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Species: Hypoponera spei   (Forel, 1910) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Ponera spei Forel, 1910f PDF: 423 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Afrotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: holotype worker. Type-locality: South Africa: Montagnes du Natal (Wroughton). Type-depository: MHNG. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Hypoponera: Bolton, 1995b: 216
Status as species: Emery, 1911e PDF: 91; Arnold, 1915: 77 (redescription); Wheeler, 1922: 782; Arnold, 1926 PDF: 206; Santschi, 1926b PDF: 207; Arnold, 1960a PDF: 81; Bolton, 1995b: 216; Bolton & Fisher, 2011 PDF: 101 (redescription).
Material of the unavailable name Hypoponera spei devota sancta referred here by Bolton & Fisher, 2011 PDF: 101.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

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 spei (Forel)HNS

(Figs 112 – 114)

Ponera spei ForelHNS, 1910: 423. Holotype worker, SOUTH AFRICA: Montagnes du Natal (Wroughton) (MHNG) [examined]. [Combination in HypoponeraHNS: Bolton, 1995: 216.]

Ponera spei r. devota var. sancta ForelHNS, 1914: 213. Workers from SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Durban (G . A r n o ld ). Unavailable name (Bolton, 1995: 216).

Ponera spei var. fidelis SantschiHNS, 1926: 207, fig. 1C. Syntype worker and queen, SOUTH AFRICA: Natal, Krantz Kloof, 21.i.1914 (H.D. Marley) (NHMB) [queen examined]. Syn. n. [Combination in HypoponeraHNS: Bolton, 1995: 214.]

WORKER. Measurements: HL 0.70 – 0.87, HW 0.61 – 0.74, HS 0.655 – 0.815, SL 0.48 – 0.59, PrW 0.43 – 0.56, WL 0.94 – 1.18, HFL 0.52 – 0.66, PeNL 0.19 – 0.24, PeH 0.44 – 0.55, PeNW 0.30 – 0.39, PeS 0.310 – 0.387 (20 measured). Indices: CI 82 – 89, SI 77 – 85, PeNI 68 – 76, LPeI 40 – 46, DPeI 150 – 180.

Eyes present, of 1 – 7 ommatidia that may be depigmented or partially fused. In full-face view apex of scape, when laid straight back from its insertion, fractionally fails to reach, or just touches, the midpoint of the posterior margin; SL/HL 0.66 – 0.76. Reticulate-punctulate sculpture of cephalic dorsum fine, but head more densely sculptured than pronotal dorsum. Propodeal dorsum smooth, with only faint traces of scattered, minute punctulae. Mesonotal-mesopleural suture absent or with a weak vestige still visible. Metanotal groove distinctly incised on dorsum of mesosoma; mesonotum with a well-defined posterior margin. Propodeal declivity separated from side by a blunt angle or a weak margination, without sharp carinae. Mesopleuron smooth and shining. Petiole in profile with the anterior and posterior faces of the node convergent dorsally; node distinctly longer just above the anterior tubercle than at the dorsum. Subpetiolar process variable in shape: at one extreme an elongate lobe with a sharp posteroventral angle, at the other a more bluntly rounded, shorter lobe; intermediates between these two extremes are present. Anterior margin of subpetiolar process, near its base, with a conspicuous pit, from which a sensory seta arises. In dorsal view the petiole node distinctly broader than long. Maximum width of first gastral tergite in dorsal view slightly less than the width of the second tergite at its midlength. Base of cinctus of second gastral tergite with strong cross-ribs. Posttergite of second gastral segment, from posterior margin of cinctus to apex, distinctly broader than long. Punctures on disc of second gastral tergite distinct, dense but not appearing microreticulate. With first gastral segment in profile its dorsum with elongate fine standing setae, the longest of which are only fractionally shorter than those at the apex of the tergite. Full adult colour yellowish brown to medium brown.

In most worker specimens of speiHNS the eye consists of 1 – 4 ommatidia but commonly up to about 7 may be observed. At minimum there is only a single ommatidium, and it is often depigmented and poorly defined. Where several ommatidia occur they are often partially fused, so that the limits of individual ommatidia are obscured and the eye appears blister-like under low magnification.

FIGURES 11 2 – 114. Lateral, full face and dorsal view of body. Hypoponera speiHNS worker BLF1791(21)-6.

Extremely closely related to boerorumHNS. In fact, the two may eventually prove to be conspecific; see the notes and discussion under boerorumHNS and natalensisHNS.

Material examined. South Africa: Natal (Wroughton); Natal, Durban (G. A r n o l d ); Natal, Krantz Kloof (H.D. Marley); Kwazulu Natal, Karkloof, Leopard Bush Nat. Res. (B.L. Fisher); Kwazulu Natal, Boston, Good Hope Estate (B.L. Fisher); Kwazulu Natal, Umtamvuna Nat. Res. (S. van Noort); W. Cape Prov., Diepwalle, nr Knysna (B.L. Fisher); Sinclair Forest, nr Knysna (B.L. Fisher); E. Cape, Mkambati Game Res. (B.L. Fisher).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 6 times found in montane rainforest, 5 times found in coastal forest, Pondoland coastal plateau, 3 times found in coastal forest, 2 times found in Lydenburg Montane Grassland, 1 times found in Coastal Forest/Pondoland Coastal Plateau.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 6 times sour grassland margin, 2 times ex rotten log.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times MW 25 sample transect, 5m, 7 times Winkler extr. leaf litter, 3 times Pitfall trap, 1 times Winkler extraction leaf litter, 1 times W 1 large mixed sample.

Elevations: collected from 160 - 2100 meters, 950 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1914-01-16 00:00:00.0 and 2016-02-11 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Hypoponera spei: casent0907323; syntype of Ponera spei fidelis: casent0915208; Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Ponera spei devota sancta: casent0907324

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