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Species: Axinidris acholli   Weber, 1941 

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

Axinidris acholli Weber, 1941a PDF: 193, figs. 10-12 (w.) SUDAN. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Shattuck, 1991 PDF: 109; Snelling, 2007 PDF: 556.

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Kenya, Sudan
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical

Distribution Notes:

Reference for Kenya if not type: Snelling 2007

Notes:

Caste of types: (w)

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Snelling, R. R., 2007, A review of the arboreal Afrotropical ant genus Axinidris., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 551-579

Axinidris acholli WeberHNS

Figures 1, 11, 21

Axinidris acholli WeberHNS, 1941: 193 (w). SUDAN: Imatong Mountains, 4800 and 6200 ft. (N. A. Weber) (MCZC) examined. Shattuck, 1991: 109 - 111; figs. 5 - 7, 35.

Worker diagnosis. Pronotal disc with 8 - 10 coarse rugae that more or less diverge behind; mesepisternum with 4 or 5 coarse longitudinal to oblique rugae; medial propodeal carina compressed and conspicuously higher than long and longer dorsally than at base; head and body with abundant long, slender whitish hairs.

Worker measurements (mm) (n = 12). HW 0.79 - 0.90; HL 0.91 - 1.01; SL 0.79 - 0.88; EL 0.18 - 0.23; EW 0.11 - 0.13; OVD 0.36 - 0.42; PNW 0.46 - 0.59; PPW 0.33 - 0.40; WL 1.08 - 1.29. Indices. CI 85 - 91; CNI 71 - 87; OI 23 - 26; SI 95 - 103.

Worker description. The worker caste has been adequately described by Shattuck (1991), except for the presence of numerous long flexuous hairs as noted above in the diagnosis.

Queen and male unknown.

SPECIMENS EXAMINED

In addition to the lectotype and lectoparatype, I have collected numerous workers from KENYA, Kakamega District, Isecheno GoogleMaps, Kakamega Forest GoogleMaps (00.24 ° N 034.85 ° E), 1550 - 1600 m (LACM), GoogleMaps running on vines, except two in litter. All specimens were in dense forest as opposed to being on trees at the edge of a clearing.

DISCUSSION

The bizarrely developed propodeal structures (Figs. 11, 21) are sufficient to separate A. acholliHNS from all the known remaining species. Additionally, no other species is known that has such an abundance of long, flexuous white hairs. Only A. lignicolaHNS and A. stageriHNS are almost as hairy, but in both the propodeal structures are much less extreme, the hairs are shorter and straighter, and the antennal scapes are proportionately much shorter.

I had originally regarded the Kenyan specimens as a previously undescribed species. When I examined the two type specimens of A. acholliHNS, however, I began to doubt that this was correct. The only difference that I could discern was that the Kenyan specimens were abundantly hairy while the A. acholliHNS types were almost completely devoid of hairs. The type specimens, lectotype and lectoparatype, consist of fragments mounted on points. The lectotype head has only a single antenna. The lectoparatype is in even worse condition: the head lacks antennae, the mesosoma is partly broken, and only a single detached hind leg is present. Both specimens appear to be severely abraded, lacking hairs where all other species possess hairs (e. g., the mandibles, clypeus, frontal carinae). Once it was clear that these poor specimens had been artificially denuded, it was obvious that my fresh Kenyan samples were conspecific.

In addition to Sudan and Kenya, I expect that A. acholliHNS will also be found in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the very least.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in primary forest habitat.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times Kakamega 2007 survey, leaf litter.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times winkler extraction, Transect 17 60m.

Elevations: collected at 1650 m

Type specimens:



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