Myrmecia simillima

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Myrmecia simillima
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Myrmeciini
Genus: Myrmecia
Species: M. simillima
Binomial name
Myrmecia simillima
Smith, F., 1858

Myrmecia simillima casent0902786 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmecia simillima casent0902786 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Synonyms


At a Glance • Brachypterous Queen  • Ergatoid queen  

 

Identification

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Populous and exceedingly ferocious colonies under large stones and Eucalyptus logs (Wheeler 1933 p. 34). Two colony-founding queens were found under stones, with eggs scattered on the earthen floor. A third foundress was found in a cell under a large stone with a compact cluster of young ant larvae devouring a fresh saw-fly larva; since such a larva feeds on the leaves of eucalypts, it could only have been secured by the queen on one of her foraging excursions. This is conclusive evidence for non-claustral ICF (Life History).

Castes

Both brachypterous and ergatoid queens have been described (John Freeland unpublished 1, John Freeland unpublished 2, Clark 1951). This has implications for mating behaviour (probably close to natal colony), and limited dispersal distance (hence DCF).

Dealate queen of M. simillima. Australian Museum, Sydney; collected in “Calumnet”, 26 miles north-east of Binnaway, NSW, Nov. 1931. Photograph by Derek Smith

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • simillima. Myrmecia simillima Smith, F. 1858b: 144 (w.) AUSTRALIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Australia (no further data).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Forel, 1907h: 265 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971d: 253 (l.).
    • Junior synonym of forficata: Mayr, 1876: 95.
    • Subspecies of forficata: Emery, in Dalla Torre, 1893: 20; Forel, 1907h: 265; Forel, 1910b: 3; Emery, 1911d: 20; Forel, 1915b: 5.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1861a: 34; Mayr, 1862: 726 (in key); Roger, 1863b: 22; Mayr, 1863: 430; Stitz, 1911a: 351; Crawley, 1926: 376 (redescription); Clark, 1927: 37; Clark, 1928c: 39; Santschi, 1928e: 465; Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 34; Clark, 1934c: 51; Clark, 1951: 89 (redescription); Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata, 1991a: 358; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1635, 1637 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of affinis: Forel, 1907h: 265; Emery, 1911d: 20; Clark, 1951: 89; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of crudelis: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of nigriventris: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of paucidens: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of rogeri: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of spadicea: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Senior synonym of tricolor: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • affinis. Myrmecia affinis Mayr, 1862: 725 (diagnosis in key) (w.) AUSTRALIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia (“New Holland”): (no further data).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 430; Mayr, 1876: 97; Dalla Torre, 1893: 19.
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Forel, 1907h: 265; Emery, 1911d: 20; Clark, 1951: 89; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 270.
  • crudelis. Myrmecia crudelis Smith, F. 1858b: 147 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (South Australia).
    • Type-material: 1 syntype worker, 1 syntype queen.
    • Type-locality: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide, “532”.
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Subspecies of vindex: Forel, 1910b: 3 (in text).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1861a: 36; Mayr, 1862: 725 (in key); Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 430; Dalla Torre, 1893: 19; Emery, 1911d: 19; Crawley, 1926: 374 (redescription); Clark, 1934c: 51; Clark, 1951: 35 (redescription).
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 271.
  • nigriventris. Myrmecia nigriventris Mayr, 1862: 724 (in key), 727 (w.) AUSTRALIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia (“New Holland”): (no further data).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Clark, 1951: 46 (subapterous q.).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 430; Mayr, 1876: 97; Dalla Torre, 1893: 21.
    • Subspecies of tricolor: Forel, 1910b: 7; Emery, 1911d: 20; Clark, 1951: 45 (redescription).
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 272.
  • paucidens. Myrmecia paucidens Forel, 1910b: 5 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Tasmania).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: Tasmania (W.W. Froggatt).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1911d: 20; Clark, 1951: 117.
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 272.
  • rogeri. Myrmecia tricolor var. rogeri Emery, 1914b: 181 (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney (E. Dämel).
    • [Note: this taxon is based on material of M. tricolor Mayr, sensu Mayr, 1876: 96.]
    • Type-depository: NHMW (perhaps also in MSNG).
    • Viehmeyer, 1924a: 222 (q.); Clark, 1951: 33 (subapterous q.).
    • Subspecies of tricolor: Viehmeyer, 1924a: 222.
    • Status as species: Clark, 1951: 32 (redescription).
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
  • spadicea. Myrmecia spadicea Mayr, 1862: 724 (diagnosis in key) (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales, South Australia).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • [Note: Brown, 1953j: 12, states that the holotype is an ergatoid queen, not a worker But as specimens from two localities are included in the original description, they must be regarded as syntypes.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney (Novara Expd.), South Australia, Adelaide.
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 430; Mayr, 1865: 86 (redescription); Mayr, 1876: 97; Dalla Torre, 1893: 22.
    • Junior synonym of tricolor: Emery, 1911d: 20.
    • Junior synonym of nigriventris: Forel, 1910b: 7 (in text); Clark, 1951: 45.
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.
  • tricolor. Myrmecia tricolor Mayr, 1862: 724 (diagnosis in key) (w.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney (Novara Expd.).
    • Type-depository: NHMW.
    • Clark, 1951: 44 (subapterous q.).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 23; Mayr, 1863: 431; Mayr, 1865: 85 (redescription); Mayr, 1876: 96; Emery, 1887b: 443; Dalla Torre, 1893: 22; Emery, 1911d: 20; Emery, 1914b: 179; Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 44; Clark, 1951: 44 (redescription).
    • Junior synonym of simillima: Brown, 1953j: 12; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 16; Taylor, 1987a: 46; Ogata & Taylor, 1991: 1629; Bolton, 1995b: 273.

Type Material

Description

Karyotype

  • n = 35, 2n = 70 (Australia) (Hirai et al., 1996).

References

  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1953j. Revisionary notes on the ant genus Myrmecia of Australia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 111: 1-35 (page 12, Senior synonym of crudelis, nigriventris (and its junior synonym spadicea), paucidens, rogeri and tricolor)
  • Clark, J. 1927. The ants of Victoria. Part III. Vic. Nat. (Melb.) 44: 33-40 (page 37, Revived status as species)
  • Clark, J. 1951. The Formicidae of Australia. 1. Subfamily Myrmeciinae: 230 pp. CSIRO, Melbourne. [(31.xii).1951.]
  • Crawley, W. C. 1926. A revision of some old types of Formicidae. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1925: 373-393 (page 376, see also)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 20, Revived from synonymy as variety/subspecies of forficata)
  • Forel, A. 1907j. Formicidae. In: Michaelsen, W., Hartmeyer, R. (eds.) Die Fauna Südwest-Australiens. Band I, Lieferung 7. Jena: Gustav Fischer, pp. 263-310. (page 265, queen described, Revived from synonymy as variety/subspecies of forficata, Senior synonym of affinis)
  • Forel, A. 1910b. Formicides australiens reçus de MM. Froggatt et Rowland Turner. Rev. Suisse Zool. 18: 1-94 (page 3, Revived from synonymy as variety/subspecies of forficata)
  • Mayr, G. 1876. Die australischen Formiciden. J. Mus. Godeffroy 12: 56-115 (page 95, Junior synonym of forficata)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 144, worker described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1971. Ant larvae of the subfamily Myrmeciinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pan-Pac. Entomol. 47: 245-256 (page 253, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1933. Colony founding among ants, with an account of some primitive Australian species. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, viii + 179 pp. (page 34, Revived status as species)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1953. Revisionary notes on the ant genus Myrmecia of Australia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 111: 1-35.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Emery C. 1914. Formiche d'Australia e di Samoa raccolte dal Prof. Silvestri nel 1913. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici 8: 179-186.
  • Forel A. 1910. Formicides australiens reçus de MM. Froggatt et Rowland Turner. Rev. Suisse Zool. 18: 1-94
  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1916. The marriage-flight of a bull-dog ant (Myrmecia sanguinea F. Smith). Journal of Animal Behavior 6: 70-73.