Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

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 : 38

publication ID

https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5102.1.1

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:BEA963B7-F7B9-458A-92EE-A4740AC390AC

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6822861

persistent identifier

https://treatment.plazi.org/id/03A33567-FF98-541B-1CD0-83A1FE613EBC

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)
status

 

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

( Figs 16 View FIGURES 16–18 , 35 View FIGURES 35–40 )

Sima tessmanni Stitz 1910: 131 . Syntypes, 2 workers, Alen , Equatorial Guinea (Tessmann) (MHNG, NHMB) [examined]. 1 syntype worker from MHNG imaged on AntWeb: CASENT0907476. Syntypes, 1 dealate queen, 2 workers, Alen, Equatorial Guinea (Tessmann) (ZMHB) [not examined]; imaged on AntWeb: FOCOL1166, FOCOL1167, FOCOL1168.

Viticicola tessmanni var. castanea Wheeler 1922a: 112 View Cited Treatment . Syntypes, 17 workers, 3 dealate queens, 1 ergatoid queen, Avakubi, Democratic Republic of Congo (H. O. Lang) ( AMNH, LACM, MSNG, MCZC, NHMB, USNM) [examined] . 1 syntype worker from NHMB imaged on AntWeb: CASENT0915540. Synonymy by Brown 1950: 248 .

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1918: 304. Description of larva. Combination in Tetraponera .

Sima Tessmannii Stitz ; Santschi 1919: 84. Description of queen.

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1919: 130. Combination in Viticicola .

Sima (Tetraponera) tessmanni Stitz ; Emery 1921: 28. Combination in Sima (Tetraponera) .

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1922a: 109. Combination in Viticicola .

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1922a: 111. Description of male.

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz) ; Wheeler & Wheeler 1956: 391. Description of larva.

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz) ; Ward 1990: 489. Combination in Tetraponera .

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

Tetraponera castanea (Wheeler) ; Ward 1990: 489. Combination in Tetraponera , as junior synonym of T. tessmanni .

Worker measurements (n = 10). HW 0.58–0.66, HL 0.73–0.80, LHT 0.42–0.47, CI 0.76–0.84, FCI 0.20–0.24, REL 0.20–0.24, REL2 0.24–0.31, SI 0.41–0.44, SI3 1.42–1.73, FI 0.45–0.50, PLI 1.06–1.21, PWI 0.84–0.98, LHT/ HW 0.69–0.73, CSC 2–7, MSC 5–8.

Worker diagnosis. Small species (HW 0.58–0.66, LHT 0.42–0.47); head broad, with rounded sides ( Fig. 16a View FIGURES 16–18 ), and small flattened eyes (REL 0.20–0.24); palp formula 4p3,3 or 3,3; frontal carinae widely separated, the minimum distance between them about one-half scape length; scape very short, less than one-half head width (SI 0.41–0.44, SI2 0.32–0.37); anterior clypeal margin broadly convex, straight or weakly immarginate medially, edentate; profemur short and robust (FL/HW 0.67–0.70, FI 0.45–0.50), hind legs short (LHT/HL 0.56–0.59); mesopropodeal groove long and deeply impressed ( Fig. 16b View FIGURES 16–18 ); dorsal face of propodeum strongly convex in profile, and rounding insensibly into the longer declivitous face; petiole short, high, and broad (see petiolar indices), rounded in profile and with a prominent ventral process, becoming thin and lamellate anteroventrally ( Fig. 16b View FIGURES 16–18 ); postpetiole broader than long. Integument smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures, becoming weakly reticulate on the lower half of the mesopleuron and metapleuron; mesopropodeal groove irregularly rugulose. Standing pilosity present as scattered long hairs on the head (CSC 2–7), mesosoma (MSC 5–8), petiole, postpetiole, and gaster, accompanied on most of body by a dense underlying subdecumbent pubescence that grades into short suberect pilosity. Varying in color from light yellowish- or orange-brown to medium brown.

Comments. Among African Tetraponera the worker of this species is easily recognized by its diminutive size, very small eyes (REL 0.20–0.24), short scapes and legs, deep mesopropodeal impression, and short, broad petiole with prominent ventral extension. For a discussion of the relationship to T. mayri see under that species.

Distribution and biology. Known from Ghana to DR Congo, T. tessmanni is an obligate inhabitant of the myrmecophytic liana Vitex thyrsiflora ( Bequaert 1922; Wheeler 1922a; Schnell & Grout de Beaufort 1966). The colonies of T. tessmanni inhabit live stems of the vine, and the aggressive stinging workers actively patrol the foliage of the plant, providing an effective deterrent to herbivory ( Djiéto-Lordon et al. 2005). The ants are thought to derive all or most of their nutrition from the plant itself, by feeding on callus tissue which develops in ant-excavated cavities in the internal wall of the vine ( Bailey 1922). Examining pellets from the trophothylax (food-pouch) of T. tessmanni larvae, Wheeler & Bailey (1920) found plant tissue, spores, hyphae, and remains of other larvae. Colonies of T. tessmanni are polygynous, and there is considerable variation in queen size, including ergatoid and subapterous forms, as well as normal dealate queens ( Wheeler 1922a: 108).

Material examined ( AMNH, CASC, CPDC, CUIC, DZUP, LACM, MCZC, MHNG, MSNG, NHMB, PSWC, SAMC, UCDC, USNM). Cameroon: Est: Masea (McKey, D.) ; Sud-Ouest: Nta Ali Forest Reserve, Mbio , sul de Mamfé (Blatrix, R.) ; Central African Republic: Sangha-Mbaéré: P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 21.4 km 53° NE Bayanga, 510 m (van Noort, S.); 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.) ; DR Congo: Haut-Uélé: Medje (Lang, H. O.); Medje (c.u.); province unknown: “Congo Belge” (c.u.); Tshopo: Avakubi (Lang, H. O.) ; Equatorial Guinea: Wele-Nzas: Alen (Tessman, G.) ; Gabon: Woleu-Ntem: 20.5 km 110° ESE Minvoul , 600 m (Fisher, B. L.) ; Ghana: Eastern: Pimpimso (Box, H. E.) .

AMNH

American Museum of Natural History

LACM

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

MSNG

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 'Giacomo Doria'

NHMB

Natural History Museum Bucharest

USNM

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

CPDC

Centro de Pesquisas do Cacau

CUIC

Cornell University Insect Collection

DZUP

Universidade Federal do Parana, Colecao de Entomologia Pe. Jesus Santiago Moure

MHNG

Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

SAMC

Iziko Museums of Cape Town

UCDC

R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Genus

Tetraponera

Loc

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

Ward, Philip S. 2022
2022
Loc

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

Ward, P. S. 1990: 489
1990
Loc

Tetraponera castanea (Wheeler)

Ward, P. S. 1990: 489
1990
Loc

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz)

Wheeler, G. C. & Wheeler, J. 1956: 391
1956
Loc

Viticicola tessmanni var. castanea

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1950: 248
Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 112
1922
Loc

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 109
1922
Loc

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 111
1922
Loc

Sima (Tetraponera) tessmanni

Emery, C. 1921: 28
1921
Loc

Sima Tessmannii

Santschi, F. 1919: 84
1919
Loc

Viticola tessmanni (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1919: 130
1919
Loc

Tetraponera tessmanni (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1918: 304
1918
Loc

Sima tessmanni

Stitz, H. 1910: 131
1910