Colobostruma australis

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Colobostruma australis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Colobostruma
Species: C. australis
Binomial name
Colobostruma australis
Brown, 1959

Colobostruma australis P casent0900010.jpg

Colobostruma australis D casent0900010.jpg

Specimen Label

This species is most often found in wet sclerophyll and rainforests although in Western Australian it has been found in sandplain heath. Nests are generally in rotten wood or occasionally soil.

Identification

Shattuck (2000) - Among species in the froggatti-group australis can be recognised by the presence of a 6 (or rarely more) segmented antenna which lacks a subbasal lobe. As conceived here, this species shows considerable colour variation. This involves primarily the development of infuscation which varies from completely absent to well developed on the mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole and to a lesser extent the head and gaster. However, the variation in this character is so great that it is of little value in recognising subsets of specimens and is thus considered here to represent intraspecific variation.

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

Beyond what is stated in the introduction at the top of this page, little is know about the biology of Colobostruma australis. Until further studies reveal more about this species we can infer that its natural history and biology should be similar to other species in this genus. In general Colobostruma can be locally common although they are often overlooked. Most species have small colonies with less than 100 workers, and workers will lie motionless when disturbed. Nests can occur in soil usually under rocks, in cracks in rocks or in rotten logs. Only a single rainforest species is known to nest arboreally. Foraging is usually on the ground at night but occasionally they are found foraging on mallee. They are also commonly found in leaf litter.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • australis. Colobostruma australis Brown, 1959c: 4, fig. 3 (w.q.m.) AUSTRALIA. See also: Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 41.

Type Material

Paratype Specimen Labels

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Shattuck (2000) - TL 2.6 - 3.2, HL 0.68 - 0.76, HW 0.58 - 0.69, CI 85 - 91, ML 0.17 - 0.19, MI 22 - 26, SL 0.34 - 0.40, SI 56 - 59, PW 0.35 - 0.44, AL 0.74 - 0.89 (6 measured). Anterior region of head rounding gradually from the dorsal to lateral surfaces, not phragmotic. Ridge immediately in front of eye reduced, weakly defined. Frontal lobes and lateral margins of clypeus smooth relative to the surrounding surface of the head. Mandibles broadly triangular. Hairs absent from dorsum of head. Posterior margin of head deeply concave. Antenna with 6, or rarely more, segments. Scape elbowed and lacking a subbasal lobe. Pronotum lacking anterolateral angles. Propodeum high, its posterior face approximately the same height as the petiolar node and with broad, thin lamellae; in profile the dorsum of the mesosoma weakly convex with a weak concavity at the metanotal groove. Lateral postpetiole drawn outwards into thin flange-like wings, the wings with translucent windows along their posterior margins only. First gastral tergite smooth, superimposed with low, closely spaced carinae on the anterior one-quarter. Body colour honey yellow, generally with varying amounts of infuscation on the dorsum of the head, dorsal and lateral surfaces of the mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and dorsum of the gaster. In extreme cases the majority of the mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole are dark red-black.

References