Anochetus armstrongi McAreavey

Shattuck, Steven O. & Slipinska, Ewa, 2012, Revision of the Australian species of the ant genus Anochetus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 3426, pp. 1-28 : 7-8

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3426.1.1


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Anochetus armstrongi McAreavey


Anochetus armstrongi McAreavey View in CoL

( Figs 5 View FIGURE 5 , 7 View FIGURE 7. A )

Anochetus armstrongi McAreavey, 1949: 1 View in CoL .

Types. Holotype worker and worker and queen paratypes from Nyngan, New South Wales (holotype, 36 worker and 6 queen paratypes in ANIC, examined; 4 worker paratypes in MCZC, examined; additional worker paratypes in BMNH) .

Diagnosis. Entire body smooth and shining except for the sculpturing between the frontal carinae and scattered very weak striations on the propodeal dorsum; eyes large (EL> 0.30mm). The only other Australian species of Anochetus to show similar lack of sculpturing to A. armstrongi is A. avius . Anochetus armstrongi can be separated from this species by its larger eye size (EL> 0.30mm vs. <0.25mm), and longer scapes (SL> 1.05mm vs. <1.00mm) and legs (MTL> 0.85mm vs. <0.80mm, HFL> 1.18mm vs. <1.10mm). It is very similar to A. renatae but differs in having more weakly developed sculpturing on the propodeum, reduced number of erect hairs on the hind tibiae and less bulging eyes. Anochetus armstrongi is also allopatric to both of these species, occurring in south-eastern Australia while A. avius is limited to northern Western Australia and A. renatae is only known from southern Western Australia.

Worker description. Sculpturing on front of head extending slightly beyond eyes. Scapes not reaching posterolateral corners ('lobes') of head; with limited pubescence and few erect hairs. Pronotum smooth and shining. Mesonotum and metapleuron without sculpture, smooth and shining. Propodeum flattened dorsally, with weak transverse striations and only a few scattered very short hairs. Propodeal angle distinct, triangular. Petiolar node in anterior view truncate or weakly concave. Hind tibiae with erect hairs limited to outer surfaces. Colour yellow-brown or light brown with legs yellow or yellow-brown.

Measurements. Worker (n = 12): CI 94–98; EI 24–27; EL 0.33–0.39; HL 1.36–1.57; HW 1.33–1.51; HFL 1.33–1.46; ML 1.69–1.89; MandL 0.67–0.75; MTL 0.95–1.14; PronI 57–60; PronW 0.77–0.87; SL 1.16–1.32; SI 85–92.

Material examined. Australia: New South Wales: 14 ml. NW of Nyngan (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); 14 mls. N of Quambone (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); 15 km Pilliga Scrub, Narrabri (Room, P.M.) ( ANIC); 27km S Hillston (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); 5 km N of Condobolin (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Bogan River (Armstrong, J.) ( ANIC); Broken Hill (Shepherd, F.) ( ANIC); Burke (collector unknown) ( ANIC); Callubri Station (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); CSIRO Lake Mere field stn, nr. Louth (Bryannah, M.) ( ANIC); Euston (Froggatt, W.W.) ( ANIC); Finley (White, W.B.) ( ANIC); Griffith to Leeton (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); Hillston (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Hillston , Rail. Res. (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Lake Mere, 40 km NNE Louth (Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); Mairjimmy SF, 12km N Finley (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Nyngan (Armstrong, J.; Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Palmer SF, 27km E Jerilderie (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Pillia E, Narrabri (Room, P.M.) ( ANIC); Riverina (Froggatt, W.W.) ( ANIC); Talbita (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); Queensland: 16 km W Cunnamulla (Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); 20 km WSW of Eungella (Gillison, A.) ( ANIC); 30mi. N Tambo (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); 4 mi. WNW of Yelarbon (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); Fletcher (Sutton, E.) ( ANIC); Helenslee Station (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); Nindigully (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); St. George (Greaves, T.; Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Toobeal (Greaves, T.) ( ANIC); South Australia: 19km NbyE Renmark (Shattuck, S.O.) ( ANIC); 5 ml. S of Hawker (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); 8km NW Morgan (Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); 8m. SW Morgan (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Brookfield Cons. Park (Ward, P.S.) ( ANIC); Gawler Ra., Yardea , 4 km NE AHS (Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); Moorunle, nr. Blanchetowne [ Moorundie nr. Blanchetown ] (Taylor, G.S. & Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); Mt. Lofty (Elston, A.H.) ( ANIC); Mt. Woodroofe (foot), Musgrave Ra (Lowery, B.B.) ( ANIC); Oraparinna, Flinders Ranges (Greenslade, P.J.M.) ( ANIC); Victoria: Marysville (Barrett, C.; Clark, J.) ( ANIC); Patho (Potter, H.A.) ( ANIC); Ultima (Goudie, J.C.) ( ANIC).

Comments. This is one of the more widely distributed Australian Anochetus species, occurring from central Queensland south to southern South Australia. It is also the only species occurring in the cooler south-eastern part of the country. Brown (1978) and Heterick (2009) included southern Western Australian specimens as part of this species but these are here considered to belong to the separate species A. renatae . Brown did, however, speculate that these western populations may represent a separate species and listed a number of characters that differ from more eastern specimens. He was reluctant to separate them because of the relatively large amount of morphological variation present and the few specimens available for study. Fortunately the situation has improved since then and the presently available material clarifies the taxonomic significance of the characters Brown discussed. It is now possible to develop well defined diagnoses to separate the eastern and western populations and the present evidence suggests that two separate but similar species are involved. As such the western populations are removed from A. armstrongi to the newly described species A. renatae .

Brown (1978) also discussed specimens from northern Western Australia which he treated as belonging to A. armstrongi but Bob Taylor (pers. comm.) described as being "rather like paripungens ". In fact these specimens are not part of A. armstrongi but are here considered as belonging to two separate species, A. avius and A. veronicae .

Biologically, these ground nesting ants are found in a range of drier habitats including dry sclerophyll and savannah woodlands, Callitris forests, Casuarina flats, mallee, bluebush steppes and grasslands. They are almost always found as ground foragers or nesting under a wide range of objects on the ground.


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


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


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]


Australia, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation


Australian National Insect Collection


Australian National Fish Collection














Anochetus armstrongi McAreavey

Shattuck, Steven O. & Slipinska, Ewa 2012

Anochetus armstrongi

McAreavey 1949: 1
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