Tetraponera dispar, 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 : 29-30

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Tetraponera dispar

sp. nov.

Tetraponera dispar sp. nov.

( Figs 7 View FIGURES 7–9 , 36 View FIGURES 35–40 )

Type material. Holotype worker: Republic of Congo, Niari , Tsingidi, Afog 27, 803 m, -2.47106 12.96037, 16 Nov 2013, tall mature forest, canopy fogging, L. Niemand & C. Ngoulou LN-RC1- Afog 27 ( CASENT0888518 ) ( SAMC) GoogleMaps . Paratype: 1 worker, same data as holotype ( CASENT0888519 ) ( CASC) GoogleMaps .

Worker measurements (n = 2). HW 0.51–0.52, HL 0.66–0.67, LHT 0.43–0.44, CI 0.77–0.78, FCI 0.10, REL 0.35, REL2 0.45, SI 0.62–0.63, SI3 1.39–1.40, FI 0.38–0.39, PLI 0.59–0.60, PWI 0.44–0.48, LHT/HW 0.83–0.86, CSC 2, MSC 1–2.

Worker diagnosis. A member of the T. clypeata complex (see characterization under T. clypeata ), with the following more specific features: very small (HL <0.70), with relatively broad head (CI 0.77–0.78) and large eyes ( REL 0.35, EL/LHT 0.52–0.54); mesopropodeal impression simple, lacking longitudinal rugulae; profemur rather slender (FI 0.38–0.39); petiole relatively short (for this complex), such that PLI 0.59–0.60, PL/HW 0.71, and PL/SL 1.13–1.14. Integument predominantly smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures. Standing pilosity sparse, present on frontal carinae, vertex (one supraocular pair), and pronotum (one anterolateral pair), absent from remainder of mesosoma and from the petiole and postpetiole. Body light orange-brown.

Comments. Tetraponera dispar is a diminutive, orange-brown species in the T. clypeata complex. It can be distinguished from other species in that complex by its small size, broad head, and large eyes. In addition, the petiole is relatively short: PL/HW 0.71 and PL/SL 1.13–1.14, compared with PL/HW 0.72–0.94 and PL/SL 1.21–1.43 in other species (these measurements refer to workers only). Finally, the worker of T. dispar has an anterolateral pair of setae on the pronotum, whereas these setae are lacking in workers of other species in the T. clypeata complex.

Distribution and biology. Tetraponera dispar is known only from two workers taken by canopy fogging in primary rainforest in the Republic of Congo. The habitat is illustrated in Janák & Bordoni (2015: 91). The four other species in the T. clypeata complex are confined to southern Africa, so T. dispar is a striking geographical outlier.

Material examined. Known only from the type series.


Iziko Museums of Cape Town