Ants in the genus Mesostruma are uncommon and form small colonies in soil, usually under or between rocks. They are predacious, foraging primarily on the ground in leaf litter but also occasionally on low vegetation. Roughly half the species have only been collected once. The remainder of the species are not well known either, at least in terms of the number of collections and what is known regarding their biology.
This species is most similar to Mesostruma browni but differs as follows:
- 1. The posterior margin of the head is more deeply concave and its lateral corners are more sharply angular. In M. browni this margin is shallowly concave and the lateral corners are broadly rounded.
- 2. The sculpturing on the metapleural gland bulb consists of small, closely spaced punctures, sometimes with up to several weak rugae. In M. browni the sculpturing on the bulb consists of large fovae and irregular rugae.
- 3. The upper margins of the propodeal lamellae, in lateral view, are convex and the posterior margins have a very weak concavity just below the dorsal angles. In M. browni the upper margins of the lamellae are sinuate (convex basally, concave near the angle) and the posterior margin have a distinct concavity just below the dorsal angles.
- 4. Mesostruma bella averages larger (HW 0.72 mm to 0.84 mm) than M. browni (HW 0.62 mm to 0.75 mm).
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- bella. Mesostruma bella Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 48 (w.) AUSTRALIA.
- Holotype, worker, junction of Braidwood and Captions Flat Roads, near Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia, 8 July 1971, Misko,S., ANIC32-010240, Australian National Insect Collection; from grass tussocks.
- Paratype, 2 workers, junction of Braidwood and Captions Flat Roads, near Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia, 8 July 1971, Misko,S., ANIC32-015702, Australian National Insect Collection; from grass tussocks.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
HOLOTYPE. TL 3.9, HL 0.90, HW 0.84, CI 93, ML 0.36, MI 40, SL 0.48, SI 57, PW 0.58, AL 1.00. Head relatively broad (CI > 88), its posterior margin relatively deeply concave; eyes relatively large (maximum eye diameter/head length >= 0.19). Pronotum relatively wide (about 0.66-0.69 times mesosoma length), in dorsal view its anterolateral corners rounded. Dorsum of mesosoma with scattered, shallow foveolate punctures which are spaced more than their width apart, the area between the punctures smooth and lacking sculpturing. Propodeal lamellae with the dorsal margins convex, the posterior margins weakly concave, the angles between these margins acute, less than 90 degrees. Sculpturing on the metapleural gland bulb consisting of small, closely spaced punctures, occasionally with up to several weak rugae. Postpetiole expanded laterally and wing-like. First gastral segment immediately posterior of the postpetiole with short, irregularly spaced rugae. Body relatively large (maximum head width > 0.72mm), colour dark red-brown with moderate infuscation.
- Shattuck, S. O. 2000. Genus Colobostruma. Genus Mesostruma. Genus Epopostruma. Pp. 31-67 in: Bolton, B. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 63, worker, queen described)