Melophorus clypeatus

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Melophorus clypeatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Melophorini
Genus: Melophorus
Species group: aeneovirens
Species complex: aeneovirens
Species: M. clypeatus
Binomial name
Melophorus clypeatus
Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017

Melophorus clypeatus major side JDM32-001497.jpg

Melophorus clypeatus major top JDM32-001497.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships
Melophorus


Melophorus ludius species group



Melophorus potteri species group





Melophorus aeneovirens species group




Melophorus biroi species group (biroi species complex)




Melophorus biroi species group (wheeleri species complex)




Melophorus biroi species group (brevignathus species complex)



Melophorus biroi species group (fieldi species complex)







Based on Heterick et al., 2017. Only selected species groups/complexes are included.

Our knowledge of Melophorus clypeatus is restricted to two collections (ten workers) taken from the Pilbara region of Western Australia (WAM) and several records from TERC (one from Mt Isa, QLD). Nothing is known of its habits or biology, but the close resemblance to M. praesens (from which it differs only in colour and in the appearance of the clypeus) suggests similar habits to the latter. (Heterick et al. 2017)

Identification

Heterick et al. (2017) - Melophorus clypeatus is a member of the Melophoprus aeneovirens species-group (in full-face view, the anterior clypeal margin convex, apron-like and covering whole or part of the retracted mandible, except in Melophorus nemophilus, the medial clypeal sector often produced so that it is protrusive when seen in profile; the psammophore frequently with coarse and well-separated ammochaetae, these always placed on or just above anterior margin; in profile, the propodeum elongate and oblique or broadly rounded), and the Melophoprus aeneovirens species-complex (in full-face view, psammophore ranged along or just above anterior margin of clypeus and following the curve of the margin; anterior margin of clypeus broadly medially produced, and often with central notch that may be deeply impressed, but is never acuminate at its midpoint; metatibia with maximum of two rows of preapical spines). In Melophorus clypeatus the tibiae possess stout, socketed, appressed to subdecumbent setae only, with fine, appressed pubescence lacking. In profile, the minor worker mesosoma In profile, the mesosoma of the minor worker tends to linear in orientation, its dorsal outline straight or describing a weak arc (the mesosternal outline and the dorsum of the mesonotum being weakly convergent to subparallel anteriorly. Melophorus clypeatus can be distinguished from from the (likely closely related) Melophorus praesens by the narrow, rectangular, flanged appearance of the anteromedial margin of the clypeus in both major and minor workers, the flange having a straight or weakly indented edge.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • clypeatus. Melophorus clypeatus Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017: 92, fig. 10 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

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

Description

Worker

(n = 2): CI 93–108; EI 16–25; EL 0.23–0.37; HL 0.96–2.09; HW 0.89–2.26; ML 1.52–2.27; MTL 0.89–1.31; PpH 0.13–0.20; PpL 0.71–1.10; SI 73–149; SL 1.33–1.65.

Minor. Head. Head approximately oval with straight sides; posterior margin of head strongly convex; frons matt or with weak sheen, microreticulate or microreticulate-shagreenate; frons consisting exclusively or almost exclusively of well-spaced, appressed setae only (small, erect setae, if present, usually confined to ocular triangle or posterior margin of head). Eye moderate (eye length 0.20–0.49 length of side of head capsule); in full-face view, eyes set above midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of midline of head capsule; eyes elliptical or slightly reniform. In full-face view, frontal carinae straight, divergent posteriad; frontal lobes curved toward antennal insertion. Anteromedial clypeal margin narrowly protrusive anteromedially, the protrusion with a square border; clypeal psammophore set at or just above anterior clypeal margin; palp formula 6,4. Five mandibular teeth in minor worker; mandibles triangular, weakly incurved; third mandibular tooth distinctly shorter than apical tooth and teeth numbers two and four; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique. Mesosoma. Integument of pronotum, mesonotum and mesopleuron with weak to moderate sheen, shagreenate on pronotum and dorsum of mesonotum, otherwise microreticulate; anterior mesosoma in profile broadly convex; erect pronotal setae absent; in profile, metanotal groove a weak or vestigial furrow; propodeum shining and shagreenate; propodeum always smoothly rounded; propodeal dorsum and declivity confluent; erect propodeal setae always absent; appressed propodeal setulae sparse or absent, if present then not regularly spaced; propodeal spiracle situated on or beside declivitous face of propodeum, and shorter (length < 0.50 × height of propodeum). Petiole. In profile, petiolar node squamiform; in full-face view, shape of petiolar node square with rounded angles; node shining and distinctly shagreenate-microreticulate. Gaster. Gaster shining, shagreenate (‘LP record’ appearance); pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced short, inconspicuous, appressed setae only, erect setae always absent. General characters. Colour tan, gaster chocolate.

Major. Head. Head square; posterior margin of head weakly concave; cuticle of frons matt or with weak sheen, microreticulate; frons consisting exclusively or almost exclusively of well-spaced, appressed setae only (small, erect setae, if present, usually confined to ocular triangle or posterior margin of head). Eye moderate (eye length 0.20–0.49 length of head capsule); in full-face view, eyes set above midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of midline of head capsule; eyes elliptical. In full-face view, frontal carinae straight, divergent posteriad; frontal lobes straight in front of antennal insertion. Anterior clypeal margin narrowly convex and protruding anteromedially, clypeal midpoint notched; clypeal psammophore set at or just above anterior clypeal margin; palp formula 6,4. Five mandibular teeth in major worker; mandibles triangular, weakly incurved; third mandibular tooth distinctly shorter than apical tooth and teeth numbers two and four; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately aligned vertically or weakly oblique. Mesosoma. Integument of pronotum, mesonotum and mesopleuron with weak to moderate sheen, shagreenate on pronotum and dorsum of mesonotum, otherwise microreticulate; anterior mesosoma in profile broadly convex; erect pronotal setae short, (i.e., shorter than length of eye) and unmodified; in profile, metanotal groove shallow, broadly V- or U-shaped; propodeum shining and finely striolate and microreticulate; propodeum always smoothly rounded; propodeal dorsum and declivity confluent; erect propodeal setae absent; propodeal spiracle situated on or beside declivitous face of propodeum, and shorter (length less than 0.50 × height of propodeum). Petiole. In profile, petiolar node squamiform; in full-face view, shape of petiolar node tapered with blunt vertex, or tapered with squared-off vertex; node matt, shagreenate. Gaster. Gaster shining, shagreenate (‘LP record’ appearance); pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of wellspaced, short, thick, erect setae interspersed with minute, appressed setae. General characters. Colour tan, gaster chocolate.

Type Material

Holotype minor worker (bottom ant) from 19.8 km WNW of Mt Berry 22°25'47"S, 116°16'47"E, Western Australia, 9 September 2003-10 October 2004, CALM Pilbara Survey, Site WYE10, Ethylene glycol pitfalls [JDM32-001497] (Western Australian Museum). Paratypes: major and minor worker on same pin and with same details as the holotype (WAM); major and 2 minor workers on separate pin with exactly same details as the above (Australian National Insect Collection).

Etymology

Latin clypeus (‘armed with a shield’ [referring to the prominent clypeus]); noun in the nominative singular standing in apposition to the generic name.

References