The distribution of this ant includes some of the driest habitat in Australia, most collections being taken in far inland South Australia and Western Australia. The species also occurs in New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Because of its bluish or purplish iridescence, the brownish-red I. azureus would most easily be confused with Iridomyrmex roseatus or a small meat ant when seen in the field. However, unlike I. roseatus or meat ants, I. azureus lacks erect setae on its antennal scapes and tibiae.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- azureus. Iridomyrmex bicknelli var. azureus Viehmeyer, 1914b: 41 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Raised to species: Heterick & Shattuck, 2011: 48.
- Iridomyrmex bicknelli azureus: Syntype, 1 worker, Killalpaninna, South Australia, Australia, Australian National Insect Collection.
- Iridomyrmex bicknelli azureus: Syntype, 1 worker, Killalpaninna, South Australia, Australia, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève.
- Iridomyrmex bicknelli azureus: Syntype, 1 worker, Killalpaninna, South Australia, Australia, National Museum of Natural History.
- Iridomyrmex bicknelli azureus: Syntype, 2 workers, Killalpaninna, South Australia, Australia, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität.
Worker Description. Head. Posterior margin of head planar to weakly concave; erect setae on posterior margin in full-face view set in a row; sides of head noticeably convex; erect genal setae absent from sides of head in full-face view (one to a few small setae may be present near mandibular insertion). Number of ocelli two, or ocelli absent; in full-face view, eyes set above midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of head capsule; eye semi-circular, or asymmetrical, curvature of inner eye margin more pronounced than that of its outer margin. Frontal carinae convex; antennal scape surpassing posterior margin of head by 0.2–0.5 x its length. Erect setae on scape absent, except at tip; prominence on anteromedial clypeal margin projecting as triangular spur; mandible elongate triangular with oblique basal margin; long, curved setae on venter of head capsule absent. Mesosoma. Pronotum moderately and evenly curved over its length. Erect pronotal setae moderate in number to numerous (6 or more), short and bristly. Mesonotum straight. Erect mesonotal setae moderate in number (6-12), short and bristly. Mesothoracic spiracles always prominent as small, vertical protuberances; propodeal dorsum smoothly and evenly convex; placement of propodeal spiracle mesad, more than its diameter away from propodeal declivity; propodeal angle weakly present or absent, the confluence of the dorsal and declivitous propodeal faces indicated, if at all, by an undulation. Erect propodeal setae numerous (12 or more), short and bristly. Petiole. Dorsum of node convex; node thin, scale-like, orientation more-or-less vertical. Gaster. Non-marginal erect setae of gaster present on first gastral tergite; marginal erect setae of gaster present on first tergite. General characters. Allometric differences between workers of same nest present. Colour foreparts medium to dark reddish-brown with weak to moderate bluish or pinkish iridescence, legs brown, gaster dark brown to black with greenish-yellow to purple or pink iridescence. Colour of erect setae pale, whitish.
Measurements. Worker (n = 5)—CI 81–87; EI 24–27; EL 0.25–0.27; EW 0.19–0.21; HFL 1.98–2.24; HL 1.17–1.32; HW 0.94–1.15; ML 1.66–1.88; MTL 1.47–1.68; PpH 0.20–0.23; PpL 0.61–0.65; SI 134–151; SL 1.40– 1.55.