Revision of the African Ants of the Bothroponera pumicosa Species Complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae)

Abdulmeneem Joma, William P. Mackay


African ants are poorly known, especially Afrotropical ants of the subfamily Ponerinae, despite recent advances. The genus Bothroponera (Ponerinae) includes the pumicosa, talpa and sulcata species complexes. We here present a revision of members of the pumicosa species complex. These ants can be characterized by having coarsely foveolate sculpture and by having either a raised a “v” or “u” shaped anterior medial border of the clypeus (anteclypeus), with or without a carina. Members of this complex lack the metatibial gland on the anterior side of the lower metatibia. Species in the Bothroponera pumicosa species complex are mainly distributed in the southern part of Africa. They include: Bothroponera aspera Arnold, 1962 (stat. nov.), B. berthoudi (Forel, 1901) (= variolosa syn. nov.), B. cariosa Emery, 1895, B. cavernosa (Roger, 1860), B. granosa (Roger, 1860), B. laevissima (Arnold, 1915), B. montivaga Arnold, 1947 (stat. nov.), B. pumicosa (Roger, 1860), B. strigulosa Emery, 1895, and B. umgodikulula Joma and Mackay, 2013. A key to the workers with diagnoses and comparisons is provided, together with illustrations of each species and colored photographs of the species, as well as maps and the distributions of each species.


Afrotropical; Conservation; Biodiversity

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