Proceratium boltoni

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Proceratium boltoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Proceratiinae
Tribe: Proceratiini
Genus: Proceratium
Species: P. boltoni
Binomial name
Proceratium boltoni
Leston, 1971

Proceratium boltoni P casent0902424.jpg

Proceratium boltoni D casent0902424.jpg

Specimen Label

This is the only African species of Proceratium that has been collected from a nest.


A member of the stictum clade, appearing in an unresolved position within the species of this clade and differing from all the other species, in the worker, by the following combination of characters: funicular joints 2-10 broader than long, frontal carinae low, narrow and subparallel and ventral process of the petiole needle-shaped.

In general shape and sculpture, Proceratium boltoni resembles Proceratium cavinodus and two Dominican fossil species, Proceratium denticulatum and Proceratium gibberum. Both fossils, however, are known from the gyne only. boltoni, denticulatum and gibberum share the ventral process of the petiole needle-shaped. boltoni also shares with denticulatum the low, subparallel frontal carinae and both species share with cavinodus the clypeal notch laterally denticulate. The workers of boltoni (TL ~3.6-3.8 mm) and the sole known specimen of cavinodus (TL 3.3 mm) are the smallest species of this clade. We studied only a "dwarf” worker of stictum (TL 3.5 mm) ranging between boltoni and cavinodus in size.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 5.650000095° to 5.650000095°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Ghana (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



Leston (1971) description of this species included the following about P. boltoni's biology: "The types are from a colony found in a piece of rotten wood, of which only the shell remained, embedded in the surface soil in the Botany Gardens, Legon; the second capture was in the topsoil at the base of a tree in a mixed maize and cassava plot. The sites were about 600 m. apart. Both the sites are in land that is much disturbed. The type colony comprised a dealate female, 34 mature workers, eight callow workers, three worker pupae and five larvae, all of different sizes. An elongate greenish dipterous egg and a live nematode were with the colony." Leston also suggested P. boltoni is a savannah species. Both of his collections were from a site that appeared to once have been a naturally occurring savannah and, despite being heavily disturbed for decades, was savannah-like in 1971.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • boltoni. Proceratium boltoni Leston, 1971: 118, figs. 1, 2 (w.q.) GHANA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 34 paratype workers, 1 paratype queen.
    • Type-locality: holotype Ghana: Botany Gardens, Legon, Accra Dist., 8.vii.1970 (D. Leston); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); ANIC, BMNH, LACM, MCZC, MHNG, MRSN, MZSP, UGLG (paratypes).
    • [Note: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 59, also record paratypes as present in NHMB, but these are not mentioned by Baroni Urbani, 1973b: 131.]
    • Status as species: Terron, 1981: 102 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 366; Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2003b: 59 (redescription).
    • Distribution: Ghana.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Baroni Urbani and de Andrade (2003) - Head longer than broad, with subparallel sides. Vertex convex in full face view and flat in posterior view. Clypeus broad, subconvex, protruding anteriorly and surrounding the whole antennal insertion. Anteromedian margin of the clypeus with a superficial notch denticulate on each side; each denticle with a short, dorsal, convergent carina. Frontal carinae separate from each other, subparallel and not covering the antennal insertions, their expansions narrow and low. Frons gently concave medially. Genal carina present and more marked posteriorly. Gular area gently impressed. Eyes present, with a single convex ommatidium below the head midline. First funicular joint about as long as broad. Funicular joints 2-10 broader than long. Last funicular joint about as long as the sum of joints 7-10. Scapes not attaining the vertexal margin and gently thickening apically. Masticatory margin of the mandibles with 2-3 denticles before the pointed apical tooth. Palp formula 4,3.

Mesosoma slightly longer than head length (mandibles included), gently convex in profile. Promesonotal and propodeal sutures absent. Promesopleural and mesometapleural sutures visible and more impressed ventrally. Propodeal sides angulate or denticulate between basal and declivous faces. Propodeal lobes with a small, subround dorsal tooth. Propodeal spiracle round and above mid height in lateral view.

Petiole slightly broader than long. Its sides diverging on the anterior third and convex on the two posterior thirds in dorsal view. Anterior border of the petiole concave and transversally carinate, the carina denticulate on each side. Ventral process of the petiole spiniform, rarely bispinose. Postpetiole broader than petiole and with diverging sides. Postpetiolar sternite anteromedially with a variably marked subtriangular projection. Posterior half of the postpetiolar sternite strongly convex. Constriction between postpetiole and gaster deep. Gastral tergite I strongly convex. Gastral sternite I not projecting anteriorly. Remaining gastral tergites and sternites curved ventrally.

Legs slender, not very elongate. All tibiae with a pectinate spur. Spurs of fore legs with a basal spine. Fore basitarsi slightly longer than the mid ones. Hind basitarsi about 0.8 of the length of the hind tibiae. Second tarsomere of mid and hind legs longer than third and fourth tarsomeres and about as long as the pretarsus. Pretarsal claws simple. Arolium small.

Sculpture. Head irregularly reticulate-punctate, the reticulation larger, dceper and approaching foveae on the vertex and sides of the head. Mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole irregularly foveolate-granulate, the granulation in some parts raised as peaks. First gastral tergite smooth, with dense, minute piligerous foveae, the foveae denser and slightly larger on the sides. Legs and scapes with dense punctures.

Body covered by hairs of three main types: (1) short, dense, suberect or subdecumbent on the whole body, erect and sparse on the funicular joints; (2) long, suberect or subdecumbent, sparse on the whole body except the scapes and the funicular joints; (3) shorter than type (1), dense and decumbent on the funicular joints only. In addition, the funicular joints bear thick, appressed, short, sparse hairs and the scapes sparse hairs shorter than those of type (2).

Colour dark brown to black; anterior part of the head dorsum, scapes, mandibles and legs lighter.

Measurements in mm and Indices: TL 3.69-3.78; HL 0.85; HW 0.79-0.80; EL 0.07; SL 0.60; WL 1.08; PeL 0.36-0.38; PeW 0.38-0.42; HFeL 0.65-0.67; HTiL 0.55; HBaL 0.45; LS4 0.16-0.18; LT4 0.66-0.73; CI 92.9-94.1; SI 70.6; IGR 0.24-0.25.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Type Material

Baroni Urbani and de Andrade (2003) - Type locality: Legon, Ghana. Type material Holotype worker deposited in Museum of Comparative Zoology, not seen. 8 paratype workers labelled "Legon, A D., Ghana, 8.VII.1970, D. Leston, in piece of rotten twig, 2" below ground, Paratype, Proceratium boltoni Leston" or variations thereof, in Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, MCZC, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, MRSN, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, all examined.

Leston (1971) reported the type colony of boltoni comprised a dealate gyne, 34 mature workers, 8 callow workers, 3 worker pupae, and 5 larvae.


  • Baroni Urbani, C., de Andrade, M.L. 2003. The ant genus Proceratium in the extant and fossil record (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Monografie, 36, 1–492. (page 59, fig. 32, worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1974. A remarkable new island isolate in the genus Proceratium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Camb.) 81: 70-83.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • Hita Garcia F.; P. G. Hawkes, and G. D. Alpert. 2014. Taxonomy of the ant genus Proceratium Roger (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Afrotropical region with a revision of the P. arnoldi clade and description of four new species. ZooKeys 447:47–86.
  • Scott-Santos, C.P., F.A. Esteves, C.R.F. Brandao. 2008. Catalogue of "Poneromorph" ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 48(11):75-88.
  • Terron G. 1981. Deux nouvelles espèces éthiopiennes pour le genre Proceratium (Hym.: Formicidae). Annales de la Faculté des Sciences de Yaoundé 28: 95-103.