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Species: Aphaenogaster poultoni   Crawley, 1922 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Aphaenogaster poultoni Crawley, 1922e: 17, figs. 11, 12 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Australasia. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Shattuck, 2008A PDF: 40.

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Oceania: Australia
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Australasia

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

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

Aphaenogaster poultoni CrawleyHNS

(Figs 6, 13, 14, 19, 20, 29)

Aphaenogaster poultoni CrawleyHNS, 1922b: 17.

Types. Worker syntypes (10 in WAMP, examined) from Beenup [?=Beenyup Brook or Beenyup Swamp], Western Australia; 1 worker syntype without locality data in MVMA.

Diagnosis. Majority of hairs on venter of head located laterally and forming a distinct psammophore (Fig. 14); eye relatively small (EI less than 21, Fig. 19); scape relatively short (SI less than 106, Fig. 20); mandibular sculpture composed of irregularly sized striations (Fig. 6); petiolar node (in dorsal view) wider than long. This species is most similar to A. barbigulaHNS. These two species can be separated by the pattern of sculpturing on the mandibles and the shape of the petiolar node.

There is a tendency for the head of A. poultoniHNS to be more square (when viewed in full face view, the lateral and posterior margins are separated by an angle) compared to both A. barbigulaHNS and A. mediterraeHNS (in which the head is essentially uniformly arched behind the eyes in full face view). However, all species show moderate variation in the shape of the head with essentially identical morphologies being found in some individuals of all three species. Thus while this character is indicative of A. poultoniHNS it is not diagnostic.

Description. Posterior margin of head nearly flat in full face view, extending laterally of the occipital collar before passing through a distinct posterolateral corner into the lateral margin of the head. Majority of hairs on venter of head located laterally and forming a distinct psammophore, only scattered hairs on central portion. Mandibular sculpture composed of irregularly sized striations. Erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum tapering to sharp points. Propodeal spines reduced to small denticles or sharp angles. Petiolar node (in dorsal view) wider than long;

Measurements. Worker (n = 11). CI 86-98; EI 16-21; EL 0.16-0.22; HL 0.93-1.28; HW 0.85-1.18; ML 1.30-1.86; MTL 0.68-1.00; SI 90-105; SL 0.85-1.16.

Material examined (in ANIC unless otherwise noted). Western Australia: 100km E Norseman (Lowery,B.B.); 10km S Mullewa (Lowery,B.B.); 10mi. W Mullewa (Riek,E.F.); 160km ENE Esperance (Ward,P.S.) (ANIC, PSWC); 180km N Geraldton, nr. Billabong Roadhouse (Lowery,B.B.); 20km S Norseman (Lowery,B.B.); 20km W York (Lowery,B.B.); 26mi. NWbyW Norseman (Taylor,R.W.); 3.2km SSW Dongara (Feehan,J.E.); Beenup [Beenyup] (Clark,J.); Beyerley (du Boulay,F.H., MCZC); Brookton Hwy, 20km E Boulders (Lowery,B.B.); Bungulla (Greaves,T.); Caron (Darlington,P.J., MCZC); Darlington (Glauert,G., MCZC); Geraldton (Lowery,B.B.; Mercovich,C.T.; Weatherill; Wheeler,W.M. (ANIC, MCZC); Gayamin Pool, Lower Chittering (Wilson,E.O. and Douglas,A., MCZC); Israelite Bay (T.G.); Kalbarri Nat. Park (Lowery,B.B.); Kings Park, Perth (Clark,J., Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC, MCZC); Moora (Lowery,B.B.); Mullewa (Wheeler,W.M., MCZC); National Park, Darling Range (Wheeler,W.M., MCZC); Perth (Clark,J.; Greaves,T.; Keirath,A.R.) (ANIC, MCZC); Perth, Kings Park (Lowery,B.B.); Rockingham (Glauert,L., MCZC); Toodyay (Lowery,B.B.); Toolinna (Brooker,M.G.); Woongondy, 300mi. N Perth (Mercovich,C.T.).

Comments. This species is restricted to a narrow semi-arid band across south-western Western Australia (Fig. 29) and is sympatric with A. mediterraeHNS in south-central Western Australia (see Fig. 28). It is found in coastal scrub, Jarrah forests, dry sandy sclerophyll, mulga woodlands and mallee. Nests are in soil generally with a large crater at the entrance. An exceptionally large mating swarm was noted by McMillan (1977) (as A. barbigulaHNS).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: yellow sand times found in Mixed Xylomelum/Banksia heath, 3 times found in Mallee, 2 times found in Dry sandy sclerophyll, 2 times found in Dry sclerophyll, 1 times found in Degraded tuart (Eucalyptus gophocephala) woodland with ground cover of exotic weeds, 1 times found in Wooded sandplain, 1 times found in Heathland, 1 times found in Jarrah forest, 1 times found in Mallee, mulga, red soil, 1 times found in Mixed native/exotic veg., semi-rural (now industrial), ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 2 times In sand, 1 times yellow sand, mid-day, 1 times Tall cone nest with volcano like opening at top., 1 times soil, 1 times Low mallee, 0 times Large high-rimmed crater, 1 times In soil, 1 times Ground strays, 1 times Funnel nests, 1 times Funnel nest under dead shrub, 1 times Crater nest, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times Pitfall.

Type specimens:



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