Myrmecina alpina, Shattuck, S. O., 2009

Shattuck, S. O., 2009, A revision the Australian species of the ant genus Myrmecina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2146, pp. 1-21: 3-6

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Myrmecina alpina

sp. n.

Myrmecina alpina   ZBK  HNS   sp. n.

(Figs 1-4, 47)

Types. Holotype worker from Mt. Demi, 7km SW Mossman , 16°30'S 145°19'E, 1100m, Queensland , 29 Oct. 1983, D. K. Yeates & G. I. Thompson, rainforest, sieved litter berlesate ( ANIC, ANIC 32-047350); GoogleMaps   13

paratype workers, same data as holotype ( ANIC, BMNH, MCZC, ANIC 32-047232).


Diagnosis. Sides of head behind compound eyes with 2-3 well defined longitudinal carinae running nearly the length of the head. The presence of these carinae will separate this species from all others in Australia with the exception of some higher-elevation populations of M. silvangula   ZBK  HNS   . The longitudinal rather than transverse sculpturing on the pronotum will separate this taxon from these workers.

Worker description. Antennal scapes smooth to weakly ridged. First segment of funiculus cone-shaped. Sides of head behind compound eyes with 2-3 longitudinal carinae running the length of the head. Sculpturing on dorsal surface of mesosoma running longitudinally and generally with the central carina (or carinae) running nearly the length (the pronotum not differentiated from the mesonotum). Carinae extending continuously from the dorsal surface onto the lateral surfaces of the mesosoma. Metanotal spines short. Propodeal spines long. Erect hairs abundant, straight. Colour dark brown-black, antennae, mandibles and legs yellow-red.

Measurements. Worker (n = 5) - CI 95-99; HL 0.72-0.84; HW 0.69-0.80; MTL 0.38-0.45; SI 85-94; SL 0.65-0.72; WL 0.87-1.06.

Additional material examined ( ANIC except where noted). Queensland: 1km S Mt. Lewis (Calder,A. & Weir,T.); 2.5km N Mt. Lewis via Julatten (Yeates,D.K. & Thompson,G.I.); 4km WNW Round Mt. site 3 (Burwell,C.) ( QMBA); 4km WNW Round Mt. site 5 (Yek,S) ( QMBA); Mary Creek site 4 (Burwell,C.) ( QMBA); Mary Creek site 5 (Burwell,C.) ( QMBA); Mt. Demi, 7km SW Mossman (Yeates,D.K. & Thompson,G.I.); Mt. Lewis (Taylor & Feehan); Mt. Lewis (Van Ingen,L.) (TERC); Mt. Lewis summit, via Julatten (Monteith,G. & Cook,D.); The Bluff, 11km W Mossman (Monteith,G.B. & Yeates,D.K.).

Comments. This is a high-elevation specialist known from a limited number of mountain-tops, the lowest collection site being just less than 1000m, and is confined to an area less than 20 square kilometres within Queensland's wet tropics. It is found in rainforest where it has been collected in leaf litter samples. It is sympatric with silvarugosa   ZBK  HNS   , another high-elevation species, and these two species are the only Australian species with carinae on the sides of the head behind the eyes.


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


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


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


Australia, Queensland, South Brisbane, Queensland Museum