Anonychomyrma itinerans perthensis

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Anonychomyrma itinerans perthensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Anonychomyrma
Species: A. itinerans
Subspecies: A. itinerans perthensis
Trinomial name
Anonychomyrma itinerans perthensis
(Forel, 1902)

The turret nests of A. itinerans perthensis are one of the most characteristic sights on sandy soils in the Perth, Western Australia region. The smooth, shiny A. itinerans perthensis workers will often be seen moving slowly and deliberately in and out of these nests. This species prefers wetter areas in south-western Western Australia. (Heterick, 200)

Identification

Workers of Anonychomyrma itinerans perthensis are distinguished from the other two species of Anonychomyrma found in Western Australia by their more shallowly concave vertex, erect pubescence and non-prominent mesonotum (Heterick, 2009).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Anonychomyrma species are common in moist to semi-arid forested areas (and are less common in rain forests). They nest either in soil with or without coverings, or arboreally in living or dead wood. Workers forage in conspicuous trails on the ground and on tree trunks. Although not studied in detail, they seem to be general predators and also collect plant juices. Some species are associated with the caterpillars of selected butterflies. Nest sizes are moderate to large, ranging from 500 to tens of thousands of workers. When disturbed, most species elevate their gasters and release strong, acrid smelling chemicals as a defensive measure. While similar to Iridomyrmex in general habitat preferences and ecology, most Anonychomyrma prefer moister sites and are predominately arboreal. Iridomyrmex species occur in drier sites and are predominantly terrestrial.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • perthensis. Iridomyrmex itinerans r. perthensis Forel, 1902h: 472 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Combination in Anonychomyrma: Shattuck, 1992a: 13.

Type Material

Description

References

  • Forel, A. 1902j. Fourmis nouvelles d'Australie. Rev. Suisse Zool. 10: 405-548 (page 472, worker described)
  • Heterick, B. E. 2009a. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76: 1-206.
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1992a. Review of the dolichoderine ant genus Iridomyrmex Mayr with descriptions of three new genera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 31: 13-18 (page 13, combination in Anonychomyrma)