Meranoplus unicolor Forel

Schoedl,, 2007, Revision of Australian Meranoplus: the Meranoplus diversus group., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 370-424: 378-379

publication ID

21287

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Meranoplus unicolor Forel
status

 

Meranoplus unicolor Forel   HNS   , 1902

(Figs. 4, 5, 54, 79, 91)

Meranoplus diversus Sm. r. unicolor Forel   HNS   , 1902: 455 ( King Sound , Western Australia; worker)   - Taylor & Brown, 1985: 67 (catalogue), Taylor, 1987: 38 (listed), Taylor, 1990: 34 (raised to species), Bolton, 1995: 252 (catalogue), Shattuck, 1999: 143 (listed). Lectotype worker ( MHNG, here designated), ' Typus [printed on red label] \ M. diversus   HNS   & # 9792; Sm r. unicolor   HNS   For Kings Sound N. W. Austr Frogatt [handwritten] \ 8 \ r. M. unicolor Forel   HNS   [handwritten] \ Coll. Forel'; 4 paralectotypes in ANIC, MHNG. According to Taylor (1990) one further syntype in Mus Victoria (not examined).

WORKERS (n = 22). TL 6.15 - 8.40, HL 1.66 - 2.15, HW 1.78 - 2.37, FC 1.27 - 1.73, CS 1.72 - 2.26, SL 0.88 - 1.1, SI 1 44 - 52, SI 2 46 - 54, PML 1.0 - 1.4, PW 1.38 - 1.85, PMI 118 - 138, PMD 1.28 - 1.80, PMI 2 89 - 100, ML 1.45 - 1.97, PSL 0.48 - 0.85, PTLL 0.46 - 0.63, PTLH 0.60 - 0.83, PTDW 0.6 - 0.85, PPLL 0.4 - 0.64, PPLH 0.55 - 0.83, PPI 64 - 77, PPDW 0.55 - 0.88, PT / PP 93 - 109.

Mandibles with three teeth. In full face view clypeal projection distinctly exceeding anterolateral frontal corners, with a median bicarinate flat elaboration, that may considerably surpass the anterior clypeal margin. Frontal carinae sinuately narrowed towards clypeus, distinctly narrower than head width (FI 134 - 148). Head weakly to distinctly wider than long (CI 104 - 118), preoccipital margin distinctly concave. Antennal scrobe in lateral view posteriorly surpassing middle of length of head, merging into lateral sides far before posterior corners; distinctly transversely carinulate at rear, occasionally with additional shagreen. Genae and ventrolateral sides of head carinate to rugose, preoccipital lobes reticulate. Eyes of moderate size (EL 0.30 - 0.36, REL 0.16 - 0.20, with 16 - 19 ommatidia in the longest row), in lateral view situated in anterior half of lateral sides of head, not reaching ventral scrobal margin. Dorsal surface of head with additional microreticulum between ridges of rugo-reticulation.

Promesonotal shield only very narrowly translucently margined. Mesonotum posteriorly markedly narrowing with the posterolateral projections reduced and bluntly rounded, occasionally as more or less well developed acute denticles. Propodeal declivity visible from above. Propodeal spines due to variable body size varying in length (0.48 - 0.85), situated above middle of length of declivity, acute and considerably diverging when seen from above.

Petiole in lateral view higher than long (PTI 70 - 86), box-shaped to roughly triangular with anterior and posterior faces meeting in an angle. Postpetiole nodiform with short to mediumsized antero-basal tooth.

First gastral tergite entirely and distinctly striate to punctate-striate, with lateral striation on corresponding ventrite as well. Surface covered with moderately dense regular pilosity consisting of shorter decumbent hairs and longer erect ones, pilosity on dorsal head shorter than that on mesosoma and gaster.

Concolorous brown to dark-brown.

MATERIALEXAMINED

South Australia: 6 km SE Box Creek , 24. ix. / 24. x. 1993 (McArthur & Adams)   ; 19.5 km WNW Anta Hill , 16. - 19. ix. 1998 (coll. unknown)   ; 20 km NE Macumba Station , 6. x. 1981 (D. Davidson & S. Morton)   . Western Australia: Kununurra , 8. viii. 1986 (B. B. Lowery)   ; Broome , 11. viii. 1986 (B. B. Lowery)   ; 24 mi SE Broome , 17. iv. 1963 (McInnes & Dowse)   ; King's Sound , ' Forel No 8 '   . Northern Territory: 25 km W Tempe Downs , 20. v. 1997 (J. & J. Schapel)   ; Larrimah , 16. vii. 1981 & 28. vi. 1985 (B. B. Lowery)   ; Tanami Desert , 18. v. 1986 (P. J. M. Greenslade)   ; Alligator Rivers area, Jabiru , 10. v. 1983 (P. J. M. Greenslade)   ; 60 km E Three Ways , 24. vii. 1981 (B. B. Lowery)   ; Manbulloo SW Katherine, 25. x. 1977 (P. J. M. Greenslade)   ; Elliot , Stuart H'way , 16. vii. 1981 (B. B. Lowery)   ; 40 km N Wave Hill , 14. ix. 1981 (D. Davidson & S. Morton)   ; Davenport Ra. Rd. at Bonney Creek , 6. vii. 2003 (R. R. Snelling)   ; Kidman Springs , 23 - 30. iv. 1997 (A. Salvarani)   . Queensland: Camooweal , 25. vii. 1981 (B. B. Lowery)   ; 19 km N Ebagoola , 12. viii. 1983 (P. S. Ward)   ; Moreton Teleg. Stn. , 11. viii. 1958 (E. M. Exley)   ; Cooktown (Staudinger)   ; 10 km E Mt. Isa Gorge Ck. , 12. v. 1980 (B. B. Lowery)   ; SW Sandringham , 4. vi. 1980 (P. J. M. Greenslade)   ; Alice River (Mjoeberg)   ; Gubberamunda , 7. - 9. v. 2002 (S. G. Wright)   ; Gumbardo , iv. 2001 (T. Beutel). (104 workers, 3 gynes in ANIC, LACM, MCZC, NHMW, QMBA, SAMA, UQIC)   .

DISCUSSION

M. unicolor   HNS   is a variable taxon, in particular with regard to the clypeal projection and the petiolar shape. Nonetheless, the clypeal structure in addition to the distinct gastral striation should leave no doubt as to the identity of the taxon. Additional material is needed to show whether more than a single taxon is involved. Occuring from Kimberley over central Australia to the north-east coast of Queensland; missing in southern Australia.

MHNG

Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle

ANIC

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

LACM

USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History

MCZC

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

NHMW

Austria, Wien, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

QMBA

Australia, Queensland, South Brisbane, Queensland Museum

SAMA

Australia, South Australia, Adelaide, South Australian Museum

UQIC

Australia, Queensland, St. Lucia, University of Queensland