Key to Lioponera of the southwestern Australian Botanical Province

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This worker key is based on: Heterick, B. E. 2009b. A guide to the ants of South-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 76: 1-206. Part 2 PDF

Heterick prefaced this key with the following: the current status of the Australian species found in this genus is confused, and badly in need of revision. The identity of a number of species keyed out below may alter substantially when this genus is revised. Lioponera mullewana is described from a male, and Lioponera angustata and Lioponera constricta are described from queens (possibly ergatoid). They do not appear in this key, which deals with workers only.

All of the names in this key were given as Cerepachys and all but one are now considered Lioponera species.

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1

2

return to couplet #1

  • Petiolar node without carinae, a deep anteromedial depression present on dorsal face of node (Figure 465); middle and hind tibiae without spur . . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 574
Figure 465.
  • Petiolar node with at least lateral carinae, deep anteromedial depression absent from dorsal face of node (Figure 466); middle and hind tibiae always with pectinate spur . . . . . 3
Figure 466.

3

return to couplet #2

  • Petiolar node without distinct posterior angles, either square with an unbroken outline or sharply tapered posteriad, with a membranous border that is either entire or bifid in the form of a pair of lamellae (Figures 466–468) . . . . . 4
Figure 466.
Figure 467.
Figure 468.
  • Petiolar node with distinct posterior angles, these often produced as denticles or flanges . . . . . 6

4

return to couplet #3

  • Petiolar node square and concave anteriad, carinate on all sides (Figure 466) . . . . . Lioponera simmonsae
Figure 466.
  • Petiolar node with lateral margins convergent, ending in a blunt angle surrounded by a membranous lamina, or ending in a pair of processes . . . . . 5

5

return to couplet #4

  • Posterior processes of petiolar node a pair of minute denticles (Figure 467) . . . . . Lioponera picipes
Figure 467.
  • Petiolar node with a pair of rounded, membranous lamellae posteriad (Figure 468), or with single, unbroken lamella (Figure 469) . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 745
Figure 468.
Figure 469.

6

return to couplet #3

  • Posterior corners of head with well-developed dorsolateral carinae curving towards eye (Figure 470) . . . . . 7
Figure 470.
  • Posterior corners of head without well-developed dorsolateral carinae curving towards eye (vestigial carinae may be present near vertex) (Figure 471) . . . . . 8
Figure 471.

7

return to couplet #6

  • Eyes very large, length about one third length of side of head, eyes longer than distance between eye and mandibular insertion (Figure 472) . . . . . Lioponera varians
Figure 472.
  • Eyes smaller, length less than one-third length of side of head; length of eye ≤ distance between eye and mandibular insertion (Figure 473) . . . . . Lioponera brevicollis / Lioponera flammea
Figure 473.

8

return to couplet #6

  • Dorsal surface of mesosoma rounded onto lateral surfaces, lateral carinae vestigial or absent (Figure 474) . . . . . 9
Figure 474.
  • Dorsal surface of mesosoma delimited from lateral surfaces by distinct carinae (Figure 475) . . . . . 10
Figure 475.

9

return to couplet #8

  • Head and abdominal segments IV-VII black, mesosoma, petiole and appendages light brown with some infuscation, abdominal segment III brown with an orange macula either side, its node wider than long; abdominal segment III only slightly narrower than segments IV-VII . . . . . Lioponera longitarsus
  • Head, mesosoma, petiole and abdominal segment III black, abdominal segments IV-VII black except for anterior orange band on abdominal tergite VI, appendages brown; petiolar node about as wide as long; abdominal segment III conspicuously narrower than segments IV-VII . . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 746

10

return to couplet #8

  • Body black, dark brown, bicoloured or variegated . . . . . 20

11

return to couplet #10

  • Head with three well-developed ocelli (Figure 476) . . . . . 12
Figure 476.
  • Ocelli absent, or represented by minute, vestigial pits (Figure 477) . . . . . 15
Figure 477.

12

return to couplet #11

  • Abdominal segment III with anterior, transverse carina that joins each side at a distinct angle (Figure 478) . . . . . Lioponera clara
Figure 478.
  • Abdominal segment III smoothly rounded towards its articulation with petiole (Figure 479) . . . . . 13
Figure 479.

13

return to couplet #12

  • Posterior processes of node a pair of vestigial denticles; posterior corner of head with a faint, incomplete carina curving towards eye . . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 1103
  • Posterior processes of node a pair of distinct, acute denticles; posterior corner of head smoothly rounded without trace of a carina . . . . . 14

14

return to couplet #13

  • Larger (TL ≈ 8 mm); posterior carina of propodeum often distinctly concave in form of an inverted “V” (Figure 480) . . . . . Lioponera sjostedti
Figure 480.
  • Smaller (TL 7mm<); posterior carina of propodeum slightly indented to more-or-less straight (Figure 481) . . . . . Lioponera greavesi
Figure 481.

15

return to couplet #11

  • Posterior angles of petiolar node produced as acute-angled flanges that project beyond anterior corners of node (Figure 482) . . . . . 16
Figure 482.
  • Posterior angles of petiolar node either not armed, or produced as denticles that do not project beyond anterior corners of node (e.g. Figure 483) . . . . . 18
Figure 483.

16

return to couplet #15

  • Petiolar node square or almost so, with nearly straight sides, broad lateral margins present that diminish towards posterior angles (Figure 484) . . . . . Lioponera punctatissima
Figure 484.
  • Petiolar node about twice as wide as long, surrounded by lamellae that form an acute-angled flange at either posterior angle (Figure 485) . . . . . 17
Figure 485.

17

return to couplet #16

  • Dorsum of mesosoma finely, longitudinally striate . . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 941

18

return to couplet #15

  • Dorsum of mesosoma finely, longitudinally striate; dorsum of petiolar node and postpetiole also finely sculptured . . . . . Lioponera reticulata
  • Dorsum of mesosoma, petiolar node and postpetiole smooth and shining . . . . . 19

19

return to couplet #18

  • Petiolar node much wider than long, without processes on posterior corners, distinctly concave anteriad and posteriad; eyes large, length about twice the distance between eye and mandibular insertion . . . . . Lioponera inconspicua
  • Petiolar node only slightly wider than long, with denticles on posterior corners; not or only slightly concave posteriad; eyes smaller, length less than twice the distance between eye and mandibular insertion . . . . . Lioponera fervida

20

return to couplet #10

21

return to couplet #20

  • Viewed dorsally, promesonotal humeri slightly but distinctly narrower than sides of propodeum, the area above the narrowest section of the mesosoma smaller than the area below it (Figure 486) . . . . . Lioponera sp. JDM 1040
Figure 486.
  • Viewed dorsally, promesonotal humeri about as widely separated as sides of propodeum, the area above the narrowest section of the propodeum usually about equal to the area below it (Figure 487) . . . . . 22
Figure 487.

22

return to couplet #21

  • Petiole lighter in colour (yellow to red, rarely light brown) . . . . . 23

23

return to couplet #22

  • Length of eye less than one third side of head, equal to distance between eye and mandibular insertion; anteocular space with two distinct carinae that reach eye; mesosoma and abdominal segment II-VII dark brown, head reddish . . . . . Lioponera bicolor

24

return to couplet #23

  • Posterior angles of petiolar node produced as small denticles (Figure 488); eye smaller, length less than one third length of side of head . . . . . Lioponera elegans
Figure 488.
  • Posterior angles of petiolar node weakly obtuse, not produced as denticles (Figure 489); eyes larger in most specimens, length more than one third as long as side of head . . . . . 25
Figure 489.

25

return to couplet #24

  • Head, mesosoma, petiole and abdominal segment III concolorous yellowish or reddish, remaining abdominal segments black or brown . . . . . Lioponera nigriventris
  • Head, mesosoma, petiole and abdominal segment III not concolorous, petiole usually yellow (may be light brown contrasting with darker abdominal segment III), other parts variably coloured . . . . . Lioponera brevis