Myrmecia regularis

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Myrmecia regularis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. regularis
Binomial name
Myrmecia regularis
Crawley, 1925

Myrmecia regularis casent0217502 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia regularis casent0217502 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

The bloodred Myrmecia regularis is common in more southerly regions of the SWBP, particularly the karri belt near the south-west coast.

At a Glance • Brachypterous Queen  

 

Identification

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

Wheeler (1933 p. 25-29) - M. regularis does not build mounds but nests in rather damp, black earth under logs or large stones in colonies of as many as 100-200 workers. Nocturnal and diurnal foragers, climbing the great trunks of the eucalypts in search of sap and nectar and ruthlessly seizing any small insects encountered on their path. Independent colony foundation is non-claustral.

Castes

Queen is brachypterous, i.e. short, non-functional wings are present at adult emergence (Haskins & Haskins 1955). These wings break off before dispersal on foot, and a foundress starts a new colony by non-claustral ICF (see Life History). Brachypterous queens retain unfused flight sclerites in the thorax. The short wings are often broken within hours of emergence, and wing scars give the impression of a queen capable of flying.

Dealate brachypterous queen of M. regularis. From Harvard MCZ collection. Photograph by Roberto A. Keller
Dealate brachypterous queen of M. regularis. From Harvard MCZ collection. Photograph by Roberto A. Keller

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • regularis. Myrmecia regularis Crawley, 1925b: 579 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Clark, 1951: 92 (q.m.). Junior synonym of lucida: Clark, 1927: 34. Revived from synonymy: Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 25. See also: Clark, 1951: 93.

Type Material

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

Description

Worker

Major. Length 14 mm. (without mandibles); length of mandibles 3.6 mm.

Minor. Length 10 mm.

Whole of head and thorax bright mahogany-red, legs duller, mandibles and scapes shaded with brown, gaster black.

Pilosity as in forficata; pubescence almost nil.

Mandibles somewhat longer and slenderer and the outer borders less concave than in forficata. The scape reaches slightly further beyond the occipital border. 'l'he occipital angles more rounded.

Whole thorax narrower, the pronotum narrower in front; the base of epinotum pointed in front and the angle between the two faces more pronounced. The stalk of the first node is longer and the node more cubic in profile. There is a distinct longitudinal impression down the centre of pronotum and epinotum.

Whole body shining. Head very clearly and regularly striate, the striae diverging slightly behind the eyes. There is no trace of rugosity. The striation is more clean-cut than in sanguinea and there is no ground-reticulation between the striae as in that species. There is a microscopical reticulation between the eyes and frontal carinae.

The whole striation of thorax is of this clean-cut description; on the pronotum it is transversely arched and on the rest transverse. The first node is superficially transversely striate and has a few indistinct punctures. The second node and gaster are microscopically reticulate.

References