Chelaner lacunosus

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Chelaner lacunosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Chelaner
Species group: falcatus
Species: C. lacunosus
Binomial name
Chelaner lacunosus
(Heterick, 2001)

The ant is apparently very rare, having been recorded in the SWBP on two occasions from Eneabba and once in Cape Arid National Park. Elsewhere in WA it has been found in Queen Victoria Spring Nature Reserve. There is also one record from South Australia.


Heterick (2001) - A member of the falcatus group. The Western Australian specimen of Chelaner lacunasus is distinct from the Pinnaroo material, being much darker, and with reduced propodeal denticles. Nonetheless, this worker shares several characters that are considered diagnostic for the species: 1, overall sculpture; 2, conformation of the clypeus; 3, shape of the anterior promesonotum and nodes; 4, presence of erect and suberect setae on the alitrunk; 5, bevelled appearance of the propodeal declivity; and 6, acutely angled metapleural lobes. Chelaner lacunosus differs from other members of the falcatus-group in terms of the pilosity and sculpture of its alitrunk.

Heterick (2009) - Workers depart from the usual predominantly glabrous appearance found in most other members of its species group, in that the body surfaces are covered with many short, erect setae.

Keys including this Species


Western Australia, South Australia.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -35.46666667° to -35.46666718°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



Heterick (2001) - Like other members of the C. falcatus-group, C. lacunosus is known from a limited number of specimens (here, five workers), but this may give a misleading picture of its actual abundance. The region around the Great Australian Bight has sparse human settlement, and the ant fauna of the Australian mainland between the coastal towns of Esperance (Western Australia) and Ceduna (South Australia) is almost unknown.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • lacunosus. Monomorium lacunosum Heterick, 2001: 382, figs. 25, 58 (w.) AUSTRALIA.
    • Combination in Chelaner: Sparks et al., 2019: 232.

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



Holotype. HML 1.66; HL 0.60; HW 0.48; CeI 81; SL 0.37; SI 76; PW 0.39. Others. HML 1.62-1.72; HL 0.56-0.60; HW 0.47-0.49; Cel 80-88; SL 0.34-0.38; SI 70-79; PW 0.37-0.39 (4 measured).

As for the worker of Chelaner falcatus, but with the following apomorphies.

Head. Frons of head capsule longitudinally striate and reticulate with combination of incurved decumbent and subdecumbent setulae and erect and suberect setae. Compound eyes circular or subcircular; (viewed laterally) compound eyes set posterior of midline of head capsule; eye moderate, eye width 0.5-I.5x greatest width of antennal scape. Anteromedial clypeal margin straight or slightly emarginate, median clypeal carinae not produced as teeth or denticles. Longest lateral anterior clypeal setae long, extending beyond dorsal margin of closed mandibles. Posteromedial clypeal margin level with posterior surface of antennal fossae. Frontal lobes parallel, sinuate. Venter of head capsule without elongate, basket-shaped setae. Palp formula 2,3. Maximum number of mandibular teeth and denticles: five; mandibles (viewed from front) triangular and smooth, with piliferous punctures; apical and basal mandibular margins meeting in tooth or denticle.

Alitrunk. Promesonotal sculpture present in form of microreticulation and rugosity over entire promesonotum; erect and suberect promesonotal setae greater than 10. Mesonotal suture absent. Metanotal groove absent. Propodeal sculpture present as uniform rugosity, with well defined costulae on declivitous face of propodeum; propodeal processes present on posterior propodeal angles as small denticles or sharp flanges; lobes present and produced apically so as to form acute angled, sharp projections. Declivitous face of propodeum longitudinally concave between its lateral margins. Erect and suberect propodeal setae greater than 10; propodeal setulae decumbent and subdecumbent.

Petiole and postpetiole. Petiolar node cuboidal; sculpture present; petiolar node rugose. Ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) near 4:3 to near 1:1. Anteroventral process always present as pronounced spur. Height ratio of petiole to postpetiole near 1:1 to near 4:3; height-length ratio of postpetiole near 2:1. Sculpture present; postpetiole rugose.

Gaster. Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of combination of appressed setulae and longer, erect and suberect setae.

General characters. Colour tawny yellow to yellow-orange; or, alitrunk, petiole, postpetiole, and appendages russet, head and gaster chocolate. Worker caste monomorphic.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker (top point), South Australia, 25 km SSW Pinnaroo 35°28'S, 140°47'E, 24.x.l983, J.D. Gnomon & J. C. Cradle, ANIC berlesate no. 890 mallee and heath litter (Australian National Insect Collection). Paratypes. South Australia: I + 2 workers with same data as holotype (ANIC and Museum of Comparative Zoology).


Latin: “pitted”.