Meranoplus schoedli

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

Meranoplus schoedli F10.jpg

The types were collected foraging on vegetation in rainforest.

Identification

Taylor (2006) - No other known Meranoplus species except the bizarre and very different northwestern Australian Meranoplus testudineus (and similar undescribed species), has such an extended and lightly sculptured promesonotal shield.

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.

  • schoedli. Meranoplus schoedli Taylor, 2006: 24, figs. 9 – 12 (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

The smallest mounted paratype (determined by HW) and the holotype (the largest specimen) have the following dimensions. HW 0.86, 0.90; HWE 1.00, 1.05; HL 0.78, 0.87; CI 110, 103; EL 0.17, 0.19; OI 20, 21; SL c. 0.64, 0.67; SI 74, 74; PSW 1.44, 1.56; PSL 1.19, 1.23; PSI 121, 127; GW 1.21, 1.26. The holotype (Fig. 9) and illustrated paratype both have HW 0.92.

Very distinctive from, but readily comparable with Meranoplus hirsutus. Promesonotal shield differences considerable, as illustrated, but with all major homologous structures, marginal extensions, fenestrae etc., readily identifiable. General features otherwise much as in M. hirsutus, notably the structure and sculpturation of the petiole and postpetiole, which are more massive in M. schoedli, with the postpetiolar sculpturing very superficial, essentially vestigial. Cephalic sculpturing less strongly-developed than in M. hirsutus and less reticulate, with fewer transverse elements between the longitudinal ribs. Promesonotal shield of basically similar configuration, differing from M. hirsutus as illustrated; generally smooth and strongly shining, with very superficial, vestigial reticulation; the posterolateral fenestrae closed by thin bars of thicker cuticle. Promesonotal dorsum strongly transversely arched in frontal view, quite different from that of M. hirsutus. Gastral dorsum smooth and strongly shining, hairpits less distinct than in M. hirsutus. Strongly hirsute, the hairs more flexuous, generally shorter, finer and slightly less abundant than in M. hirsutus. Uniformly dark reddish-brown as illustrated.

Type Material

Known only from the type locality. Holotype and 18 paratypes, all workers. Australia: N.E. Queensland: Bruce Highway, N Slope of Mt. Ossa, 20° 58' S,149° 49' E, 28.XI.1976, leg R.J. Kohout (Australian National Insect Collection: holotype – No. 32-029201 and 9 mounted paratypes). Other mounted paratypes in: Australian Museum, Sydney; Los Angeles County Museum, California, USA; Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland; Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA; Natural History Museum, London, U.K.; Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria; Queensland Museum, Brisbane; South Australian Museum, Adelaide.

Meranoplus schoedli is sympatric at its type locality with Meranoplus hirsutus. The types are from a collection vial which included workers of both species (18 M. schoedli and 60 M. hirsutus). They were presumably collected foraging on vegetation in rainforest.

Etymology

This exceptional species is named for the late Stefan Schödl to honour his excellent contributions to the taxonomy of Meranoplus.

References