Tetraponera liengmei (Forel)

Ward, Philip S., 2022, The ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropical region: taxonomic review and key to species, Zootaxa 5102 (1), pp. 1-70 : 33-34

publication ID

https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.5102.1.1

publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Tetraponera liengmei (Forel)


Tetraponera liengmei (Forel) View in CoL

( Figs 12 View FIGURES 10–12 , 37 View FIGURES 35–40 )

Sima Liengmei Forel 1894: 88 View Cited Treatment . Syntypes, 33 workers, Delagoa , Mozambique (Liengme) ( BMNH, MSNG, MCZC, MHNG, NHMB, NHMV) [examined] . 1 syntype worker from BMNH imaged on AntWeb: CASENT0902817 . 1 syntype worker from MHNG imaged on AntWeb: CASENT0907472 .

Sima (Tetraponera) Liengmei Forel ; Arnold 1916: 181. Combination in Sima (Tetraponera) .

Tetraponera liengmei (Forel) View in CoL ; Wheeler 1922b: 798. Combination in Tetraponera View in CoL .

Worker measurements (n = 7). HW 0.53–0.68, HL 0.69–0.95, LHT 0.41–0.57, CI 0.70–0.77, FCI 0.14–0.17, REL 0.27–0.30, REL2 0.36–0.42, SI 0.47–0.52, SI3 1.18–1.41, FI 0.46–0.50, PLI 0.84–0.88, PWI 0.61–0.70, LHT/HW 0.76–0.86, CSC 0–2, MSC 0–2.

Worker diagnosis. Small species; frontal carinae well separated, the distance between them exceeding basal scape width (FCI 0.14–0.17); scape short, about one-half head width (SI 0.47–0.52, SI2 0.35–0.39); anterior clypeal margin broadly convex, crenulate ( Fig. 12a View FIGURES 10–12 ); profemur robust (FI 0.46–0.50), legs relatively short (LHT/HL 0.58– 0.62); raised metanotal plate between mesonotum and propodeum, bounded anteriorly and posteriorly by distinct transverse impressions that are longitudinally rugulose; dorsal face of propodeum rounded laterally, subequal in length to declivitous face and rounding insensibly into the latter; petiole short, high and rounded (see PLI and PWI values), with a short anterior peduncle and without well differentiated anterior, dorsal and posterior faces; postpetiole broader than long. Integument predominantly smooth and shiny, with scattered fine punctures and weak reticulation. Standing pilosity inconspicuous, present on frontal carinae and usually also as a pair of setae on the vertex and on the pronotal humeri (but the last two pairs sometimes abraded or absent); absent from rest of mesosoma dorsum, petiole and postpetiole, sparse on succeeding abdominal segments 4–8. Dark brown, appendages lighter ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 10–12 ).

Comments. Tetraponera liengmei belongs to a group of species whose workers have short scapes (SI 0.46– 0.58), short broad petioles (PLI 0.72–1.01), well separated frontal carinae (MFC one quarter to one half of scape length), and dark blackish-brown coloration. T. liengmei is distinguished from the six other species in this group ( T. continua , T. cortina , T. gerdae , T. pedana , T. penzigi , T. pumila ) by the presence of standing pilosity on the frontal carinae (also on the vertex of the head and on the pronotal humeri—although these appear to be prone to abrasion) and by the laterally rounded propodeum and petiole, whose dorsal surfaces thus appear broadly convex in posterior view.

Distribution and biology. This species has been recorded from a limited number of sites in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia. Little is known about its biology. An old collection from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe was taken “in live hollow stems of bush”; more recent series from South Africa were collected “on Maytenus senegalensis ” [= Gymnosporia senegalensis ] and “ex Maytenus infested with Gascardia ”. These meagre data suggest that the species inhabits live plant stems and possibly has an association with scale insects.

Material examined ( ANIC, BMNH, MCZC, MHNG, MSNG, MZLU, NHMB, NHMW, NMWN, PSWC, SAMC, UCDC). Mozambique: Maputo: Delagoa (c.u.); Delagoa (Liengme); Namibia : Kavango East: West Caprivi Nature Reserve at 18°09’S 21°13’E (Pusch, M.; Marais, E.) GoogleMaps ; South Africa: Limpopo: Amsterdam Farm, Louis Trichard district (Cillie, C. J.); Little Leigh Farm, Soutpansberg (Willis, C. K.); Pietersburg (Snowball, G.) ; Western Cape: 2 km NW Darling , 170 m (Danielsson, R.) ; Zimbabwe: Bulawayo: Bulawayo ( Arnold ); Bulawayo (c.u. [probably Arnold]) .


Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 'Giacomo Doria'


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Natural History Museum Bucharest


Australian National Insect Collection


Lund University


Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien


Iziko Museums of Cape Town


R. M. Bohart Museum of Entomology














Tetraponera liengmei (Forel)

Ward, Philip S. 2022

Tetraponera liengmei (Forel)

Wheeler, W. M. 1922: 798

Sima (Tetraponera) Liengmei Forel

Arnold, G. 1916: 181

Sima Liengmei

Forel, A. 1894: 88
GBIF Dataset (for parent article) Darwin Core Archive (for parent article) View in SIBiLS Plain XML RDF