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(Figs. 38, 39, 71, 82; Plate 1, B)
HOLOTYPE WORKER. TL 6.70, HL 1.63, HW 1.98, FC 1.50, CS 1.80, SL 0.91, SI 1 46, SI 2 51, PML 1.23, PW 1.65, PMD 1.73, PMI 2 105, ML 1.55, PSL 0.69, PTLL 0.48, PTLH 0.61, PTDW 0.61, PPLL 0.45, PPLH 0.70, PPI 64, PPDW 0.59, PT / PP 104.
Mandible with three large acute teeth. Clypeus medially excavated, distinctly bidentate and longitudinally carinulate, with denticles laterally sinuately merging into anterolateral frontal projections. Head distinctly wider than long (CI 122), preoccipital corners bulbously rounded, the rear margin emarginate. Frontal carinae in posterior half almost straight, anteriorly abruptly becoming broader and sinuately narrowed towards clypeus, distinctly narrower than head width (FI 132). Antennal scrobe in lateral view surpassing middle of length of head posteriorly, transversely carinulate in posterior half, occasionally with additional microsculpture, posteriorly weakely demarcated from remainder of head. Genae and ventrolateral sides of head carinate to rugoreticulate, preoccipital lobes reticulate. Compound eyes of moderate size (EL 0.30, REL 0.18, with 17 ommatidia in the longest row) situated well in front of middle of lateral sides of head, dorsal ocular margin distinctly separated from ventral scrobal margin.
Promesonotum markedly wider than long (PMI 135), translucently margined laterally as well as posteriorly, concealing lateral sides of mesosoma and propodeal declivity. Mesosomal section markedly narrower than pronotum, with acute well developed projections. Propodeal spines rather long (PSL 0.69) situated above middle of length of declivity, acute and straight, moderately diverging when seen from above.
Petiole higher than long (PTI 78), in profile with anterior face straight, posterior face convex, distinctly and regularly costate. Postpetiole elongately nodiform with ventral medium sized tooth, rugose throughout.
First gastral tergite elongately and irregularly carinulate in basal half, posteriorly with microreticulum and interspersed glossy spots, with pilosity of differently sized setose hairs.
Dorsum of head anteriorly rugose, with additional rugulae and few transverse ridges, posteriorly reticulate, interspaces with microsculpture; with scattered arcuate thin hairs and fewer setose ones. Promesonotal shield coarsely rugoreticulate, with similar, though longer pilosity. Concolorous brown to fuscous, frequently with the gaster somewhat brighter.
WORKERS (n = 6). TL 6.65 - 7.20, HL 1.60 - 1.73, HW 1.95 - 2.01, FC 1.45 - 1.58, FI 129 - 134, CI 120 - 123, CS 1.78 - 1.91, SL 0.91 - 1.0, SI 1 46 - 49, SI 2 50 - 54, PML 1.20 - 1.43, PW 1.65 - 1.83, PMI 125 - 140, PMD 1.70 - 1.90, PMI 2 101 - 106, ML 1.5 - 1.7, PSL 0.69 - 0.75, PTLL 0.45 - 0.53, PTLH 0.61 - 0.75, PTI 70 - 78, PTDW 0.56 - 0.70, PPLL 0.45 - 0.50, PPLH 0.70 - 0.89, PPI 63 - 68, PPDW 0.59 - 0.70, PT / PP 94 - 104, EL 0.29 - 0.32, REL 0.17 - 0.20, with 15 - 19 ommatidia in the longest row.
Named for Christine, my partner. I simply adore her.
Holotype worker, Queensland: ' Qld: 26 ° 47.8 ' Sx 145 ° 49.3 ' E " Merigol ", site 4, mulga. Apr 2001. T. Beutel. pitfall trap # 4. 10858 ' (QMBA). Paratypes. 6 workers, same data as holotype; 62 workers, 1 gyne with same locality data but various site and pitfall-trap numbers (ANIC, NHMW, QMBA).
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL EXAMINED
Queensland: Gumbardo , iv. 2001 (T. Beutel). New South Wales: Rata , 16. xii. 1965, Sparse sclerophyll (B. B. Lowery); Condobolin , 11. i. 1967, 650 ft., Red soil (B. B. Lowery). (30 workers, 1 gyne in ANIC, NHMW, QMBA).
One of the larger species, M. christinaeHNS may be distinguished from all others by the clypeal projection and in the almost flanged frontal carinae. M. occidentalisHNS, which has a similar clypeus is readily separated by the distinctly larger eyes, by the different promesosomal shield with missing posterior projections and by the different distribution.
Known from south-central Queensland and New South Wales.
Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times pitfall trap.
Type specimens: paratype of Meranoplus christinae: casent0919718