Dolichoderus parvus Clark

Shattuck, Steven O. & Marsden, Sharon, 2013, Australian species of the ant genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 3716 (2), pp. 101-143: 129-130

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Dolichoderus parvus Clark


Dolichoderus parvus Clark 

( Fig. 19View FIGURE 19)

Dolichoderus parvus Clark, 1930: 263  .

Dolichoderus glauerti Wheeler 1934: 147  (new synonym).

Types. Dolichoderus parvus  : 27 worker syntypes from Sea Lake [approx. 35 ° 30 'S 142 ° 51 'E], Victoria (15 in MCZC, 3 in USNM, 1 in MVMA, 8 in SAMA). Dolichoderus glauerti  : 18 worker and 3 male syntypes from City of York Bay, Rottnest Island, Western Australia (9 workers in MCZC, 3 workers in ANIC, 3 males in USNM, 3 workers in MVMA, 3 workers in WAMP).

Diagnosis. Colour of head yellowish-red; sculpturing on head minimal, either essentially absent or consisting of very fine reticulations; pronotum and propodeum lacking spines; posterior face of propodeum weakly concave, separated from the dorsal face by at most a weakly defined angle; propodeum falling away posteriorly so that the angle is below the level of the metanotal groove.

Although very similar to D. kathae  and D. rutilus  , the shape of the dorsal propodeal surface will distinguish this species from others in the australis  group.

Worker description. See Fig. 19View FIGURE 19. Sculpturing on the katepisternum (pleuron of the mesothorax) and propodeum varying from smooth to longitudinally striate. In other respects the available material is similar to that figured.

Measurements (n= 5). CI 79–84; EI 33–37; EL 0.28–0.30; HL 0.93–1.12; HW 0.76–0.88; ML 1.23–1.57; MTL 0.66–0.86; PronI 64.40–71.18; PronW 0.49–0.62; SI 116–125; SL 0.91–1.07.

Material examined. New South Wales: Berowra Waters, Sydney (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); South Australia: 11mi. E Kimba (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); 41km WbyS Nullarbor (collector unknown) (ANIC); 41km WbyS Nullarbor (Taylor,R.W.) (ANIC); Belair (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Bridgewater (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Calca (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); Englebrook, Nat. T. Reserve (Lee,K.E.) (ANIC); H.K. Fry Reserve [on Heath Road, Crafers] (Wood,T.G.) (ANIC); Kangaroo Is., Breakneck Creek (Taylor,R.W.) (ANIC); Kangaroo Is., Breakneck R. (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Kangaroo Is., Remarkable Rocks (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Kangaroo Is., West Bay (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Mt. Lofty (Greenslade,P.J.M.; Lowery,B.B.; McAreavey,J.) (ANIC); Streaky Bay (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); Yorke Peninsula, Innes Nat. Park (Greenslade,P.J.M.) (ANIC); Victoria: Sea Lake (Goudie,J.C.) (ANIC); Western Australia: 23km ESE of Cocklebiddy (Taylor,R.W.) (ANIC); 40km S Dongara (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); Kwinana (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC); Kalamunda (Greaves,T.) (ANIC); Kensington (Cranley,L.) (JDMC); Redross Goldmine (60km S of Kambalda) (Walliss,S.) (JDMC);Westdale Rsve (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC).

Comments. Dolichoderus parvus  was described from Sea Lake, Victoria while D. glauerti  was established based on specimens from Rottnest Island, Western Australia, located approx. 2500km to the west. However, based on currently available material there is little separating these forms. Material from the west does show, on average, slightly more extensive sculpturing on the katepisternum (pleuron of the mesothorax) and propodeum and a larger body size while eastern specimens tend to be smoother and slightly smaller. However, the differences are slight, all forms can be found in all areas and numerous intermediate forms exist, making separation based on these characters highly problematic. Additionally, no other characters could be found suggesting that more than a single variable species is involved. Because of this D. glauerti  is here treated as a synonym of D. parvus  .

Dolichoderus parvus  occurs in drier regions with mallee, heath and dry sclerophyll habitats, primarily along southern coastal regions. It forages at night on low vegetation and nests under rocks. There is also a single collection from the Sydney area, approximately 800 kms east of the next nearest record. These specimens match other D. parvus  material and there is little doubt they belong to this species. However, the occurrence of this species in eastern New South Wales is in need of confirmation.