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(Figs. 20, 21, 62, 86, 93)
Meranoplus diversus r. oxleyi ForelHNS, 1915: 45 ( Kimberley district , Western Australia; worker) - Taylor & Brown, 1985: 67 (catalogue), Taylor, 1987: 38 (listed), Taylor, 1990: 34 (raised to species), Bolton, 1995: 251 (catalogue), Shattuck, 1999: 143 (listed). Lectotype worker (MHNG, here designated), ' Typus [red label, printed] \ jan [printed] \ Kimberley district [printed] \ N. V. Austr. Mjoeberg [printed] \ Meranoplus diversus Sm. oxleyiHNS For. % type \ Coll. A. Forel'; 2 paralectotypes in ANIC and NHRS. Remarks: three specimens with identical locality labels, one additionally labeled as type (NHRS) [whether all three are syntypes cannot be stated; however, the specimen with the type label is here regarded to be a paralectotype].
WORKERS (n = 7). TL 4.40 - 5.10, HL 1.04 - 1.25, HW 1.15 - 1.43, FC 0.98 - 1.18, CS 1.10 - 1.34, SL 0.65 - 0.78, SI 1 53 - 57, SI 2 55 - 60, PML 0.88 - 1.0, PW 1.05 - 1.25, PMD 1.20 - 1.43, PMI 2 113 - 119, ML 1.0 - 1.25, PTLL 0.33 - 0.38, PTLH 0.48 - 0.60, PTDW 0.43 - 0.54, PPLL 0.30 - 0.40, PPLH 0.45 - 0.55, PPI 63 - 73, PPDW 0.40 - 0.49, PT / PP 103 - 111.
Mandible with four teeth. Clypeus in full face view acutely bidentate, medially excavated, not or only weakly surpassing anterolateral frontal angles, glossy except carinulae posterior to dentition. Head moderately wider than long (CI 108 - 114), preoccipital margin with shallow concavity. Frontal carinae markedly broadened before narrowing towards clypeus, moderately narrower than head width (FI 116 - 121). Antennal scrobe in lateral view surpassing middle of length of head posteriorly, transversely carinulate in posterior half with additional shagreen, distinctly demarcated from remainder of head. Genae and ventrolateral sides of head carinate to rugose, preoccipital lobes reticulate. Compound eyes medium sized (EL 0.23 - 0.26, REL 0.21 - 0.24, with 15 - 18 ommatidia in the longest row) situated at or slightly behind middle of lateral sides of head in lateral view, dorsal ocular margin confluent with ventral scrobal margin.
Promesonotum moderately wider than long (PMI 113 - 125), outline partly translucently margined, concealing lateral sides of mesosoma and propodeal declivity. Propodeal spines of medium length (PSL 0.45 - 0.50) situated above middle of length of declivity, considerably diverging acutely arcuate apically when seen from above.
Petiole distinctly higher than long (PTI 58 - 68), in profile wedge-shaped with anterior face straight and unsculptured, posterior face convex, distinctly and regularly costate. Postpetiole dorsally nodiform, distinctly tapering towards base, with a well developed tooth, rugose throughout.
First gastral tergite entirely microreticulate with variable amount of glossy spots inbetween, with setose variably sized decumbent to erect pilosity. Most of dorsum of head longitudinally costate to rugose, posteriorly reticulate, interspaces with microsculpture, with rather dense layer of short arcuate decumbent and longer stiff suberect to erect hairs. Promesonotal shield irregularly rugoreticulate with predominantly elongate meshes with pilosity similar to that of head.
Concolorous brown to fuscous, the gaster and appendages brighter.
Northern Territory: Larrimah , 16. vii. 1981 (B. B. Lowery); Katherine , 5 km NW, 19. x. 1977; 7.5 km SW, 21. x. 1977; 34 km NW, 22. x. 1977; 55 km SW, 24. x. 1977; 41 km SW, 6. iv. 1978; 12 km SW, 6. iv. 1978; 23 km SW, 9. iv. 1978 (P. J. M. Greenslade). (20 workers, ANIC, NHMW).
A small species with little variability, except specimens from Larrimah having a more distinct frontal microreticulation. M. oxleyiHNS differs from its closest relatives by the relatively large eyes (REL 0.21 - 0.24) and by the posteriorly not distinctly converging promesonotal shield. Hitherto known from Kimberley and Top End.
Type specimens: Lectotype of Meranoplus oxleyi: casent0908937