Polyrhachis bedeloweryi

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Polyrhachis bedeloweryi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Aulacomyrma
Species: P. bedeloweryi
Binomial name
Polyrhachis bedeloweryi
Kohout, 2007

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Specimen labels

The specimens of the type series were collected at the base of a Casuarina tree on the edge of a coffee plantation.

Identification

Kohout (2007) - P. bedeloweryi is relatively close to Polyrhachis porcata. They share almost identical sculpture of the mesosomal dorsum. However, bedeloweryi differs in having the striation upon the head much finer, the eyes distinctly more convex, the petiole finely shagreened and the first gastral segment with the base only shallowly truncate, lacking the anterodorsal process found in porcata.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Polyrhachis bedeloweryi for further details

Biology

The subgenus this species is a member of, Aulacomyrma, is poorly colected. Kohout (2007) summarized what is known about their biology in a revision of the species in the subgenus. This offers an explanation as to why most Aulacomyrma are known from few collections and specimens. There are only two records of nests being found. A small colony of Polyrhachis dohrni was collected by Kohout from a dry hollow twig on a living tree at the edge of lowland rainforest. The internal walls of the twig cavity were lined with a little silk. Ward collected a nest of Polyrhachis wardi from a dry twig of a rainforest tree. The colonies of both species were rather small, with only a few workers (5 and 11 respectively, including 2 and 3 alate queens and a single male). If such a nesting pattern is the norm for other species of the subgenus, that might explain the general scarcity of Aulacomyrma material even in the best collections. Many Aulacomyrma species are described and only known from a holotype.

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Nomenclature

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

  • bedeloweryi. Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) bedeloweryi Kohout, 2007a: 217, figs. 55, 58, 61 (w.) NEW GUINEA.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

TL c. 5.29-5.54 (5.29); HL 1.37-1.40 (1.37); HW 1.22-1.25 (1.25); CI 89-91 (91); SL 1.53; SI 122-125 (1.22); PW 0.94-0.97 (0.97); MTL 1.56-1.59 (1.59) (4 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin arcuate with very shallow notch medially; basal margin flat, indicated only by a faint hairline; clypeus with shallow medial depression; very weakly convex in profile. Frontal carinae sinuate with laminate lobes; central area with a weak, short, longitudinal carina. Sides of head in front of eyes converging anteriorly, weakly convex; behind eyes rounding into convex preoccipital margin. Eyes convex, in full face view clearly breaking lateral cephalic outline. Mesosomal dorsum laterally marginate except pronotal margin posteriorly incomplete. Pronotal humeri armed with short, distinct teeth, their lateral margins continued posteriorly before merging with the outermost dorsal striae and curving onto sides. Promesonotal suture distinct; metanotal groove indicated by a shallow emargination in lateral outline of segment. Mesonotal and propodeal dorsa fused, posteriorly unarmed; descending into declivity in an abrupt, uninterrupted curve. Petiole with dorsal margin entire; lateral spines weakly curved backwards with tips upturned. First gastral segment with base medially truncate, anterodorsally immarginate and evenly curved onto dorsum of segment.

Mandibles finely longitudinally striate. Clypeus and sides of head shagreened, overlaid by weak irregular rugosity; rest of head with rather weak and shallow, mostly longitudinal striation, most distinct on vertex with striae converging between and behind frontal carinae, fading before reaching basal clypeal margin. Mesosomal dorsum with rather distinct, more-or-less regular striae; anteriorly converging on pronotal dorsum with outermost striae continued obliquely along sides. Striae on mesonotal and propodeal dorsa mostly longitudinal with outermost striae forming rounded posterior corners; median striae rounding into propodeal declivity, terminating just below level of dorsal face of segment. Sides of propodeum with mostly horizontally aligned striae. Petiole with both faces rather smooth, finely shagreened. Sides of first gastral segment distinctly longitudinally striate, striae becoming much finer towards dorsal and anterior faces of segment that are shagreened.

Off-white, sparse, rather short, erect or semierect hairs on all body surfaces, including leading edge of antennal scape. Greyish appressed pubescence present as scattered short hairs on dorsum of head; more concentrated on pronotal humeri, propodeal dorsum, petiole and coxae. Sides of propodeum and dorso-lateral borders of propodeal declivity with patches of relatively dense pubescence. Gastral dorsum anteriorly and laterally with light cover of off-white or golden pubescence, not masking underlying sculpture.

Black and rather shiny with appendages almost uniformly very dark reddish brown or black. Mandibular masticatory border reddish brown. Apex of last funicular segment and apical tarsal segments, distinctly light yellowish brown.

Type Material

HOLOTYPE: PAPUA NEW GUINEA, E. Highlands Prov., Mingende, 05º58’S, 144º53’E, 5200ft, 11.i.1968, B. B. Lowery #NG507 (worker). PARATYPES: data as for holotype (3 workers). Type deposition: holotype in Australian National Insect Collection; 1 paratype each in The Natural History Museum, Museum of Comparative Zoology and Queensland Museum.

Etymology

Named after the late B.B. (Bede) Lowery, S. J., whose significant collecting skills and activities across Australia, New Guinea and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, brought to light many new ant species, including a number of those described here.

References