Centromyrmex raptor

Bolton, Barry & Fisher, Brian L., 2008, Afrotropical ants of the ponerine genera Centromyrmex Mayr, Promyopias Santschi gen. rev. and Feroponera gen. n., with a revised key to genera of African Ponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 1929, pp. 1-37: 21-22

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Centromyrmex raptor


Centromyrmex raptor  Bolton & Fisher sp. n.

( Figs 21–24 View Figure )

HOLOTYPE WORKER. TL 9.6, HL 1.60, HW 1.94, CI 121, ML 1.32, MI 83, SL 1.30, SI 67, PW 1.56, WL 2.96.

With characters of the genus and the feae  group. Masticatory margin of mandible serially dentate, with 11–12 bluntly triangular low teeth that are all about the same size; distal one-fifth of masticatory margin edentate. Mandibles heavily constructed and large, smooth with scattered small punctures. Head capsule very obviously broader than long in full-face view (range of CI 119–123). Dorsum of head with scattered punctures and with striation around the antennal fossae and on the anterior halves of the sides. Anterodorsal margination of pronotum strongly developed; margination extends around the sides almost to the posterior margin of the sclerite. Pronotal dorsum a flat plateau behind the margination. Mesonotum sharply marginate anteriorly, the margination extends along the sides above the mesopleuron. Sloping anterior portion of propodeum forms a shallow concavity basally, the posterior portion of the propodeum is slightly raised and broadly rounded behind it. Metatibia with darkly coloured spiniform setae on the apical third of the anterior surface, and with similar setae on the apical third of the dorsal surface. Orifice of propodeal spiracle much higher than wide, almost slit-shaped. Petiole node in dorsal view broader than long. Subpetiolar process short, acutely triangular. Petiolar spiracle near mid-height of anterior face of node. Prora extremely feeble, represented only by a pair of short, very low cuticular ridges on the anterior face of the first gastral sternite, on each side below the helcium; the prora hardly discernible in profile. Pronotal dorsum, and anterior mesonotum, with widely scattered broad, shallow punctures upon a weakly shagreenate surface. The mesonotum also shows weak traces of longitudinal sculpture within the marginate area. Colour predominantly mottled dull brownish red, most of dorsal mesosoma and parts of sides infuscated to blackish. Gaster more uniformly coloured and slightly lighter.

PARATYPIC AND NON-PARATYPIC WORKERS. TL 9.8 –10.0, HL 1.56–1.68, HW 1.92–2.02, CI 119–123, ML 1.30–1.40, MI 82–84, SL 1.30–1.38, SI 66–69, PW 1.50–1.62, WL 2.88–3.08 (5 measured). Paratypes as holotype but the non-paratypic workers are paler in colour, with a dull yellow gaster and somewhat infuscated mesosoma, especially on the dorsum. Sculpture on the pronotal dorsum and on the mesonotum is similar to the type-series but fainter.

PARATYPE QUEENS. TL 10.2, HL 1.60, HW 1.88, CI 118, OI 24, ML 1.33, MI 83, SL 1.24, SI 66, PW 1.78, WL 3.20. One of the queens has two compound eyes but the other has the right eye present, the left eye entirely absent. Overall, the queens are darker in colour than the workers, the mesosoma being mostly black. The transverse mesopleural suture is conspicuous in both queens but absent from the workers. Queens will run out successfully using the key to workers.

MALE: unknown.

Holotype worker (upper specimen of two on pin, lower specimen is a dealate queen), Zambia: Lusaka, Leopard Hill, 12 º 33.29 ’S, 30 º 17.74 E, 1300 m., 29.xi.– 3.xii. 2005, Miombo woodland, BLF#, 13554, CASENT 0 0 66716 (Fisher et al.) ( CASC).

Paratypes, 1 dealate queen with same data as holotype (lower specimen on pin); 1 worker and 1 alate queen with same data but 13555, CASENT 0066882; 1 worker with same data but 13551, CASENT 0 0 66707 ( CASC).

This is the largest Afrotropical member of the genus and its mesosoma the most darkly coloured outside the bequaerti  group. Its dimensions, and the characters noted in the key, make raptor  easily recognisable.

Non-paratypic material examined. Zambia: Lusaka (M.G. Bingham). Zimbabwe ( Rhodesia on data label): Urungwe Matsikite (M.G. Bingham).