Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.42. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Species: Centromyrmex sellaris   Mayr, 1896 

Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Centromyrmex sellaris Mayr, 1896 PDF: 230 (w.) CAMEROUN. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Reference for Kenya if not type: Kakamega Forest

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2008, Afrotropical ants of the ponerine genera Centromyrmex Mayr, Promyopias Santschi gen. rev. and Feroponera gen. n., with a revised key to genera of African Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1929, pp. 1-37

Centromyrmex sellaris MayrHNS

(Figs 25-26)

Centromyrmex sellaris MayrHNS, 1896: 230. Holotype worker, CAMEROUN: no loc. 1891 (Y. Sjdstedt) (NHRS) [examined] (see note 1).

Centromyrmex constanciae ArnoldHNS, 1915: 38, pl. 2, fig. 14. Syntype workers and queen, ZIMBABWE: Bembesi, 24.iii.1913 (BMNH) [worker examined]. Syn. n. [Description of male: Arnold, 1926: 199.]

Centromyrmex arnoldi SantschiHNS, 1919: 229, figs. a-d. Syntype workers and males, MOZAMBIQUE: Amatongas Forest, ix.1917 (G Arnold) (NHMB) [examined]. [Variety of constanciaeHNS by Santschi, 1920: 8. Synonymy with constanciaeHNS by Arnold, 1926: 199 (in text).] Syn. n.

Centromyrmex congolensis WeberHNS, 1949: 5, figs. 3, 4. Holotype worker, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Niangara, 1.iii.1948 (N.A. Weber) (not in AMNH or MCZC, presumed lost; see note 2). Syn. n.

Centromyrmex arnoldi r. guineensis BernardHNS, 1953: 186, fig. 1d. Holotype worker, GUINEA: Mt Nimba, Nion, St.22, 700 m., 15.iv.1942 (Lamotte) (MNHN) [examined]. Syn. n. [Subspecies of constanciaeHNS by Bolton, 1995: 140.]


1 The unique holotype of sellarisHNS was discovered by Dr Hege Vardal in the NHRS collection, still preserved in alcohol after 117 years. The specimen was accompanied by three labels, two of which merely stated "Camerun" and "Sjostedt" respectively. A larger and more informative label carried the information "Riksmuseets Entomologiska Afdelning. Centromyrmex sellaris MayrHNS n. sp. Typ. Kamerun, 1891. Colleg. Y. Sjostedt". The holotype has now been mounted upon a standard card point.

2 Although the holotype of congolensisHNS appears to have been lost, it is possible that it may still be present but unrecognised in Weber's material, either at AMNH or MCZC. Fortunately, the original description and figures are sufficient to allow identification of the taxon. For these reasons, and because the name is a junior synonym, a neotype has not been designated.

WORKER. TL 4.8-6.1, HL 0.84-0.98, HW 0.90-1.13, CI 108-118, ML 0.58-0.72, MI 68-75, SL 0.64- 0.76, SI 67-73, PW 0.74-0.92, WL 1.54-1.80 (15 measured).

With characters of the genus and the feaeHNS group. Head capsule in full-face view always appears obviously broader than long, CI 108 or usually more. Mandibles smooth with scattered small punctures. Masticatory margin of mandible with 7-10 small, low blunt teeth that are usually broadly low-triangular but are often reduced to mere crenulations when worn. Basal tooth at basal angle of mandible and usually obvious, only rarely reduced and insignificant. Distal of the basal tooth there is usually a diastema before the next tooth on one or both of the mandibles, but sometimes this is not apparent as a denticle may be present within the diastema on one, or less often both, of the mandibles. Dorsum and sides of head with scattered punctures on smooth cuticle, and also with weak striation within the antennal fossae and on the sides, especially anteriorly. Extent of the striate component is variable. Metatibia with only normal setae dorsally but its anterior surface, at the apex and approximately opposite the pectinate spur, with 2 (3 in a single specimen) much stouter and usually more darkly coloured spiniform setae. Petiole node in dorsal view broader than long. Pronotal dorsum, and anterior mesonotum, with widely scattered broad, shallow punctures that may be almost effaced. Pronotum dorsally also with variable weak oblique or arched faint disorganised sculpture. Colour yellow to light brown.

QUEEN. TL 6.9, HL 1.01, HW 1.12, CI 111, OI 32, ML 0.70, MI 69, SL 0.80, SI 71, PW 1.11, WL 2.00. The queen of this species should run out correctly in the key to workers but care should be taken as the queens of longiventrisHNS and ereptorHNS remain unknown. The form of the mandible described above for the worker is reproduced in the queen caste.

MALE. Known; see under diagnosis of genus.

This species and angolensisHNS are the most widely distributed and most commonly encountered species of the feaeHNS group in Africa. Superficially the two look very similar, but angolensisHNS always has a longer, narrower head and only ever has a single stout spiniform seta at the apex of the anterior surface of the metatibia, about opposite the pectinate spur. In addition, the basal mandibular tooth in angolensisHNS is generally absent, sometimes vestigially present, but there is never the basal tooth + diastema arrangement that is characteristic of sellaris.HNS Care should be taken with this character because of variation in development in sellarisHNS but it is usually a good indicator of the species.

The species referred to as C. sellarisHNS in Levieux (1976, 1983) is correctly identified, as indicated by voucher specimens deposited in MCZC.

FIGURES 25-32. Full face and lateral view of body. Figs 25-26: Centromyrmex sellarisHNS worker CASENT0066705; Figs 27-28: Feroponera feroxHNS paratype worker CASENT0102994; Figs 29-30: Promyopias silvestriiHNS worker CASENT0178751; Figs 31-32: Promyopias silvestriiHNS queen CASENT0178752.

From data labels on specimens this species has been discovered in termitaries of the genus Odontotermes, but the true range of termite prey is undoubtedly much greater.

Material examined. Guinea: Mt Nimba, Nion (Lamotte). Ivory Coast: Lamto, Toumodi (J. Levieux); Lamto (K. Yeo); Oume, nr Goulikao (S. Katia); For. de Teke, Anyama (T. Diomande). Ghana: Tafo (D. Leston); Bunso (D. Leston); Kwadaso (J. Plisko). Nigeria: Gambari (B. Bolton); Gambari, CRIN (B. Taylor). Cameroun: no loc. (Y. Sjostedt). Gabon: Prov. Woleu-Ntem, ESE Minvoul (B.L. Fisher). Democratic Republic of Congo: Mulungu (F.L. Hendricks); SW Pweto (Ross & Leech). Uganda: Iganga (A. Abera); SW Gulu (Ross & Leech); no loc. (R.H. Le Pelley). Kenya: Western Prov., Kakamega Forest, Shinyalu (F Hita Garcia). Mozambique: Amatongas Forest (G. Arnold). Zambia: Lusaka, Leopard Hill (B.L. Fisher). Zimbabwe: Bembesi (G Arnold); Bulawayo (G Arnold); Lonely Mines (H. Swale).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 9 times found in rainforest, 5 times found in Primary Forest, 3 times found in miombo woodland, 1 times found in mature swamp forest, 1 times found in Primary forest, selectively logged 60 years previously, 1 times found in forest edge, 1 times found in Grassland.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 11 times Ex soil, 1 times in soil, 1 times foraging underground, 2 times ex rotten log, 1 times In rotting log with termites, 1 times Exsoil, 1 times ex. rotten log, 1 times ex termite mound.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 4 times Hand, 2 times Hand collected, 1 times search, 1 times Litter Sieving + Winkler.

Elevations: collected from 200 - 1906 meters, 622 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1913-03-09 and 2019-11-15

Type specimens: syntype of Centromyrmex arnoldi: casent0915169; syntype of Centromyrmex arnoldi guineensis: casent0913728; syntype of Centromyrmex constanciae: casent0902463

See something amiss? Send us an email.