Hypoponera dema 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: 40-42

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Hypoponera dema Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Hypoponera dema Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 28 – 30)

WORKER (holotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.78 – 0.84 (0.83), HW 0.64 – 0.68 (0.65), HS 0.715 – 0.760 (0.740), SL 0.55 – 0.61 (0.59), PrW 0.52 – 0.54 (0.53), WL 1.08 – 1.18 (1.14), HFL 0.60 – 0.68 (0.62), PeNL 0.26 – 0.29 (0.27), PeH 0.58 – 0.60 (0.58), PeNW 0.43 – 0.48 (0.46), PeS 0.423 – 0.450 (0.437) (9 measured). Indices: CI 78 – 83 (78), SI 86 – 92 (91), PeNI 82 – 89 (87), LPeI 43 – 48 (47), DPeI 154 – 185 (170).

With head in full-face view midpoint of anterior clypeal margin with sharp denticle; in profile this is seen as the apex of a raised, low but sharp cuticular longitudinal ridge. Eyes absent or present; if the latter, the eye small and poorly defined. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to touch or just touches the mid-point of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.71 – 0.76. Cephalic dorsum densely reticulate-punctate. Lateroventral areas of head with sharply incised spaced punctures. Pronotal dorsum obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than the cephalic dorsum. Side of pronotum, especially on curve between side and dorsum, more strongly sculptured, the puncturation on the curve slightly less dense than that seen on the head. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma or with a vestigial trace. Propodeum distinctly sharply marginate between declivity and side. Petiole in profile stout, its anterior face often feebly concave, so that the node increases slightly in length towards the dorsum; dorsal surface rounded. Posterior surface of petiole node without cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Subpetiolar process with a ventral angle. In dorsal view petiole node stout and broad, with posterior face transverse and anterior face convex. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view distinctly greater than width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite conspicuous. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, slightly less than the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised, small punctures that are separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are equal to, or slightly less than, the distances that separate the punctures. First gastral tergite dorsally pubescent and with numerous conspicuous, standing setae that are clearly much longer and more erect than the pubescence.

Holotype worker (top specimen of three on pin), Rwanda: Rangiro, ix.1976 (P. Werner ) (MHNG).

Paratypes. 20 workers with same data as holotype; 6 workers and 1 dealate queen Rwanda: Rangiro, 1800 m., 10.vii.1973 (P. W e r n e r ) (MHNG, BMNH, CASC, BBRC)

In the Afrotropical fauna four other species, molesta  HNS  , segnis  HNS  , tristis  HNS  and venusta  HNS  share the following set of characters with dema  HNS  : metanotal groove absent; posterior surface of petiole node without cuticular ridges; cinctus of second gastral tergite with cross-ribs at base; maximum width of first gastral tergite at least equal to, and usually greater than, width of second tergite at its midlength; disc of second gastral tergite with sharply defined, distinctly separated punctures.

The smallest species in this complex are molesta  HNS  and venusta  HNS  , with HW 0.40 – 0.48, SL 0.32 – 0.43; the others together have HW 0.54 – 0.68, SL 0.46 – 0.61. H. molesta  HNS  has a much broader petiole node (PeNI 89 – 94) than venusta  HNS  (PeNI 76 – 82). In fact, molesta  HNS  has the broadest node in the complex relative to its pronotal width, being approached only by some workers of dema  HNS  (PeNI 82 – 89), but the latter is a much larger species (HW 0.64 – 0.68, SL 0.55 – 0.61) and has a sharp denticle at the midpoint of the anterior clypeal margin. The three species just mentioned all have very conspicuous standing setae on the dorsum of the first gastral tergite. These setae are quite numerous and distinct from the underlying pubescence, the setae being obviously longer and more erect. H. segnis  HNS  and tristis  HNS  lack these conspicuous setae. In size they are larger than molesta  HNS  and venusta  HNS  , having a combined HW 0.54 – 0.60, but are smaller than dema  HNS  (HW 0.64 – 0.68). The petiole node is shorter in profile in segnis  HNS  (LPeI 32 – 43) than in tristis  HNS  (LPeI 46 – 49) and in dorsal view the node is distinctly shorter in relation to its width in segnis  HNS  (DPeI 180 – 220) than in tristis  HNS  (DPeI 154 – 170).

Non-paratypic material examined. Rwanda: Kayove (P . W e r n e r ). Uganda: Kibale For. Res. (M.R. Orr).