Tetraponera hirsuta , Ward, P. S., 2009

Ward, P. S., 2009, The ant genus Tetraponera in the Afrotropical region: the T. grandidieri group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Journal of Hymenoptera Research 18, pp. 285-304: 296

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Tetraponera hirsuta

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Tetraponera hirsuta  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 13-14, 25)

Holotype worker. MADAGASCAR Antsiranana : R.S. Manongarivo, 10.8 km 229° SW Antanambao , 400 m, 13°57.7'S 48°26.0'E, 8.xi. l998, ex sifted litter, rainforest, B. L. Fisher #1996 ( CASENT0170370) ( CASC)GoogleMaps  .

Paratypes. 1 worker, 1 dealate queen, same locality and date as holotype, ex rotting tree stump, rainforest (B. L. Fisher #2008; CASENT0170371);  1 worker, MADAGASCAR Antsiranana : R.S. Manongarivo, 12.8 km 228° SW Antanambao , 780 m, ll. xi.1998, ex sifted litter, rainforest (B. L. Fisher #1862; CASENT0170368) ( CASC)  ; 2 workers, MADAGASCAR Antsiranana : R.S. Manongarivo, 12.8 km 228° SW Antanambao , 780 m, 12.xi.1998, beating low vegetation, rainforest (В. L. Fisher #1888; CASENT0170369) ( CASC)  .

Material Examined.-Known only from the type material.

Worker measurements (n = 2). HW 1.19-1.34, HL 1.35-1.51, LHT 1.32-1.45, CI 0.88-0.89, FCI 0.15, REL 0.34, REL2 0.39, SI 0.73-0.76, FI 0.33-0.34, PLI 0.57, PWI 0.51- 0.53.

Worker diagnosis. Similar to Г. grandidieri  HNS  (q.v.). Basal margin of mandible lacking tooth; anterior clypeal margin broadly convex and crenulate, directed forward; metanotal spiracle visible in lateral view of mesosoma; dorsal face of propodeum broadly convex in posterior view; scape with conspicuous suberect and subdecumbent hairs (Fig. 13); standing pilosity and appressed pubescence generally sparse elsewhere, although tending to be better developed than in other species in the grandidieri  HNS  group; integument mostly sublucid, with fine coriarious/puncticulate sculpture; body tricolored: metasoma, appendages, and ventral margin of mesosoma orange, most of mesosoma reddish-brown, and head dark brownish black.

Comments. T. hirsuta  HNS  can be distinguished from related species by the more conspicuous pilosity on the scapes (Fig. 13) and the tricolored body. The différences are slight but consistent, and they are maintained in sympatry with the otherwise similar species T. grandidieri  HNS  and T. hespera  HNS  .

Distribution and biology. This species appears to be endemie to the Manongarivo Massif (Fig. 25), where it occurs sympatrically with T. grandidieri,  HNS  T. hespera  HNS  and T. merita  HNS  . The only nest series is incomplete: one worker and one dealate queen from a rotting tree stump ( BLF 2008). Habits are assumed to be similar those of other species in the T. grandidieri  HNS  group, but almost nothing is known about the biology of T. hirsuta  HNS  .


USA, California, San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences