Melophorus sulconotus

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Melophorus sulconotus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Melophorini
Genus: Melophorus
Species group: aeneovirens
Species complex: aeneovirens
Species: M. sulconotus
Binomial name
Melophorus sulconotus
Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017

Melophorus sulconotus minor side ANIC32-900071.jpg

Melophorus sulconotus minor top ANIC32-900071.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships

Melophorus ludius species group

Melophorus potteri species group

Melophorus aeneovirens species group

Melophorus biroi species group (biroi species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (wheeleri species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (brevignathus species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (fieldi species complex)

Based on Heterick et al., 2017. Only selected species groups/complexes are included.

Specimens collected from the Victoria Hwy roadside near Kununurra, Western Australia, decorated their nest with flattened pebbles much larger than the ants. (Heterick et al. 2017)


Heterick et al. (2017) - Melophorus sulconotus is a member of the Melophoprus aeneovirens species-group (in full-face view, the anterior clypeal margin convex, apron-like and covering whole or part of the retracted mandible, except in Melophorus nemophilus, the medial clypeal sector often produced so that it is protrusive when seen in profile; the psammophore frequently with coarse and well-separated ammochaetae, these always placed on or just above anterior margin; in profile, the propodeum elongate and oblique or broadly rounded), and the Melophoprus aeneovirens species-complex (in full-face view, psammophore ranged along or just above anterior margin of clypeus and following the curve of the margin; anterior margin of clypeus broadly medially produced, and often with central notch that may be deeply impressed, but is never acuminate at its midpoint; metatibia with maximum of two rows of preapical spines). In M. sulconotus the tibiae possess fine, appressed pubescence in addition to stout, socketed, appressed to subdecumbent setae No major worker was available for examination. The chief diagnostic feature in the minor worker is the flattened posterior pronotum and mesonotum which descends steeply to the metanotal groove. This species is restricted to the wetter Northern Kimberley distinct and the far north Northern Territory.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Heterick et al. (2017) - Genetic sequencing indicates the ant may be sister to Melophorus rufoniger.


Known from the minor and media workers.


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

  • sulconotus. Melophorus sulconotus Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017: 127, fig. 20 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

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



(n = 2): CI 97–99; EI 19–20; EL 0.27–0.29; HL 1.38–1.55; HW 1.34–1.53; ML 2.24–2.46; MTL 1.47–1.58; PpH 0.22–0.26; PpL 0.86–0.93; SI 120–127; SL 1.71–1.84.

Minor. Head. Head square; posterior margin of head weakly convex; frons matt or with weak sheen, microreticulate or microreticulate-shagreenate; frons consisting of appressed pubescence, with many short, unmodified, erect setae. Eye small (eye length less than 0.2 × length of side of head capsule); in full-face view, eyes set above midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of midline of head capsule; eyes elliptical or slightly reniform. In full-face view, frontal carinae straight or weakly convex; frontal lobes straight, elevated. Anteromedial clypeal margin broadly and evenly convex and protrusive; clypeal psammophore set at or just above anterior clypeal margin; palp formula 6,4. Five mandibular teeth in minor worker; mandibles triangular, weakly incurved; third mandibular tooth distinctly shorter than apical tooth and teeth numbers two and four; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique. Mesosoma. Integument of pronotum, mesonotum and mesopleuron matt or with weak sheen and microreticulate throughout; anterior mesosoma in profile smoothly rounded anteriad, thereafter pronotum and whole of mesonotum flattened and on same plane as propodeum; appearance of erect pronotal setae short, (i.e., longest erect setae shorter than length of eye) and unmodified; in profile, metanotal groove deep, ‘V’-shaped; propodeum matt or with a weak sheen and microreticulate; propodeum always smoothly rounded; propodeal dorsum and declivity confluent; erect propodeal setae present and abundant (greater than 12); appressed propodeal setulae minute and closely aligned, creating a silvery sheen; propodeal spiracle situated at least twice its width from the declivitous face of propodeum, and shorter (length < 0.50 × height of propodeum). Petiole. In profile, petiolar node squamiform; in full-face view, shape of petiolar node uniformly rounded; node shining and smooth with vestigial sculpture. Gaster. Gaster shining, shagreenate (‘LP record’ appearance); pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of thick, appressed setae that form pubescence, interspersed with numerous short, bristly, erect setae. General characters. Colour of foreparts orange, legs light tan, gaster dark brown.

Type Material

Holotype minor worker (middle ant), Kapalga, Alligator Rivers area, Northern Territory, 7-9 September 1993, P.J.M. Greenslade, 8Aii traps, [ANIC32-900071] (Australian National Insect Collection). Paratypes: 2 minor workers on same pin and with same data as holotype (ANIC).


Latin sulcus (‘groove’) plus Neo-Latin notus (‘back’); adjective in the nominative singular.