Axinidris acholli Weber

Snelling, R. R., 2007, A review of the arboreal Afrotropical ant genus Axinidris., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 551-579: 556-557

publication ID

21291

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/B03C2A67-7ED6-BAB6-6740-9A897BC895DA

treatment provided by

Christiana

scientific name

Axinidris acholli Weber
status

 

Axinidris acholli Weber  HNS 

Figures 1, 11, 21

Axinidris acholli Weber  HNS  , 1941: 193 (w). SUDAN: Imatong Mountains, 4800 and 6200 ft. (N. A. Weber) (MCZC) examined. Shattuck, 1991: 109 - 111; figs. 5 - 7, 35.

Worker diagnosis. Pronotal disc with 8 - 10 coarse rugae that more or less diverge behind; mesepisternum with 4 or 5 coarse longitudinal to oblique rugae; medial propodeal carina compressed and conspicuously higher than long and longer dorsally than at base; head and body with abundant long, slender whitish hairs.

Worker measurements (mm) (n = 12). HW 0.79 - 0.90; HL 0.91 - 1.01; SL 0.79 - 0.88; EL 0.18 - 0.23; EW 0.11 - 0.13; OVD 0.36 - 0.42; PNW 0.46 - 0.59; PPW 0.33 - 0.40; WL 1.08 - 1.29. Indices. CI 85 - 91; CNI 71 - 87; OI 23 - 26; SI 95 - 103.

Worker description. The worker caste has been adequately described by Shattuck (1991), except for the presence of numerous long flexuous hairs as noted above in the diagnosis.

Queen and male unknown.

SPECIMENS EXAMINED

In addition to the lectotype and lectoparatype, I have collected numerous workers from KENYA, Kakamega District, Isecheno , Kakamega Forest (00.24 ° N 034.85 ° E), 1550 - 1600 m ( LACM),GoogleMaps  running on vines, except two in litter. All specimens were in dense forest as opposed to being on trees at the edge of a clearing.

DISCUSSION

The bizarrely developed propodeal structures (Figs. 11, 21) are sufficient to separate A. acholli  HNS  from all the known remaining species. Additionally, no other species is known that has such an abundance of long, flexuous white hairs. Only A. lignicola  HNS  and A. stageri  HNS  are almost as hairy, but in both the propodeal structures are much less extreme, the hairs are shorter and straighter, and the antennal scapes are proportionately much shorter.

I had originally regarded the Kenyan specimens as a previously undescribed species. When I examined the two type specimens of A. acholli  HNS  , however, I began to doubt that this was correct. The only difference that I could discern was that the Kenyan specimens were abundantly hairy while the A. acholli  HNS  types were almost completely devoid of hairs. The type specimens, lectotype and lectoparatype, consist of fragments mounted on points. The lectotype head has only a single antenna. The lectoparatype is in even worse condition: the head lacks antennae, the mesosoma is partly broken, and only a single detached hind leg is present. Both specimens appear to be severely abraded, lacking hairs where all other species possess hairs (e. g., the mandibles, clypeus, frontal carinae). Once it was clear that these poor specimens had been artificially denuded, it was obvious that my fresh Kenyan samples were conspecific.

In addition to Sudan and Kenya, I expect that A. acholli  HNS  will also be found in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the very least.

LACM

USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History