Colobostruma sisypha

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Colobostruma sisypha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Colobostruma
Species: C. sisypha
Binomial name
Colobostruma sisypha
Shattuck, 2000

Colobostruma sisypha P casent0900007.jpg

Colobostruma sisypha D casent0900007.jpg

Specimen Label

Colobostruma sisypha is the most commonly encountered species in the genus and is found along most of the east coast of Australia. It occurs in a wide range of forested habitats from rainforest through dry sclerophyll. Nests are found in soil under and between rocks.

Identification

Shattuck (2000) - Separated from most other species in the group by the 5- or 6-segmented antennae, the shallowly concave posterior margin of the head and the uniformly rounded dorsal surface of the head (without any indication of phragmatism). Separation from the morphologically similar Colobostruma mellea is discussed under that species. C. sisypha shows considerable variation in colour. The head varies from uniform yellow to yellow with an infuscated spot on the dorsal surface (above the compound eyes) and another on the clypeus. The gaster generally has an infuscated diamond near the centre of the first tergite with dark triangles laterally. However, the pattern on the gaster varies from being absent or essentially absent to being a dark band across the gaster. The variation in these colour patterns is continuous with little suggestion of obvious subsets.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Eastern coastal Australia.

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 sisypha. 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.

  • sisypha. Colobostruma sisypha Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 37, figs. 39-41, 46 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA.

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

HOLOTYPE WORKER. TL 2.6, HL 0.61, HW 0.56, CI 91, ML 0.15, MI 25, SL 0.30, SI 54, PW 0.36, AL 0.66. Anterior region of head rounding gradually from the dorsal to lateral surfaces, not phragmotic. In full-face view ridge immediately in front of eye weakly concave. 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 shallowly concave. Antenna with 5 or more segments, the segments of the funiculus often partially or completely subdivided into additional subsegments. Scape elbowed and without a subbasal lobe. In dorsal view the pronotal humeral angles only slightly wider than the anterior one-third of the pronotum. Propodeum high, its posterior face approximately the same height as the petiolar node and with broad, thin lamellae; in profile the dorsum of the alitrunk essentially flat or with a slight angle at the junction of the mesonotum and propodeum. Lateral postpetiole drawn outwards into thin flange-like wings, the wings with translucent windows along both their anterior and posterior margins, the windows separated by a narrow band of thickened integument and the anterior windows smaller than the posterior windows. First gastral tergite superimposed with weakly defined reticulate sculpturing and with low, closely spaced carinae on the anterior one-quarter to one-third. Body colour yellow to yellow brown, upper surface of the head often with small areas of weak to strong infuscation immediately anterior to the posterior margin and on the posteromedial section of the clypeus, first gastral tergite sometimes with slightly infuscated, weakly defined spots medially and laterally or a medial band.

References

  • Shattuck, S. O. 2000. Genus Colobostruma. Genus Mesostruma. Genus Epopostruma. Pp. 31-67 in: Bolton, B. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 37, figs. 39-41 worker, queen described)