Tetraponera mayri (Forel)

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 : 34

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Tetraponera mayri (Forel)


Tetraponera mayri (Forel)

Sima Mayri Forel 1901: 53 . Syntype (s), queen(s), “ Kamerun ” ( Brauns ) [not examined] [type(s) not in ZMUH, probably destroyed in World War II; R. Abraham, pers. comm., 1987]

Sima Mayri Forel ; Santschi 1919: 84. Comparison with queen of S. tessmanni .

Sima (Tetraponera) mayri Forel ; Emery 1921: 27. Combination in Sima (Tetraponera) .

Tetraponera mayri (Forel) ; Wheeler 1922b: 798. Combination in Tetraponera .

Original description (translated from German): “ Sima Mayri nov. sp. ♀. L. 6,3 mm. Head rectangular, 1 and 2/3 times as long as wide. The scape is much shorter than the distance from its posterior end to the occipital margin. Funicular segments much broader than long (usually more than twice as broad as long). Eyes in the middle. Median protrusion of clypeus three-toothed. Thorax arched from front to back, without edges or corners. Metanotum rounded. First node of pedicel somewhat longer than wide, margined anteriorly, wider posteriorly than anteriorly, short stalked. Its stalk is hollowed out above, bordered by two edges. Below the node stands a perpendicular, large longitudinal lobe, rounded anteriorly and posteriorly, which gives this species a very particular appearance. Second node wider than the first, wider than long, rounded, not much smaller than the first abdominal segment. Abdomen elongate. Legs fairly short. Smooth, shiny, diffuse punctures. On the thorax, especially on the metanotum, the punctures are strong and abundant. Very diffuse hairs; only ventrally on the abdomen a few more and longer, yellow hairs. Reddish-brown, with more reddish suture margins of all body parts. Mandibles, antennae, and legs dirty redyellow; middle of femur brownish. Cameroon (Dr. Brauns). Through the lobe of the first petiolar segment distinctly characterized.”

Comments. It is probable that the original description is based on a single individual, since no size range or other variation is mentioned. No surviving types or any other specimens of T. mayri are known. As noted by Santschi (1919: 84), this species and T. tessmanni appear to be closely related. Features in common between the queens of the two species include the conspicuous rectangular subpetiolar lobe, which is rounded anteriorly and posteriorly; very short scape; compressed funicular segments; petiole which is wider posteriorly than anteriorly; broad postpetiole; and reddish-brown color. Apparent differences between T. mayri and T. tessmanni include size ( T. tessmanni queens 4–5 mm long, versus 6.3 mm in T. mayri ), head shape (queen CI 0.71–0.78 in T. tessmanni , versus ~ 0.60 in T. mayri ), configuration of the median clypeal lobe (anterior margin convex in T. tessmanni , tridentate in T. mayri ), and petiole shape ( T. tessmanni : wider than long and rounded anteriorly; T. mayri : somewhat longer than wide, and margined anteriorly).

Based on the above, workers of T. mayri are predicted to be similar to those of T. tessmanni but larger in size with a more elongate head and petiole, and a dentate clypeal lobe. Such predictions are incorporated into the workerbased key to Afrotropical Tetraponera .

Distribution and biology. This species was collected in German-occupied Cameroon by Dr. Johannes (Hans) Brauns, probably when he visited the region in 1894 ( Anonymous, 2014). Nothing is known about the biology of T. mayri although, given its similarity to T. tessmanni , it is possibly a myrmecophyte-inhabiting specialist. Future surveys of the Cameroon ant fauna should be on the lookout for this species.

Material examined. None.














Tetraponera mayri (Forel)

Ward, Philip S. 2022

Tetraponera mayri (Forel)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 798

Sima (Tetraponera) mayri

Emery, C. 1921: 27

Sima Mayri

Santschi, F. 1919: 84

Sima Mayri

Forel, A. 1901: 53