Technomyrmex sophiae

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Technomyrmex sophiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Technomyrmex
Species: T. sophiae
Binomial name
Technomyrmex sophiae
Forel, 1902

Technomyrmex sophiae casent0172036 profile 1.jpg

Technomyrmex sophiae casent0172036 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Collected in rainforest and mangrove habitats from vegetation and in litter. The mangrove record includes noting the ants were attending Hypochrysops digglesii.

Identification

Bolton (2007) - A member of the T. sophiae complex in the Technomyrmex albipes group. The three species sophiae, Technomyrmex nitens and Technomyrmex furens form a close complex of species, apparently restricted to north and north-east Queensland. Together they are characterised by their lack of sculpture on the head, pronotum and first gastral tergite, combined with a uniformly darkly coloured head, mesosoma and gaster. They also have numerous pairs of setae on the dorsum of the head, the longest of which is distinctly longer than the maximum diameter of the eye and is located somewhat anterior to the posterior margin; very long gastral setae are also present and pubescence on the first gastral tergite is dilute. The closest relative to this complex within Australia is quadricolor, which shares these characters except for colour, which in that species is strikingly different.

T. sophiae is the most setose of the three darkly-coloured species: in profile short setae are present on the head between the longest pair and the posterior margin, and with the head tilted slightly back from full-face view short setae can be seen across the posterior margin; all of these are absent from nitens and furens. The funiculus and leg colour patterns of furens are the same as in sophiae, but are different in nitens where the first funicular segment is lighter than those succeeding, the middle and hind coxae are yellow and the base of the hind femur is yellow, like the trochanter.

Workers of the three species appear to have relatively slightly different sizes of eye, although the numbers measured are perhaps too small to make this point definite. Of those measured, and excluding worker-queen intercaste forms, furens has OI 22 - 23, sophiae has OI 23 - 25, and nitens has OI 26 - 28.

All three of these species, like Technomyrmex quadricolor, appear to produce numerous worker-queen intercastes. Those of nitens and furens often appear to have more numerous setae on the head than their respective workers, and hence more closely resemble sophiae workers.

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.

  • sophiae. Technomyrmex sophiae Forel, 1902h: 474 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA. See also: Bolton, 2007a: 117.

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

Description

Worker

Bolton (2007) - TL 2.8 - 3.1, HL 0.65 - 0.72, HW 0.64 - 0.70, SL 0.62 - 0.68, PW 0.42 - 0.48, WL 0.82 - 0.92 (9 measured). Indices: CI 94 - 100, SI 94 - 100, OI 23 - 25, EPI 96 - 107, DTI 120 - 126.

With head in profile the dorsum behind the clypeus with numerous pairs of setae; too numerous to count easily, with shorter secondary setae among the longer primary setae. Longest pair of cephalic setae (located a distance less than the length of the maximum diameter of the eye from the posterior margin) much longer than the maximum diameter of the eye. Short setae are present between this longest pair and the posterior margin of the head. With head tilted just back from full-face view the posterior margin with several short setae across its width. Dorsum of head unsculptured, smooth and shining except for setal pits. In full-face view the anterior clypeal margin and the posterior margin each with feeble median concavities; outer margins of eyes just touch or slightly break the outlines of the sides. Pronotum smooth, unsculptured except for setal fits. Number of setal pairs on mesosoma: pronotum 3 - 5; mesonotum 2 - 4; lateral margin of propodeum 2 - 3. Propodeum in profile with a weakly convex dorsum that rounds broadly into the declivity. Gastral tergites 1 - 4 each with numerous long setae, the longest on the first tergite much longer than the maximum diameter of the eye. First gastral tergite shining, unsculptured except for setal pits. Head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster blackish brown to black. Funiculus segments 1 - 6 all the same dark colour. Middle and hind coxae, femora and tibiae the same dark colour as the mesosoma throughout; trochanters yellow, tarsi yellow to dull brownish yellow. Pubescence on gastral tergite 1 more sparse than on tergites 2 - 4.

Type Material

Bolton (2007) - Syntype workers and queen. Australia: Queensland, Mackay, 9.91 (R.E. Turner) (The Natural History Museum) [examined].

References

  • Bolton, B. 2007. Taxonomy of the dolichoderine ant genus Technomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) based on the worker caste. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 35(1):1-149.
  • Forel, A. 1902j. Fourmis nouvelles d'Australie. Rev. Suisse Zool. 10: 405-548 (page 474, worker, queen described)