Iridomyrmex cuneiceps

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Iridomyrmex cuneiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Iridomyrmex
Species: I. cuneiceps
Binomial name
Iridomyrmex cuneiceps
Heterick & Shattuck, 2011

Iridomyrmex cuneiceps side view

Iridomyrmex cuneiceps top view

Known populations of this uncommon ant appear to be confined to northern inland regions of Western Australia, although it may also occur in remote regions of the Northern Territory. The species has been collected by hand near Leinster, in a rocky, desolate area, by Brian Heterick.

Identification

Iridomyrmex cuneiceps is a medium-sized, brown ant. The main feature that will enable it to be distinguished from Iridomyrmex suchieri, the species with which it is most likely to be confused, is the very thin vertex when the ant is seen in profile. In this respect it rather resembles Camponotus perjurus Shattuck & McArthur.

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

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • cuneiceps. Iridomyrmex cuneiceps Heterick & Shattuck, 2011: 67, fig. 27 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Description

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). Ocelli absent; in full-face view, eyes set at about 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 approximately 2 x its diameter. Erect setae on scape absent, except at tip; prominence on anteromedial clypeal margin projecting as blunt but distinct protuberance; mandible regularly 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 sparse (6 or fewer) and bristly. Mesonotum straight. Erect mesonotal setae sparse (6 or fewer) and bristly. Mesothoracic spiracles always inconspicuous; 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 sparse (6 or fewer) 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 absent. Colour uniformly brown. Colour of erect setae pale yellow.

Measurements. Worker (n = 2)—CI 86; EI 25-27; EL 0.24; EW 0.18-0.19; HFL 1.23-1.28; HL 1.03-1.09; HW 0.88-0.93; ML 1.20-1.24; MTL 0.90-0.95; PpH 0.18-0.20; PpL 0.47-0.54; SI 108-109; SL 0.94-1.02.

Etymology

Latin: ‘cuneus’—‘wedge’ plus ‘ceps’ derivative of ‘caput’—‘head’.

References