Taxonomic historyAndré, 1895a PDF: 3 (q.); Forel, 1913b PDF: 335 (m.).Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 61; Forel, 1894b PDF: 83; Mayr, 1895 PDF: 134; André, 1895a PDF: 3; Emery, 1899a PDF: 500; Mayr, 1904b PDF: 4; Mayr, 1907a PDF: 387; Stitz, 1910: 145; Forel, 1910e PDF: 12; Forel, 1911h PDF: 276; Emery, 1912b PDF: 102 (redescription); Forel, 1913b PDF: 335; Santschi, 1914b PDF: 71; Santschi, 1914d PDF: 351; Arnold, 1916 PDF: 191; Wheeler, 1922: 181, 885; Santschi, 1923e PDF: 283; Emery, 1924f PDF: 240; Menozzi, 1930b PDF: 110; Bernard, 1953b PDF: 243; Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 75; Hita Garcia et al., 2013 PDF: 208.Senior synonym of Atopomyrmex mocquerysi arnoldi: Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.Senior synonym of Atopomyrmex mocquerysi australis: Wheeler, 1922: 885; Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.Senior synonym of Atopomyrmex mocquerysi erigens: Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.Senior synonym of Atopomyrmex mocquerysi obscura: Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.Senior synonym of Atopomyrmex mocquerysi opaca: Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.Material of the unavailable name Atopomyrmex mocquerysi opaca nigellus referred here: Bolton, 1981b PDF: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 75.
Keoulenta et N'Zo, plusieurs ouvrieres. C'est la forme la plus banale, dont les exemplaires locaux se rattachent a la var. nigellus Sant. , petite et sombre, du Congo.
Faradje, [[worker]], [[queen]]; Lukolela to Basoko, [[worker]]; Akenge, [[worker]]; Medje, [[worker]] (Lang and Chapin); Matadi, [[worker]] (J. Bequaert).
This species is so variable that it is doubtful whether Forel's variety curvispina and Santschii variety australis can be retained. The small workers among all the specimens before me have the epinotal spines more or less curved and directed backward, whereas in the large workers they are straight, more erect and more diverging. Besides the material from the localities cited above, I have specimens from the Congo, received from Ern, André , Delagoa Bay (P. Berthoud), Mwengwa, North West Rhodesia (H, Dollman), and Xalasi (C. W. Howard). There are also noticeable differences in the length and tenuity of the petiolar spines and in the strength of the cephalic and thoracic sculpture. The latter is noticeably strong in the specimens from Akenge, so that the head is scarcely shining in the occipital region.
The specimens taken by Lang and Chapin were nesting in cavities in dead wood. Those taken by Dr. Bequaert were "sucking nectar from the flowers of a tree (Anacardiaceae) in the rocky savannah." Arnold says of the variety curvispina, that "it is a slow ant, living in trees and mainly carnivorous in its diet. The nest is usually situated in a hollow stem, some distance above the ground. Like Crematogaster , these ants, when disturbed, exude a whitish and rather sticky secretion from the anal glands. It has not been found by me except in districts containing large trees." Bequaert found the nest of the typical mocquerysi "in a cavity in the wood at the base of a fig-tree (River Lovoi, near Kikondja, October 18, 1911)." He writes further: "I captured the male and female of this species in copula, flying in bright daylight (at noon) at the beginning of October (beginning of the rainy season)." The male and female of the species was first described by Forel from these specimens taken by Bequaert in the Katanga.
Congo belge: Kunungu, 9 - IV- 1921; Tondu (Dr. H. Schoute-den) (Mus. Tervueren).
Sansibar (Dr. Brauns), Sclavenkueste (Coli. Mayr).
Atopomyrmex mocquersyi Andre , 1889: 227. Syntype workers, Senegal: Dakar (A. Mocquerys) (MNHN,
Paris) [examined]. Atopomyrmex mocquerysi var. australis Santschi , 1914 a: 16. Syntype workers, South Africa: Natal, Zulu-land (/. Traegardh) (NM, Basle) [examined]. [Synonymy by Wheeler, 1922: 885.] Atopomyrmex mocquerysi var. obscura Santschi , 1923: 283. Syntype workers, Ivory Coast: Jacqueville (Lohier); and Benin: Cotonou (Silvestri) (MRAC, Tervuren; NM, Basle) [examined]. Syn. n. Atopomyrmex mocquerysi var. arnoldi Santschi , 1923: 283. Syntype workers, Zaire: Eala (R. Mayne) (NM, Basle; MRAC, Tervuren) [examined]. Syn. n. Atopomyrmex mocquerysi st. opaca Santschi , 1923: 283. Syntype workers, Angola: ' Riviere Cubia, entre Combo et Cubra' (Rohan-Chabot) (MRAC, Tervuren; NM, Basle) [examined]. Syn. n. Atopomyrmex mocquerysi var. erigens Santschi , 1924: 205. Syntype workers, Zaire: Yambata (Di Giorgi) (NM, Basle; MRAC, Tervuren) [examined]. Syn. n. Atopomyrmex mocquerysi st. opacus var. nigellus Santschi , 1930: 72. Syntype workers, Angola: Rio Mbale and Chimporo (A. Monard) (NM, Basle) [examined]. [Name not available.]
Worker. Standard measurements are obviously not of great value where continuously polymorphic species are involved, as one size grades into another without any break. However, when graphs of the relationships of various dimensions are plotted a number of allometric relationships become apparent. Most easily noticeable of these are the following. The CI increases with increase in HW; the relative lengths of the scapes (SI) decrease as HW increases; the frontal carinae increase in length and strength as HW increases. The size of the eye has little or no dependence on the size of the head, the eyes of the largest workers being relatively only slightly increased in size over those of the smallest (as expressed by the ratio of ocular diameter to HW). Overall size range in the species is TL 4.0 - 8.7, HL 0.96 - 2.24, HW 0.88 - 2.30, CI 92 - 104, SL 0.70 - 1.22, SI 49 - 80, PW 0.68 - 1.40, AL 1.34 - 2.50 (85 measured).
Basic characters as given under generic diagnosis, differentiation from cryptoceroides as tabulated above. Mandibles pitted, the surface between the pits finely and densely shagreened to finely striate. Frontal carinae increasing in length and strength with increasing worker size (Figs 5 - 7). In smallest workers short, ending in front of the level of the anterior margins of the eyes, forming a short and narrow laterally projecting flange on each side and only very slightly divergent. In larger workers the frontal carinae lengthening and becoming more obviously divergent, the laterally projecting flange broadening. In largest workers the carinae reaching back beyond the level of the eyes, divergent to eye level then becoming almost parallel, the laterally projecting flange very prominent throughout most or all of the length of the carinae. Antennal scrobes absent in small workers, becoming better defined with increased size; in large workers the scrobe conspicuous, narrow but quite deep and capable of accommodating the scape. Change in head shape with increased size as in Figs 5 - 7. Maximum diameter of eye 0.18 - 0.36, about 0.14 - 0.20 x HW, the relative size of the eyes not radically increased in larger workers. Outline shape of alitrunk as in Figs 3, 4. Propodeal spines very variable in length, thickness and degree of curvature. In dorsal view the spines not projecting outwards in their basal portions, the propodeal spiracle or at least its annulus visible from above. In profile the propodeal spiracle some distance away from the margin of the declivity below the spine, the diameter of the spiracle less than the distance separating it from the margin of the declivity. Petiolar teeth conspicuous, varying in length and thickness. Sculpture in general increasing in intensity and frequently also in density from smaller to larger workers. Dorsum of head with scattered shallow pits, the surface between them varying from smooth or almost smooth to densely reticulate-punctate. This ground-sculpture is overlaid between the frontal carinae by fine dense longitudinal striation. As the frontal carinae increase in length so the area of striate sculpture becomes stronger and extends further back on the head. In larger specimens the space between the frontal carinae becomes strongly rugose or costate and this sculpture may reach back almost to the occipital margin. Sides of head densely reticulate-punctate everywhere. With increasing size there is a tendency for the progressive encroachment of rugulose sculpture across the reticulate-punctate surface from the front to the back of the sides. Small workers have only the punctate sculpture but as size increases rugulae appear anteriorly which gradually strengthen and spread further back on the head. Pronotal dorsum longitudinally rugose at least centrally, the rugae varying in intensity and sometimes divergent posteriorly. Ground-sculpture reticulate-punctate and usually distinct, sometimes faint and frequently with larger superimposed punctures present. Pronotal sculpture continuing onto mesonotum in smaller workers, but in larger individuals (and also in some smaller ones) the sculpture becomes reduced on the mesonotum so that only the punctate ground-sculpture is present or rugae occur but are restricted to the anterior part of the sclerite. In large workers there is usually a striking reduction in mesonotal sculpture so that most or all of the dorsum is feebly punctulate or even smooth and shining. Propodeal dorsum densely reticulate-punctate, usually without trace of rugulose sculpture but sometimes with one or two weak rugulae present. Petiole, postpetiole and first gastral tergite finely and very densely reticulate-punctate to densely shagreened. Dorsal surfaces of body without standing hairs of any description. Colour very variable, ranging from dull yellowish brown to blackish brown but most commonly bicoloured, with head and alitrunk reddish, gaster dark brown to black. In some the head alone reddish and the rest of the body darker, in others the head and gaster dark and the alitrunk lighter.
Ghana: Tafo (B. Bolton); Mampong (P. Room); Bunso (D. Leston); Wiawso (D. Leston); Legon (D. Leston); Mepom (D. Leston); Okumaning (D. Leston). Nigeria: Gambari (B. Bolton); Mokwa (C. Longhurst). Cameroun: Nkoemvon (D. Jackson). Zaire: Yangambi (TV. L. H. Krauss); Lukolela to Basoko (H. O. Lang). Sudan: Keilak (R. C. H. Sweeny). Kenya: Kibwesi (S. A. Neave). Uganda: Masindi (R. Lucius). Tanzania: Kilossa (S. A. Neave); Morogoro (A. Loveridge); Zanzibar (W. M. Aders); Zanzibar (L. F. Brown); Duthumi (A. Loveridge); Kigoma Reg., Mahale Mts. (S. Uehara). Zambia: N'Changa (C. T. Macnamara); Mwengwa (Dollman). Malawi: Port Herald (J. E. S. Old). Zimbabwe: Umgusa Riv., Sipopoma (G. Arnold); Victoria Falls (G. Arnold).
Propodeal dorsum predominantly or entirely reticulate-punctate, if rugulae occur they are secondary to the punctation. Pronotal dorsum usually with rugae present but with punctate ground-sculpture which is usually conspicuous and dense. Propodeal spines in dorsal view directed more or less evenly backwards, not projecting outwards basally; the spiracle (or at least its annulus) clearly visible from above (Fig. 10).
Propodeal spiracle smaller and some distance away from the margin of the declivity below the spine; diameter of spiracle less than the distance separating the spiracular hind margin from the edge of the declivity at its closest point (Fig. 8).
Ghana: Tafo (G. S. Cotterell); Tafo (Strickland); Mampong (D. Leston); Kibi (D. Leston); Bunso (D. Leston); Osenasi (D. Leston); Asamankese (D. Leston); Etukrom (D. Leston); Mpraeso (D. Leston). Zaire: Ituri For., Beni (T. H. E. Jackson).
Rev. d'Entom., vol. 8, p. 227 (1889), [[worker]].
Afrique orientale anglaise: Voi, dans le pays Taita (alt. 600 m., 1909), 3 [[worker]].
Afrique tropicale: parait plus commun sur le versant atlantique.