Platythyrea turneri

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Platythyrea turneri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Platythyreini
Genus: Platythyrea
Species: P. turneri
Binomial name
Platythyrea turneri
Forel, 1895

Platythyrea turneri casent0260486 p 1 high.jpg

Platythyrea turneri casent0260486 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Synonyms
At a Glance • Gamergate  
 

Identification

Heterick (2009) - In the field this species has a remarkable resemblance to Brachyponera lutea.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Heterick (2009) - Widely distributed throughout Australia. In WA it can be found in wetter areas of the south-west.

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.

  • turneri. Platythyrea turneri Forel, 1895f: 420 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Senior synonym of bicolor, reticulata, septentrionalis, tasmaniensis: Brown, 1975: 9.
  • tasmaniensis. Pachycondyla (Bothroponera) tasmaniensis Forel, 1913g: 176 (w.) TASMANIA. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1200 (l.). Combination in Eubothroponera: Clark, 1934b: 32. Junior synonym of turneri: Brown, 1975: 9.
  • bicolor. Eubothroponera bicolor Clark, 1930c: 11, fig. 1 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of turneri: Brown, 1975: 9.
  • reticulata. Eubothroponera reticulata Clark, 1934b: 33, pl. 2, fig. 16 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of turneri: Brown, 1975: 9.
  • septentrionalis. Eubothroponera septentrionalis Clark, 1934b: 34, pl. 2, fig. 17 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of turneri: Brown, 1975: 9.

Type Material

Description

Brown (1975) provided the following: This is the most widespread and variable of the species, if my synonymy is correct. It may be recognized by the coloration, in which the brownish red petiole always contrasts with the dark brown head and gaster; the trunk may be brown or reddish brown, but it is usually, at least in part, darker than the petiole. The types came from Mackay, on the central Queensland coast, and they are deposited in Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève. I studied them briefly in 1963 but was prevented from reviewing them in 1973 because they had been held out on loan for several years by another specialist. Forel's original description and my own brief notes indicate that turneri is equivalent to Clark's septentrionalis, described from Townsville, N Queensland (Museum of Comparative Zoology), except that the median posterodorsal tooth of the petiolar node (a very variable character) is not developed in the turneri types. Additional samples from Queensland: Gladstone (F. H. Taylor) and the Kirrama Range, near Cardwell, 2000 3000 ft., eucalypt forest (P. F. Darlington) are very like the turneri and septentrionalis types in color and in having the coarse punctures prominent, the median petiolar carina developed, and the fine sculpture of the head and trunk dense and opaque.

Moving south, the next sample seen is the type series of reticulata, collected by W. M. Wheeler at Sutherland, New South Wales (Museum of Comparative Zoology). These specimens are less coarsely sculptured than are those of the Queensland species, but the difference is small. The next sample (Museum of Comparative Zoology) comes from Hobart, Tasmania (A. M. Lea), and is a syntype of tasmaniensis, which Forel had described in Pachycondyla (Bothroponera). This worker is essentially like reticulata, but has the ground sculpture still less dense, and consequently weakly shining, the larger punctures of the head indistinct, and the median tooth of the petiole reduced to nothing. Samples much like the tasmaniensis type have been taken in the area east of Esperance, in SW Australia: Merivale Downs, on tree trunk in yate (Eucalyptus cornuta) swamp (W. L. Brown); Thomas River Station, 110 km E of Esperance, in yate paperbark wattle forest (E. O. Wilson and C. P. Haskins), and a type of bicolor (Museum of Comparative Zoology), from Ludlow, still farther west in SW Australia, is still slightly more shining and has a feeble trace of a median petiolar tooth.

My interpretation of this admittedly sparse sampling is that a single species cline exists, with coarse sculpture in tropical coastal Queensland giving way to less coarse to the south, and then, jumping the desert gap, to the lightly sculptured southwestern populations. The species undoubtedly exists at many intermediate stations in S Queensland, E New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, and when samples from these areas are studied, the clinal hypothesis for P. turneri will meet its proper test.

References