Meranoplus variabilis

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

Meranoplus variabilis p.jpg

Distributed from central to south-east Australia, partly sympatrically occuring with M. angustinodis, reaching further to the north and east.

Identification

Schödl (2007) - A variable taxon regarding the outline of the promesonotal shield as well as the shape of the petiole, the length and shape of the propodeal spines and pilosity. For this reason numerous of the material, namely from Indulkana, Murnpeowie, Monarto, Mimilli and Wares Peak is here only provisionally added. Further samples are needed to elucidate whether more than one species is involved. Nonetheless, typical material is well defined by the forward oriented clypeal projection together with the box-shaped petiole.

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.

  • variabilis. Meranoplus variabilis Schödl, 2007: 403, figs. 44, 45, 74, 89 (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 5.20, HL 1.23, HW 1.40, FC 1.11, CS 1.31, SL 0.80, SI1 57, SI2 61, PML 1.0, PW 1.38, PMD 1.45, PMI2 105 ML 1.25, PTLL 0.40, PTLH 0.55, PTDW 0.53, PPLL 0.40, PPLH 0.55, PPI 73, PPDW 0.55, PT/PP 95.

Mandible with four teeth. In full face view lateral sides of clypeal projection distinctly converging, anteriorly narrowly excavated with anterolateral corners produced into triangular blunt teeth, surpassing anterolateral frontal corners, the clypeal surface coarsely rugose, medially less structured. Head wider than long (CI 114), preoccipital margin shallowly concave. Frontal carinae moderately narrower than head width (FI 126), evenly sinuately narrowing towards clypeus. With head in profile antennal scrobe reaching beyond middle of lateral side of head, with distinct transverse carinulae at the rear, posteriorly ill defined against preoccipital section. Genae and ventrolateral sides of head rugoreticulate, preoccipital lobes reticulate. Eyes moderate in size (EL 0.31, REL 0.25, with 18 ommatidia in the longest row), situated in front of lateral sides of head, the dorsal ocular margin touching the ventral scrobal margin. Dorsal surface of head almost entirely reticulate, only frons anteriorly rugose, without any further microsculpture.

Promesonotal shield somewhat square, distinctly wider than long (PMI 138), projections except posterior bluntly rounded ones well developed and more or less acute, margins overhanging lateral mesosomal sides and propodeal declivity. Propodeal spines moderate in length (PSL 0.44), narrowly and acutely triangular, in dorsal view more or less straight and distinctly diverging.

Petiole in lateral view broadly trapezoid, higher than long (PTI 73), with straight anterior and posterior faces roundly meeting feebly oblique reticulate dorsum. Postpetiole nodiform with small antero-basal tooth.

Gaster shiny, entire first gastral tergite densely and evenly microreticulate, at base with irregular carinulae. Dorsal surfaces covered with a layer of short decumbent and longer more or less erect soft hairs.

Strictly bicolored with similar patterns as in preceding species.

(n = 9). TL 4.05-6.05, HL 1.15-1.25, HW 1.23-1.40, FC 0.95-1.11, FI 126-129, CI 107-115, CS 1.19-1.33, SL 0.70-0.80, SI1 56-60, SI2 59-63, PML 0.85-1.0, PW 1.13-1.38, PMI 125-147, PMD 1.20-1.45, PMI2 104-113, ML 1.08-1.28, PSL 0.36-0.48, PTLL 0.35-0.40, PTLH 0.51-0.58, PTI 64-73, PTDW 0.43-0.53, PPLL 0.33-0.40, PPLH 0.48-0.58, PPI 61-73, PPDW 0.45-0.55, PT/PP 85-95, EL 0.27-0.31, REL 0.23-0.27, with 17-18 ommatidia in the longest row.

Type Material

Etymology

The name refers to the variable overall shape of the species.

References

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