Monomorium bifidum

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Monomorium bifidum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. bifidum
Binomial name
Monomorium bifidum
Heterick, 2001

Monomorium bifidum casent0902292 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium bifidum casent0902292 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The teeth of the mandibles (see identification section), together with the stoutly produced clypeal denticles, suggests that the ant may be a graminivore, but little is known of its biology. A label with the Jabiru specimens states that they were found foraging on the ground in Eucalyptus forest. (Heterick 2001)

Identification

Heterick (2001) - A member of the longinode group. Monomorium bifidum is the only known Monomorium with two mandibular teeth. The bottom tooth is larger than the top tooth, and both are broad and flattened with a scissor-like edge.

This species varies little across its range, but the Dimbulah specimens have reddish gasters, while workers from Western Australia and most of those from the Northern Territory have black gasters. The Jabiru specimens, however, fall between these two extremes. (Similar variation in the colour of the worker gaster has already been described for Monomorium bicorne.)

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

Nomenclature

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

  • bifidum. Monomorium bifidum Heterick, 2001: 390, figs. 30, 63, 70 (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. HML 3.43; HL 1.40; HW 1.31; Cel 93; SL 0.83; SI 63; PW 0.68. Others. HML 3.39-3.85; HL 1.38-1.57; HW 1.35-1.48; Cel 90-96; SL 0.75-0.90; SI 60-63; PW 0.61--0.69 (7 measured).

As for the worker of Monomorium longinode, but with the following apomorphies.

Head. Frons of head capsule longitudinally striate with combination of appressed setulae and erect and suberect setae. (Viewed from front) compound eyes set in anterior half of head capsule. Antennal club gradually tapering and barely discernible. Anteromedial clypeal margin emarginate, median clypeal carinae produced apically as pair of pronounced teeth. Posteromedial clypeal margin situated between anterior and posterior surfaces of antennal fossae. Frontal lobes parallel straight. Maximum number of mandibular teeth and denticles: two.

Alitrunk. Dorsal promesonotal face evenly convex; erect and suberect promesonotal setae 5-l0. Mesonotal suture visible externally as faint ridge. Dorsal propodeal face gently convex; processes present on posterior propodeal angles in form of minute lamellae. Erect and suberect propodeal setae absent or very sparse; propodeal setulae appressed.

Petiole and postpetiole. Petiolar node cuboidal; sculpture present in form of microreticulation. Ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) near 1 : 1. Height ratio of petiole to postpetiole near 3:4 to near 1: 1; height-length ratio of postpetiole near 4:3 to near l: l. Sculpture present in form of microreticulation.

General characters. Colour a uniform russet, or reddish with a black gaster. Worker caste monomorphic.

Type Material

Etymology

Latin: “cleft”, with reference to the mandibles.

References