Epopostruma kangarooensis

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

Epopostruma kangarooensis holotype ANIC32-003699 side 40-AntWiki.jpg

Epopostruma kangarooensis holotype ANIC32-003699 top 40-AntWiki.jpg

Specimen labels

Epopostruma kangarooensis was described from a single specimen collected on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. In WA, it is known from a single specimen from relictual woodland on Curtin University campus and a specimen collected many years ago in Dwellingup. These represent new range extensions for this species. Nothing is known of its biology.

Identification

This rare species is similar to Epopostruma angulata and Epopostruma infuscocephala. It can be separated from the former by the diverging petiolar spines, the shallowly concave posterior margin of the head (the angle between its sides approximately 70°) and the higher, more arched postpetiole, and from the later by the uniform head colour which is similar to the colour of the pronotum.

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.

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

Type Material

Holotype Specimen Labels

Description

Holotype worker. TL 3.7mm, HL 0.81mm, HW 0.74mm, CI 91, MandL 0.38mm, MandI 47, SL 0.44mm, SI 59, PronW 0.50mm, ML 0.93mm.

In full face view the lateral margin of the head between the eye and the posterior corner divided by an indistinct angle. Pronotal spines present, distinct. Posterior section of metanotum in approximately the same plane as the dorsal face of propodeum, the junction of these plates a very weak depression. Posterior face of propodeum between bases of spines and propodeal lobes with thin flanges. Petiolar spines present. Anterior face of postpetiole shorter than the dorsal and separated from it by a broadly rounded convexity; sides 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 short, straight erect hairs. First gastral tergite with indistinct sculpturing giving a matte appearance; area immediately behind attachment with gaster with short rugae. Body colour uniform yellow throughout, legs slightly darker.

References