| Epopostruma frosti|
This species has been collected in mallee, dry sclerophyll, dry sclerophyll on a ridge with much low heath scrub and tall gums on a hillside. Specific collection sites or situations include sugar baits late in the evening and at night, honey bait on tree trunks on a cold, moonless night, diurnal and nocturnal foragers, under logs, under a mossy limestone rock with the nest in carton material, and nests in soil and leaf litter. It is known to occur in southern South Australia and Western Australia.
This species is immediately recognisable by the sharp angles or small teeth immediately above the eyes.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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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.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- frosti. Hexadaceton frosti Brown, 1948e: 120, fig. 2 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1973c: 211 (l.). Combination in Epopostruma: Taylor, 1973: 26. See also: Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 60.
- Hexadaceton frosti Brown, 1948: Holotype, worker (No. 27838), Gomersal (as Neu Mecklenburg), South Australia, Australia, Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Area immediately above the eye forming a sharp angle or small tooth. Pronotal spines present, elongate. 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 thin flanges. Petiolar spines present, elongate. Anterior face of postpetiole indistinguishable from the dorsal surface; sides of postpetiole expanded laterally in the form of distinct sharp teeth or spines; in dorsal view the anterior and posterior teeth approximately the same length; posterolateral margin of postpetiole (immediately anterior of gaster) flat to weakly concave. Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster short erect hairs. First gastral tergite smooth. Body colour yellow-red, head. legs and sometimes gaster slightly lighter than mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole.
(n=7): TL 4.7-5.6mm, HL 1.14-1.29mm, HW 1.21-1.43mm, CI 103-111, MandL 0.57-0.67mm, MandI 47-52, SL 0.66-0.74mm, SI 52-56, PronW 0.64-0.81mm, ML 1.14-1.36mm.
Brown (1954) - Through the courtesy of Mr. F. E. Wilson and Mr. N. Tindale I have been able to locate more precisely the spot at which the type was taken. This "N. Mecklenburg" was a German colony before the first war, and the name has now been changed to Putpayerta; the locality is in the surveyor's Hundred of Nuriootpa, on the North Para River, South Australia, and is agricultural country at present. Originally, it is presumed to have been covered with low rainfall vegetational types, such as mallee scrub and savannah woodland. The original collector was J. O. Tepper.
- Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 60, redescription of worker)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1948e. A preliminary generic revision of the higher Dacetini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 74: 101-129 (page 120, fig. 2 worker described)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1954b. A preliminary report on dacetine ant studies in Australia. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 46: 465-471 PDF
- Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76:1-206. PDF
- 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)
- Taylor, R. W. 1973. Ants of the Australian genus Mesostruma Brown (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Aust. Entomol. Soc. 12: 24-38 (page 26, Combination in Epopostruma)
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1973d. Supplementary studies on ant larvae: Cerapachyinae, Pseudomyrmecinae and Myrmicinae. Psyche (Camb.) 80: 204-211 (page 211, larva described)