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Ponera orba EmeryHNS, 1915: 7, fig. 4. LECTOTYPE worker (by present designation), ERITREA: Ghinda, ix.1914 (F. Silvestri) (MSNG); paralectotype worker with same data but 2.ix.1914 (MSNG) [examined]. [Combination in PoneraHNS (Hypoponera ): Santschi, 1938: 79; in HypoponeraHNS: Bolton, 1995: 215.] (See note.)
NOTE. The original description mentions six worker syntypes. Two are in MSNG, now lectotype and paralectotype ; the other four are presumed to be in the Silvestri collection at DEUN, which is not currently available for examination. These should also be regarded as paralectotypes. The lectotype bears an earlier label, “ Lectotype Hypoponera orba (Emery)HNS. Det. R.W. Taylor, 10.iv.63 ”, and also has labels by Dr Fabio Penati (MSNG) that correctly state that Taylor’s designation was never published and is therefore invalid.
LECTOTYPE WORKER (paralectotype in parentheses). Measurements: HL 0.52 (0.54), HW 0.39 (0.40), HS 0.455 (0.470), SL 0.36 (0.36), PrW 0.29 (0.29), WL 0.65 (0.66), HFL 0.34 (0.33), PeNL 0.14 (0.14), PeH 0.30 (0.30), PeNW 0.21 (0.22), PeS 0.217 (0.220). Indices: CI 75 (74), SI 92 (90), PeNI 72 (76), LPeI 47 (47), DPeI 150 (157).
Eyes absent. Scape relatively long (SI 90 – 92) but when laid straight back from its insertion its apex distinctly fails to reach the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.67 – 0.69. Funiculus distinctly with 5 enlarging apical segments. Cephalic dorsum very superficially, minutely reticulate-punctate. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, obviously less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Mesonotum and dorsum of propodeum almost smooth, shiny, almost entirely devoid of punctulae. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeum with an angular margin between declivity and side. Posterior surface of petiole node without short cuticular ridges that radiate from just above the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile short-nodiform, the anterior and posterior faces weakly converge dorsally; length of node just above anterior tubercle greater than length of dorsum; dorsal surface is almost flat. Subpetiolar process rounded and simple, without an angular differentiated lobe, without a sharply defined ventral tooth or angle. In dorsal view petiole node with posterior face transverse; sides and anterior face form a single convex surface. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view 0.34; width of second gastral tergite at its midlength 0.35. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite feebly developed and inconspicuous. Sides of second gastral tergite in dorsal view straight and parallel. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is slightly longer than the maximum width of the segment. Disc of second gastral tergite with densely crowded, small, superficial punctures so that the surface appears microreticulate at lower magnifications. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of very short standing setae that project just above the level of the pubescence. Full adult colour yellow.
H. orbaHNS is similar in size, colour and general appearance to camerunensisHNS and coecaHNS, and the three appear to be closely related. However, camerunensisHNS and coecaHNS occur in leaf litter and rotten wood on the forest floors of Western and Central African countries, mostly in the rainforest zones, where coecaHNS at least is relatively common. Morphologically the three are separated mainly by the dimensional characters given in the key, but orbaHNS also has the margin between the propodeal declivity and its sides more sharply developed than in the other two.
Material examined. Eritrea: Ghinda (F. Silvestri).
Type specimens: Lectotype of Hypoponera orba: casent0903908