Polyrhachis weiri

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Polyrhachis weiri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Camponotini
Genus: Polyrhachis
Subgenus: Hagiomyrma
Species group: penelope
Species: P. weiri
Binomial name
Polyrhachis weiri
Kohout, 2013

Kohout 2013c-66Polyrhachis-weiri had.jpg

Polyrhachis weiri is apparently restricted to the extreme north of the Northern Territory, including its adjacent islands, and to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Nothing is known about the species’ biology, but as the type series specimens were collected foraging on the ground it is reasonable to suggest that their nesting habit is terrestrial or subterranean.

Identification

A member of the penelope species-group in the Polyrhachis subgenus Hagiomyrma. Polyrhachis weiri is characterised by the strongly posteriorly converging lateral margins of the promesonotum (PMI ca. 250).

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

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.

  • weiri. Polyrhachis (Hagiomyrma) weiri Kohout, 2013: 551, figs. 10A-B (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 cited first): TL c. 6.85, 5.59-7.36; HL 1.75, 1.40- 1.78; HW 1.34, 1.06-1.34; CI 76, 74-76; SL 2.09, 1.72-2.12; SI 156, 154-166; PW 1.22, 0.90-1.22; MW 0.53, 0.37-0.53; PMI 230, 212-259; MTL 2.34, 1.77-2.34 (13 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin with denticulate, median flange. Clypeus sinuate in profile, posteriorly rounding into moderately impressed basal margin. Frontal triangle poorly indicated. Frontal carinae sinuate with narrowly raised margins; central area relatively wide with distinct frontal furrow. Sides of head in front of eyes moderately convex towards mandibular bases; behind eyes, sides widely rounding into convex occipital margin. Eyes convex, in full face view exceeding lateral cephalic outline. Ocelli lacking. Pronotal dorsum with humeri rounded; lateral margins converging towards distinctly impressed promesonotal suture. Mesonotum with margins strongly converging posteriorly; metanotal groove only weakly impressed. Propodeal margins terminating in rather slender, horizontal, divergent spines with tips weakly turned outwards. Petiole with anterior face straight, rounding dorsally into very slender, distinctly obliquely raised, divergent spines; posterior face of petiole distinctly swollen towards base.

Mandibles finely, longitudinally striate with numerous piliferous pits. Head and mesosoma closely reticulate-punctate; spines sculptured at bases, smooth and polished towards tips. Gaster finely shagreened.

Mandibles at mastiticatory borders with numerous, curved, pale golden hairs and short, more appressed hairs towards bases. Anterior clypeal margin with several anteriorly projecting longer setae medially and fringe of short setae lining margin laterally. Head, including clypeus, mesosoma, petiole, gaster and appenages with numerous, mostly erect, relatively short hairs; head in full face view with numerous short hairs breaking lateral cephalic outline; antennal scapes with numerous, very short, semierect, bristle-like hairs. Gastral dorsum with abundant, somewhat longer, semierect, pale golden hairs; hairs distinctly longer and posteriorly directed on venter and around apex of gaster. Silvery, appressed pubescence in various densities over most of head and body surfaces; pubescence more pale golden on dorsum of first gastral tergite and somewhat laterally diffused into more silvery towards sides and on venter.

Vertex of head, dorsum of mesosoma, petiole, dorsum of gaster and spines, black; mandibles, front, sides and venter of head, sides of pronotum, venter of gaster and appendages medium to dark reddish-brown.

Type Material

Type deposition: Holotype and 2 paratypes in Australian National Insect Collection; 2 paratypes each in The Natural History Museum, Museum of Comparative Zoology and Queensland Museum; 1 paratype each in California Academy of Sciences, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève and Western Australian Museum.

Etymology

After the collector of the type series specimens, Tom Weir of the ANIC of the Ecosystem Sciences, Canberra.

References