Meranoplus hoplites

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Meranoplus hoplites
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Meranoplus
Species: M. hoplites
Binomial name
Meranoplus hoplites
Taylor, 2006

Meranoplus hoplites F13.jpg

Only known from the holotype worker. The specimen was collected from berlesate sampling of forest litter.

Identification

Taylor (2006) - The remarkable sculpturing of the promesonotal shield immediately distinguishes M. hoplites from all other known Meranoplus 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

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • hoplites. Meranoplus hoplites Taylor, 2006: 25, figs. 13 – 16 (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

HW 0.76; HWE 0.84; HL 0.72; CI 105; EL 0.19; OI 12; SL 0.53; SI 69; PSW 1.03; PSL 0.75; PSI 137; GW 0.92.

Very distinctive, but readily comparable with Meranoplus hirsutus and Meranoplus schoedli; somewhat smaller than either. Promesonotal shield a further variant of the same apparent underlying theme; strongly transversely arched, much as in M. schoedli. Petiolar node more massive and rounded than in the other species discussed here, but with vestiges of the transverse crest seen in the others. Cephalic sculpturing more intense than in M. hirsutus; more strongly reticulate and without underlying longitudinal elements. Promesonotal shield very distinctively sculptured; anterior section (approximately half the surface) sculptured similarly to head; posterior section spectacularly different – smooth and strongly shining, with extremely superficial traces of rugosity, which is more distinct in a narrow band following the periphery of the shield; fenestrae much as in M. schoedli. Petiole and postpetiole strongly sculptured, much like anterior surface of promesonotal shield. Gastral dorsum more-or-less shining, but with effaced traces of fine superficial rugosity. The hairs less dense and much shorter than in the other species described here. Anterolateral margins of first gastral tergite somewhat longitudinally angular, unlike the other species discussed here. Colouration as in M. beatoni.

Type Material

Known only from the unique holotype worker. Australia: N.E. Queensland: 9 km ENE of Mt. Tozer, 12° 43' S, 143° 17' E, 5 -10.VII. 1986, leg. T. Weir, berlesate, forest litter (Australian National Insect Collection, holotype – No. 32-029 202).

Etymology

The name is a noun in apposition (hoplites (Gr.) – an armoured soldier).

References