Polyrhachis micans species-group

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The Polyrhachis micans species-group is comprised of species in the subgenus Campomyrma.

Species

Identification

Key to Polyrhachis micans species-group workers

Distribution and biology

The known distribution of the P. micans-group ranges from central coastal QLD to the Gulf Country and westwards across the NT as far as the Kimberley region in northern WA. With a few exceptions, the species are relatively rare and only occasionally collected. They appear to be terrestrial nesters, building nests under the ground with entrances usually covered with a rock, piece of wood, or simply under a tuft of grass.

Diagnosis

Worker

Medium-sized to relatively large ants (HL> 2.14) with general characteristics of the genus and subgenus. Head triangular in frontal view, sides in front of eyes rounding towards mandibular bases; sides in most species distinctly wider behind eyes with postocular and lateral ridges extending on each side towards occipital corners. Eyes relatively large, situated close to occipital corners. Dorsum of mesosoma relatively wide and short with pronotal humeri bluntly angular (distinctly angular in some P. prometheus specimens). Mesonotal dorsum with lateral margins converging posteriorly (as in P. micans or P. incerta) or distinctly posteriorly rounded (as in P. prometheus). Metanotal groove rather flat, poorly indicated, except in P. prometheus where it is short and clearly impressed. Propodeal dorsum strongly converging posteriorly in most species, except in P. prometheus where it is very narrow, about 1.5 times longer than wide, with virtually parallel lateral margins. Petiole scale-like, armed with four subequal spines (as in P. micans), or two distinctly elongated dorsal spines and two lateral teeth, usually reduced to mere angles (e.g. P. incerta or P. shattucki). Gaster in side view with anterior face straight, rather narrowly rounding onto dorsum of first gastral tergite.

Queen

Apart from sexual characters, including three ocelli, complete thoracic structure and wings, very similar to worker. Armament of pronotum, propodeum and petiole distinctly reduced with spines and teeth shorter and stouter. Sculpturation, pilosity and colour virtually identical to worker. The only known queens are those of P. micans and P. prometheus and description of the latter is given below under that species heading.

Related Pages

References

  • Kohout, R.J. 2013. A review of the Polyrhachis gravis and micans species-groups of the subgenus Campomyrma Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Formicinae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, Nature 56:92-117.