Epopostruma infuscocephala

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

Epopostruma infuscocephala holotype ANIC32-015343 side 40-AntWiki.jpg

Epopostruma infuscocephala holotype ANIC32-015343 top 40-AntWiki.jpg

Specimen labels

Most collections of E. infuscocephala have come from extreme south-eastern Queensland and eastern New South Wales, with a single collection from central New South Wales at Bogan River. Habitats where it has been found include dry sclerophyll, sandstone scrub and scribbly gum, Eucalyptus maculata forest, dry sclerophyll near the ocean and a valley just below sandstone cliffs. Workers and nests have been encountered under rocks and small stones and in hard white clay. They have twice been found nesting under rocks with a common, similarly coloured Meranoplus species, a species which they mimic in colour.

Identification

This species is most similar to Epopostruma angulata and Epopostruma kangarooensis but differs in having the dorsal surface of the head infuscated reddish-brown and notably darker in color than the more lightly coloured pronotum. This species are also allopatric, E. infuscocephala occurring in Queensland and New South Wales while E. angulata and E. kangarooensis are known only from South Australia.

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.

  • infuscocephala. Epopostruma infuscocephala Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 63 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Holotype Specimen Labels

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

Description

In full face view the lateral margin of the head between the eye and the posterior corner divided by an angle. Pronotal spines present, narrowly triangular. Posterior section of metanotum in approximately the same plane as the dorsal face of propodeum, the junction of these plates a shallow depression. Posterior face of propodeum between bases of spines and propodeal lobes with flanges. Petiolar spines present, distinct. Anterior face of postpetiole similar in length to or shorter than the dorsal and posterior faces; sides of postpetiole approximately vertical and rounding gradually from dorsal to posterior surfaces; in dorsal view the posterolateral corners forming a thin, angular flange; Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster with numerous erect hairs, most with bent tips (especially on postpetiole and gaster). First gastral tergite distinctly sculptured and with a matte appearance, sculpturing consisting of scattered rugae over an indistinct background. Body colour dark yellow-red, with the dorsal surface of head infuscated reddish-brown and notably darker in color than the more lightly coloured pronotum; gaster generally lighter, yellow-red.

Measurements

Holotype worker. TL 3.9mm, HL 0.91mm, HW 0.86mm, CI 95, MandL 0.44mm, MandI 48, SL 0.53mm, SI 62, PronW 0.56mm, ML 1.01mm.

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 63, worker, queen described)