Feroponera ferox Bolton & Fisher

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: 28

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Feroponera ferox Bolton & Fisher

sp. n.

Feroponera ferox Bolton & Fisher  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 27-28)

HOLOTYPE WORKER. TL 3.7, HL 0.71, HW 0.63, CI 89, ML 0.27, MI 38, SL 0.38, SI 60, PW 0.43, WL 1.09.

With characters of the genus, and the following. Mandibles smooth with scattered small pits. Frontal lobes divided medially only by a line. The 4 segments of the antennal club are relatively long, together about 0.50 mm., twice as long as funicular segments 1-7 together and distinctly longer than SL. Dorsum of head densely but shallowly irregularly reticulate-rugulose to punctate-rugulose. Dorsal surface of scape with suberect pubescence that is quite dense, but without long, stout setae; leading edge of scape with sparse subdecumbent pubescence only. Dorsum of head with dense pubescence, without standing setae. Pronotal dorsum with shallow poorly defined punctures and also with arched-transverse low rugular sculpture that is best defined at the midline. Sculpture of mesonotal dorsum much reduced from that of pronotum, the propodeal dorsum smooth. PW 1.95 x the maximum width of the bilaterally compressed propodeal dorsum. Side of mesosoma with superficial fine shagreenate-striolate sculpture, densest on the pronotum; only the katepisternum smooth. Dorsal surface of metatibia without spiniform setae. Petiole node in profile narrowing dorsally, the dorsum extremely feebly convex and the posterodorsal angle more rounded than the anterodorsal. Subpetiolar process an obtusely triangular point. Anterior face of first gastral tergite vertical in profile, forming a distinct angle with the dorsal surface. Gastral tergites 1-2 densely punctate, the sculpture fading out on tergites 3-4. Dorsum of pronotum and mesonotum with pubescence; dorsum of propodeum with pubescence reduced but with a few short slender setae present; dorsum of petiole with a few slender setae of varying lengths; gastral tergites with pubescence and also a few longer setae, especially on tergites 4-5.

PARATYPE WORKERS. TL 3.5-3.8, HL 0.67-0.70, HW 0.59-0.62, CI 87-90, ML 0.25-0.27, MI 37- 38, SL 0.36-0.39, SI 61-63, PW 0.43-0.46, WL 1.04-1.10 (4 measured). As holotype.

Holotype worker, Cameroun: Ndupe, 25.xi.1990, Cubitermes survey (A. Dejean) ( BMNH).

Paratypes. 4 workers (one dissected) with same data as holotype ( BMNH, CASC).

QUEEN and MALE: unknown.

The type-series was recovered from an abandoned termitary of Cubitermes and was recorded in Dejean, Durand & Bolton (1996) as " n. sp. (near silvestrii  HNS  )". The termitary was not occupied, and provides no evidence that the species is termitophagous, but the modified condition of the mandibles and clypeus implies that its diet is carnivorous and specialised.


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]


USA, California, San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences