Key to Metapone of Australia

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This worker key is based on: Taylor, R. W. and G. D. Alpert, G. D. 2016. The myrmicine ant genus Metapone Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): a global taxonomic review with descriptions of twelve new species. Zootaxa. 4105(6):501-545.

Seven species are recognized with three described as new. The worker alone is known for one, gynes alone for three, and both castes for two. Four species are known from N.E. Queensland, and three from S.E. Queensland, one of which is reported also from northeast and south coastal NSW. One is described from Flinders Island, Tasmania. Most mainland species have documented rainforest associations. Metapone tricolor, known from southern inland NSW and south-eastern South Australia and provisionally from far northeast Queensland, apparently inhabits Eucalyptus-dominated woodland. Probable sympatric associations are indicated at the following rainforested localities: N.E. Queensland: Mossman Bluff Track (Metapone tecklini, Metapone hoelldobleri), Mt Sampson and Windsor Tableland ([[M. tecklini, Metapone mjobergi), Kuranda (M. hoelldobleri, Metapone mjobergi). S.E. Queensland—Lamington National Park (Metapone leae, Metapone tillyardi).

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  • Head flattened, its dorsal and ventral surfaces essentially parallel in lateral view. Mesosoma similarly flattened. Clypeus extended forwards over mandibles, its rostrum deeply concave on either side, anterior border straight, with relatively strong anterolateral denticles directed laterally. Subpetiolar extension lacking (southeast Queensland, gyne only, Figs 126–130) . . . . . Metapone leae
  • Head and mesosoma normally proportioned, ventral cephalic profile broadly rounded. Clypeus otherwise. Subpetiolar exten-sion present, distinct . . . . . 2


return to couplet #1

  • Smaller species, HW (gynes and workers) 0.83–0.92 mm, usually low in that range . . . . . 3
  • Larger species HW (gynes and workers) 0.96–1.42 mm, usually high in that range . . . . . 5


return to couplet #2

  • Subpostpetiolar process in lateral view seen as a very narrow digitate process (Flinders Island, Tasmania, worker only, Figs 156–159) . . . . . Metapone mathinnae
Taylor, Alpert 2016 Metapone-42 156.jpg
Taylor, Alpert 2016 Metapone-42 157.jpg
  • Subpostpetiolar process broadly to narrowly rounded, not appearing narrowly digitate in profile (mainland Eastern Australia) . . . . . 4


return to couplet #3

  • Head relatively elongate and narrow in frontal view (CI 66–68). Petiolar node in dorsal view clearly much longer than wide. A species possibly restricted to dry sclerophyll habitats (apparently widespread in Eastern Australia, far north Queensland to Vic-toria and SE South Australia (gyne only, Figs 141–145) . . . . . Metapone tricolor
  • Head in frontal view relatively broad (CI 75–77). Petiolar node in dorsal view very slightly longer than wide. Known only from tropical north Queensland rainforest habitat (gyne only, Figs 160–164) . . . . . Metapone tecklini


return to couplet #2

  • Clypeus extended forwards as a broadly lobate rostrum approximately as long as the remaining body of the sclerite. Larger species. Head proportionately narrow (HW: worker 1.28–1.42 mm, CI 73; gyne HW 1.36–1.45 mm, CI 68–70) (worker and gyne, Figs 146–155) . . . . . Metapone hoelldobleri
Taylor, Alpert 2016 Metapone-41 146.jpg
Taylor, Alpert 2016 Metapone-41 147.jpg
  • Clypeus not notably anteriorly rostrate. Smaller species with less-narrowed heads (relevant worker dimensions 96–118 mm, CI 77–80; gynes 108–131 mm, 74–77) . . . . . 6


return to couplet #5

  • Anterior border of clypeus somewhat obscurely bicuspid. A partly variable species: some (perhaps most) workers with very reduced or vestigial eyes, others with distinct multi-faceted eyes (Fig 132). Petiolar node in workers and gynes in lateral view relatively high and narrow; subpetiolar extension in lateral view semicircular, its base occupying the whole subpetiolar edge (Fig 130) (southeast Queensland, south from Big Tableland ca 22°30S’; northeast New South Wales, apparently ranging south from Dorrigo (30°S) distantly to ca 36°S in the Batemans Bay area) . . . . . Metapone tillyardi
  • Anterior clypeal border without dentate projections; its outline straight to very feebly concave or convex; anteroventral extremities each with a small squarish excision. All workers apparently with reduced, vestigial eyes (Figs 116, 117). Petiolar node in workers and gynes relatively small; subpetiolar extension in lateral view a posteriorly inclined triangle or low semicir-cle, its base anteriorly occupying about 2/3 of the subpetiolar edge (Fig 120). (North Queensland) . . . . . Metapone mjobergi
Metapone mjobergi casent0907446 h 1 high.jpg
Metapone mjobergi casent0907446 p 1 high.jpg