Aenictus prolixus, Shattuck, S. O., 2008

Shattuck, S. O., 2008, Review of the ant genus Aenictus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Australia with notes on A. ceylonicus (Mayr)., Zootaxa 1926, pp. 1-19 : 14

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scientific name

Aenictus prolixus

sp. n.

Aenictus prolixus   HNS sp. n.

(Figs 7, 8, 18-20, 29)

Types. Holotype worker from Baroalba Gorge, 12°50'S 132°52'E, 18 Nov. 1972, R.W.Taylor & J.E.Feehan, Acc. N. 72.1076, rainforest, under stone ( ANIC, ANIC 32-002810). 18 paratype workers, same data as holotype( ANIC, MCZC, QMBA, ANIC 32-015781).

Diagnosis. Head capsule entirely smooth and essentially uniformly coloured; scape relatively long (SI> 89); subpetiolar process large and rectangular. This species is most similar to A. acerbus   HNS and A. turneri   HNS but can be separated from these by the longer scapes.

Worker Description. Mandible triangular, with a large apical tooth and a smaller subapical tooth followed by 6-7 (rarely 5) small teeth and a larger basal tooth; anterior clypeal border weakly convex to weakly concave, located at or anterior to anterior margins of frontal lobes in full face view; parafrontal ridges absent; subpetiolar process a large rectangular project, an elongate flange sometimes present on the posterior corner; head entirely smooth, pronotum weakly reticulate on collar, smooth posteriorly and laterally, mesonotum smooth, mesopleuron and propodeum finely punctate with longitudinal rugae laterally; body yellow-red, mesosoma slightly darker.

Measurements. Worker (n = 13) - CI 81-90; HL 0.55-0.62; HW 0.46-0.54; MTL 0.43-0.57; ML 0.84- 0.98; SI 89-96; SL 0.42-0.51.

Additional material examined: Australia: Northern Territory: Baroalba Gorge (Taylor,R.W. & Feehan,J.E.) ( ANIC); Fauna Survey Central Arnhem Land, P41, Djabidy Djabidy (Mann,S.) (TERC); Fauna Survey Darwin Region, P48, Tjenya Falls (Mann,S.) (TERC); Fogg Dam (Reichel,H.) (TERC); Gove (Majer,J.D.) ( ANIC); Holmes Jungle, Darwin Region (Andersen,A.N.; Reichel,H.) (TERC); Howard Springs Res. (Hoffmann,B.) (TERC); Mary River Study, Mt. Daly (Armstrong,M.) (TERC); Murgenella (Tiedeman,S.C.) ( ANIC); Surprise Ck. Falls, Litchfield Park (Hoffmann,B.) (TERC); Queensland: 3km ENE Mt. Tozer (Cardale,J.C.) ( ANIC); 4.5km NNW Cape Tribulation (Ward,P.S.; Wild,A.L.) ( ANIC); Horne Creek, 23km N Coen (Ward,P.S.) ( ANIC); Iron Range (Jenkins,R.) ( ANIC); Kuranda, Black Mt. Road (Taylor,R.W. & Feehan,J.) ( ANIC); Lizard Island (Hoffmann,B.; Shepherd,U.) (TERC); Moses Ck., 4 km N by E Mt. Finnigan (Cardale,J.C.) ( ANIC); S3 Mission Beach (Cermak,M.) ( ANIC); Torres Strait, Murray Is. (Heatwole,H.) ( ANIC); Weipa, MRRP Study Site N26 (Andersen,A.N.) (TERC).

Comments. This common species is found in northern Northern Territory and northern Queensland. It is most similar to A. acerbus   HNS and A. turneri   HNS but can be separated as outlined above under Diagnosis. It is probable that at least some of the males here associated with A. hilli   HNS may actually belong to this species.


Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Canberra City, CSIRO, Australian National Insect Collection


USA, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology


Australia, Queensland, South Brisbane, Queensland Museum