Melophorus macroschismus

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

Melophorus macroschismus minor side JDM32-001578.jpg

Melophorus macroschismus minor top JDM32-001578.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.

Based on its unremarkable morphology, habits of M. macroschismus may be generalized. The major worker is unknown and the species is represented by a few minor workers The only available ecological data comes from a label for a specimen collected near Warrachupin, WA, which was taken from a nest in salt infected remnant bushland. (Heterick et al. 2017)

Identification

Heterick et al. (2017) - Melophorus macroschismus is one of three members of the Melophoprus potteri species-group. Like the other two species, M. macrochismus has a large, oblique propodeal spiracle situated well before the declivitous face of propodeum, the spiracle bisecting much of the propodeum. This species is distinguished from the remaining members of the group by a combination of its palp formula (PF 6,4), its matt general appearance, its oval head capsule, the broadly convex but not protrusive anterior clypeal margin, and the conventional appearance of the mandible (five distinct teeth) as opposed to the aberrant dentition of the other two species in the group.

Apart from the diagnostic appearance of the propodeal spiracle, the morphology of the minor worker is unremarkable compared with other Melophorus.

Distribution

Known from localities in the eastern wheatbelt and eastern goldfields, Western Australia and from Wilgena Stn, SA (TERC).

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

Known only from the minor worker.

Nomenclature

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

  • macroschismus. Melophorus macroschismus Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017: 403, fig. 96 (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 = 6): CI 92–95; EI 28–30; EL 0.21–0.22; HL 0.75–0.83; HW 0.68–0.79; ML 1.06–1.18; MTL 0.57–0.63; PpH 0.12–0.14; PpL 0.45–0.49; SI 91–95; SL 0.65–0.72.

Minor. Head. Head approximately oval with straight sides; posterior margin of head planar or weakly 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, or roughly ovoid, eye narrowed posteriad. In full-face view, frontal carinae straight or weakly convex; frontal lobes straight in front of antennal insertion. Anteromedial clypeal margin broadly and evenly convex; 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, but equivalent in length to remaining teeth; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique. Mesosoma. Integument of pronotum, mesonotum and mesopleuron matt or with weak sheen and microreticulate throughout; anterior mesosoma in profile smoothly rounded anteriad, thereafter pronotum and whole of mesonotum flattened and on same plane as propodeum; erect pronotal setae absent; in profile, metanotal groove shallow, broadly V- or U-shaped; propodeum matt or with a weak sheen and microreticulate; propodeum angulate, propodeal angle blunt; length ratio of propodeal dorsum to its declivity about 4:3; erect propodeal setae always absent; appressed propodeal setulae short, separated by more than own length and inconspicuous; propodeal spiracle situated nearer to midpoint of propodeum than to its declivitous face, and longer (length ≥ 0.50 × height of propodeum). Petiole. In profile, petiolar node squamiform; in full-face view, shape of petiolar node uniformly rounded; node shining and distinctly shagreenate-microreticulate. Gaster. Gaster weakly shining with indistinct shagreenation; pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced short, inconspicuous, appressed setae only, erect setae always absent. General characters. Colour of foreparts light tan or orange-brown, gaster brown.

Type Material

Holotype minor worker from near Warrachuppin 31°02'33"S, 118°46'23"E, Western Australia, April 2007, R. Harris, ant nest sample, salt affected remnant, T1Q5 [JDM32-001578] (Western Australian Museum). Paratypes: 2 minor workers from 6 miles W of Yellowdine, Western Australia, 2 October 1947, T. Greaves, 7739, only specimens [ANIC32 900028] (Australian National Insect Collection); 2 minor workers from Queen Victoria Spring Nature Reserve 30°22'S, 123°37'E, Western Australia, December 1989, CALM, Pitfall trap, sandplain F2 [JDM32-001537] (WAM).

Etymology

Latinized Greek macros (Greek makros ‘long’) plus schismus (Greek schism ‘cleft’); adjective in the nominative singular.

References