Meranoplus taurus

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Meranoplus taurus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Meranoplus
Species: M. taurus
Binomial name
Meranoplus taurus
Schödl, 2007

Meranoplus taurus p.jpg

Occuring more or less sympatric with angustinodis and variabilis in central and south-east Australia, except two remote collection sites in the far west and one in the north, respectively.

Identification

Schödl (2007) - M. taurus shows very little variability throughout its wide range. However, specimens from a single sample taken at Katherine, Northern Territory are uniformly ferrugineous and have the frontal striation more delicate. Southeastern-most samples, namely from Nyngan, Conargo, Lightning Ridge and Patho differ by the clypeal bifurcation less acutely developed, by the petiole more angulate in profile and by the markedly smaller eyes (REL 0.21-0.24), with 13-15 ommatidia in the longest row). Both forms are at least very closely related and are here tentatively added to taurus. Further material will be needed to decide whether these samples belong to taxa different from taurus. This small species is very distinctive by the large eyes, the clypeal bifurcation and the square promesonotal shield with its reduced blunt projections.

Keys including this 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.

  • taurus. Meranoplus taurus Schödl, 2007: 407, figs. 50, 51, 76, 88 (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

Holotype. TL 4.15, HL 1.05, HW 1.15, FC 0.80, CS 1.10, SL 0.59, SI1 51, SI2 53, PML 0.65, PW 0.93, PMD 1.05, PMI2 114, ML 0.93, PTLL 0.29, PTLH 0.44, PTDW 0.36, PPLL 0.28, PPLH 0.43, PPI 64.71, PPDW 0.40, PT/PP 91.

Mandible with four teeth. In full face view anterior clypeal margin with few carinulae, bifurcate with anterolateral corners produced into long acute teeth; the latter distinctly surpassing the anterolateral frontal corners. Head almost square, only little wider than long (CI 110), preoccipital margin very shallowly concave. Frontal carinae markedly narrower than head width (FI 144), sinuately converging towards clypeus. With head in profile antennal scrobe reaching beyond middle of lateral side of head, weakly transversely carinulate with distinct additional shagreening, distinctly defined posteriorly against remainder of head. Genae and anterior ventrolateral section of head carinate, preoccipital lobes coarsely reticulate. Eyes relatively large and rather flat (EL 0.27, REL 0.29, with 14 ommatidia in the longest row), situated slightly in front of middle of lateral sides of head, the dorsal ocular margin touching the ventral scrobal margin. Dorsal surface of head densely rugoreticulate, interspaces microsculptured.

Promesonotal shield rugoreticulate, short and distinctly vaulted (PMI 142), somewhat square with bluntly reduced projections. Propodeal spines medium sized in relation to small body (PSL 0.35), situated rather high on lateral sides of the propodeal declivity, acute and in dorsal view slightly arcuate and diverging.

Petiole in lateral view trapezoid, higher than long (PTI 66), dorsum convex and reticulate. Postpetiole reticulate, nodular with triangular antero-basal tooth.

First gastral tergite regularly and densely microreticulate, basally with few additional carinulae. Dorsal surfaces covered with short decumbent and longer erect thin whitish hairs.

Distinctly bicolored.

(n = 21). TL 3.90-4.80, HL 0.99-1.20, HW 1.10-1.35, FC 0.80-0.94, FI 131-146, CI 107-115, CS 1.04-1.28, SL 0.59-0.65, SI1 48-53, SI2 51-56, PML 0.65-0.88, PW 0.93-1.08, PMI 120-142, PMD 1.05-1.20, PMI2 107-116, ML 0.88-1.08, PSL 0.33-0.40, PTLL 0.26-0.35, PTLH 0.41-0.50, PTI 58-70, PTDW 0.33-0.41, PPLL 0.25-0.33, PPLH 0.38-0.50, PPI 58-70, PPDW 0.38-0.46, PT/PP 81-97, EL 0.27-0.32, REL 0.26-0.29 with 14-17 ommatidia in the longest row.

Type Material

Etymology

The name refers to the horn-shaped anterolateral clypeal projections (taurus, Latin for bull).

References

  • Schödl, S. 2007. Revision of Australian Meranoplus: the Meranoplus diversus group. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80:370-424.