Dolichoderus inferus, Shattuck, Steven O. & Marsden, Sharon, 2013

Shattuck, Steven O. & Marsden, Sharon, 2013, Australian species of the ant genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 3716 (2), pp. 101-143 : 122-123

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3716.2.1

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scientific name

Dolichoderus inferus

sp. nov.

Dolichoderus inferus sp. n.

( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 )

Types. Holotype worker from Gordon, Sydney, 33°45'S 151°09'E, New South Wales, 21 September 1974, P.S. Ward, PSWC#92, foraging on Eucalyptus trunk in dry sclerophyll (ANIC, ANIC32-066605); 3 paratype workers, same data as holotype except ANIC32- 060583 (ANIC); 6 paratype workers, same data as holotype except 15 September 1974, PSWC#47, ex. dead branch on sandstone ledge, in dry sclerophyll ANIC32- 060584 (3 in ANIC, 3 in MCZC).

Diagnosis. Pronotum rounded, lacking spines, propodeum with elongate spines directed upward at angle of 45° or less to horizontal plane, the angle between them at least 90°; base of propodeal spines forming a "U" with a broad concavity connecting their bases (sometimes this region flat or weakly convex); dorsum of petiolar node broad; legs short and dark red-brown in colour, at most only slightly lighter in colour than the body.

This species is similar to D. ypsilon , D. rufotibialis and D. niger but can be distinguished from these by its dorsally broad petiolar node (rather than angular); and the broad "U" formed at the base of the propodeal spines rather than a narrowly angled "V" when viewed from the front. It is most similar to D. scabridus which also has a broad petiolar node, and "U" at the base of the propodeal spines, but differs in having dark red-brown legs rather than yellowish-red.

Worker description. See Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 . The available material shows little variation from this pattern.

Measurements (n=5). CI 92–97; EI 20–22; EL 0.28–0.31; HL 1.44–1.54; HW 1.33–1.42; ML 1.96–2.12; MTL 1.14–1.21; PronI 73.48–74.79; PronW 1.00–1.05; SI 100–105; SL 1.38–1.46.

Material examined. New South Wales: Mt. Keira (Sundholm,A.) (ANIC); Royal N.P. (Ward,P.S.) (ANIC); Royal National Park, above Garie Beach (Lowery,B.B.) (ANIC); Victoria: Greensborough (McAreavey,J.) (ANIC).

Comments. Dolichoderus inferus is most common in dry sclerophyll habitats but extends into wet sclerophyll as well. Foragers have been encountered primarily on low vegetation and trees and a nest was found in a dead branch. While most specimens have been encountered in the general vicinity of Sydney, there is a single collection from southern Victoria, some 700kms to the south-east. These specimens are morphologically inseparable from the Sydney population and appear to represent the same species. The current status of this species in Victoria is uncertain given that it has only been found a single time.













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