Epopostruma curiosa

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

Epopostruma curiosa holotype ANIC32-003998 side 40-AntWiki.jpg

Epopostruma curiosa holotype ANIC32-003998 top 40-AntWiki.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is one of the most morphologically distinctive in the genus. Unfortunately nothing is known of its biology.

Identification

This species stands out from all others in the genus. It is unique in lacking pronotal spines and erect hairs on the upper surfaces of the mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster, the elongate, cone-shaped eyes and the enlarged petiole.

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

While Epopostruma can be fairly common they are often overlooked. Workers are slow-moving and most lie motionless when disturbed. Their nests are small, with up to about 100 workers, and are found in open soil or in soil under rocks, logs or small sticks. They also nest in cracks in large rocks. When nesting in open soil they are often found near the bases of trees. Tree-trunks are clearly an important substrate for foraging workers.

Almost all species forage at night although one species is known to occasionally forage on mallee stems during the day. They are also regularly found in leaf litter. Workers have been attracted to honey baits on trees in the late evening and at night. Their elongate and specialised mandibles form a type of snap-trap which is used to captured soft-bodied prey such as Collembola.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • curiosa. Epopostruma curiosa Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 59, figs. 61, 73, 88 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Holotype Specimen Labels

Description

In full face view the lateral margin of the head between the eye and the posterior corner a broad convexity. Eyes projecting laterally away from the head in a blunt cone. Pronotal spines absent. Posterior section of metanotum and dorsal surface of the propodeum forming a continuous surface. Posterior face of propodeum between bases of spines and propodeal lobes with broad flanges. Petiole greatly enlarged, lacking spines, postpetiole unusually small. Anterior face of postpetiole short and merging into the dorsal face; sides of postpetiole expanded laterally in the form of thin, solid wings, their outer margins convex; posterolateral margin of postpetiole (immediately anterior of gaster) flat. Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster lacking erect hairs. First gastral tergite smooth; gaster immediately behind attachment with gaster with short, longitudinal rugae. Body colour yellow-red, propodeal spines and flanges and petiole and postpetiole darker; gaster yellow with a dark central band.

Measurements

Holotype worker. TL 3.4mm, HL 0.74mm, HW 0.65mm, CI 88, MandL 0.43mm, MandI 58, SL 0.44mm, SI 68, PronW 0.44mm, ML 0.86mm.

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 57, worker described)