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Species: Meranoplus taurus   Schödl, 2007 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Meranoplus taurus Schödl, 2007: 407, figs. 50, 51, 76, 88 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Australasia. AntCat AntWiki

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: Schoedl,, 2007, Revision of Australian Meranoplus: the Meranoplus diversus group., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. (Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80), pp. 370-424

Meranoplus taurus SchoedlHNS sp. n.

(Figs. 50, 51, 76, 88)

HOLOTYPE WORKER. TL 4.15, HL 1.05, HW 1.15, FC 0.80, CS 1.10, SL 0.59, SI 1 51, SI 2 53, PML 0.65, PW 0.93, PMD 1.05, PMI 2 114, ML 0.93, PTLL 0.29, PTLH 0.44, PTDW 0.36, PPLL 0.28, PPLH 0.43, PPI 64.71, PPDW 0.40, PT / PP 91.

Mandible with four teeth. In full face view anterior clypeal margin with few carinulae, bifurcate with anterolateral corners produced into long acute teeth; the latter distinctly surpassing the anterolateral frontal corners. Head almost square, only little wider than long (CI 110), preoccipital margin very shallowly concave. Frontal carinae markedly narrower than head width (FI 144), sinuately converging towards clypeus. With head in profile antennal scrobe reaching beyond middle of lateral side of head, weakly transversely carinulate with distinct additional shagreening, distinctly defined posteriorly against remainder of head. Genae and anterior ventrolateral section of head carinate, preoccipital lobes coarsely reticulate. Eyes relatively large and rather flat (EL 0.27, REL 0.29, with 14 ommatidia in the longest row), situated slightly in front of middle of lateral sides of head, the dorsal ocular margin touching the ventral scrobal margin. Dorsal surface of head densely rugoreticulate, interspaces microsculptured.

Promesonotal shield rugoreticulate, short and distinctly vaulted (PMI 142), somewhat square with bluntly reduced projections. Propodeal spines medium sized in relation to small body (PSL 0.35), situated rather high on lateral sides of the propodeal declivity, acute and in dorsal view slightly arcuate and diverging.

Petiole in lateral view trapezoid, higher than long (PTI 66), dorsum convex and reticulate. Postpetiole reticulate, nodular with triangular antero-basal tooth.

First gastral tergite regularly and densely microreticulate, basally with few additional carinulae. Dorsal surfaces covered with short decumbent and longer erect thin whitish hairs. Distinctly bicolored.

WORKERS (n = 21). TL 3.90 - 4.80, HL 0.99 - 1.20, HW 1.10 - 1.35, FC 0.80 - 0.94, FI 131 - 146, CI 107 - 115, CS 1.04 - 1.28, SL 0.59 - 0.65, SI 1 48 - 53, SI 2 51 - 56, PML 0.65 - 0.88, PW 0.93 - 1.08, PMI 120 - 142, PMD 1.05 - 1.20, PMI 2 107 - 116, ML 0.88 - 1.08, PSL 0.33 - 0.40, PTLL 0.26 - 0.35, PTLH 0.41 - 0.50, PTI 58 - 70, PTDW 0.33 - 0.41, PPLL 0.25 - 0.33, PPLH 0.38 - 0.50, PPI 58 - 70, PPDW 0.38 - 0.46, PT / PP 81 - 97, EL 0.27 - 0.32, REL 0.26 - 0.29. with 14 - 17 ommatidia in the longest row.

ETYMOLOGY

The name refers to the horn-shaped anterolateral clypeal projections (' taurus', Latin for bull).

TYPE MATERIAL

Holotype worker, South Australia: ' S. Aust. William Creek GoogleMaps 28 ° 55 ' S 136 ° 20 ' E 5 - Sep- 90, P & I Gee. ' (SAMA). Paratypes. 14 workers, same data as holotype GoogleMaps; 9 workers, same locality data but ' 28.55 S 136.21 E' (ANIC, NHMW, SAMA).

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL EXAMINED

Northern Territory: 15 km SW Katherine , 7. iv. 1978 (P. J. M. Greenslade); Tanami Rd 98 km W Stuart Hwy. , 7. vii. 2003 (R. R. Snelling); Tanami Rd 35 km W Stuart Hwy. , 5. vii. 2003 (R. R. Snelling). Queensland: Sandringham , 18. - 25. ii. 198 (P. J. M. Greenslade). New South Wales: N. Nyngan ' Kapunda' , 6. v. 1987 (P. J. M. Greenslade); c. 45 km W by S of Wilcania , 11. xii. 1973 (R. J. Kohout); 8 km S Conargo , 8. v. 1979 (B. B. Lowery); Lightning Ridge , 10. v. 1961 (B. B. Lowery). Victoria: Patho (H. A. Potter). South Australia: 2.5 km NW Ninety Nine Dam , Anna Creek Stn. , 1. - 5. iii. 1996 (coll. unknown); Top Camp Well , Hamilton Stn. , 14. - 17. xi. 1995 (coll. unknown); Innamincka , 9.5 km NW Patchawara bore , 10. - 14. xi. 1995 (coll. unknown); 4.3 km NE Armistice bore , Anna Creek Stn. , 1. - 5. iii. 1996 (coll. unknown); Cordillo Downs Stn. , 3.7 km W Frew well (coll. unknown); Murnpeowie , Mount Moolawatana , 16. - 17. xi. 1994 (R. Tynan); Andamooka , 5.6 km WNW Netting Dam , 10. - 14. xi. 1996 (coll. unknown); 3 km E Myra Mitta bore , 28. iv. 1995 (T. Robinson); Nilpinna Stn. , 4.1 km SSE, Arckaringa WH , 15. - 20. ix. 1996 (coll. unknown); 5.2 km ESE Strangeways Springs , Stuart Creek Stn. , 25. - 30. ix. 1995 (coll. unknown); Stuart Creek Stn. , 7.5 km E sheep camp WH (coll. unknown); Anna Creek Stn. , 28 km WNW Backadinna Dam , 2. - 6. x. 1995 (coll. unknown); Anna Creek Stn. , 15.6 km SW Backadinna Hill , 2. - 6. x. 1995 (coll. unknown); Peake Stn. , 0.9 km NE Four Hills Trig , 1. - 5. iii. 1996 (coll. unknown); 8 km NW Apollo Bore , iv. 1995 (coll. unknown); 7.5 km NW Apollo Bore , iv. 1995 (coll. unknown); Lake Eyre north , 20. vi. 1991 (P. & I. Gee); Screech-Owl Creek , 27. iv. 1995 (coll. unknown); 15 km SE Balcanoona HS , 19. vii. 1997 (coll. unknown); 3.8 km ESE Coppertop Hill , Peak Stn. , 1. - 5. iii. 1996 (coll. unknown); Woorana WH , 6.2 km S Macumba , 21. - 25. ix. 1996 (coll. unknown). Western Australia: 8 km E Gascoyne junction , road turn-off, 4. vii. 1981 (B. Heterick). (82 workers, 2 gynes, in ANIC, JDMP, LACM, NHMW, SAMA).

DISCUSSION

M. taurusHNS shows very little variability throughout its wide range. However, specimens from a single sample taken at Katherine, Northern Territory are uniformly ferrugineous and have the frontal striation more delicate. Southeastern-most samples, namely from Nyngan, Conargo, Lightning Ridge and Patho differ by the clypeal bifurcation less acutely developed, by the petiole more angulate in profile and by the markedly smaller eyes (REL 0.21 - 0.24), with 13 - 15 ommatidia in the longest row). Both forms are at least very closely related and are here tentatively added to taurusHNS. Further material will be needed to decide whether these samples belong to taxa different from taurusHNS. Occuring more or less sympatric with angustinodisHNS and variabilisHNS in central and south-east Australia, except two remote collection sites in the far west and one in the north, respectively. This small species is very distinctive by the large eyes, the clypeal bifurcation and the square promesonotal shield with its reduced blunt projections.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Type specimens: paratype of Meranoplus taurus: casent0919724



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