Axinidris okekai , Snelling, R. R., 2007

Snelling, R. R., 2007, A review of the arboreal Afrotropical ant genus Axinidris., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 551-579: 569-570

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Axinidris okekai

new species

Axinidris okekai  HNS  , new species

Figures 8, 18, 28

Worker diagnosis. Antennal scape shaft and pronotal disc (Fig. 18) without erect hairs and gastral terga 3 - 4 each with 2 - 4 moderately long erect hairs; upper frons with 2 hairs; propodeal spines (dorsal view) short and right-angular, obtuse in profile; base of propodeum convex in profile, medial carina obtusely angulate at declivity; pronotum polished between sparse piligerous punctures.

Worker measurements (mm) (n = 11). HW 0.67 - 0.78; HL 0.73 - 0.87; SL 0.55 - 0.67; EL 0.17 - 0.22; OVD 0.24 - 0.30; PNW 0.44 - 0.54; PPW 0.29 - 0.38; WL 0.85 - 1.03. Indices. CI 85 - 95; CNI 67 - 114; OI 25 - 30; SI 81 - 91.

Worker description. Frons moderately shiny, with sparse, fine irregular longitudinal strigulae between contiguous minute punctures; vertex shiny between sparse piligerous punctures; gena shiny and weakly imbricate to smooth and malar area closely strigulate. Upper frons with 1 pair of erect hairs, each about as long as maximum width of first funicular segment; frontal area with 1 pair of erect hairs and each frontal carina with 2 pairs. Front of head with sparse, short appressed brownish hairs. Shaft of antennal scape without erect hairs, but with sparse, short appressed brownish hairs.

Pronotal disc polished and shiny between sparse minute piligerous punctures; anterior half of mesonotum similar, posterior half reticulose; mesepisternum shiny and weakly sculptured anteriorly, becoming contiguously, but shallowly, punctate behind; metanotal spiracle prominent in profile, but set so close to base of propodeum that it is not readily visible. Propodeum slightly shiny and contiguously finely punctate; base face convex in profile; spiracular prominence weak, opening directed posterolaterally; medial carina present only at summit of declivity, low and obtusely angulate in profile; propodeal spines short, in dorsal view right-angular and distance between their outer margins much less than width of propodeum at spiracles; spines obtuse to right-angular in profile.

Gastral terga shiny and weakly imbricate between sparse, minute piligerous punctures bearing short, brownish appressed hairs; terga 1 - 2 without erect hairs, 3 - 4 each with 2 - 4 erect hairs.

Head and body dark brownish, mesosoma slightly paler than head; mandibles yellowish at base of teeth.

Queen and male unknown.


Holotype and 6 worker paratypes: KENYA, Kakamega Distr., Isecheno , 21 March 2002 (R. R. Snelling, # 02 - 162)  , on vines. Additional paratypes: 2 workers, Kakamega Forest , 7 - 11 February 1999 (T. Wagner)  , ex fogging Teclea nobilis; 2 workers, " Colobus Trail ", Kakamega Forest , Sept . - Oct. 2001 (W. Freund & C. Schmidt)  , ex fogging Heinsenia diernilliodes. Holotype and several paratypes in LACM; paratypes also in AKRI, BMNH, MCZC and NMKC.


This species is dedicated to my friend, Wilberforce Okeka of KEEP (Kakamega Environmental Education Programme, Isecheno), who was so helpful during my visits to Kakamega Forest.


In addition to the above material, I have seen a single worker that appears to belong to this species: CAMEROUN, Mbalmayo , Nov. 1993 (N. Stark  ; BMNH). It differs from the types in being more reddish, the mandibles largely yellowish; the head and pronotum are less closely sculptured.

The few specimens in the type series are consistent in their features. In stature and color it is most like A. bidens  HNS  but is immediately separable by the lack of erect hairs on the pronotal humeri and propodeal spines.


USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]