Mayriella sharpi

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Mayriella sharpi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Mayriella
Species: M. sharpi
Binomial name
Mayriella sharpi
Shattuck & Barnett, 2007

Mayriella sharpi casent0172443 profile 1.jpg

Mayriella sharpi casent0172443 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

The only known collection of this species consists of a single worker found in rainforest. The specimen is pale yellow and appears to be callow.

Identification

M. sharpi is immediately recognizable by the sharply pointed anteroventral extensions of the compound eyes. It is also the only species currently known from Papua New Guinea. The specimen is unusual in having the sting placed forward along the ventral surface of the gaster and directed downward. Given the possibly callow nature of the specimen it is difficult to assess whether this is its normal position or if the gaster has been deformed during preservation in alcohol before being point mounted. Additional specimens will be required to ascertain the true nature of the sting placement. (Shattuck and Barnett 2007)

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea.

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Mayriella sharpi for further details

Biology

Species of Mayriella show strong preference for moist, forested areas. Most specimens have been collected from rainforest or wet sclerophyll woodlands with relatively few collections from dry sclerophyll or scrub habitats (and these are restricted to Australia). Nests are normally found in soil under stones or with a small mound of loose dirt at the entrance. They have also been found nesting in rotten logs and occasionally arboreally. The number of workers in nests averages between 50 and 100 and about one-half of the nest series containing queens contain more than one, suggesting that species are polygynous. Foraging workers are most commonly collected from litter samples. Nests appear to be locally abundant although patchily distributed on a larger scale. For example, in the Brindabella Ranges near Canberra, ACT, Mayriella ebbei is infrequently encountered and is known from only a few localities. However, near Baroomba Rocks (located on the eastern slope of the Brindabella Ranges) M. ebbei occurs commonly under rocks in an area covering several hundred square meters. This population appears limited to this small area as nests could not be found in areas with similar geography and vegetation located several kilometers away. However, observations are limited and additional data will be required to determine if these habits are widespread and/or occur in other species. Additionally, while Taylor (1961) made similar observations for Mayriella abstinens, these were based on the introduced population found in New Zealand and should be confirmed for naturally occurring populations of the genus. (Shattuck and Barnett 2007)

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • sharpi. Mayriella sharpi Shattuck & Barnett, 2007: 447, figs. 17-19 (w.) PAPUA NEW GUINEA.

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

Description

Worker

Sculpturing in posterior section of antennal scrobe well developed and distinct; compound eye forming a sharp point ventrally; sculpturing on dorsal mesosoma consisting of small, widely spaced pits; propodeal spines relatively short and thick; dorsal surface of petiole in lateral profile uniformly convex, without distinct dorsal and posterior faces and forming a blunt angle with the anterior face; in dorsal view, postpetiole with the anterior and posterior regions approximately the same width (the region connecting them either flat or weakly convex); postpetiole and gaster lacking erect hairs dorsally.

Holotype Specimen Labels

Measurements. Holotype: CI 1.01; HL 0.45; HTL 0.25; HW 0.46; ML 0.48; PW 0.32; SI 0.63; SL 0.29.

Type Material

References

  • Shattuck, S.O. & Barnett, N.J. 2007. Revision of the ant genus Mayriella (pp. 437-458). In Snelling, R.R., Fisher, B.L. & Ward, P.S. (eds). Advances in ant systematics: homage to E.O. Wilson – 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80:690 pp.