| Anochetus renatae|
Shattuck & Slipinska, 2012
Biologically, the available details suggest that this species occurs in forested habitats such as mulga woodlands and nests under objects on the ground.
Body generally smooth and shining with sculpture limited to between the frontal carinae and on the propodeum where it extends laterally to the level of the propodeal spiracle. This species is similar to Anochetus armstrongi but differs in the more extensive sculpturing on the propodeum, the longer antennal scape (scape length > 1.40mm vs. < 1.35mm), more numerous erect hairs on hind tibiae and the expanded eyes which form the outline of the head in full face view. It is also similar to Anochetus veronicae but differs in the lack of teeth at the propodeal angle and in its smaller size.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
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Heterick (2009) - Surprisingly, in view of its mandibular specialisations and the known propensity of ants in this genus to be predators, this ant may also take some seeds, since husks and other plant refuse have been found around its nests (pers. obs.).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- renatae. Anochetus renatae Shattuck & Slipinska, 2012: 18, figs. 4, 7, 12 (w.) AUSTRALIA.
- Holotype, worker, Mt. Jackson, Western Australia, Australia, 1939, L. Glauert, ANIC32-015973, Australian National Insect Collection.
- Paratype, 5 workers, Mt. Jackson, Western Australia, Australia, 1939, L. Glauert, ANIC32-059571, Australian National Insect Collection.
- Paratype, 4 workers, Mt. Jackson, Western Australia, Australia, 1939, A.M. Douglas, ANIC32-015974, Australian National Insect Collection.
- Paratype, 9 workers, Mt. Jackson, Western Australia, Australia, 1939, W.A. Museum, ANICANIC32-015972, Australian National Insect Collection.
Brown (1978) included specimens of this Western Australian species within what he considered to be A. armstrongi, noting that while they differed slightly in a number of characters from eastern populations of A. armstrongi the limited amount of material available at that time prevented the detailed analyses necessary to determine whether a single variable species was present or two distinct taxa. Because of this lack of evidence he expanded his concept of A. armstrongi to include this species as well. This treatment has been followed since, including by Heterick (2009). However, presently available specimens allow a more critical analysis of the characters outlined by Brown (1978) and provide evidence of additional characters of taxonomic significance. Together, these characters support the recognition of two distinct but similar taxa, A. renatae in Western Australia and A. armstrongi from South Australia eastward. Separation of these taxa is based on the more extensive development of sculpturing on the propodeum, the relatively smaller head and longer scape, hairier legs and relatively larger and more bulging eyes in A. renatae. Taken together, and combined with biogeographic and ecological considerations, the evidence suggests that two distinct but similar taxa are involved rather than a single variable species as proposed by Brown (1987).
It is also worth noting that A. veronicae is morphologically similar to A. renatae and Brown may well have considered it to be part of his A. armstrongi. The justification for treating the more northern A. veronicae as a separate taxon from A. renatae is based on the more strongly developed propodeal teeth, the more lightly coloured head when compared to the mesosoma and the consistently larger size of A. veronicae over A. renatae (essentially all measurement characters are non-overlapping). It is possible, however, that these two taxa actually form a cline extending from the Top End south into south-central Western Australia and the species recognised here are merely the end-points of this cline. Unfortunately the present material is allopatric and sympatric associations of these two species are missing. As with many closely related taxa, these hypotheses should be tested as additional material becomes available.
Worker description. Sculpturing on front of head extending slightly beyond eyes. Scapes reaching posterolateral corners ('lobes') of head; with limited pubescence and a limited number of erect hairs. Pronotum smooth and shining, with distinct anterior ridge. Mesonotum and most of metapleuron without sculpture, smooth and shining. Dorsum of propodeum flattened laterally, sculptured with distinct transverse striations extending slightly onto metapleuron. Petiolar node in anterior view moderately concave with strongly angular lateral corners. Erect hairs on hind tibiae present on all surfaces. Colour dark yellow or yellow-brown, mandibles and legs yellow to dark yellow.
Measurements. Worker (n = 7): CI 89–97; EI 27–30; EL 0.32–0.36; HL 1.12–1.39; HW 1.06–1.28; HFL 1.20–1.45; ML 1.46–1.92; MandL 0.64–0.75; MTL 0.87–1.03; PronI 57–61; PronW 0.64–0.76; SL 1.10–1.26; SI 95–104.
- Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76:1-206. PDF
- Shattuck, S.O. & Slipinska, E. 2012. Revision of the Australian species of the ant genus Anochetus (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Zootaxa 3426, 1–28.