Mayriella spinosior

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Mayriella spinosior
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Mayriella
Species: M. spinosior
Binomial name
Mayriella spinosior
Wheeler, W.M., 1935

Mayriella spinosior casent0172445 profile 1.jpg

Mayriella spinosior casent0172445 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species has been found primarily in litter samples collected in rainforests with a few additional records from Eucalyptus woodlands. It occurs along essentially the entire Queensland coast with several inland records in the southern part of its range. This species is sympatric with Mayriella abstinens, to such an extent that they have been collected together in the same litter samples.

Identification

This species can be separated from others in this genus by the lateral margins of the postpetiole being expanded anteriorly and forming a trapezoid when viewed from above, combined with the lack of erect hairs on the gaster. (Shattuck and Barnett 2007)

Identification Keys including this Taxon

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

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

Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • spinosior. Mayriella spinosior Wheeler, W.M. 1935e: 159, fig. 1 (w.) AUSTRALIA. See also: Shattuck & Barnett, 2007: 448.

Type Material

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

Description

Worker

Shattuck and Barnett (2007) - Sculpturing in posterior section of antennal scrobe well developed and distinct; sculpturing on dorsal surface of mesosoma consisting of large, closely spaced pits; propodeal spines relatively long and thin; dorsal surface of petiole in lateral profile angular and with distinct dorsal and posterior faces; in dorsal view, anterior region of postpetiole expanded relative to posterior region; dorsum of postpetiole with at most four erect hairs; gaster generally lacking erect hairs dorsally, very rarely (only known in one specimen) erect hairs present.

Measurements. Worker (n = 10) - CI 0.91-0.97; HL 0.44-0.57; HTL 0.24-0.32; HW 0.41- 0.55; ML 0.46-0.60; PW 0.29-0.40; SI 0.59-0.65; SL 0.26-0.33.

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.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1935e. The Australian ant genus Mayriella Forel. Psyche (Camb.) 42: 151-160 (page 159, fig. 1 worker described)