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Species: Dorylus nigricans burmeisteri

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2014)

Anomma burmeisteri Shuckard, 1840c PDF: 326 (w.) SIERRA LEONE. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Combination in Dorylus (Anomma): Emery, 1895l PDF: 710.
Junior synonym of Dorylus nigricans: Emery, 1895l PDF: 710; Emery, 1910b PDF: 12.
Revived from synonymy as subspecies of Dorylus nigricans: Wasmann, 1904b: 671; Mayr, 1907b: 7; Santschi, 1910c PDF: 352; Santschi, 1914b: 62.
Raised to species: Stitz, 1916: 373; Santschi, 1921c PDF: 115.
Currently subspecies of Dorylus nigricans: Wheeler, 1922: 738; Santschi, 1937b PDF: 96.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Santschi, F., 1912:
- [[ soldier ]]. Long. 10.5 mill. - Jaune terne. Tete, mandibules etscape jaune rougeatre, le scape plus clair, pattes jaune-pale. Devant de la tete, cotes du thorax, dessus du mesonotum et pattes d'un eclat un peu graisseux avec une sculpture tres finement et superficiellement reticulee, devenant finement ponctuee vers le devant des joues. Une ponctuation pilifere tres espacee est en outre repandue sur toute la tete. La tete est un peu plus large en avant que chez burmeisterin. sp. et la dent basale des mandibules nettement plus forte.
[[ worker ]] media. Long. 8.4 mill. - Couleur comme chez le [[ soldier ]] mais la tete prend d'autant plus la teinte jaune du reste de l'insecte que celui-ci est plus petit. Il en est de meme pour le reflet qui passe insensiblement au mat chez les exemplaires de 4 a 5 mill. Cependant le vertex et le devant du pronotum restent encore un peu luisants. La sculpture est egalement plus accentuee chez les petits individus et la pilosite plus longue et plus abondante. Chez une [[ worker ]] de 9 mill, la dent preapicale est deja tres apparente, chez une autre [[ worker ]] de 5 mill, les trois dents sont a peu pres egales.
[[ worker ]] minor. Long. 2.5 mill. - Jaune pale, mate.
La ponctuation piligere est transformee en fossettes, les mandibules tres etroites, l'epistone avance en pointe mousse, les antennes de 8 articles
Kameroun. - 1 [[ soldier ]], 6 [[ worker ]], communiques par M. le Prof. C. Emery, qui les avait recus de Mayr.

Wheeler, W. M., 1922:
Seven workers from the stomach of a toad (Bufo regularis) taken at Stanleyville; a series of workers of all sizes from Stanleyville and Lukolela to Basoko (Lang and Chapin); also workers from Katala (J. Bequaert).
Dorylus nigricans is the famous driver or army ant, which has so greatly impressed all the African explorers. In my ant-book I have quoted some of the accounts of the earlier observers. To the field naturalist the various races of D. nigricans and D. wilverthi are so similar in appearance and habits that he designates them all as "driver" or "army" ants. It is not surprising therefore that Mr. Lang's notes refer indifferently to both species. The four fine photographs (Pls. II, III, and IV) belong undoubtedly to D. wilverthi (vide infra) but the following note probably refers to both species: "Wherever they go, even though the file be very small, the army ants clear a road that can be easily seen. But when a large army is passing, they not only build a road but also bridges and frequently even fill in all the depressions between the dried grass with particles of sand or soil until a perfect road has been constructed. Across a pathway used by pedestrians, where they are often disturbed, they build walls and regular tunnels even in the hardest ground. Particle by particle is carried out by the steady stream of small workers and the soldiers, large and small, watch on both sides of the line, ever ready to attack anything that may approach. They assume a very peculiar attitude, with mandibles wide open and the head and thorax bent up and back till it forms a right angle with the abdomen. When they seize anything, the abdomen can be torn off without their loosening their grip. They are greatly feared by the natives and even the greatest laggard moves rapidly when passing 'the line.'" In connection with the fact cited by the early explorers, that the drivers are able to kill large animals when confinement prevents their escape, Santschi's quotation of the following observation of Cruchet concerning D. nigricans in Benguela is of interest: "Twice during the course of the year we have been compelled to take the cows out of the kraal and drive them elsewhere, because they bellowed so piteously. On looking into the matter we found that the Anommas caused all this disturbance by crawling into the natural orifices of the animals, especially the anus and vulva. A brooding hen had her head half eaten away, but would not abandon her eggs. On three occasions one of my comrads had to quit his chamber during the night and take up his quarters in the work shop."
According to Forel,1 a very interesting account of the habits of Dorylus nigricans in East Africa has been published by Vosseler,2 but I have not had access to this paper. Forel's paper, however, contains reproductions of three of Vosseler's photographs, one showing the Anomma overwhelming a white rabbit and the others showing its army on the march and crossing a stream. Prof. Emery, some years ago, kindly sent me copies of these photographs, which seem to me worthy of being again reproduced for the benefit of my American readers (Pl. V, figs. 1 and 2; Pl. VI, fig. 1).
The singular dichthadiigyne, or female of D. nigricans , was discovered by H. Schultze in Uganda. It measures 29 to 31 mm. and has been carefully figured and described by Forel in the work cited above (p. 177).

Santschi, F., 1914:
- Forets moyennes du Kenya (st. n° 40). Commensaux: Coleopteres(Staphylins Tachyporiens).
Monatsb. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1858, p. 262, [[worker]] ( Anomma molesta ).- D. nigricans, var. molesta, Emery , apud P. Wytsman, Genera lnsectorum, Formicidae, subf. Dorylinae, fasc. CII, p. 12 (1910). - Santschi, Ann. Soc. ent. Belg., vol. 56, p. 157, 162 (1912).
Afrique orientale anglaise: mont Kenya, forets inferieures (alt. 2.400 m., st. n° 39, janv. 1912), 1 [[worker]]; - forets moyennes (entre 2.400-2.800 m., st. n° 40, janv. 1912), nombreuses [[worker]]; - Bura, dans les Wa-Taita (alt. 1.050 m., st. n° 61, mars 1012), [[worker]]; - Mombasa, Freretown (1904); - Naivasha, dans le Rift Valley (dec. 1903), [[worker]].
Afrique orientale allemande: mont Kilimandjaro: NeuMoschi(alt. 800 m., st. n° 72, avril 1912), [[worker]]; - Kilema (alt. 1.400 a 1.500 m., oct. 1908), 19 [[worker]].
Uganda: prov. d'Unyoro, region du lac Albert-Nyanza, riviere
Waki, 2 [[worker]]; - zone inferieure des monts Ruwenzori, versant oriental, a 1.600 m. (1909), 8 [[worker]].
Distribution geographique. - Depuis le Soudan jusqu'au Mozambique et au Benguela.
Certains soldats du Kilimandjaro et du Ruwenzori atteignent 13 mm. de long, la tete 4 mm. de long sur 3,7 de large. C'est donc autant que chez les races arcens West , et Sjostedti Emery .
Dans la foret du Kenya les Anomma sont tres abondants et nous avons meme eu a subir une invasion de notre camp I, a 2.400 m., dans les forets inferieures; seuls le feu et des remparts de cendres chaudes arrivent a detourner des tentes les colonnes de milliers d'assaillants! Nous avons aussi frequemment observe des migrations a' Anomma dans la foret de bambous jusqu'a 3.000 m. d'altitude environ. On sait que ces Fourmis emigrent en emmenant avec eux leurs parasites et leurs commensaux. Nous avons en effet trouve, vers 2.600 m., dans un « chemin» du D. (Anomma) nigricans Burmeisteri , un remarquable Staphylinide Tachyporien (? Mimocete), emmene par les Fourmis sous la protection des soldats. Au travers de la muraille formee par les soldats sur la defensive, mandibules ouvertes et pattes etendues, il nous a malheureusement ete impossible de savoir si ce Staphylin etait porte par une ouvriere ou bien s'il cheminait librement au milieu des Fourmis. (Alluaud et Jeannel.)

Specimen Habitat Summary

Elevations: collected at 40 m

Type specimens: NT of Dorylus nigricans burmeisteri: rmcaent000017707, rmcaent000017709

(-1 examples)

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