Epopostruma angela

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Epopostruma angela
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Epopostruma
Species: E. angela
Binomial name
Epopostruma angela
Shattuck, 2000

Epopostruma angela holotype ANIC32-015341 side 40-AntWiki.jpg

Epopostruma angela holotype ANIC32-015341 top 40-AntWiki.jpg

Specimen labels

This rare species is known from only a handful of collections, one consisting of a nest in dry leaf litter in a medium sclerophyll woodland.

Identification

Posterior section of metanotum in approximately the same plane as the dorsal face of propodeum so that the junction of these plates is either indistinct or in the form of a shallow trough or depression. Sides of postpetiole vertical medially (not expanded laterally), with blunt angles anteriorly and the posterior corners drawn lateral into broadly rounded spines or teeth, in dorsal view outer margins concave. Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster with numerous erect hairs.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

While Epopostruma can be fairly common they are often overlooked. Workers are slow-moving and most lie motionless when disturbed. Their nests are small, with up to about 100 workers, and are found in open soil or in soil under rocks, logs or small sticks. They also nest in cracks in large rocks. When nesting in open soil they are often found near the bases of trees. Tree-trunks are clearly an important substrate for foraging workers.

Almost all species forage at night although one species is known to occasionally forage on mallee stems during the day. They are also regularly found in leaf litter. Workers have been attracted to honey baits on trees in the late evening and at night. Their elongate and specialised mandibles form a type of snap-trap which is used to captured soft-bodied prey such as Collembola.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • angela. Epopostruma angela Shattuck, in Bolton, 2000: 57, figs. 58, 72, 87 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

Holotype Specimen Labels

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

The northern specimens of this species are slightly larger and darker than the single specimen known from southern New South Wales but are otherwise similar. Given the limited amount of presently available material it is difficult to assess the significance of these differences and all specimens are tentatively assumed to represent a single slightly variable species.

Description

In full face view the lateral margin of the head between the eye and the posterior corner angular. Pronotal spines distinct. Posterior section of metanotum in approximately the same plane as the dorsal face of propodeum so that the junction of these plates is either indistinct or in the form of a shallow trough or depression. Posterior face of propodeum between bases of spines and propodeal lobes with flanges. Petiolar spines present, distinct. Anterior face of postpetiole approximately the same length as the dorsal face, the two faces separated by a broad, rounded angle; sides of postpetiole vertical medially (not expanded laterally), with blunt angles anteriorly and the posterior corners drawn lateral into broadly rounded spines or teeth, in dorsal view outer margins concave; posterolateral margin of postpetiole (immediately anterior of gaster) weakly concave. Dorsum of petiole, postpetiole and gaster with numerous erect hairs. First gastral tergite smooth, the area immediately behind attachment with gaster with short, longitudinal rugae. Body colour dark red-brown, appendages slightly lighter; dorsal surface of head uniform dark red-brown; gaster yellow-red, sometimes the posterior region of first tergite with an ill-defined infuscated band.

Measurements

Holotype worker. TL 3.9mm, HL 0.87mm, HW 0.84mm, CI 97, MandL 0.49mm, MandI 56, SL 0.53mm, SI 63, PronW 0.55mm, ML 1.01mm.

References

  • Shattuck, S. O. 2000. Genus Colobostruma. Genus Mesostruma. Genus Epopostruma. Pp. 31-67 in: Bolton, B. The ant tribe Dacetini. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 65: 1-1028 (page 57, worker described)