Hypoponera dis Bolton & Fisher, Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2011

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: 42-43

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Hypoponera dis Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Hypoponera dis Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 31 – 33)

WORKER (holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.50 – 0.52 (0.51), HW 0.38 – 0.40 (0.39), HS 0.440 – 0.460 (0.450), SL 0.33 – 0.35 (0.34), PrW 0.29 – 0.30 (0.29), WL 0.64 – 0.68 (0.65), HFL 0.32 – 0.34 (0.33), PeNL 0.15 – 0.16 (0.15), PeH 0.30 – 0.32 (0.30), PeNW 0.23 – 0.24 (0.23), PeS 0.227 – 0.237 (0.227) (8 measured). Indices: CI 75 – 78 (76), SI 83 – 88 (87), PeNI 77 – 81 (79), LPeI 47 – 53 (50), DPeI 145 – 160 (153).

Eyes absent. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.65 – 0.67. Cephalic dorsum finely but distinctly reticulate-punctate. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, with spaced minute, superficial punctures; obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Latroventral surfaces of head with spaced minute punctures. Metanotal groove absent on dorsum of mesosoma. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent on side of mesosoma. Propodeum angulate between declivity and side. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces somewhat convergent dorsally so that the node is broader just above the tubercle than at its apex. Subpetiolar process with an obtuse ventral angle. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view distinctly greater than the width of the second gastral tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite glossy and polished, without trace of cross-ribs . Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is greater than the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with superficial small punctures. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of short standing setae that project above the level of the pubescence in profile. Full adult colour light to medium brown.

Holotype worker, Ta n z a n i a : Pwani Region, Mlolo Forest, Mafia Island, 20 m., 9-13.iii.2008, CEPF-TZ-18.2-F08, 7.89576S, 39.82842E, AFRC-TZ-02, primary forest leaf litter, Winkler (P. Hawkes, Y. Mlacha, F. Ninga) (SAMC). Paratypes. 9 workers with same data as holotype; 1 worker with same data but CEPF-TZ-18.2-F71 (SAMC, CASC, AFRC, BBRC).

H. dis  HNS  resembles aprora  HNS  in most respects, but differs strikingly because the latter lacks the prora on the first gastral sternite, a structure that is obviously present in dis (as well as in all other known Afrotropical species). In addition, aprora  HNS  is darker brown and has the anterior and posterior faces of the petiole node less convergent dorsally when viewed in profile. Petiolar indices are also different, compare aprora  HNS  PeNI 84 – 87, DPeI 163 – 173, with the indices for dis, above.

An isolated worker from Tanzania (AFRC, details below) is darker in colour than the type-series of dis, and some of its dimensions and indices (HW 0.42, PrW 0.32, WL 0.72, CI 81, SI 81) are very slightly outside the range of dis, while others are within it. As only a single specimen is known, and its resemblance to dis is so striking, it is retained in that species for the present.

Non-paratypic material examined. Ta n z a n i a : Tanga Region, Nilo Forest Reserve (Hawkes, Makwati & Mtana).