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Species: Hypoponera jeanneli   (Santschi, 1935) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Ponera jeanneli Santschi, 1935b: 262, fig. 3c-e (w.) KENYA. Afrotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: 4 syntype workers. Type-locality: Kenya: Camp 1 de l’Elgon, M. Elgon, versant Est., st. 13, 2100 m., C. Arambourg 1932-33 (Chappuis & Jeannel). Type-depository: NHMB. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Misspelled as jeannebi by Santschi, 1938b PDF: 80.]
Combination in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 215.
Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 215; Bolton & Fisher, 2011 PDF: 62 (redescription); Hita Garcia et al., 2013 PDF: 219.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Reference for Kenya if not type: Kakamega Forest


Caste of types: (w)

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2011, Taxonomy of Afrotropical and West Palaearctic ants of the ponerine genus Hypoponera Santschi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2843, pp. 1-118

Hypoponera jeanneli (Santschi)HNS

(Figs 61 – 63)

Ponera jeanneli SantschiHNS, 1935: 262, fig. 3c-e. Syntype worker, KENYA: Camp 1 de l’Elgon, M. Elgon, Vers. Est, st. 13, 2100 m, C. Arambourg 1932-33 (Chappuis & Jeannel) (NHMB) [examined]. [Combination in Ponera (Hypoponera)HNS: Santschi, 1938: 79; in HypoponeraHNS: Bolton, 1995: 215.]

Ponera (Hypoponera) jeannebiHNS [sic] st. abyssinica SantschiHNS, 1938: 80, fig. 2. Syntype worker and queen, ETHIOPIA: Scoia, Let Marefia, vii.87 (Ragazzi) (NHMB) [queen examined]. Syn. n. (provisional). [Unresolved junior primary homonym of

Ponera abyssinica Guerin-MenevilleHNS, 1849: 352 (currently in PachycondylaHNS). Raised to species: Bernard, 1953: 205. Combination in HypoponeraHNS: Bolton, 1995: 215.] (See note 1.)

Ponera coarctata subsp. imatongica WeberHNS, 1942: 44, fig. 3. Syntype workers, SUDAN: Imatong Mts, Equatoria, 24.vii. - 5.viii.1939, 6100 - 6200 ft, nos. 1387, 1390 (N.A. Weber) (MCZC) [examined]. Syn. n. [Combination in HypoponeraHNS and raised to species: Taylor, 1967: 12.] (See note 2.)


1 From Santschi’s original description the impression is gained that abyssinicaHNS is intermediate between jeanneli and ursaHNS, but closer to the former. The single worker was very briefly and inadequately described and is not now present in NHMB. The queen has antennal funiculus segments 7 – 10 relatively narrow, decidedly more reminiscent of jeanneliHNS than of ursaHNS, but unfortunately the queen of the former is not known, so direct comparison is not possible. When Bernard (1953) elevated abyssinicaHNS to species-rank he said he had examined the types in the Santschi collection, and his notes suggest that the worker syntype was in the collection at that time. For the present, abyssinicaHNS is best regarded as a provisional synonym of jeanneliHNS, until there is much better representation of the taxa involved and the situation can be re-examined.

2 Weber’s original description is astonishing in its failure to include a single character useful for species diagnosis and gives no comparative notes. It is safe to say that in the absence of type-material this taxon would be utterly unidentifiable. Another specimen labelled as a syntype of imatongicaHNS is present in MCZC, with the data given above but number 1419 and with the locality Issore written on the underside of the label. This was not mentioned by Weber in the original description and hence is excluded from the type-series; it is conspecific with the syntypes. A third syntype specimen mentioned by Weber, with the same data but number 1313, was not seen. Clearly, imatongicaHNS bears no relation to coarctataHNS (type-species of PoneraHNS), the species with which it was originally associated.

FIGURES 61 – 63. Lateral, full face and dorsal view of body. Hypoponera jeanneliHNS worker CASENT0217336.

WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.58 – 0.64, HW 0.46 – 0.52, HS 0.525 – 0.580, SL 0.40 – 0.45, PrW 0.34 – 0.40, WL 0.75 – 0.85, HFL 0.39 – 0.44, PeNL 0.16 – 0.19, PeH 0.34 – 0.40, PeNW 0.24 – 0.28, PeS 0.237 – 0.283 (39 measured). Indices: CI 77 – 85, SI 82 – 88, PeNI 65 – 74, LPeI 43 – 50, DPeI 137 – 165.

Eyes usually absent but rarely an eye spot or vestigial ommatidium is discernible. Apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, just fails to reach, or just touches, the midpoint of the posterior margin in full-face view; SL/HL 0.66 – 0.72. Cephalic dorsum reticulate-punctate. Pronotal dorsum almost smooth, obviously much less strongly and densely sculptured than cephalic dorsum. Metanotal groove absent from dorsum of mesosoma or at most a very superficial and indistinct indentation present that is almost effaced. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent from side of mesosoma. Propodeum weakly marginate between declivity and side. Posterior surface of petiole node with a series of very short cuticular ridges that radiate upward from the peduncle. Node of petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces weakly convergent dorsally. Subpetiolar process with a ventral angle. In dorsal view petiole node with posterior face transverse; sides and anterior face form a single convex surface, but not thickly D-shaped. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view subequal to width of second gastral tergite at its midlength. Cross-ribs at base of cinctus of second gastral tergite strongly developed and conspicuous. Midline length of second gastral posttergite, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, is equal to, or very slightly less than, the width of the segment at its midlength. Disc of second gastral tergite with sharply incised, small punctures that are close-packed but separated by areas of glossy cuticle; the diameters of the punctures are equal to, or slightly less than, the distances that separate the punctures. First and second gastral tergites dorsally pubescent and with a number of short standing setae that project above the level of the pubescence.

Among the Afrotropical species of HypoponeraHNS, eleven are defined by the following combination of three characters in the worker: sharply defined metanotal groove absent; posterior face of petiole node with short cuticular ridges above the peduncle; base of cinctus with cross-ribs. Of these, tectaHNS has a sharp, triangular denticle that overhangs the midpoint of the anterior clypeal margin in full-face view. H. exiguaHNS and traegaordhiHNS have a transverse dark rim above the cuticular ridges on the posterior petiole, and the ridges lie within a shallow groove whose upper margin is the rim. H. faexHNS is a large species (HL 0.88, HW 0.72) with a conspicuously developed eye. H. faexHNS and hebesHNS both have very coarse sculpture on the lateroventral surfaces of the head and also on most of the pronotum . H. surdaHNS has sparse, widely spaced small punctures on the disc of the second gastral tergite. The remaining five species, mixtaHNS, jeanneliHNS, jocosaHNS, quaestioHNS and ursaHNS, form a closely related complex in which the eye is usually absent, the pronotal sculpture is markedly less dense and intense than that on the head, and the punctures on the disc of the second gastral tergite are larger and more closely packed than in surdaHNS. H. jocosaHNS is isolated by its tall, slender petiole node and relatively short scapes, as discussed below. H. mixtaHNS is closely related and very similar to jeanneliHNS and ursaHNS, but is larger, has a more parallel-sided second gastral tergite and has a relatively slightly longer scape, SI 87 – 93 as opposed to 82 – 88 in the other two. The separation of jeanneliHNS and ursaHNS is currently unsatisfactory , as discussed under the latter name.

H. jeanneliHNS seems quite widely distributed in eastern Africa, usually at altitude. The record from Mt Cameroon appears anomalous, but the specimens, collected at an altitude of 1440 m., match their more eastern counterparts except for being slightly larger (HW 0.52 – 0.54, SL 0.43 – 0.46); all indices fall within the ranges noted above.

Material examined. Cameroun: Prov. Sud-Ouest, Mt Cameroon, Mapanja (B.L. Fisher). Ethiopia: Scoia, Let Marefia (Ragazzi). Sudan: Imatong Mts, Equatoria (N.A. Weber). Uganda: Ruwenzori, above Kilembe (Cuccodoro& Erne); Mt Elgon, Kapkwata (Cuccodoro & Erne). Kenya: Mt Elgon (Chappuis & Jeannel); Nakuru, Lake Naivasha (V. Mahnert); Nakuru, Lake Naivasha (Mahnert & Perret); Lake Nakuru Nat. Pk (V. M a h n e r t); Nakuru, Lk. Naivasha, Mundui Estate (Mahnert & Perret); Embu, Irangi For. Sta. (Mahnert & Perret); Kiambu distr., nr Limuru (Mahnert & Perret); Nairobi (V. Mahnert); Mau For., between Mau summit and Kedowa (V. Mahnert ); Embu, 10 km. W Ishiara (Mahnert & Perret); Western Prov., Kakamega For., Ikuywa (F. Hita Garcia); Ikuywa (S. Maurer). Rwanda: Rangiro (P. W e r n e r ). Ta n z a n i a : Kilimanjaro Reg., Kindoroko For. Res. (Hawkes, Makwati & Mtana); Morogoro Reg., Mamiwa-Kisara For. Res. (Hawkes, Makwati & Mtana), Zimbabwe: Umtali, Melsetter (R. Mussard).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in primary forest, 4 times found in Secondary Forest, 4 times found in Secondary forest in rehab, 2 times found in Shade coffee, 2 times found in Forest, 1 times found in montane rainforest, 1 times found in Foret primitive, 1 times found in Primary Montane Forest, 1 times found in Ruderal.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times leaf litter, 2 times ex. rot. Log., 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times Sol profound, humus litiere, 1 times Nest under stone, 1 times ex. leaf litter.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 10 times Winkler, 6 times Hand collected, 3 times pitfall trap, 2 times Pitfall, Baits, Litter sieving/Winkler, Aspirator, 2 times Litter Sieving + Winkler, 1 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 1 times Hand sifting in tray.

Elevations: collected from 1440 - 2330 meters, 1918 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1887-07-01 00:00:00.0 and 2021-10-27 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Ponera jeanneli: casent0915198; syntype of Ponera jeanneli abyssinica: casent0915185

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