Tetraponera pedana, 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 : 35

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Tetraponera pedana

sp. nov.

Tetraponera pedana sp. nov.

( Figs 13 View FIGURES 13–15 , 39 View FIGURES 35–40 )

Tetraponera psw104. Chomicki et al. 2015: figure S1. Placement in molecular phylogeny.

Type material. Holotype worker: Kenya, Kakamega, Kakamega Forest, Colubus , 1622 m, 0.362 34.589, Jan 2003, rainforest, canopy fogging ex Teclea nobilis, W. Freund, T. n. #101 ( CASENT0794355 ) ( NMKE) GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 12 workers, same data as holotype ( CASENT0863343 to CASENT0863354) ( CASC, FHGC, SAMC, UCDC) GoogleMaps .

Worker measurements (n = 10). HW 0.58–0.67, HL 0.67–0.79, LHT 0.37–0.47, CI 0.82–0.86, FCI 0.18–0.21, REL 0.28–0.31, REL2 0.33–0.37, SI 0.48–0.53, SI3 1.29–1.48, FI 0.46–0.52, PLI 0.92–0.99, PWI 0.70–0.86, LHT/ HW 0.64–0.73, CSC 0, MSC 0.

Worker diagnosis. Small species, with broad head ( CI 0.82–0.86); frontal carinae well separated, the minimum distance between them about one-fifth of head width ( FCI 0.18–0.21, MFC/EL 0.50–0.61, MFC/SL 0.35–0.43); scape short, about one-half head width ( SI 0.48–0.53) and two-fifths of head length ( SI 2 0.40–0.44); anterior clypeal margin with a denticulate medial protrusion ( Fig. 13a View FIGURES 13–15 ); profemur robust ( FI 0.46–0.52), legs short ( LHT /HL 0.55– 0.61); metanotal plate conspicuous, oval in shape, about four-fifths the length of the mesonotum, and bounded anteriorly and posteriorly by transverse impressions that are longitudinally rugulose; dorsal face of propodeum flattened, laterally submarginate, shorter in length than the declivitous face and rounding insensibly into the latter; petiole relatively short, high and rounded, about as high as long (see PLI and PWI values), with a distinct anterior peduncle, a steeply ascending anterior face and more gently descending posterior face ( Fig. 13b View FIGURES 13–15 ) (posterior face equally steep in some individuals); in dorsal view, petiole one-third to two-fifths of head width ( DPW /HW 0.32–0.43); postpetiole broader than long ( PPW /HW 0.47–0.56). Dorsum of head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster largely smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures, becoming reticulate-coriarious to reticulate-striolate and subopaque on anterior portion of head, side of mesosoma, side of petiole, and (sometimes) dorsal face of propodeum. Standing pilosity very sparse, absent from the dorsum of head, mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole, and abdominal tergites 4–6. Dark brown, appendages lighter.

Comments. A combination of broad head (CI 0.82–0.86), well separated frontal carinae, shiny integument, short legs, and a short, high petiole characterizes the workers of this species. Workers of T. penzigi have a similarly broad head and distanced frontal carinae, but the head and mesosoma are more heavily sculptured and opaque, and the legs are longer (LHT/HW 0.77–0.88 in T. penzigi , versus 0.64–0.73 in T. pedana ). Other related species ( T. gerdae , T. continua , T. cortina ) differ from T. pedana by their more elongate heads (worker CI 0.61–0.73) and more narrowly separated frontal carinae relative to eye length (worker MFC/EL 0.30–0.48).

Distribution and biology. T. pedana is known from the Central African Republic, Uganda, and Kenya, from collections made in rainforest and rainforest edge. Foraging workers have been taken in sweep samples, canopy fogging samples, and even pitfall traps. There is no information about the nesting biology of this species, and queens have not yet been found.

Material examined ( ASIC, CASC, FHGC, LACM, NMKE, PSWC, UCDC). Central African Republic: Sangha-Mbaéré: P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, 38.6 km 173° S Lidjombo , 350 m (van Noort, S.) ; Kenya: Kakamega: Kakamega Forest , 1600 m (Wagner, T.) ; Kakamega Forest, Busumbuli , 1553 m (Wagner, T.) ; Kakamega Forest, Colobus , 1622 m (Freund, W.) ; Kakamega Forest, Ivakale , 1585 m (Hita Garcia, F.) ; Kakamega Forest, Yala , 1527 m (Freund, W.) ; Uganda: Kabarole: Kibale NP, Kanyawara Biological Station , 1500 m (van Noort, S.) ; Masindi: Budongo Forest, vic. Sonso , 1050 m (Wagner, T.) .


National Museum of Kenya


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


Carnegie Institution of Washington


Museo Botánico (SI)


Natural History Museum


Lahti City Museum


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County