Tetraponera elegans, Ward, 2022

Ward, Philip S., 2022, The ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropical region: taxonomic review and key to species, Zootaxa 5102 (1), pp. 1-70 : 45

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Tetraponera elegans

sp. nov.

Tetraponera elegans sp. nov.

( Fig. 22 View FIGURES 22–24 )

Type material. Holotype worker: Madagascar, Toamasina: CFAM, Tsaravoniana , 1018 m, -18.75737 48.42302 ±100 m, 8–9 Dec 2012, rainforest, ex dead twig above ground, B. L. Fisher et al. BLF30230 View Materials ( CASENT0300734 ) ( CASC) GoogleMaps . Paratypes, 4 workers: same data as holotype ( CASC, UCDC) ; 6 workers: same data as holotype except 9 Dec 2012, ex dead bamboo above ground, B. L. Fisher et al. BLF30248 View Materials ( CASC, UCDC) .

Worker measurements (n = 8). HW 1.03–1.19, HL 1.36–1.64, LHT 1.32–1.54, CI 0.73–0.78, FCI 0.12–0.15, REL 0.30–0.32, REL2 0.40–0.42, SI 0.84–0.90, SI3 2.04–2.18, FI 0.27–0.31, PLI 0.39–0.43, PWI 0.37–0.45, LHT/ HW 1.22–1.29, CSC 2–3, MSC 1–2.

Worker diagnosis. With characteristics of the T. grandidieri group and the following more specific features: basal margin of mandible edentate; anterior clypeal margin broadly convex and crenulate, directed forward, not anteroventrally; head elongate (CI 0.73–0.78); metanotal spiracle not protruding in lateral view of mesosoma; dorsal face of propodeum broadly convex in lateral and posterior views; petiole long and slender, anterior peduncle weakly inflected; petiole length equal to, or exceeding, head width; standing pilosity sparse on head and mesosoma ( CSC 2–3, MSC 1–2), usually 1–2 pairs of setae on dorsum of petiole and postpetiole; short appressed to subdecumbent hairs absent or inconspicuous on most of body; integument mostly sublucid, with fine coriarious/puncticulate sculpture; body orange brown, with contrasting dark brown head; appendages light orange-brown, the distal portions of antennae and femora contrastingly dark brown.

Comments. The worker of this species is readily distinguished from other members of the T. grandidieri group by its long and slender petiole, whose length equals or exceeds head width (PL/HW 1.01–1.05). In all other species in the T. grandidieri group petiole length is considerably less than head width (PL/HW 0.70–0.85). The legs and head of T. elegans are also notably elongate, and the body coloration is distinctive, especially the distal infuscation of the antennae. Molecular data suggest that T. elegans is the sister species of T. manangotra (Ward, unpubl.), from which it can be separated by the foregoing characteristics as well as the much smaller size (HW 1.03–1.19, compared with HW 1.48–1.58 in T. manangotra ).

Distribution and biology. This species is known only from two adjacent rainforest localities in the Corridor Forestier Analamay-Mantadiafour in eastern Madagascar. Three nest series were collected, one from a dead twig ( BLF30230 View Materials ), and two from dead bamboo ( BLF30194 View Materials , BLF30248 View Materials ). A fourth collection consists of a single worker taken on low vegetation.

Material examined ( CASC, PSWC, UCDC). Madagascar: Toamasina: CFAM, Tsaravoniana , 1018 m (Fisher, B. L.; et al.); CFAM, Tsaravoniana, 1036 m (Fisher, B. L.; et al.); CFAM, Ambatoharanana, 1016 m (Fisher, B. L.; et al.) .


USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


Colegio del Sagrado Corazón