). Indices: CI 82 – 89, SI 77 – 85, PeNI 68 – 76, LPeI 40 – 46, DPeI 150 – 180.

Eyes present, of 1 – 7 ommatidia that may be depigmented or partially fused. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, fractionally fails to reach, or just touches, the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.66 – 0.76. Reticulate-punctulate sculpture of cephalic dorsum fine, but head more densely sculptured than pronotal dorsum. Propodeal dorsum smooth, with only faint traces of scattered, minute punctulae. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent or with a weak vestige still visible. Metanotal groove distinctly incised on dorsum of mesosoma; mesonotum with a well-defined posterior margin. Propodeal declivity separated from side by a blunt angle or a weak margination, without sharp carinae. Mesopleuron smooth and shining. Petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces of the node convergent dorsally; node distinctly longer just above the anterior tubercle than at the dorsum. Subpetiolar process variable in shape: at one extreme an elongate lobe with a sharp posteroventral angle, at the other a more bluntly rounded, shorter lobe; intermediates between these two extremes are present. Anterior margin of subpetiolar process, near its base, with a conspicuous pit, from which a sensory seta arises. In dorsal view the petiole node distinctly broader than long. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view slightly less than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with strong cross-ribs. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, distinctly broader than long. Punctures on disc of second gastral tergite distinct, dense but not appearing microreticulate. With first gastral segment in profile its dorsum with elongate fine standing setae, the longest of which are only fractionally shorter than those at the apex of the tergite. Full adult colour yellowish brown to medium brown.

In most worker specimens of spei  HNS  the eye consists of 1 – 4 ommatidia but commonly up to about 7 may be observed. At minimum there is only a single ommatidium, and it is often depigmented and poorly defined. Where several ommatidia occur they are often partially fused, so that the limits of individual ommatidia are obscured and the eye appears blister-like under low magnification.

Extremely closely related to boerorum  HNS  . In fact, the two may eventually prove to be conspecific; see the notes and discussion under boerorum  HNS  and natalensis  HNS  .

Material examined. South Africa: Natal (Wroughton); Natal, Durban (G. A r n o l d ); Natal, Krantz Kloof (H.D. Marley); Kwazulu Natal, Karkloof, Leopard Bush Nat. Res. (B.L. Fisher); Kwazulu Natal, Boston, Good Hope Estate (B.L. Fisher); Kwazulu Natal, Umtamvuna Nat. Res. (S. van Noort); W. Cape Prov., Diepwalle, nr Knysna (B.L. Fisher); Sinclair Forest, nr Knysna (B.L. Fisher); E. Cape, Mkambati Game Res. (B.L. Fisher).