Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: Morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood

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Abstract

*[In Africa only one case of phragmosis has been previously documented. Carebara elmenteitae (Patrizi) is known from only a single phragmotic major worker collected from sifted leaf-litter near Lake Elmenteita in Kenya. The worker castes of 2 species collected from Kakamega Forest (a small rainforest in Western Kenya) are studied here. The phragmotic major workers were previously identified as Carebara elmenteitae & non-phragmotic major & minor workers were assigned to Carebara thoracica (Weber). Using both evidence from morphological & next-generation sequencing analysis, it is shown that phragmotic & non-phragmotic workers of the 2 different collections are actually the same & that neither name (Carebara elmenteitae or Carebara thoracica) correctly applies to them. Instead, this & another closely related species from Ivory Coast are both morphologically different from Carebara elmenteitae, & they are described as the new species Carebara phragmotica sp.n. & Carebara lilith sp.n.]

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Fischer, G., Azorsa, F., Hita Garcia, F., Mikheyev, A. S., & Economo, E. P. (2015). Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: Morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood. ZooKeys, 2015(525), 77–105. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.525.6057

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