Temnothorax hippolytus, Prebus, 2021

Prebus, Matthew M., 2021, Taxonomic revision of the Temnothorax salvini clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a key to the clades of New World Temnothorax, PeerJ (e 11514) 9, pp. 1-462: 304-307

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.7717/peerj.11514

publication LSID




persistent identifier


taxon LSID


treatment provided by


scientific name

Temnothorax hippolytus

sp. nov.

Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov.

Distribution: Fig. 133H View Figure 133 ; worker: Fig. 142 View Figure 142 .

Type material examined: Holotype worker: CUBA: Camagüey: El Dieciocho, Francisco , March 1974, L.B. Zayas ( LACMENT323469) [ LACM].  

Geographic range: Cuba ( Fig. 133H View Figure 133 ).

Worker diagnosis: Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. can be separated from all other species in the salvini   clade by the following character combination: head in full face view ovular; promesonotal suture deeply impressed and extending to the dorsal surface of the mesosoma; metanotal groove not impressed; propodeum not depressed below the level of the promesonotum; propodeum bearing standing setae dorsally; propodeal spines slightly shorter than the propodeal declivity, and directed posterodorsally; hind femora moderately incrassate; petiolar node subquadrate: dorsal face transitioning to posterior face through a rounded ~90 ° angle; postpetiole broad: about 2.5 times the width of the petiole; dorsum of head smooth and shining; petiolar node with only two erect setae dorsally; setae on head, mesosoma, waist segments and gaster erect, short, sparse and blunt (never long and tapering); integument predominantly dark brown; yellow antennae, mandibles, pronotal neck, propodeal spines, and legs.

Similar species: Temnothorax ciferrii   , T. harlequina   sp. nov., T. terricola   , and T. torrei   . Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. can be distinguished from T. ciferrii   and T. harlequina   sp. nov. by the setae count of two on the dorsum of the petiolar node, versus four. Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. is closely related to T. torrei   and T. terricola   , but the smooth and shining head sculpture can be used to separate T. hippolytus   sp. nov. from T. torrei   , in which the head sculpture is at least somewhat areolate. Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. can be differentiated from T. terricola   by the ovular head shape (boxy in T. terricola   ), the deeply impressed promesonotal suture, and the more angulate transition between the dorsal and posterior faces of the petiolar node.

Worker measurements & indices (n = 1): SL = 0.467; FRS = 0.166; CW = 0.514; CWb = 0.467; PoOC = 0.253; CL = 0.583; EL = 0.114; EW = 0.088; MD = 0.141; WL = 0.635; SPST = 0.197; MPST = 0.207; PEL = 0.278; NOL = 0.137; NOH = 0.115; PEH = 0.193; PPL = 0.161; PPH = 0.218; PW = 0.346; SBPA = 0.162; SPTI = 0.240; PEW = 0.136; PNW = 0.156; PPW = 0.339; HFL = 0.470; HFWmax = 0.124; HFWmin = 0.049; CS = 0.759; ES = 0.158; SI = 100; OI = 21; CI = 80; WLI = 136; SBI = 35; PSI = 31; PWI = 249; PLI = 173; NI = 119; PNWI = 115; NLI = 49; FI = 253.

Worker description: In full-face view, head ovular, longer than broad (CI 80). Mandibles striate, shining, and armed with five teeth: the apical-most well developed, followed by a smaller preapical tooth, which is followed by three equally developed smaller teeth. Anterior clypeal margin entire and evenly rounded. Antennal scapes moderately long: when fully retracted, just reaching the posterior margin of the head capsule (SI 100). Antennae 12-segmented; antennal club of three segments, with the apical-most segment one and a half times longer than the preceding two in combination. Frontal carinae moderately long, extending past the antennal toruli by about two and a half times the maximum width of the antennal scape. Compound eye moderately protruding past the lateral margin of the head capsule. Lateral margin of head evenly convex, forming a continuous arc from the posterior of the head to the mandibular insertions. Posterior head margin flat, rounding evenly into the lateral margins.

In profile view, compound eyes ovular and small (OI 21), with 9 ommatidia in longest row. Pronotal declivity distinct, with neck and anterior face of pronotum forming a ~130 ° angle; anterior and dorsal faces of pronotum forming a rounded ~120 ° angle. Mesosoma arched from the pronotal declivity to the propodeal spines, but the pronotum is flat, giving the dorsal margin an angulate appearance. Promesonotal suture extending from the posterior margin of the procoxal insertion only to the dorsum of the mesosoma through the mesothoracic spiracle, which is poorly developed. Metanotal groove visible as a disruption of the sculpture laterally from where it arises between the mid- and hind coxae to where it ends in the poorly developed metathoracic spiracle. Propodeal spiracle poorly developed, directed posterolaterally, and separated from the propodeal declivity by about three and half spiracle diameters. Propodeal spines well developed and short (PSI 31), slightly shorter than the propodeal declivity, tapering evenly from the base, slightly upturned at the tips, and acute. Propodeal declivity straight and flat, forming a ~120 ° angle with the base of the propodeal spines. Propodeal lobes rounded and weakly developed. Metapleural gland bulla small, extending from the metacoxal insertion a third of the way to the propodeal spiracle. Petiole moderately long (PLI 173), with weakly developed denticles anterodorsally. Subpetiolar process in the form of a small, acute tooth, which grades gradually into the ventral margin of the petiole posteriorly, which is slightly concave posterior to it. Petiolar peduncle short: comprising about a third of the petiolar dorsum. Petiolar node robust and subquadrate: transition between peduncle and node evenly rounded, resulting in a slightly concave anterior node face; anterior face forming a ~110 ° angle with the dorsal face, which is weakly convex, nearly flat, and long; dorsal face forming a rounded ~90 ° angle with the posterior face, which forms a ~90 ° angle with the caudal cylinder. Postpetiole evenly rounded dorsally; ventral surface flat.

In dorsal view, humeri developed and distinct: evenly rounded and wider than the rest of the mesosoma; mesothoracic spiracles not protruding past the lateral margins of the mesosoma. Promesonotal suture nearly complete but obscured medially. Metanotal groove absent: mesonotum and propodeum completely fused and converging evenly to the bases of the propodeal spines. Propodeal spines broadly approximated basally and diverging apically, their apices separated from each other by a little more than their length; negative space between them “U” shaped. Petiolar peduncle with spiracles protruding past the lateral margins, peduncle slightly constricted anterior to them. Petiolar node evenly ovate and narrowest anteriorly; node slightly wider than the peduncle, and evenly grading into the caudal cylinder, which is slightly narrower than the node. Postpetiole very broad (PWI 249) and campaniform, articulating with nearly the entire anterior margin of the gaster. Anterior margin of the postpetiole flat, with the corners evenly rounding into the lateral margins, which diverge to the angulate posterior corners; posterior margin broadly concave. Metafemur moderately incrassate (FI 253).

Sculpture: median clypeal carina present, extending posteriorly nearly to the level of the antennal toruli, and flanked on either side by two equally strong carinae. Lateral clypeal lobes with additional, weaker carinae; ground sculpture weakly costulate. Antennal scapes shining through weak areolate ground sculpture. Cephalic dorsum smooth and shining, with weak areolate sculpture flanking the frontal carinae and on the posterolateral surface of the head, behind the compound eyes. Lateral surface of head weakly rugulose between the compound eye and the mandibular insertion. Ventral surface of head smooth and shining. Pronotal neck areolate-strigulate. Lateral face of pronotum areolate, but sculpture weaker on the posterior half. Mesopleurae, metapleurae, and lateral face of propodeum areolate, but sculpture weaker between the propodeal spiracle and the base of the propodeal spines, and on the propodeal declivity. Dorsum of mesosoma predominantly areolate, but a smooth and shining patch of sculpture present medially, that spans the promesonotal suture. Femora shining through weak areolate sculpture, which becomes stronger on the distal third. Petiole smooth and shining ventrally, with very weak areolate on the petiolar node; dorsal face of peduncle smooth and shining. Postpetiole entirely smooth and shining, with weak areolate sculpture on the posterior quarter. Gaster smooth and shining, with very weak spectral iridescence.

Setae: antennal scapes and funiculi with short, adpressed pilosity. Dorsum of head, pronotum, waist segments and gaster with sparse, erect, nearly clavate setae, the longest of which are about the width of the compound eye. The head dorsum bears ~16, mesosoma dorsum ~8, petiole 2, postpetiole ~4, and first gastral tergite ~8 setae. Short, sparse pubescence present over the entire body, but difficult to detect against the lightly colored integument.

Color: predominantly dark brown, nearly black, with yellow antennae, mandibles, pronotal neck, propodeal spines, and legs.

Gyne: Unknown.

Male: Unknown.

Etymology: Morphological, from the Ancient Greek ‘Hippolyta’, the queen of the Amazons, who wore a magical girdle given by her father Ares. This is a reference to the deep promesonotal impression, a feature not found in any closely related species.

Comments: Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. is known only from the holotype, which was collected in Camagüey province, Cuba. The specific locality data is obscure and needs verification. Nothing is known about the collection details, but this species, like all other documented species of the pulchellus   group, is probably ground or leaf litter nesting. Temnothorax hippolytus   sp. nov. bears two erect setae on the dorsum of the petiolar node, a feature it shares in common with other Caribbean endemics of the pulchellus   group, to which it is most likely closely related, namely: T. terricola   and T. torrei   .


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


Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County