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Species: Austromorium flavigaster   (Clark, 1938) 

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

Xiphomyrmex flavigaster Clark, 1938: 366, fig. 5 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Australasia. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Combination in Chelaner: Bolton, 1976 PDF: 294; in Monomorium: Taylor, 1987b: 2.
incertae sedis in Monomorium: Heterick, 2001 PDF: 441; in Austromorium: Shatuck, 2009b: 65.

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., 2009, Austromorium, a new myrmicine ant genus from Australia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 2193, pp. 62-68

Austromorium flavigaster (Clark)HNS

(Figs 1-3, 7)

Xiphomyrmex flavigaster ClarkHNS, 1938: 366 (combination in Chelaner by Bolton, 1976; combination in MonomoriumHNS by Taylor, 1987; unplaced to genus by Shattuck, 1999; incertae sedis in MyrmicinaeHNS by Heterick, 2001; combination in RogeriaHNS by Heterick, 2009).

Types. Syntype workers from Reevesby Island, South Australia (MVMA, examined).

Diagnosis. Body yellowish-red to reddish-brown, much lighter in colour than heterickiZBKHNS, the gaster banded light brown-dark brown-light brown (rather than being dull red with a uniformly coloured gaster), sculpturing areolate-rugose (rather than rugose), dorsal face of propodeum similar in length to posterior face (rather than much longer), propodeal lobes developed as sharp spines (rather than rounded posteriorly), ventral surface of petiole lacks a small tooth anteriorly, and petiolar node with distinct anterior and dorsal faces (rather than having the dorsal and posterior faces forming a continuous surface). In addition, flavigasterHNS is much smaller than heterickiZBKHNS (HW < 0.85mm vs. HW > 1.30mm).

Description. Mandibles triangular, with 4-5 teeth. Palp formula 2,2. Clypeus projecting slightly forward, bicarinate. Frontal lobes narrow but covering antennal insertions, posterior sections converging slightly. Eyes with 8-10 ommatidia in greatest diameter, located laterally on head at the midpoint of its length. Sides and vertex of head flat, connected by a broad, rounded curve. Antennae 12 segmented with a 3- segmented club.

Mesosoma compact. Anterior face of pronotum rising almost vertically from the collar and rounding gradually into the dorsal surface. Mesonotum and dorsal surface of propodeum forming a continuous surface separated by a weak metanotal groove. Dorsal face of propodeum approximately the same length as the posterior face. Propodeal spines well developed. Propodeal lobes developed as sharp spines which are 3/4 the length of the propodeal spines. Propodeal spiracle small, located level with the base of the propodeal spine, approx. 3x its diameter from the posterior propodeal face. Tibial spurs absent from middle and hind legs.

Petiolar peduncle about half as long as petiolar node. Venter of petiole flat anterior and lacking a subpetiolar process; posterior sectioned angled ventrally relative to anterior section. Node with distinct anterior, dorsal and posterior faces, the anterior and dorsal faces approximately the same length, the posterior face much shorter causing the dorsal face to slope rearward. Postpetiole with a low process ventrally. Postpetiolar node with distinct anterior, dorsal and posterior faces, the dorsal face weakly convex.

Mandibles smooth but overlain with weak, low carinae. Head areolate-rugose with the dorsal surface of the head between the eyes tending towards costate. Mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole areolate-rugose. Legs and gaster smooth. Entire body with elongate erect or suberect hairs, those on the scapes and legs shorter and more appressed. Anterior clypeal margin with a row of long, curved setae which extend anteriorly about 1/2 the length of the mandibles.

Colour yellowish-red to reddish-brown, antennae and legs lighter. Gaster generally banded with the anterior section of the first tergite and the terminal segments paler than the posterior section of the first tergite.

Measurements. Worker (n=8): CI 88-96, EI 15-18, EL 0.10-0.14, HL 0.71-0.87, HW 0.65-0.81, ML 0.77-0.99, MTL 0.38-0.47, SI 75-81, SL 0.52-0.62.

Material examined. Australia: Australian Capital Territory: Black Mountain (Barnett,N.J.; Moran,R.J.; Taylor,R.W.); Black Mountain, eastern foothills (Lowery,B.B.); Mount Ainslie (Brooks,C.G.; Lowery,B.B.; Taylor,R.W.); Mount Ainslie, nr. lookout (Brooks,C.G.). New South Wales: Gladstone (Harvey,M.S.); Mairjimmy SF, 12km N Finley (Lowery,B.B.); Queanbeyan, Mt. Jerrabomberra (Taplin,I.C.). Queensland: Mt. Nebo (Hammond,J.). South Australia: Aldgate, Adelaide (Lowery,B.B.); Back Ck. Gorge (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Kirkby,C.A.); Belair (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Bridgewater (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Coorong, Banff LB (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Coorong, Banff LE (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Coorong, Coolatoo LK (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Coorong, Keith, 17km NE Coorong (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Coorong, Salt Ck. [Coorong NP] (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Englebrook (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Kirkby,C.A.); Glen Osmond (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Kirkby,C.A.); Kangaroo Is., 3mi. S Rocky R. (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Kangaroo Is., Dudley Pen. (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Forrest,J.); Mt. Barker (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Mt. Lofty (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Kirkby,C.A.); Mt. Lofty Ranges (Greenslade,P.J.M. & Hutson); Reedy Creek, Murrumbong (Britton & Dawkins); Reevesby Island (Clark,J.); Rocky River, Kangaroo Island (Greenslade,P.J.M.); Sevenhill (Lowery,B.B.); Victor Harbour (Greenslade,P.J.M.). Tasmania: Meander (Lowery,B.B.). Victoria: Studley Park, Kew (Lowery,B.B.). Western Australia: 13km SE Mt. Ragged, Cape Arid Natl Pk (Shattuck,S.O.); Boranup Drive, 4km NW Karridale (Lawrence,J.F. & Lawrence,N.); Green Head (collector unknown); Two People Bay (Springett,J.); Yanchep (collector unknown).

Comments. These ants are general scavengers which nest in the soil, often at the base of trees. They occur in southern New South Wales, A. C. T., Victoria, south-east South Australia and south-west Western Australia. Most collections have been from dry sclerophyll with a limited number from mallee.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 10 times found in Dry sclerophyll, 3 times found in Mallee, 3 times found in Radiata pine forest, 3 times found in Dry sclerophyll, gully, 1 times found in Eucalyptus open-forest, 1 times found in Eucalyptus forest, 1 times found in Acacia and Eucalyptus, 1 times found in Mixed native/exotic veg., semi-rural environ., 1 times found in Blackwood forest, 1 times found in Closed low shrubland, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 11 times Litter, 6 times leaf litter, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times Rotten log, 1 times litter sample, 1 times in soil at base of tree, 1 times In mossy soil pack at base of tree, 1 times In litter around base of mallee root, 1 times In damp bank of soil at base of tree, 1 times Damp soil at base of tree, 1 times Berlesate, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 9 times Pitfall.

Elevations: collected from 15 - 750 meters, 504 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Xiphomyrmex flavigaster: antweb1008360



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