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Species: Vicinopone conciliatrix   (Brown, 1975) 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Simopone conciliatrix Brown, 1975 PDF: 79, figs. 11-13 (w.q.) GHANA. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Vicinopone: Bolton & Fisher, 2012 PDF: 74.

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Gabon, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Brown, W. L., 1975, Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini., Search: Agriculture; Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station 15, pp. 1-115

[77] Simopone conciliatrixHNS new species

(Figs. 11 - 13)

Holotype worker: TL 3.2, HL 0.63, HW 0.40, scape L 0.26; greatest diameter of compound eye 0.17, WL 0.78, petiolar node L 0.35, W 0.26, postpetiole L 0.34, W 0.34 mm; CI 63, petiolar node index 74.

Paratype workers, Ghana; 6 measured, including largest and smallest of 29 from type nest series: TL 2.4 - 3.4, HL0.53 - 0.68, HW 0.33 - 0.42, scape L 0.18 - 0.29, greatest diameter of compound eye 0.10 - 0.18, petiolar node L 0.29 - 0.37, W 0.20 - 0.27, postpetiole L 0.28 - 0.39, W 0.27 - 0.35 mm; CI 60 - 65, petiolar node index 63 - 74.

Figures 11 - 13. Simopone conciliatrixHNS n. sp. , worker from type series (Tafo, Ghana), scanning electron micrographs, views from left side.

Paratype workers, Yangambi, Zaire, 2 measured: falling within the limits of the Ghana series, except for slightly shorter petiolar node: L 0.33 mm in both specimens, W 0.25, 0.27 mm.; node index 78, 82.

Composite description of worker: Body slender, more or less cylindrical, including appendages, yellow in color, smooth and shining with scattered piligerous punctures, except for limited obscurely longitudinally striolate-punctate areas mesad and in front of eyes, along lower sides of trunk (especially metanotum) and lower sides of petiolar node. Space between frontal carinae very finely roughened, subopaque.

Pilosity sparse, short, fine, decumbent to suberect on head, mandibles, trunk, and legs, except for an erect hair on each humerus; more abundant and longer, decumbent to suberect hairs on nodes and gaster, especially gastric apex. Scapes and legs with a modest vestiture of short, fine, appressed to decumbent hairs; funiculi with many short, suberect to erect hairs except on apical segment, which has dense, fine micropubescence. Eyes with few extremely small hairs.

Head in full face view strongly elongate, with parallel but distinctly convex sides, subrectangular posterior angles and a finely marginate, feebly concave posterior border. Eyes large, broad-elliptical, weakly convex, situated anteriorly, only about half their length distant from mandibular insertions, with about 35 - 50 rather coarse facets, touching the lateral margins of the head in full-face (dorsal) view. Frontal carinae parallel, not far apart, but with a distinct space between, extending posteriorly as slightly divergent fine ridges that end near the level of the middle of the eyes, but do not extend far from the midline toward the eyes. Edges of frontal carinae raised, but not vertical, slightly broadened just behind their midlength, but not covering antennal sockets; at their anterior ends, the carinae curve laterad to form ridges around the anterior edges of the antennal sockets. Broad median lobe of clypeus with a gently convex free margin. No trace of antennal scrobes. Mandibles triangular, downcurved, with basal and masticatory margins meeting each other at an abrupt curve; masticatory margin nearly edentate, with only very low, fine crenulation or denticulation in unworn samples; stiff, fine setae on inner (ventral) side of masticatory border.

Antennae 12 - merous; funiculus apically incrassate; funicular segments II through IX broader than long, I and X slightly longer than broad, apical segment more than twice as long as subapical, and very slightly wider than subapical; 4 apical segments (or 5 in some views) forming a very indistinct club, this a bit lighter in color than rest of funiculus (fig. 12).

Antennal scapes gradually incrassate apicad, but not as thick as in some other SimoponeHNS species; when held back, extending a little beyond the posterior border of the eye. No trace of ocelli. The fine posterior margin extends around the posterior edge of the sides of the head and meets its opposite number at the midventral groove of the head, thus encircling the true occiput.

Labrum with an emarginate free border. Palpi short, segmented 3, 2.

Trunk almost 3 times as long as wide, only very feebly constricted in the middle, with fine but distinct anterior pronotal margin; faint punctate sutural lines bounding the mesonotum in front and behind. Declivity of propodeum set off from dorsum and sides by a distinct, raised semicircular margin. As seen from the side (fig. 11), dorsal outline of trunk nearly straight from mid-pronotum to declivity; only a very feeble impression centered on metanotal groove, and propodeal dorsum very slightly convex.

Petiole barrel- or loaf-shaped (figs. 11, 13), convex in both directions, as seen from above, with convex sides and widest near the posterior third; narrowed again slightly at posterior corners, which are rounded; anterodorsal border transversely marginate; seen in side view, a fine margin commences at the anterodorsal corner and runs back obliquely along the side to or near the posterior border below mid-height; this apparently represents the " PhyracacesHNS margin " of each side of the node. Subpetiolar process low, with a pointed anterior convexity bilaterally bearing " dimple " concavities, and a tapered posterior part, not very distinct in fig. 13. Postpetiole nearly or quite as broad as long, with convex sides and a little wider in the posterior part, but again narrowed at the posterior border, which is straight.

First gastric (IV true abdominal) segment a little broader than long (holotype: L 0.40, W 0.44 mm), widest in its posterior half, and then beginning to taper caudad; from this point, the 3 remaining visible segments tapering to apex with scarcely any intersegmental constriction. Pygidium with an impressed, nearly flat disc bordered laterally and caudad by a continuous U-shaped margin beset with 20 or more minute denticles; the stout sting issues from the true apex, which is beneath the denticulate margin.

Legs moderate in length, femora (especially fore femora) incrassate in the middle, tibiae moderately incrassate toward apices. Tarsal claws each with a small submedian tooth. Posterior tibiae each with a single broadly pectinate spur; posterior metatarsi without any obvious groove or pore on the basal flexor surface. Middle tibiae without spurs, unless one of the hairs at the apex represents a reduced spur.

Queen, dealate: TL 3.6, HL 0.62, HW 0.40, scape L 0.23, greatest diameter of compound eye 0.17, WL 0.93, petiolar node L 0.37, W 0.25, postpetiole L 0.38, W 0.35 mm.; CI 65, petiolar node index 68. Ocelli well developed. Pterothorax and blackened wing stumps well developed, but the trunk still rather flat, only weakly convex above, broadest across the middle.

First gastric (IV true abdominal) segment about as long as broad, or perhaps a trifle longer than broad. Otherwise as in worker.

Male unknown.

Holotype worker (BMNH) taken from a nidotype series of 103 workers (BMNH, MCZ) and two dealate queens (BMNH) with larvae from a nest in a hollow twig of cacao still on the tree at Tafo (New Tafo, " Akim "), Ghana, on 27 November 1970, by Barry Bolton. The nest was about 2 meters above the ground in moderate shade.

In addition, two workers from Yangambi, Reserve Integrale R. " Luco, " in what is now Zaire, 6 October 1949, A Raignier and J. van Boven, no. C- 1265, are in MCZ.

This species is named Simopone conciliatrixHNS because it shows a mixture of characters of LioponeraHNS (= PhyracacesHNS), SimoponeHNS and CerapachysHNS, thus tying these genera together. In general habitus (elongate head and petiole, large eyes), conciliatrixHNS is a SimoponeHNS. The frontal carinae are fairly close together, but parallel and separate caudad; they are intermediate between the condition seen in SimoponeHNS on one hand and Lioponera-Cerapachys on the other. The lack of ocelli in the worker and the 12 - merous antennae are shared by conciliatrixHNS with the majority of (but by no means all) Cerapachys-Lioponera. Toothed tarsal claws are a character of SimoponeHNS, but one also found in a few CerapachysHNS, including the type species of that genus. The petiole, with its weak lateral margins and barrellike shape, combines traits of SimoponeHNS, LioponeraHNS, and CerapachysHNS s. str.

S. conciliatrixHNS is not closely related to S. grandisHNS, another species linking SimoponeHNS and CerapachysHNS, and the greatly elongate head will separate conciliatrixHNS from all 12 - segmented CerapachysHNS. The lack of spurs on the tibiae of the middle legs is considered here as definitive in placing the species in SimoponeHNS.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in swamp forest, 1 times found in rainforest canopy, 1 times found in primary forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times nest in dead stem, 1 times hollow cocoa twig, on tree, 1 times hollow cocoa twig 2 m up in moderate shade.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 2 times search, 1 times Hand collected.

Elevations: collected from 50 - 690 meters, 376 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1957-07-12 and 2012-08-17

Type specimens: Holotype of Vicinopone conciliatrix: casent0902700; paratype: casent0172320



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