Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

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 : 47

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Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)


Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

( Figs 24 View FIGURES 22–24 , 41 View FIGURES 41–46 )

Sima anthracina Santschi 1910: 355 . Syntypes, 5 workers, Combra-Tora, Brazzaville, Congo-Brazzaville (Weiss) ( MHNG, NMHB) [examined] . 1 syntype worker from NHMB imaged on AntWeb: CASENT0915524 .

Sima triangularis Stitz 1910: 131 . Holotype worker (by monotypy), Alen , Equatorial Guinea (Tessmann) (ZMHB) [examined]. Imaged on AntWeb: FOCOL1154. Syn. nov.

Tetraponera poultoni Donisthorpe 1931: 497 . Holotype worker (by monotypy), Uganda (J. E. M. Mellor) (OXUM) [examined]. Syn. nov.

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi) ; Wheeler 1922a: 106 View Cited Treatment . Combination in Tetraponera .

Sima anthracina Santschi ; Santschi 1928: 58 View Cited Treatment . Combination in Sima .

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi) ; Menozzi 1942: 166. Combination in Tetraponera .

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi) ; Terron 1968: 339. Description of queen, male.

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi) ; Terron 1977: 115. Colony development.

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi) ; Chomicki et al. 2015: figure S1. Placement in molecular phylogeny.

Tetraponera triangularis (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1922b: 800. Combination in Tetraponera .

Note: publication dates for Sima anthracina Santschi (1910) and Sima triangularis Stitz (1910) are 23 February 1910 and August 1910, respectively.

Worker measurements (n = 11). HW 1.40–1.54, HL 1.47–1.67, LHT 1.08–1.21, CI 0.92–0.99, FCI 0.14–0.16, REL 0.49–0.53, REL2 0.52–0.56, SI 0.49–0.52, SI3 0.90–0.99, FI 0.44–0.46, PLI 0.72–0.79, PWI 0.78–0.85, LHT/ HW 0.76–0.8, CSC 2, MSC 4.

Worker diagnosis. Large species, with broad head (CI 0.92–0.99) and large eyes (REL 0.49–0.53); posterior margin of eye attaining the level of the lateral ocelli; frontal carinae well separated, the minimum distance between them about 0.15× head width (FCI 0.14–0.16) and more than one-quarter of scape length (MFC/SL 0.27–0.31); scapes of moderate length (SI 0.49–52), slightly less than eye length (SI3 0.90–0.99); anterior clypeal margin broadly and weakly convex, with a short median denticle, usually flanked by 2–3 smaller denticles on each side ( Fig. 24a View FIGURES 22–24 ); profemur moderately robust (FI 0.44–0.46); mesonotum bounded posteriorly by a well marked but simple impression, lacking longitudinal rugulae; distinct metanotal plate not present, although anterior extremity of propodeum with a weakly differentiated arched-transverse area in some individuals; dorsal face of propodeum flattened, laterally marginate, longer than declivitous face and rounding insensibly into the latter; petiole relatively short and high (see PLI and PWI values), dorsolaterally marginate, and with an anteroventral tooth; in profile, petiolar node with gently rounded anterodorsal face and steeper posterodorsal face ( Fig. 24b View FIGURES 22–24 ); postpetiole about as broad as long. Head and mesosoma densely punctulate-coriarious, matte. Standing pilosity sparse; upper half of head with a single pair of supraocular setae, pronotum with two pairs of setae, situated on the anterolateral and posterolateral corners (CSC 2, MSC 4); propodeum, petiole, postpetiole, and abdominal tergite 4 with 0, 2–4, 2–6, and 4–20 standing hairs, respectively; standing pilosity distinct from the inconspicuous, short pubescence. Dark brownish-black, the mandibles, antennae, tibiae and tarsi lighter, especially the scapes, second antennal segment, protibia and protarsus.

Comments. The key distinguishing features of T. anthracina workers are their broad head (CI 0.92–0.99), large eyes (REL 0.49–0.53), sharp lateral margination of the mesosoma and petiole, dark color, and sparse standing pilosity (CSC 2, MSC 4). The superficially similar and sympatric species, T. mocquerysi , has a more elongate head (CI 0.80–0.90), softer lateral margination on the mesosoma and petiole, and more extensive standing pilosity (CSC 8–34, MSC 21–100). For differences between T. anthracina and T. andrei , see under the latter species.

Distribution and biology. T. anthracina is found in wet forested regions of West and Central Africa, from Nigeria to western Uganda. It is a generalist inhabitant of dead twigs. Terron (1977) gave a detailed account of colony development and caste production in this species, based on observations of laboratory colonies.

Material examined ( AMNH, ANIC, BMNH, CASC, LACM, MCZC, MHNG, MSNG, NHMB, NHMW, OXUM, PSWC, SAMC, UCDC, USNM, ZMHB). Cameroon: Centre: Metet (Good, A. I.); region unknown: “Cameroon” (Terron, G.); “Kamerun” (Conradt, L.); Sud: Ebolowa, Nkoemvon (Jackson, D.); Ekok, 24 mi E Tekmo, 650 m (Ross, E. S.; Lorenzen, K.); Nkoemvon (Jackson, D.); Central African Republic: Sangha-Mbaéré: P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 21.4 km 53° NE Bayanga, 510 m (van Noort, S.); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 37.9 km 169° S Lidjombo, 360 m (Fisher, B. L.); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 38.6 km 173° S Lidjombo, 350 m (Fisher, B. L.); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 38.6 km 173° S Lidjombo, 350 m (van Noort, S.); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, Mabéa Bai, 21.4 km 53° NE Bayanga, 510 m (Fisher, B. L.); Res. Dzanga-Sangha, 12.7 km 326° NW Bayanga, 420 m (Fisher, B. L.); Res. Dzanga-Sangha, 12.7 km 326° NW Bayanga, 420 m (van Noort, S.); Res. Dzanga-Sangha, 12.7 km 326° NW Bayanga, 470 m (Fisher, B. L.); DR Congo: Équateur: Bumba (c.u.); Ituri: Epulu, 950 m (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); Kasaï: Luebo (Schouteden, H.); Kasaï Oriental: Vill. Malela (Chief Kasende) (Bequaert, J.); Kongo Central: 50 km S Tshela (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); 6 mi E Tshela (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); Thysville (c.u.); Kwango: 21 mi W Popokabaka (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); 3 mi E Kenge (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); Kwilu: Wamba, Kikongo Mission (Chapman, T.); Mai-Ndombe: Mongende (Schouteden, H.); Nord-Kivu: 39 km S Walikale, 700 m (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); province unknown: “Congo” (Kohl); Tshopo: Kisangani [as “Stanleyville”] (Kohl, H.); Kisangani [as “Stanleyville”] (Lang, H. O.); Yangambi Reserve (Raignier, A.; van Boven, J.); Equatorial Guinea: Centro Sur : Uelleburg (Tessman, G.); Wele-Nzas: Alen [as “Alcu”] (Tessman, G.); Gabon: Ogooué-Ivindo: CNRS, Makokou (Gotwald, W. H.); Ogooué-Maritime: Port Gentil (Ross, E. S.; Leech, R. E.); Res. Moukalaba, 10.8 km 214° SW Doussala, 110 m (Fisher, B. L.); Res. Moukalaba, 12.2 km 305° NW Doussala, 110 m (Fisher, B. L.); Réserve de la Moukalaba-Dougoua, 7 km NW Doussala, 110 m (van Noort, S.); province unknown: “Gabon” (Faure, F.); Woleu-Ntem: 27.6 km 108° ESE Minvoul, 600 m (Fisher, B. L.); 31.3 km 108° ESE Minvoul, 600 m (Fisher, B. L.); Republic of Congo: Brazzaville: Brazzaville (Weiss, A.); Likouala: 55 km NW Boha, Lac Telle (Alpert, G. D.); Pool: Comba [as “Combra-Tora”] (Weiss); Lesio-Loun Park, 330 m (Braet; Sharkey); Uganda: Bundibugyo: Sempaya, Semliki Natl. Park, 700 m (Ward, P. S.); district unknown: “Uganda” (Mellor, J. E. M.); Kampala: Kampala (c.u.); Kampala (Gedye, A. F. J.); Wakiso: Dedewe Forest, pr. Kampala (c.u.).


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Natural History Museum Bucharest


American Museum of Natural History


Australian National Insect Collection


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County


Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 'Giacomo Doria'


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History














Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Ward, Philip S. 2022

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Terron, G. 1977: 115

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Terron, G. 1968: 339

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Menozzi, C. 1942: 166

Tetraponera poultoni

Donisthorpe, H. 1931: 497

Sima anthracina

Santschi, F. 1928: 58

Tetraponera anthracina (Santschi)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 106

Tetraponera triangularis (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 800

Sima anthracina

Santschi, F. 1910: 355

Sima triangularis

Stitz, H. 1910: 131