Epopostruma terrula

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

Epopostruma terrula holotype ANIC32-015697 side 40-AntWiki.jpg

Epopostruma terrula holotype ANIC32-015697 top 40-AntWiki.jpg

Specimen labels

The single collection of this species was made under rock in a flat scrubby goldfields area of dry sclerophyll.

Identification

This rare species can be separated from others in the genus by the lack lateral extensions of the postpetiole, the lateral margin of the head between the eye and the posterior corner forming a smooth curve, the anterior face of the postpetiole being similar in length to the dorsal face, the posterolateral corners of the postpetiole forming thin, angular flanges and the first gastral tergite being distinctly sculptured and with a matte appearance.

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.

  • terrula. Epopostruma terrula Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 66, figs. 67, 79, 91 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

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 forming a smooth curve. 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 shallow trough or depression. Posterior face of propodeum between bases of spines and propodeal lobes with flanges. Petiolar spines present, short but distinct. Anterior face of postpetiole similar in length to the dorsal face, the separation between the faces a broad, rounded curve; sides of postpetiole approximately vertical and rounding gradually from dorsal to posterior surfaces, in dorsal view the posterolateral corners forming a thin, angular flange; posterolateral margin of postpetiole (immediately anterior of gaster) weakly concave. Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster with short, straight hairs. First gastral tergite distinctly sculptured and with a matte appearance; gaster immediately behind attachment with gaster with elongate rugae. Body colour yellow-red, dorsal surface of head sometimes slightly darker, gaster uniformly coloured.

Measurements

Holotype worker. TL 3.7mm, HL 0.83mm, HW 0.71mm, CI 86, MandL 0.41mm, MandI 49, SL 0.52mm, SI 73, PronW 0.51mm, ML 0.99mm.

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)