Aphaenogaster reichelae

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Aphaenogaster reichelae
Aphaenogaster reichelae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species: A. reichelae
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster reichelae
Shattuck, 2008

Aphaenogaster reichelae side view

Aphaenogaster reichelae top view

Specimen labels

This species is currently known from a single location, Podocarpus Canyon, in the East Alligator River catchment, Arnhemland, Northern Territory. This canyon is approximately 15km long and contains rainforest vegetation. When the type series was collected these ants were fairly common in the upper few kilometres of the canyon, where they were found nesting on the flat sand sheet along the creek which runs through the gorge. The curious thing is that this sand sheet floods during the wet season, completely covering the nesting sites. Even while these collections were being made there were heavy rains overnight which destroyed the conical nest entrances, the ants being forced to repair the damage each morning. It would be interesting to learn how these ants have adapted to life in such a harsh and variable location. (These notes were made by H. Reichel while making the only known collection of this interesting species.)

Identification

Hairs on underside of head randomly distributed; scape relatively long (SI greater than 135); posterior margin of head nearly flat in full face view; propodeal spines short. This species is morphologically similar to A. pythia but differing from it in the relatively longer scapes and in having the dorsal and posterior faces of the petiolar node only weakly defined.

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

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • reichelae. Aphaenogaster reichelae Shattuck, 2008a: 43, figs. 17, 18, 23, 31 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Description

Posterior margin of head nearly flat in full face view, extending laterally of the occipital collar before passing through a distinct posterolateral corner into the lateral margin of the head. Hairs on venter of head randomly distributed and not forming a distinct psammophore. Mandibular sculpture composed of regularly sized striations. Shorter erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum generally tapering to sharp points but often those on propodeum thickened and more or less blunt. Propodeal spines short. Dorsal surfaces of propodeum and propodeal spines connected through a gentle concavity (so that the base of each spine is at approximately the same level as the dorsal surface of the propodeum). Petiolar node (in dorsal view) approximately square.

Measurements

Worker (n = 6, units = mm). CI 83-87; EI 15-19; EL 0.17-0.19; HL 1.12-1.32; HW 0.93-1.14; ML 1.52-1.82; MTL 0.95-1.12; SI 128-139; SL 1.29-1.47.

  • CI: Cephalic index: HW/HL x 100.
  • EI: Eye index: EL/HW x 100.
  • EL: Maximum eye length with eye in full face view.
  • HL: Maximum head length in full face (dorsal) view, measured from the anterior-most point of the clypeal margin to the posterior-most point of the head proper (excluding the occipital collar).
  • HW: Maximum head width in full face (dorsal) view excluding the eyes.
  • ML: Mesosomal length measured from the anterior surface of the pronotum proper (excluding the collar) to the posterior extension of the propodeal lobes.
  • MTL: Maximum length of mid tibia, excluding the proximal part of the articulation which is received into the distal end of the femur.
  • SI: Scape index: SL/HW x 100.
  • SL: Length of the scape (first antennal segment) excluding the basal neck and condyle.

References

  • Shattuck,S.O. (2008). Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa, 1677: 25–45