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Species: Anochetus siphneus   Brown, 1978 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Anochetus siphneus Brown, 1978c: 608, figs. 11, 19 (w.) IVORY COAST. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Brown, WL Jr.,, 1978, Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography., Studia Entomologica 20, pp. 549-638

[34] Anochetus siphneusHNS new species

(figs. 11, 19)

Holotype, worker: TL 4.4, HL 1.12, HW 0.96, ML 0.52, WL 1.27, scape L 0.84, eye L 0.06 mm; Cl 86, MI 46.

Medium yellowy middle of dorsum of head slightly darker.

A small member of the grandidieriHNS group with eyes reduced to dots of only about 7-15 facets, filling less than half the length of the orbital fossa. Scape fails to reach posterior border of «occipital» lobe by about the length of the first funicular segment (less in 2 paratypes); segments II, III and

IV of funiculus longer than broad, subequal in length, together longer than I. Mandibles robust; preapical excision feeble, preapical angle low, rounded. Posteromedian impression wide and deep, shining, almost impunctate; nuchal carina in full-face view broadly V-shaped, with rounded apex.

Frontal striation continuing back onto the vertex for only a short distance beyond the midlength of the head, but replaced on the posterior disc of the vertex by dense, sometimes contiguous, coarse and fine punctures that surround the posteromedian impression; head otherwise smooth and shining.

Trunk compact, with the 2 sutures deeply impressed and longitudinally costulate at bottom (fig. 19). Pronotum with the usual fine margin around its anterior slope, paralleled by a narrow belt of fine, iregular rugulation or striation. Mesonotal disc narrow, straplike, about 3 times as broad as long. Dorsum of propodeum finely rugulose, weakly shining anteriad, otherwise opaque; discs of pro- and mesonotum and sides of trunk generally smooth and shining, as are also petiolar node and gastric dorsum. Node as in fig. 19; the paratypes are like this also except for the specimen from Gambari, Nigeria, which has the apical margin almost straight, with only a faintly concave tendency as seen from the front.

Pubescence short, appressed, moderately abundant on head, appendages and gaster, sparse and dilute on pronotum; the usual pair of erect hairs on the front of the pronotum, also 4 pairs of short, erect hairs straddling the cephalic midline: 2 pairs on frontal carinae, and 2 pairs on vertex. Gaster with up to about 25 coarse, stiff, pasteriorly-inclined, pointed hairs on the dorsum, 6-8 of these on first tergum.

Queen and male unknown.

Holotype a single worker (MCZ) from the gallery forest of the Bandama River at the Station Scientifique de Lamto, south central Ivory Coast, in a berlesate of leaf litter and humus, W. H. Gotwald and R. Schaefer.

Paratypes (MCZ, BMNH-London) 3 workers: Ivory Coast, Banco Forest, near Abidjan, W. L. Brown; Ghana, Tafo, on mud under dead leaf, B. Bolton; Nigeria, Gambari, under fallen banana stem, B. Bolton. TL 4.0-4.5, HL 1.04-1.14, HW 0.92-1.00, ML 0.50-0.55, WL 1.24-1.35, scape L 0.80-0.86, eye L 0.06-0.10 mm; Cl 86-91, MI 46-49.

So far as known, A. siphneusHNS is restricted to the West African forest belt, where it is found in the leaf litter or humus of the forest floor, and in rotten wood on the ground. Formerly, I had thought this species might be the same as A. jonesiiHNS, but a direct comparison of type material shows that jonesiiHNS is larger, has relatively larger eyes, and has a blunter, more narrowly rounded petiolar apex as seen from the side. Perhaps A. siphneusHNS has been confused in the past also with A. talpaHNS; I suspect that the A. talpaHNS recorded by Santschi 1914b: 331 from Ibadan, Nigeria, may really be A. siphneusHNS, but I have not studied Santschi’s specimen. A. talpaHNS (syntypes in MHN-Geneva) is likewise a very small yellow species with dot-like eyes of perhaps 7 facets, but the petiolar node is only feebly tapered apicad as seen from the side, and its summit is considerably more broadly ro,unded even than in A. jonesiHNS.

A. siphneusHNS is perhaps most closely related to A. grandidieriHNS and allies, but within this group, ties are obscure. It differs from pumtaticeps, which is similar in color, by its smaller eyes, slightly larger body size, narrow transverse mesonotal disc, emarginate nodal apex, and by the more abundant erect hairs on the gastric dorsum.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in miombo woodland, 2 times found in Disturbed forest fragment, 2 times found in rainforest, selectively logged 60 years previously, 1 times found in cocoa.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times ex soil, 1 times Under log, 2 times leaf litter, 1 times on mud under dead leaf.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 2 times Hand collected, 1 times Hand collected at night, 1 times Winkler, 4 x 2 litre samples.

Elevations: collected from 250 - 1330 meters, 733 meters average

Type specimens: paratype of Anochetus siphneus: casent0902457



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