Iridomyrmex fulgens, Heterick & Shattuck, 2011

Heterick, Brian E. & Shattuck, Steve, 2011, Revision of the ant genus Iridomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) 2845, Zootaxa 2845 (1), pp. 1-174 : 82-83

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2845.1.1


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Iridomyrmex fulgens

sp. n.

Iridomyrmex fulgens sp. n.

( Fig. 36 View FIGURE 36 )

Types. Holotype worker from 1km E Curdimurka , 29°29’S 137°06’E, South Australia, 22 September 1972, J. E. Feehan, ANIC Ants Vial 16.69 ( ANIC, ANIC32-059632 View Materials ) GoogleMaps . Paratypes: 2 workers, same data as holotype ( ANIC, ANIC32-040922 View Materials ) GoogleMaps ; 3 workers from c. 36km ESE Curdimurka , 29°36’S 137°26’E, South Australia, 21 September 1972, J. E. Feehan, ANIC GoogleMaps Ants Vial 17.70 ( ANIC, ANIC32-040930 View Materials ) ; 3 workers from c. 28km S Parachilna , 31°23’S 138°25’E, South Australia, 14 September 1972, J. E. Feehan, ANIC GoogleMaps Ants Vial 16.58 ( ANIC, ANIC32- 040929 View Materials ) ; 3 workers (one with gaster detached and glued to point) from Curdimurka , South Australia, 2 October 1978, P. J. M. Greenslade ( MCZC, ANIC32-039369 View Materials ) ; 2 workers from 50km NE Clifton Hills , South Australia, August 1975, Forrest ( BMNH, ANIC32-039367 View Materials ) .

Worker Description. Head. Posterior margin of head weakly concave, or strongly concave; erect setae on posterior margin in full-face view set in a row; sides of head noticeably convex; erect genal setae present on sides of head in full-face view, or absent from sides of head in full-face view (one to a few small setae may be present near mandibular insertion). Ocelli absent; in full-face view, eyes set at about midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of head capsule; eye asymmetrical, curvature of inner eye margin more pronounced than that of its outer margin. Frontal carinae convex; antennal scape barely attaining posterior margin of head, or surpassing it by less than 1 x its diameter. Erect setae on scape present and abundant, or present and sparse; prominence on anteromedial clypeal margin present as an indistinct swelling or undulation; mandible triangular with distinct angle between masticatory and basal margins; long, curved setae on venter of head capsule absent. Mesosoma. Pronotum strongly inclined anteriorly, or moderately and evenly curved over its length. Erect pronotal setae numerous (12 or more) and longest setae elongate, flexuous and/or curved. Mesonotum straight, or evenly curved. Erect mesonotal setae moderate in number (6-12), short and bristly. Mesothoracic spiracles always inconspicuous; propodeal dorsum smoothly and evenly convex; placement of propodeal spiracle posteriad and near propodeal declivity, or mesad, more than its diameter away from propodeal declivity; propodeal angle weakly present or absent, the confluence of the dorsal and declivitous propodeal faces indicated, if at all, by an undulation. Erect propodeal setae numerous (12 or more), short and bristly. Petiole. Dorsum of node convex, or planar; node thin, scale-like, orientation more-or-less vertical. Gaster. Non-marginal erect setae of gaster present on first gastral tergite; marginal erect setae of gaster present on first tergite. General characters. Allometric differences between workers of same nest absent. Colour medium brown to dark chocolate, gaster with greenish-yellow to bluish iridescence. Colour of erect setae whitish-yellow.

Measurements. Worker (n = 4)—CI 91–94; EI 26–27; EL 0.18–0.22; EW 0.14–0.17; HFL 0.76–0.94; HL 0.75–0.85; HW 0.68–0.79; ML 0.91–1.06; MTL 0.57–0.67; PpH 0.14–0.17; PpL 0.40–0.44; SI 91–93; SL 0.64– 0.73.

Comments. Iridomyrmex fulgens is a brown-to-dark-brown, shiny ant with a uniform morphology throughout its range. The combination of erect setae on antennal scape and hind leg and the mostly smooth sides of the head capsule, when the worker is in full-face view, is unique, and identifies this taxon. This is yet another species closely related to I. rufoniger that has a distribution mainly in drier inland areas, and records come from Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia (the state in which most specimens have been collected). Workers have been taken in pitfall traps, and one specimen from Marree, South Australia, was collected from under emu dung, but apart from this there are no ecological data for the species.

Etymology. Latin: ‘brilliant’ or ‘splendid’, as a reference to the shining brown foreparts and iridescent gaster in this species.


Australian National Insect Collection