Technomyrmex setosus Collingwood, 1985

Sharaf, Mostafa R., Dhafer, Hathal M. Al & Aldawood, Abdulrahman S., 2018, Review of the ant genus Technomyrmex Mayr, 1872 in the Arabian Peninsula (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), ZooKeys 780, pp. 35-59: 35

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Technomyrmex setosus Collingwood, 1985


Technomyrmex setosus Collingwood, 1985  Figure 7A, B, C

Technomyrmex setosus  Collingwood, 1985:243, fig. 12. KSA: Wadi Shugub, 7.iv.1983 (C. A. Collingwood) (Holotype worker not in NHMB, presumably lost, Neotype is designated below). Afrotropical.

Neotype worker.

KSA, Abha, Alswdah, 18.274167°N, 42.364444°E, 2982 m, 24.iv.2011, (M. R. Sharaf) (CASENT0906357, KSMA) [here designated].


Worker. Measurements: TL: 2.40-3.27; HL: 0.62-0.67; HW: 0.55-0.62; SL: 0.62-0.70; PW: 0.37-0.45; WL: 0.70-0.80; Indices: CI: 85-100; SI: 105-123; OI: 19-27; EPI: 74-88; DTI: 104-125 (n=9).

Neotype worker. Similar to T. briani  but it can be separated by the following characters: eyes located relatively anteriorly on head sides; first, second and third gastral tergites mostly with abundant scattered pairs of setae.

Material examined.

KSA, Shaqiq, 17.71987°N, 42.02869°E, 8.iv.1983 (2 w) ( WMLC); Asir Province: Gebel Balas (incorrectly as Beles), near Bishah, 19.841389°N, 41.865275°E, 1.ix.1984, (3 w, WMLC); Abha, Raydah Protectorate, 23.iv.2011, 13.221667°N, 42.404167°E, 2600 m, (M. R. Sharaf) (12 w); Abha, Raydah Protectorate, 22.ii.2014, 18.19790°N, 42.40951°E, 2443 m, (M. R. Sharaf), MRS0190, (4 w); Abha, Raydah Protectorate, 28.viii.2014, 18.1961°N, 42.40525°E, 2285 m, (Al Dhafer et al.), PT, (1 w); Abha, Raydah Protectorate, 26.viii.2014, 18.194917°N, 42.4396967°E, 1897 m, (Al Dhafer et al.), PT, (1 w); Abha, Raydah Protectorate, 21.ii.2014, 18.204417°N, 42.4124°E, 2820 m, (M. R. Sharaf), MRS0185, PT, (45 w); Alsawdah, 24.iv.2011, 18.274167°N, 42.364444°E, 2982 m, (M. R. Sharaf) (2 w); Alsawdah, 12.iv.2011, 18.274167°N, 42.364444°E, 2982 m, (M. R. Sharaf) (2 w); Al Baha Province: Wadi Turabah, Almandaq, 10.v.2011, 20.310278°N, 41.332222°E, 1793 m, (M. R. Sharaf), BS, (6 w); Shohba Forest, 14.v.2010, 20.234167°N, 41.623611°E, 2324 m, (M. R. Sharaf) (6 w); Wadi Elzaraeb, 20.216944°N, 41.436944°E, 2123 m, 15.v.2010, (M. R. Sharaf) (13 w); Shada Al A’la, 19.842917°N, 41.311517°E, 1666 m, 23.iv.2014, (Al Dhafer et al.), PT, (1 w), all in KSMA.

Previous records.

KSA: Gebel Balas (incorrectly written as Beles), near Bishah, Asir Province, 19.841389°N, 41.865275°E, 1.iv.1984; Wadi Al-Farah, Medina, 24.0045°N, 38.005°E, 180 m, 09.viii.1983; Gebel Ghar Harith (written as Harithi), near Najran, 17.479839°N, 44.02525°E, 11.iv.1984 (all collected by W. Büttiker); Yemen: Al-Hajjarah, 15.068889°N, 43.716111°E, 14.iii.1992, (A. van Harten); Oman: no locality (Collingwood & Agosti, 1996).


Technomyrmex setosus  was described from the holotype worker and two paratype workers collected from Wadi Shuqub (incorrectly written by Collingwood (1985) as Shugub because of the pronunciation of “q” to “g” by native KSA citizens), Al Bahah Province. The holotype and the two paratypes are not in NHMB and are considered lost. Two workers from Shaqiq (KSA) and three from Jebel Balas (KSA) are deposited in the WMLC and are T. setosus  , but are not considered to be types. These specimens are from a locality not indicated in the original publication ( Collingwood 1985). A Neotype for the species is herein designated to maintain the nomenclatural stability. Bolton (2007) already indicated that no type material of T. setosus  could be located in NHMB or WMLC. He mentioned the presence of the two workers from Shaqiq (examined above) labelled as types, but with different locality data than the type material listed in the original description. Bolton (2007) concept of T. setosus  was based on these two specimens.

Ecological notes.

Workers were collected from diverse habitats in the southwestern mountains of the KSA: Wadi Turabah (Al Bahah Province). A nest series was found under a rock next to an old Acacia  ( Fabaceae  ), where several workers were ascending the trunks and the twigs of these native plants, a foraging behavior mentioned by Bolton (2007). Several workers of Formicinae  Lepisiota obtusa  (Emery 1901) were found foraging in the same area. This site is in a valley that has flowing drainages during the rainy season and supports a remarkable diversity of native vegetation that flourishes after the rains.

In Shohba Forest (Al Bahah Province) this species was found foraging on a trunk of Acacia  sp. and next to a Juniperus procera  Hochst. exEndl. tree ( Cupressaceae  ). In Wadi El Zaraeb (Al Bahah Province) workers of T. setosus  were found under a rock near a J. procera  tree in an area of scattered trees of Olea europea L. subsp. africana  (Mill.) PS Green ( Oleaceae  ) and Dodonae aviscosa  Jacq. ( Sapindaceae  ). In Beljorashi Forest (Al Bahah Province), this species was observed under an Acacia  tree. In Al Sawda Mountains and in the Raydah Nature Preserve (Asir Province), workers of T. setosus  were foraging on the ground where the soil was dry and rich in decaying organic material.

Technomyrmex setosus  was also collected from Wadi Al-Farah (Medina Province) ( Collingwood and Agosti 1996), a mountainous rocky region with steep hillsides. The plant cover includes some Acacia  trees, perennial bushes, and shrubs ( Abo-Khatwa et al. 1980). The species was collected from Wadi Shuqub ( Collingwood 1985), a site with dense Balanites aegyptiaca  (L.) Delile ( Zygophyllaceae  ), perennial vegetation and Acacia  woods ( Büttiker 1981).

Geographic range.

Technomyrmex setosus  was originally described from KSA and has been recorded from Oman and Yemen ( Collingwood and Agosti 1996) and is apparently an endemic species of the Arabian Peninsula.