Euponera (Brachyponera) sennaarensis (Mayr), Forel

Wheeler, W. M., 1922, The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition., Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, pp. 39-269 : 84

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Euponera (Brachyponera) sennaarensis (Mayr)


Euponera (Brachyponera) sennaarensis (Mayr)   HNS

Thysville, [[worker]], [[male]], [[queen]] (Lang and Bequaert); Avakubi, [[worker]]; Leopoldville, [[worker]], [[male]]; Faradje, [[worker]], [[male]]; Medje, [[worker]]; Zambi, [[male]]; Stanleyville [[queen]], [[male]]; Niapu, [[worker]] (Lang and Chapin). One of the specimens from Medje was taken from the stomach of a toad (Bufo funereus).

This is a well-known ant which seems to be common throughout a large part of the Ethiopian Region and even ranges into Asia (Arabia). Concerning its habits Arnold writes that it is "the commonest ponerine ant around Bulawayo (Rhodesia). A crateriform mound of fine earth surrounds the entrance to the nest, which is as often situated in the open as it is under stones. The economic value of this little species can hardly be overestimated, since it is exceedingly plentiful and preys unceasingly on termites. It is, however, omnivorous, since it will eagerly collect bread-crumbs, insects of all sorts, and seeds of grass. Heaps of the latter are often found in the nests." Escherich, in Abyssinia, and Bequaert, in the Katanga, had previously noted its fondness for collecting grass seeds, a very unusual habit in the Ponerinae.

The following note by Mr. Lang accompanies the specimens from Avakubi: "I have generally seen this ant, which the natives call 'tussisomee,' singly or two or three together, running swiftly over the sandy ground, from which they throw up tiny craters about one inch wide and two-thirds of an inch high. These consist of excavated particles of ground loosely put together. From the crater slender channels, two to three millimeters wide, run laterally or vertically into the hard soil. When a knife is stuck into the ground near the crater, one or even three ants may be seen hurrying away. I never saw any of the larvae. The craters are often quite numerous. Today I counted about 60 over an area of 500 square yards. The natives say that these ants bite (sting?) and fear them even more than the 'siafu' (army ants), though they never occur in masses. They build their craters in cleared ground, chiefly after rainy nights, and are seldom seen during the day time." These accounts indicate that the habits of sennaarensis   HNS are very similar to those of the Australian E. (B.) lutea   HNS , which I have studied in New South Wales and Queensland. The latter species, however, prefers to nest under stones and logs and is, if anything, even more abundant than its African cousin.













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