Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis , Shattuck, S. O., 2008

Shattuck, S. O., 2008, Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1677, pp. 25-45: 31-33

publication ID

21723

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/56C14A5A-2B24-57B8-4FF1-0E419559BA4C

treatment provided by

Christiana

scientific name

Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis
status

sp. n.

Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis  HNS  sp. n.

(Figs 7, 8, 21, 22, 26)

Types. Holotype worker, Australia, Western Australia, 6km E Surveyors Pool Camp, Mitchell Plateau, 14°37'48"S 125°37'48"E, 4 May 1992, S. O. Shattuck, Eucalyptus woodland ( ANIC) ( ANIC 32-017982); paratype workers, 9 (same data as holotype) ( ANIC 32-017983) ( ANIC, MCZC).

Diagnosis. Hairs on venter of head randomly distributed and not forming a distinct psammophore (Fig. 8); head relatively narrow (Fig. 21), its posterior margin broadly arched in full face view (Fig. 7); scape relatively long (Fig. 22); erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum tapering to sharp points; propodeal spines long, the dorsal surfaces of propodeum and propodeal spines connected through a gentle concavity followed by a gentle convexity (Fig. 8). This species is most similar to A. barbara  HNS  and can be separated from it by the narrower head and longer scapes.

Description. Posterior margin of head broadly arched in full face view, the arch beginning at the occipital collar and with at most a weak angle separating the posterior and lateral margins of the head (often posterior and lateral margins forming a continuous surface). Hairs on venter of head randomly distributed and not forming a distinct psammophore. Mandibular sculpture composed of irregularly sized striations. Erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum tapering to sharp points. Propodeal spines long. Dorsal surfaces of propodeum and propodeal spines connected through a gentle concavity followed by a gentle convexity (so that the base of each spine is raised slightly above the dorsal surface of the propodeum). Petiolar node (in dorsal view) slightly longer than broad.

Measurements. Worker (n = 7). CI 83-86; EI 17-20; EL 0.19-0.22; HL 1.25-1.38; HW 0.04-1.17; ML 1.83-2.02; MTL 1.25-1.43; SI 149-157; SL 1.63-1.80.

Material examined (in ANIC unless otherwise noted). Northern Territory: Kakadu NP, Round Jungle. Western Australia: 6km E Surveyors Pool Camp, Mitchell Plateau (Shattuck,S.O.); Glenelg River (Andersen,A.N.); Mt. Trafalgar, Kimberley region (MajerJ.D.) (ANAC, JDMC).

Comments. Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis  HNS  occurs in forested areas ranging from Eucalyptus and Allosyncarpia woodlands to rainforests. Nests are in sandy soil.

This species is very similar to A. barbara  HNS  but the limited material currently available suggests that two species are involved. Specimens here considered to belong to A. kimberleyensis  HNS  have narrower heads (Fig. 21) and longer scapes (Fig. 22) compared to specimens placed in A. barbara  HNS  . It should be noted that these differences are slight and that some smaller specimens of both species do overlap, but the majority of specimens (especially larger ones) show little overlap. No other characters could be found which differ between these two sets of specimens. Given that these two species are currently allopatric (compare Figs 24 and 26) it is possible that only a single variable species is involved. However, the characters used here to separate these species(head shape and scape length) have proven to be reliable in diagnosing other species in the genus (species with numerous additional supporting characters). Given this, these differences are taken as being significant and suggest that two separate species are present.

ANIC

Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Canberra City, CSIRO, Australian National Insect Collection

MCZC

USA, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology