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Species: Phrynoponera bequaerti   Wheeler, 1922 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler, 1922: 79, fig. 12 (q.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Bolton, B., 2008:
(Figures 1a-c)
Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler , W.M. 1922: 79, fig. 12. Holotype queen, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: N'Gayu (= Ngayu), stomach Bufo superciliaris (H.O. Lang) ( AMNH ) [examined].
Worker (previously undescribed). TL 5.0-5.7, HL 1.16-1.25, HW, 1.13-1.23, CI 96-101, SL 0.90-0.97, SI 75-81, PW 0.90-1.02, WL 1.66-1.90, maximum diameter of eye 0.28-0.32, OI 24-27 (20 measured).
Mandible smooth with scattered pits, usually with 4 teeth but very rarely with 3 or 5. Median portion of clypeus with anterior margin transverse to very shallowly concave, without a tooth-like cuticular prominence on each side. Cephalic dorsum finely and densely reticulate-rugose, the bases of the reticulae punctate. Funicular segments 2-7 distinctly broader than long. Dorsum of mesosoma reticulate-rugose. Petiolar spines curve far back over the first gastral tergite; median spine at least three-quarters the length of the outer pair; intermediate spines much shorter and usually much more slender, often reduced and needle-like by comparison with the others. Gastral tergites 1-2 longitudinally costulae upon a reticulate-punctate ground sculpture; often with some anastomoses between the costulae. Colour varies considerably. In darkest forms the head and body are almost entirely black, with only the mandibles and legs reddish brown to red. From this there is a gradual increase in the amount of blackish red to dull red on most areas of the body until in the lightest colour forms the entire head is reddish, the legs are red and even the mesosoma, petiole and parts of the gaster are suffused with red.
FIGURE 1. Phrynoponera bequaerti worker CASENT0411278: A, dorsal view of body; B, lateral view of body; C, full-face view of head.
Almost as common and widespread as gabonensis and by far the smallest species in the genus, bequaerti is easily recognised by its size, lack of clypeal teeth and short, broad funicular segments. The vast majority of the material examined was extracted from leaf litter samples, though occasional samples from rotten wood have been recorded. Unlike gabonensis and sveni , bequaerti has not been found in termitaries.
Material examined. Ghana: Tafo (D. Leston); Kade (R. Belshaw); Aiyaola For. Res. (R. Belshaw); Mamang River (K. Yeo). Cameroun: Mbalmayo (N. Stork); Res. Dja (K. Yeo); Prov. Sud-Ouest, Bimbia Forest, Limbe (B.L. Fisher); Korup, NW Mundemba (B.L. Fisher); Mnt Cameroon, Mapanja (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Sud, Res. de Faune de Campo, Ebodje (B.L. Fisher); P.N. Campo, ESE Campo (B.L. Fisher); Res. Campo, Massif des Mamelles, E Ebodje (B.L. Fisher); N'Kolo, Bonde Forest, SSE Elogbatindi (B.L. Fisher). Gabon: La Makande, Foret des Abeillies (S. Lewis); Plateau d'Ipassa (J.A. Barra); Makokou, CNRS (W.H. Gotwald); Prov. Woleu-Ntem, ESE Minvoul (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Estuaire, F.C. Mondah, NNW Libreville (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Ogooue-Maritime, Res. Monts Doudou, Doussala (B.L. Fisher); Res. Moukalaba, NW Doussala (B.L. Fisher). Central African Republic: Res. Dzanga-Sangha, Bayanga (B.L. Fisher); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, Lidjombo(B.L. Fisher); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, Mabea Bai, NE Bayanga (B.L. Fisher). Democratic Republic of Congo: Epulu (S.D. Torti); N'Gayu (H.O. Lang).

Wheeler, W. M., 1922:
Text Figure 12 Female (dealated).- Length 6 mm.
Resembling gabonensis and heterodus but much smaller. Head, excluding the mandibles, fully as broad as long, the posterior border nearly straight; the sides very feebly and evenly convex; the eyes large, moderately convex, with their posterior orbits at the middle of the sides. Mandibles shaped as in gabonensis , with obliquely, bluntly 4-toothed apical borders. Clypeus short, with broadly rounded, entire anterior border, the elevated central portion somewhat concave behind in the middle, with a ridge on each side. Antennae short and thick, the scapes scarely extending beyond the posterior border of the head; first funicular joint nearly as long as broad, remaining joints, except the last, decidedly broader than long. Thorax as broad as the head, short, shaped much as in gabonensis but the epinotal teeth are proportionally longer, being longer than broad at heir bases and as long as the distance between the latter, flattened dorsoventrally, with round lobe-like tips. Petiole with longer spines than in gabonensis , the lateral spines being as long as the remainder of the segment and the median spine as long us the lateral.
Mandibles smooth and shining with very coarse, sparse punctures, most numerous near the inner border. Remainder of body subopaque except the borders of the frontal carina; which are smooth and shining. Head reticulate-rugose, rather coarsely on the sides, on the front and vertex more finely, the rugae scarcely longitudinal. Thorax covered with coarse umbilicate foveolae, which are largest on the mesonotum but everywhere so close together that the surface may be described as reticulaterugose. Anterior surface of petiole with similar sculpture, but the meshes of the reticulum elongate. Postpetiole and gaster appearing longitudinally striate owing to their having a sculpture like that of P. heterodus and several of the varieties of gabonensis . Legs and antennal scapes nearly opaque, closely coriaceous.
Pilosity and pubescence much as in gabonensis and heterodus but the former more reclinate on the head, thorax, and abdomen.
Black; mandibles, frontal carinae, and legs dark brown.
Described from a single specimen taken from the stomach of a toad (Bufo superciliaris) front Ngayu (Lang and Chapin) This is a very distinct species, easily characterized by its small size, edentate clypeus, long median petiolar spine and peculiar cephalic and thoracic sculpture.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 26 times found in rainforest, 2 times found in littoral rainforest, 1 times found in montane rainforest, 1 times found in primary forest

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 19 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 4 times pitfall trap, PF bucket, 1 times pitfall trap, PF 50 yogurt sample transect5m

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1440 meters, 418 meters average

Type specimens:

(-1 examples)

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