Meranoplus spinosus

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Meranoplus spinosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Meranoplus
Species: M. spinosus
Binomial name
Meranoplus spinosus
Smith, F., 1859

Meranoplus spinosus casent0916665 p 1 high.jpg

Meranoplus spinosus casent0916665 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • spinosus. Meranoplus spinosus Smith, F. 1859a: 150 (w.) INDONESIA (Aru I.). Combination in Procryptocerus: Donisthorpe, 1932c: 456. [Specimen supposed to be the worker holotype of a Meranoplus species is a queen of a Procryptocerus species. Therefore either locality in error or specimen has been changed, or both: Bolton, 1995b: 367.]

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):


Type-material should be a holotype worker in Oxford University Museum of Natural History, from “Aru.” The specimen labelled as holotype of spinosus in OXUM is a queen of a Procryptocerus species, labelled “Aroo.” Donisthorpe (1932c: 456) chose to accept this queen as the holotype and listed: “Meranoplus spinosus Smith l.c. p. 150, Worker, Aru; Dalla Torre l.c. clxxiv. C, p. 228 (1922) = Procryptocerus spinosus Smith. 1 dealated queen, “Aroo.”

This is entirely unacceptable because:

  • Smith’s original description is definitely of a worker.
  • The original description is good enough to tell that the specimen is a Meranoplus.
  • Procryptocerus is restricted to the Neotropics.

It must be concluded that either the label has been switched to the wrong specimen in the past, or that the original specimen was lost or destroyed and replaced with an incorrect substitute. Whichever, the genuine holotype of M. spinosus is lost.