Discothyrea gryphon

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Discothyrea gryphon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Discothyrea
Species group: traegaordhi
Species: D. gryphon
Binomial name
Discothyrea gryphon
Hita-Garcia & Lieberman, 2019

D gryphon hal.jpg

D gryphon had.jpg

At present, this species is known only from the type locality in Kayove in Rwanda and Mkomazi in Tanzania. Both localities are montane forest at elevations from 1600 to 2100 m. Discothyrea gryphon lives in leaf litter.


The following character combination distinguishes D. gryphon from the remainder of the complex:

  • mandible with square apical tooth and subapical denticle
  • subquadrate head with anterolateral corner of gena sharply defined, nearly denticulate
  • anterior clypeal margin with long erect setae
  • mesosomal outline weakly convex
  • propodeum without strong angles or denticles
  • mesotibia without apicoventral spur
  • AT4 about 1.1 times longer than AT3 (ASI 108–113)
  • erect pilosity abundant on mesosoma and abdominal terga

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Rwanda (type locality), United Republic of Tanzania.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Economo-header (arilab.unit.oist.jp).png  X-ray micro-CT scan 3D model of Discothyrea gryphon (worker) prepared by the Economo lab at OIST.

See on Sketchfab. See list of 3D images.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • gryphon. Discothyrea gryphon Hita-Garcia & Lieberman et al., 2019: 45, figs. 4I, 6I, 7I, 8I, 9I, 10I, 11I, 12I, 14I, 15I, 35, 36 (w.) RWANDA.


Head very broad (CI 87–92); posterior head margin straight, posterodorsal corners of head rounded; in frontal view sides of head slightly convex; head appearing subquadrate posterad antennal sockets; eyes absent or minute (OI 0–4), an asymmetrical pigmented spot, situated about one-third of the way between anterolateral corner of gena and posterior head margin; when present, eyes not visible in frontal view; anterolateral corner of gena sharply squared, appearing denticulate/dentate, somewhat projecting laterally; frontal lamella short and dentate in profile, apex acute; lamella translucent across entire disc, slightly more so basally but without distinct fenestra; medial clypeus broad, emarginate medially between antennae, lateral clypeus conspicuously narrowed, curving broadly between antennal sockets and anterolateral corners of head, entire clypeal margin bearing row of long erect setae. Antenna with moderately long scape (SI 59–62), scape moderately incrassate, gently bent; pedicel subcylindrical, longer than broad; true antennomere count six; apparent antennomere count six to eight, flagellomeres basad apical club highly compressed, taken together only about as long as apical club. Ventral head with poorly developed postoccipital ridge with very short but broad anteromedian carina; median region of hypostoma triangular, arms strongly narrowed and very weakly spatulate; palpal formula not examined. Mandible with squared apical tooth subtended by pointed preapical denticle; small prebasal angle present; basal angle rounded to somewhat truncate; ectal face with longitudinal carina confluent with masticatory margin for much of its length, leaving narrow strip of depressed region including prebasal denticle.

Mesosoma in profile robust, dorsally feebly convex, sloping posteroventrally, pronotum distincly higher than propodeum; in dorsal view mesosoma moderately thick (DMI 54–57; DMI2 82–86) and narrowed posteriorly, pronotum wider than propodeum; posterior propodeal margin very weakly concave; posterodorsal corners of propodeum rounded, without teeth or angles; declivitous face of propodeum shallowly but clearly concave in profile and oblique posterior view; propodeal spiracle small and inconspicuous, directed posterolaterally; propodeal lobes short, truncate.

Legs short (HFI 52–54) and rather slender; mesotibia without apicoventral spur.

Petiolar node not strongly attenuated dorsally, rather robust in profile, about 2.0 to 2.8 times higher than broad (LPeI 200–275); in profile anterior face of node convex, apex blunt to rounded, posterior face convex; in dorsal view petiole rectangular, sides subparallel, about 1.9 to 2.5 times broader than long (DPeI 192–250); in anterior view, petiolar outline clearly pentagonal, edges well-defined, angles slightly rounded, apex somewhat broadly peaked; in oblique anterior view anterior face flat; in ventral view subrectangular to weakly campaniform, sides slightly divergent posteriorly to weakly convex; subpetiolar process large, lobate-triangular, apex rounded, bearing numerous long, straight, white setae; petiolar spiracles large, round to slightly elliptical in ventral view.

Abdominal segment 3 asymmetrically campaniform, tergite prolonged anteriorly beyond anterior margin of sternite and widest point just anterad end of segment; AS3 evenly rounded in profile, deepest point at about the longitudinal midline in profile, with thick median ridge; AS3 without carinate prora, but still with anterior face distinctly depressed and anterior margin of ventral face weakly concave in ventral view; AT4 about 1.1 times longer than AT3 (ASI 108–113); AT4 evenly rounded hemidemispherical; AS4 with very well-developed anterior lip, overlapping nearly the entire width of AS3, anterior margin very weakly concave in ventral view; successive abdominal segments short, telescopic, often concealed.

Sculpture on head foveolate-reticulate to areolate, foveolae smaller on front of head; mandible rather roughly sculptured with dense piligerous punctae; frontal lamella and medial clypeus distinctly punctate; mesosoma, petiole, and abdominal segment 3 foveolate-reticulate, foveolae smaller and more regular on dorsal than lateral mesosoma, with rugulae present between foveolae on lateral mesosoma, especially posteriorly; declivitous face of propodeum with narrow transverse rugulae and sometimes punctae; AT4 quite smooth and shiny despite numerous minute piligerous punctulae.

Setation consisting of distinct, erect, white pilosity on front of head, mesosomal, petiolar and abdominal dorsa, generally becoming longer and denser with each succesive tagma in the posterior direction; lateral mesosoma with mostly appressed pubescence; sides of abdominal segments 3 and 4, petiolar sternite, and abdominal sternite 3 also bearing long erect setae in addition to underlayer of appressed pubescence; abdominal segments five through seven with similar pilosity to AT4, setae not noticeably longer or more curved; scape and legs with long, dense pubescence, mostly appressed to decumbent, with scattered erect setae; ectal face of mandible with abundant, long, curved, erect to suberect setae; setation of masticatory margin undetermined.

Color uniformly dull testaceous-yellow to light brown.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Hita-Garcia F., Z. Lieberman, T. L. Audisio, C. Liu, and E. P. Economo. 2019. Revision of the highly specialized ant genus Discothyrea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Afrotropics with X-ray microtomography and 3D cybertaxonomy. Insect Systematics and Diversity 3(6): 5:1-84.