Heteroponera monteithi , Taylor, Robert W., 2015

Taylor, Robert W., 2015, Australasian ants of the subfamily Heteroponerinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): (2) the species-group of Heteroponera relicta (Wheeler), with descriptions of nine new species and observations on, Zootaxa 3947 (2), pp. 151-180: 167-171

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Heteroponera monteithi

sp. n.

6. Heteroponera monteithi  sp. n.

( Figs 26 –29View FIGURES 26 – 29, 30– 33View FIGURES 30 – 33)

Type locality. AUSTRALIA: QUEENSLAND: Brandy Creek Rd, Conway State Forest (20 ° 20 'S, 148 ° 42 'E) Type deposition. Holotype ANIC. Paratypes in ANIC, QMBA.

Distribution, material examined. Known only from 3 rainforested sites in central coastal Queensland. Unless noted all samples comprise single workers collected from Berlese funnel samples of leafmould or sieved litter, or stick brushings. EA 18 Conway Range: Mt Dryander, - 20 0 0, 148 33 — 4 workers, stick brushings, QMBA berlesate 59, 500 – 650 m ( GBM, 24.iv. 1979)— 700–800 m, 21.xi. 1992, 12 workers, gyne, probable colony series ( GBM, Thompson, Cook & Janetski);—summit, QMBA berlesate 61, 740 m ( GBM, 24.iv. 1979). Cannonvale, - 20 0 8, 148 43 — 3 workers, stick brushings, QMBA berlesate 64, 10 m ( GBM, 25.iv. 1979)— 2 workers, same data, sieved litter, QMBA berlesate 65. Conway SF, Brandy Creek Rd,- 20 148 42 — Holotype, 2 additional workers, stick brushings, QMBA berlesate 56, 60 m ( GBM, 23.iv. 1979)— 3 workers, QMBA berlesates 57 & 63, 60 m ( GBM, 23–25.iv. 1979).

Worker diagnosis. General features, conformation, color and major sculpturation as in appropriate key couplets above and accompanying illustrations. Gastral II spurs present as defined above, and arrowed in Figs 26 & 28View FIGURES 26 – 29. Pronotal humeri narrowly rounded in dorsal view; humeral epaulets relatively poorly developed. Basically similar to the putatively related H. lioprocta  (compare Figs). Node more rounded above, without median posterodorsal extension; propodeal declivity barely margined sculpturally, lacking propodeal spine-like extensions. Sculpturation of frons, mesosoma and petiole more heavily developed. Antennal scrobes finely longitudinally striate, the striae curving to follow the profile of the scrobe. Propodeal declivity smooth and shining, with distinct or vestigial fine radial striation in most specimens. Sculpture of first gastral tergite resembling H. lioprocta  , similarly point-punctate, but with a few small scattered, weakly incised, shallow larger punctural elements. The point-punctae more dense along the posterior margin of the sclerite. Dimensions: (holotype (which is the smallest specimen examined), largest paratype (Mt Dryander summit)): TL (ca): 3.94, 4.67; HW: 0.93, 1.08; HL: 0.89, 1.06; CI: 104, 101; EL: 0.16, 0.17; SL: 0.53, 0.65; SI: 57, 60; PW: 0.66, 0.78; WL: 1.12, 1.36; petH: 0.65, 0.68; petW: 0.45, 0.53; GW 0.90, 0.98.

Gyne: A single individual from a nest with workers. General features, conformation, color and major sculpturation as in Figs 30–33View FIGURES 30 – 33. Relatively pale in color (possibly callow) and hirsute compared to workers. A single minute median ocellus present. Gaster less enlarged than in H. relicta  gynes. Gastral II spurs barely represented by minute appropriately situated swellings. Dimensions: TL (ca): 5.04; HW: 1.04; HL: 1.03; CI: 101; EL: 0.18; SL: 0.62; SI: 59; PW: 0.77; WL: 1.41; petH: -; petW: 0.57; GW 1.26.

Related taxa. Affinity with H. lioprocta  is supported by the uniquely shared presence of Gastral II Spurs (see relevant key couplets, and above under “Morphology and phylogeny”), an apparent synapomorphy otherwise unknown in Heteroponera  (pers obs., and Feitosa, pers comm.).

In-group sympatric associations. None known.

Biogeography. Possibly endemic to the Conway Range (EA 18) rainforests.

Remarks. Some specimens, which are presumed to be sub-callow, have the gaster orange-brown.

Etymology. Named to commend the accomplished entomologist and insect collector nonpareil Geoff Monteith of Queensland Museum, Brisbane. Alone or accompanied he acquired over 50 of the total Heteroponera  records reported in this paper.


Australian National Insect Collection