Dolichoderus niger Crawley

Shattuck, Steven O. & Marsden, Sharon, 2013, Australian species of the ant genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 3716 (2), pp. 101-143: 125-126

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Dolichoderus niger Crawley


Dolichoderus niger Crawley  (raised to species)

( Fig. 16View FIGURE 16)

Dolichoderus ypsilon nigra Crawley, 1922: 25  .

Types. Holotype worker and 17 paratype workers from Kelmscott [approx. 32 °08'S 116 °00'E], Western Australia (holotype and 14 paratypes in OUMNH, 1 paratype in NHMB, 2 paratypes in MHNG); 3 worker paratypes from Western Australia (specific locality not given) (BMNH).

Diagnosis. Pronotum rounded, lacking spines; propodeum with elongate spines which are directed upward at an angle less than 45 ° to the horizontal plane, in dorsal view the spines with an angle of at least 90 ° between their bases and this region forming a "V" with a narrowly rounded angle; dorsum of petiolar node angular; legs long and uniformly coloured dark red-brown to reddish-black.

This species most closely resembles D. rufotibialis  but can be distinguished by the uniformly coloured legs in D. niger  compared to the bi-coloured legs found in D. rufotibialis  , with its dark femora and lightly coloured tibiae.

Worker description. See Fig. 16View FIGURE 16. Morphologically uniform except leg colour varying from red-brown to reddish-black (the figured individual has lighter coloured legs compared to most available material), and pilosity on first gastral tergite mostly dense (as figured) but occasionally noticeably more sparse.

Measurements (n= 5). CI 90–99; EI 22–25; EL 0.29–0.32; HL 1.27–1.43; HW 1.20–1.39; ML 1.76–2.11; MTL 1.13–1.35; PronI 71.56–78.84; PronW 0.87–0.99; SI 109–117; SL 1.36–1.51.

Material examined. Western Australia: 0.6km W of Neergabby (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC); 26mi. ENE Norseman (Taylor,R.W.) (ANIC); 5km S Borden (Shattuck,S.O.) (ANIC); Armadale (Clark,J.) (ANIC); Beechboro (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); Binningup (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC); Caiguna RH (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC); Canning Vale (Heterick,B.E.; Knowles,D.G.) (JDMC); Perth (Clark,J.; Rossbach,M.) (ANIC, JDMC); Toolinna (Brooker,M.G.) (ANIC); Whicher Range (Heterick,B.E.) (JDMC).

Comments. Dolichoderus niger  is restricted to low mallee and scrub habitats across southern Western Australia. It has been collected only a handful of times, including in relictual native woodlands in the Perth metropolitan area (Heterick, 2009).