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Species: Ocymyrmex sphinx   Bolton, 1981 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Ocymyrmex sphinx Bolton, 1981b PDF: 278, fig. 21 (w.) BOTSWANA. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Bolton, B., 1981, A revision of six minor genera of Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Ethiopian zoogeographical region., Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 43, pp. 245-307

Ocymyrmex sphinxHNS sp. n.

(Fig. 21)

Holotype worker. TL 9.3, HL 2.18, HW 2.04, CI 94, SL 1.96, SI 96, PW 1.32, AL 2.86.

Large species. Anterior clypeal margin with a conspicuous semicircular impression medially which is flanked on each side by a low but broad triangular tooth. Occipital margin feebly indented medially in full-face view. Maximum diameter of eye 0.43, about 0.21 x HW, the eyes distinctly failing to break the outline of the sides of the head in full-face view. Promesonotum rounded in profile, sloping posteriorly to the propodeum which is almost flat and which rounds evenly into the steep declivity. Metapleural lobes small, narrowly rounded and prominent, in absolute profile just visible behind the bulge of the projecting metapleural glands. Petiole node small and rounded in profile, the peduncle with a feebly convex area midway along its ventral surface but without a developed process. Petiole node in dorsal view distinctly broader than long, strongly developed, constricted behind at the posterior peduncle. Postpetiole about as broad as long in dorsal view, excluding the anterior articulatory portion. Base of first gastral tergite narrow, no wider than the postpetiole, but not forming as conspicuously narrowed a neck as is usual in this genus. Instead the gaster begins to widen gradually almost immediately behind its articulation with the postpetiole, the sides at first gradually and then more strongly divergent in dorsal view. Dorsum of head finely, densely and irregularly longitudinally rugulose everywhere, with dense conspicuous coarse punctulate to granular ground-sculpture between the rugulae. On the central strip of the dorsum the rugulae are most regular behind the frontal lobes, posteriorly they become narrowly vermiculate. Occipitally and laterally on the dorsum the rugulae are narrowly vermiculate everywhere and tend to arch outwards behind the eyes. Rugae on pronotal dorsum arched-transverse anteriorly. An area of longitudinal sculpture occurs between the mesothoracic spiracles, visible in paratypes, but in the holotype a pin is inserted at this point and the sculpture destroyed. Remainder of dorsal alitrunk and declivity coarsely transversely rugose. Petiole and its peduncle finely transversely rugose ventrally; behind the level of the spiracle the rugae continuing up the sides of the node and across the dorsum. Transverse rugae also present on dorsum of peduncle. Dorsum of postpetiole finely granular and matt. All dorsal surfaces of head and alitrunk densely clothed with hairs, many of them quite short. Propodeum dorsally also with dense pubescence. Hairs on first gastral tergite very short and sparse. Colour a very dull dark red, the gaster black.

Paratype workers. TL 9.5 - 1.01, HL 2.16 - 2.28, HW 2.08 - 2.14, CI 93 - 96, SL 1.95 - 2.06, SI 94 - 98, PW 1.38 - 1.44, AL 2.90 - 3.02 (12 measured). Maximum diameter of eye 0.44 - 0.46, about 0.20 - 0.22 x HW. As holotype but some showing shorter pilosity than others, apparently due to the hairs having been broken off.

Holotype worker, Botswana: 18 miles [29 km] NE. of Kalkfontein, 12 - 13. iv. 1972, no. B 3 (M. C. Day) (BMNH).

Paratypes. Botswana: 19 workers, Kuke Pan, 26. iii. 1930, Vernay-Lang Kalahari Expd. (G. V. Son) (MCZ, Cambridge; BMNH; NM, Bulawayo).

At first glance this species appears to be a smaller version of picardiHNS but, apart from being consistently smaller it has silvery body hairs where those of picardiHNS are dark reddish brown to blackish, has much denser pilosity and pubescence on the propodeal dorsum and has much stronger, denser and more sharply defined ground-sculpture on the dorsum of the head than is seen in picardiHNS. The cephalic sculpture of sphinxHNS is much the same as that seen in monardiHNS, but this latter species is much smaller and has the petiole node unsculptured.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in grassland.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times Hand collected.

Elevations: collected at 1405 m

Type specimens: Holotype of Ocymyrmex sphinx: casent0900396; Syntype: sam-ent-011798

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