Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler

Bolton, B. & Fisher, B. L., 2008, The Afrotropical ponerine ant genus Phrynoponera Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1892, pp. 35-52: 41-43

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Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler


Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler  HNS 

(Figures 1a-c)

Phrynoponera bequaerti Wheeler  HNS  , W.M. 1922: 79, fig. 12. Holotype queen, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: N'Gayu (= Ngayu), stomach Bufo superciliaris (H.O. Lang) ( AMNH) [examined].

Worker (previously undescribed). TL 5.0-5.7, HL 1.16-1.25, HW, 1.13-1.23, CI 96-101, SL 0.90-0.97, SI 75-81, PW 0.90-1.02, WL 1.66-1.90, maximum diameter of eye 0.28-0.32, OI 24-27 (20 measured).

Mandible smooth with scattered pits, usually with 4 teeth but very rarely with 3 or 5. Median portion of clypeus with anterior margin transverse to very shallowly concave, without a tooth-like cuticular prominence on each side. Cephalic dorsum finely and densely reticulate-rugose, the bases of the reticulae punctate. Funicular segments 2-7 distinctly broader than long. Dorsum of mesosoma reticulate-rugose. Petiolar spines curve far back over the first gastral tergite; median spine at least three-quarters the length of the outer pair; intermediate spines much shorter and usually much more slender, often reduced and needle-like by comparison with the others. Gastral tergites 1-2 longitudinally costulae upon a reticulate-punctate ground sculpture; often with some anastomoses between the costulae. Colour varies considerably. In darkest forms the head and body are almost entirely black, with only the mandibles and legs reddish brown to red. From this there is a gradual increase in the amount of blackish red to dull red on most areas of the body until in the lightest colour forms the entire head is reddish, the legs are red and even the mesosoma, petiole and parts of the gaster are suffused with red.

Almost as common and widespread as gabonensis  HNS  and by far the smallest species in the genus, bequaerti  HNS  is easily recognised by its size, lack of clypeal teeth and short, broad funicular segments. The vast majority of the material examined was extracted from leaf litter samples, though occasional samples from rotten wood have been recorded. Unlike gabonensis  HNS  and sveni  HNS  , bequaerti  HNS  has not been found in termitaries.

Material examined. Ghana: Tafo (D. Leston); Kade (R. Belshaw); Aiyaola For. Res. (R. Belshaw); Mamang River (K. Yeo). Cameroun: Mbalmayo (N. Stork); Res. Dja (K. Yeo); Prov. Sud-Ouest, Bimbia Forest, Limbe (B.L. Fisher); Korup, NW Mundemba (B.L. Fisher); Mnt Cameroon, Mapanja (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Sud, Res. de Faune de Campo, Ebodje (B.L. Fisher); P.N. Campo, ESE Campo (B.L. Fisher); Res. Campo, Massif des Mamelles, E Ebodje (B.L. Fisher); N'Kolo, Bonde Forest, SSE Elogbatindi (B.L. Fisher). Gabon: La Makande, Foret des Abeillies (S. Lewis); Plateau d'Ipassa (J.A. Barra); Makokou, CNRS (W.H. Gotwald); Prov. Woleu-Ntem, ESE Minvoul (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Estuaire, F.C. Mondah, NNW Libreville (B.L. Fisher); Prov. Ogooue-Maritime, Res. Monts Doudou, Doussala (B.L. Fisher); Res. Moukalaba, NW Doussala (B.L. Fisher). Central African Republic: Res. Dzanga-Sangha, Bayanga (B.L. Fisher); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, Lidjombo(B.L. Fisher); P.N. Dzanga-Ndoki, Mabea Bai, NE Bayanga (B.L. Fisher). Democratic Republic of Congo: Epulu (S.D. Torti); N'Gayu (H.O. Lang).


USA, New York, New York, American Museum of Natural History