Tetraponera gerdae (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 : 32-33

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.6822593

persistent identifier

https://treatment.plazi.org/id/03A33567-FFA2-541D-1CD0-879DFEE03CB4

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Tetraponera gerdae (Stitz)
status

 

Tetraponera gerdae (Stitz)

( Figs 1 View FIGURES 1–3 , 11 View FIGURES 10–12 , 38 View FIGURES 35–40 )

Sima gerdae Stitz 1911: 381 . Holotype (by monotypy) dealate queen, Amani , Tanzania (Vosseler) (ZMHB) [examined]. Imaged on AntWeb: FOCOL1171.

Sima (Tetraponera) gerdae Stitz ; Emery 1921: 27. Combination in Sima (Tetraponera) .

Tetraponera gerdae (Stitz) ; Wheeler 1922b: 797. Combination in Tetraponera .

Worker measurements (n = 10). HW 0.41–0.57, HL 0.62–0.87, LHT 0.36–0.56, CI 0.61–0.68, FCI 0.17–0.20, REL 0.27–0.32, REL2 0.43–0.48, SI 0.48–0.58, SI3 1.02–1.26, FI 0.46–0.57, PLI 0.82–0.93, PWI 0.62–0.76, LHT/ HW 0.85–1.00, CSC 0, MSC 0.

Worker diagnosis. Very similar to T. continua (see above) but head more elongate, on average (CI 0.61–0.68); petiole less slender (PLI 0.82–0.93), the petiolar node higher ( PH /HW 0.56–0.67) ( Fig. 11b View FIGURES 10–12 ) and broader (DPW/HW 0.43–0.53), and postpetiole broader (PPW/HW 0.56–0.64) ( Fig. 1 View FIGURES 1–3 ).

Comments. The holotype queen of T. gerdae , notable for its elongate head, closely matches a worker-associated queen from Kora, Kenya. The series of workers from Kora compare well with similar workers from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Eritrea. This species is closely similar to T. continua . An argument could be made for treating the two as conspecific, with the slight differences between them being attributable to geographical variation: continua -like workers (with a broader head and a more slender petiole and postpetiole) come from arid locations in northern Africa, and most gerdae -like samples (with a more elongate head and a more robust petiole and postpetiole) originate from east Africa. The distinctions are maintained, however, between the type worker of T. continua from Gotta, Ethiopia and an old series of T. gerdae -like workers collected by Penzig (1895) farther north, at Mount Lalamba, in what is now Eritrea ( Fig. 38 View FIGURES 35–40 ). Thus a simple picture of geographically differentiated populations does not seem to apply. For now these two taxa are accorded status as separate species but it should be emphasized that sample sizes are limited and additional collections might erase the distinctions.

Distribution and biology. T. gerdae is known from scattered localities in mostly arid or semi-arid regions of east Africa ( Fig. 38 View FIGURES 35–40 ). The series from Kora, Kenya is labeled “ex Acacia tortilis ”, and the workers from Eritrea were in “ Stereospermum dentatum ”. This latter collection was made by Penzig, who described the ants (misidentified as T. penzigi ) occupying live terminal branches of the Stereospermum tree, with brood and coccids, and behaving aggressively towards intruders ( Penzig 1895). Penzig considered Stereospermum dentatum (now a junior synonym of Stereospermum kunthianum ) to be a true myrmecophyte, but subsequent commentators have expressed doubt ( Bequaert 1922, Jolivet 1996), and T. gerdae is evidently not restricted to that plant. By contrast the related species, T. penzigi , nests only in the swollen stipular thorns of Vachellia drepanolobium .

Material examined ( BMNH, FHGC, LACM, MHNG, MNHN, MSNG, NHMW, PSWC, SAMC, UCDC, USNM, ZMHB). Eritrea: Semçnawî K’eyih Bahrî: Mount Lalamba , near Keren (Penzig) [locality from Penzig (1895: 467); given on labels as “Abessinien”, “Abissinia” and “Abyssinie”] ; Kenya: Baringo: Lake Baringo (Sibley, G.); Lake Bogoria , geyser (Peters, M.) ; Kajiado: Nguruman , nr. Sampu R., 723 m (Copeland, R.) ; Murang’a: Kora (West, C.) ; Samburu: Barsaloi lugga (Dewhurst, C. F.); Tanzania : Kilimanjaro: Mkomazi Game Reserve , Kikolo plot (van Noort, S.) ; Tanga: Amani (Vosseler); Zimbabwe : Bulawayo: Bulawayo ( ZBC Radio Mast) (Gardiner, A. J.) .

LACM

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

MHNG

Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

MNHN

Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle

MSNG

Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 'Giacomo Doria'

NHMW

Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien

SAMC

Iziko Museums of Cape Town

UCDC

R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology

USNM

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Insecta

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Formicidae

Genus

Tetraponera

Loc

Tetraponera gerdae (Stitz)

Ward, Philip S. 2022
2022
Loc

Tetraponera gerdae (Stitz)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 797
1922
Loc

Sima (Tetraponera) gerdae

Emery, C. 1921: 27
1921
Loc

Sima gerdae

Stitz, H. 1911: 381
1911