Data from: Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood
Fischer, Georg et al. (2015), Data from: Two new phragmotic ant species from Africa: morphology and next-generation sequencing solve a caste association problem in the genus Carebara Westwood, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1jc33
Phragmotic or “door head” ants have evolved independently in several ant genera across the world, but in Africa only one case has been documented until now. Carebara elmenteitae (Patrizi) is known from only a single phragmotic major worker collected from sifted leaf-litter near Lake Elmenteita in Kenya, but here the worker castes of two species collected from Kakamega Forest, a small rainforest in Western Kenya, are studied. Phragmotic major workers were previously identified as Carebara elmenteitae and non-phragmotic major and minor workers were assigned to C. thoracica (Weber). Using evidence of both morphological and next-generation sequencing analysis, it is shown that phragmotic and non-phragmotic workers of the two different species are actually the same and that neither name – C. elmenteitae or C. thoracica – correctly applies to them. Instead, this and another closely related species from Ivory Coast are both morphologically different from C. elmenteitae, and thus they are described as the new species Carebara phragmotica sp. n. and Carebara lilith sp. n.