Amblyopone australis

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Amblyopone australis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Amblyoponinae
Tribe: Amblyoponini
Genus: Amblyopone
Species: A. australis
Binomial name
Amblyopone australis
Erichson, 1842

Amblyopone australis casent0172267 profile 1.jpg

Amblyopone australis casent0172267 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

Amblyopone australis forage and nest in rotten logs.

At a Glance • Facultatively polygynous  

 

Photo Gallery

  • Shattuck 48709-web, ANIC32-047407, Amblyopone australis, near Adamidaby, NSW.jpg
  • Shattuck 48719-web, ANIC32-047407, Amblyopone australis, near Adamidaby, NSW.jpg

Identification

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Heterick (2009) - A broad distribution throughout Australia. Within the SWBP, WA, most records come from the Darling Range and near the south coast.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality), Lord Howe Island, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island.
Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea, Solomon Islands.


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Elevation Range

Occurrence at collecting sites during elevational surveys of rainforest in the Eungella region, Queensland, Australia (Burwell et al., 2020).
Species Elevation (m asl)
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
Amblyopone australis 10-20 10-20 30-40 40-50 80-90 90-100
Shading indicates the bands of elevation where species was recorded.
Numbers are the percentage of total samples containing this species.

Biology

A. australis feeds on a range of soft-bodied arthropods and nests in logs above ground (Shattuck, 1999; Wheeler 1933)

In the SWBP, WA, nests of A. australis are not uncommon under logs and rocks. This is the Amblyopone most commonly encountered in the hills behind Perth.

Castes

Queen–worker dimorphism in body size is very pronounced in A. australis (Peeters & Molet 2010). Workers are polymorphic, and large individuals may be better adapted for digging galleries in rotten logs.

Adults and different stages of brood, showing variations in body size among workers. From Maleny, southern Queensland. Photo by Christian Peeters
Growth of thorax relative to head in A. australis and Stigmatomma pallipes (previously A. pallipes) queens and workers. Worker size variation and queen/worker size dimorphism are much higher in A. australis. From Peeters & Molet (2010)

Worker

Queen

Male

Pupae

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • australis. Amblyopone australis Erichson, 1842: 261, pl. 5, fig. 7 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Tasmania).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: Tasmania (“Vandiemensland”).
    • [Note: Shattuck & McArthur, 1995: 121, report that the material was collected at Tasmania, Woolnorth Station (A. Schayer).]
    • Type-depository: unknown, perhaps lost.
    • [Note: not located among Erichson’s material at MNHU by Shattuck & McArthur, 1995: 121.]
    • Smith, F. 1858b: 109 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952a: 116 (l.); Imai, Crozier & Taylor, 1977: 347 (k.).
    • Status as species: Smith, F. 1858b: 109; Roger, 1861a: 48; Roger, 1863b: 20; Mayr, 1863: 394; Mayr, 1886c: 359; Emery, 1887b: 446; Dalla Torre, 1893: 13; André, 1896b: 260; Forel, 1907h: 263; Forel, 1910b: 1; Emery, 1911d: 25; Emery, 1914b: 179; Forel, 1915b: 1; Poulton & Crawley, 1922: 120; Clark, 1925b: 137; Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 4 (redescription); Clark, 1928c: 39; Clark, 1929: 121; Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 74; Clark, 1934c: 52; Wilson, 1958a: 142; Brown, 1958h: 13 (redescription); Brown, 1960a: 167, 198; Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 102; Taylor, 1979: 835; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 61; Shattuck & McArthur, 1995: 121; Don, 2007: 50; Heterick, 2009: 132; Sarnat, et al. 2013: 69.
    • Senior synonym of cephalotes: Brown, 1958h: 14; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor, 1987a: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of fortis: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of foveolata: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of laevidens: Wilson, 1958a: 142; Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of maculata: Brown, 1958h: 14; Brown, 1960a: 167; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of minor: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of nana: Wilson, 1958a: 142; Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor, 1987a: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Senior synonym of obscura: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • Material of the unavailable names howensis, norfolkensis, pallens, queenslandica referred here by Brown, 1958h: 13, Brown, 1960a: 167; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
    • [Note: the four unavailable names above were previously referred to as provisional junior synonyms by Brown, 1958h: 13.]
    • Distribution: Australia, Indonesia (Irian Jaya), New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Is, Vanuatu.
  • cephalotes. Amblyopone cephalotes Smith, F. 1876c: 490 (w.) NEW ZEALAND (North I.).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: New Zealand: Auckland (Lawson).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 14 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952a: 117 (l.).
    • Status as species: Hutton, 1881: 112; Mayr, 1886c: 363; Emery, 1887b: 446; Forel, 1892c: 336; Dalla Torre, 1893: 13; Forel, 1905a: 354; Emery, 1911d: 25; Stitz, 1911a: 351.
    • Subspecies of australis: Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 13 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 9.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 14; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor, 1987a: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 61.
  • fortis. Amblyopone australis var. fortis Forel, 1910b: 1 (w) AUSTRALIA (Queensland).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Australia: Queensland, Cairns and Kuranda (R. Turner).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 9 (q.).
    • Subspecies of australis: Emery, 1911d: 25; Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 8.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • foveolata. Amblyopone australis subsp. foveolata Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 9 (w.q.m.) AUSTRALIA (Western Australia).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens, syntype males (numbers not stated, “several specimens of all three phases”).
    • Type-locality: Australia: Western Australia, Denmark (J. Clark).
    • Type-depository: MCZC.
    • Subspecies of australis: Wheeler, W.M. 1933i: 75.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • laevidens. Amblyopone laevidens Emery, 1887b: 447 (w.) NEW GUINEA (Indonesia).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Indonesia (“New Guinea”): Irian Jaya, Hatam (O. Beccari).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • [Misspelled as levidens by Dalla Torre, 1893: 13, and others.]
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 13; Emery, 1911d: 26; Mann, 1919: 281; Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 9; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 22.
    • Subspecies of australis: Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 12.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Wilson, 1958a: 142; Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • maculata. Amblyopone cephalotes var. maculata Stitz, 1911a: 351 (w.) NEW ZEALAND.
    • Type-material: 6 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: New Zealand: Auckland (Suter).
    • Type-depository: MNHU.
    • Junior synonym of cephalotes: Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 13.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 14; Brown, 1960a: 167; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • minor. Amblyopone minor Forel, 1915b: 1 (w.q.m.) AUSTRALIA (Queensland).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated), 1 syntype male.
    • Type-locality: Australia: Queensland, Mt Tamborine (E. Mjöberg).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG, NHMB (possibly also NHRS).
    • Subspecies of australis: Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 9.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • nana. Amblyopone nana Emery, 1914f: 394 (w.q.) NEW CALEDONIA.
    • Type-material: 1 syntype worker, 1 syntype queen.
    • Type-localities: New Caledonia: Mt Panié, 500 m., forest (Sarasin & Roux), and Mt Canala, 700 m. (Sarasin & Roux).
    • Type-depositories: MSNG, NHMB.
    • Subspecies of australis Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 16.
    • Status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 9.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Wilson, 1958a: 142; Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor, 1987a: 7; Bolton, 1995b: 62.
  • obscura. Amblyopone obscura Smith, F. 1858b: 109 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: 1 syntype worker, 1 syntype queen.
    • [Note: only the queen now present in BMNH.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: (no further data).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Clark, 1925b: 138 (m.).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1861a: 48; Roger, 1863b: 20; Mayr, 1863: 394; Mayr, 1886c: 359; Dalla Torre, 1893: 13.
    • Subspecies of australis: Froggatt, 1905: 8; Forel, 1910b: 2; Emery, 1911d: 25; Clark, 1925b: 138; Wheeler, W.M. 1927c: 10.
    • Junior synonym of australis: Brown, 1958h: 13; Brown, 1960a: 167; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 19; Taylor, 1987a: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 62.

Amblyopone australis type material
Lectotype worker (Yoshimura & Fisher, 2012: 3) from Tasmania, Australia, Scheyer (misspelling of Schayer) (Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität): 7228, CASENT0104575. Two specimens with same locality and collector information; one labeled ‘‘Type.’’ The original description of this species does not include detailed type information; however, Erichson mentions in the same paper that Schayer provided much material from Tasmania. Original labels on this specimen seem to have been replaced by new labels, and the collector on the new label is listed as ‘‘Scheyer,’’ a misspelling of Schayer, the collector’s name.

Amblyopone obscura type material
Syntype worker(s) and queen(s) from Australia (The Natural History Museum).

Amblyopone australis fortis type material
Syntype workers from Kuranda and Cairns, Queensland (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).

Amblyopone australis minor type material
Syntype workers, queen(s) and male(s) from Tamborine Mt. (as Mt. Tambourine), Queensland (1 worker in Australian National Insect Collection, location of other material uncertain).

Amblyopone australis foveolata type material
Syntype workers, queen and males from Denmark, Western Australia (2 workers, 1 queen and 3 males in Museum of Comparative Zoology).

Type Material

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Amblyopone cephalotes

Holotype worker (presumed) in The Natural History Museum, mounted on card with a pupa. Labelled “Amblyopone cephalotes Smith. N. Zeal.” The specimen matches the original description but there is no datum label that proves it to be the true holotype. The original description states that the holotype was “collected by Mr Lawson at Auckland.”

Amblyopone obscura

One syntype queen in The Natural History Museum (syntype worker could not be found). Labelled “Australia,” and “A. obscura Sm. Type.”

Description

Karyotype

n = 24, 2n = 48 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977).

References

Cambridge. 179 pp

  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1952a. The ant larvae of the subfamily Ponerinae - Part I. Am. Midl. Nat. 48: 111-144 (page 116, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927. Ants of the genus Amblyopone Erichson. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 62: 1–29.
  • Wilson, E. O. 1958c. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia. I. The tribe Leptogenyini. II. The tribes Amblyoponini and Platythyreini. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 101-153 (page 142, Senior synonym of laevidens and nana)
  • Yoshimura, M. & Fisher, B.L. 2012. A revision of male ants of the Malagasy Amblyoponinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with resurrections of the genera Stigmatomma and Xymmer. PLoS ONE 7(3):e33325 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033325).

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1960. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. III. Tribe Amblyoponini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 122: 143-230.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • Clark J. 1925. The ants of Victoria. Part II. Victorian Naturalist (Melbourne) 42: 135-144.
  • Cumber, R.A. 1959. Distributional and biological notes on sixteen North Island species of Formicidae (Hymenoptera)
  • Donisthorpe, Horace. 1941. The Ants of Norfolk Island. The Entomologist Monthly Magazine. 77:90-93.
  • Emery C. 1887. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine). [concl.]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 25(5): 427-473.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Emery C. 1914. Formiche d'Australia e di Samoa raccolte dal Prof. Silvestri nel 1913. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici 8: 179-186.
  • Emery, C. 1914. Les fourmis de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et des îles Loyalty. Nova Caledonia. A. Zoologie 1:393-437.
  • Emery, C. "Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte terza. Formiche della regione Indo-Malese e dell'Australia (continuazione e fine)." Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) (2) 5, no. 25 (1887): 427-473.
  • Forel A. 1902. Fourmis nouvelles d'Australie. Rev. Suisse Zool. 10: 405-548.
  • Forel A. 1910. Formicides australiens reçus de MM. Froggatt et Rowland Turner. Rev. Suisse Zool. 18: 1-94
  • Forel A. 1915. Results of Dr. E. Mjöbergs Swedish Scientific Expeditions to Australia 1910-13. 2. Ameisen. Ark. Zool. 9(16): 1-119
  • Gay H., and R. Hensen. 1992. Ant specificity and behaviour in mutualisms with epiphytes: the case of Lecanopteris (Polypodiaceae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 47: 261-284.
  • Hoffmann, B. D., R. Graham, and D. Smith. 2017. Ant species accumulation on Lord Howe Island highlights the increasing need for effective biosecurity on islands. NeoBiota 34:41-52.
  • Huong N. T. T., P. V. Sang, and B. T. Viet. 2015. A preliminary study on diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at Hon Ba Nature Reserve. Environmental Scientific Conference 7: 614-620.
  • Imai H. T., R. H. Crozier, and R. W. Taylor. 1977. Karyotype evolution in Australian ants. Chromosoma 59: 341-393.
  • Janda M., G. D. Alpert, M. L. Borowiec, E. P. Economo, P. Klimes, E. Sarnat, and S. O. Shattuck. 2011. Cheklist of ants described and recorded from New Guinea and associated islands. Available on http://www.newguineants.org/. Accessed on 24th Feb. 2011.
  • Jennings J. T., L. Krogmann, and C. Burwell. 2013. Review of the hymenopteran fauna of New Caledonia with a checklist of species. Zootaxa 3736(1): 1-53.
  • Jennings J. T., and A. D. Austin. 2015. Synopsis of the hymenopteran fauna of Lord Howe Island with a preliminary checklist of species. Zootaxa 3931(3): 423–432.
  • Lowery B. B., and R. J. Taylor. 1994. Occurrence of ant species in a range of sclerophyll forest communities at Old Chum Dam, north-eastern Tasmania. Australian Entomologist 21: 11-14.
  • Lucky A., E. Sarnat, and L. Alonso. 2011. Ants of the Muller Range, Papua New Guinea, Chapter 10. In Richards, S. J. and Gamui, B. G. (editors). 2013. Rapid Biological Assessments of the Nakanai Mountains and the upper Strickland Basin: surveying the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea’s sublime karst environments. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 60. Conservation International. Arlington, VA.
  • Lucky A., L. E. Alonso, E. Sarnat, and J. Hulr. 2015. Ants and scolytine beetles. In: Richards, S.J. and N. Whitmore (editors) 2015. A rapid biodiversity assessment of Papua New Guinea's Hindenburg Wall region. Wildlife Conservation Society Papua New Guinea Program. Goroka, PNG.
  • Mann W. M. 1919. The ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 63:273-391.
  • Mann William. 1916. The Ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 63(7): 273-391
  • Mann, W.M. 1919. The ants of the British Solomon Islands. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology of Harvard College 63: 273-391
  • Sinclair J. E., and T. R. New. 2004. Pine plantations in south eastern Australia support highly impoverished ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 8: 277-286.
  • Smithers C. N. 1998. A species list and bibliography of the insects recorded from Norfolk Island. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum 13: 1–55.
  • Taylor R. W. 1978. Melanesian ants of the genus Amblyopone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 26: 823-839.
  • Taylor R. W. 1987. A checklist of the ants of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) Division of Entomology Report 41: 1-92.
  • Taylor R. W., and D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. Zoological Catalogue of Australia 2: 1-149. 
  • Viehmeyer H. 1912. Ameisen aus Deutsch Neuguinea gesammelt von Dr. O. Schlaginhaufen. Nebst einem Verzeichnisse der papuanischen Arten. Abhandlungen und Berichte des Königlichen Zoologischen und Anthropologische-Ethnographischen Museums zu Dresden 14: 1-26.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1927. Ants of the genus Amblyopone Erichson. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 62: 1-29
  • Wheeler W.M. 1935. Check list of the ants of Oceania. Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum 11(11):1-56.
  • Wheeler WM. 1927. Ants of Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 62.4: 120-153.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927. The ants of Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 62: 121-153
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1927. The Ants of Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 62(4): 121-153
  • Wheeler, William Morton.1935.Checklist of the Ants of Oceania.Occasional Papers 11(11): 3-56
  • Wilson E. O. 1958. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia. I. The tribe Leptogenyini. II. The tribes Amblyoponini and Platythyreini. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 118: 101-153.
  • Wilson Edward O. 1959. Adaptive Shift and Dispersal in a Tropical Ant Fauna. Evolution 13(1): 122-144
  • Yoshimura M., and B. L. Fisher. 2012. A revision of male ants of the Malagasy Amblyoponinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with resurrections of the genera Stigmatomma and Xymmer. PLoS ONE (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033325) 7(3):e33325.