Iridomyrmex hertogi

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Iridomyrmex hertogi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Iridomyrmex
Species: I. hertogi
Binomial name
Iridomyrmex hertogi
Heterick & Shattuck, 2011

Iridomyrmex hertogi side view

Iridomyrmex hertogi top view

Nothing is known about the habits or ecology of I. hertogi.

Identification

This very small species can be confused with two other sympatric Iridomyrmex, most notably, the small northern workers of Iridomyrmex mjobergi. However, the antennal scape is very short in I. hertogi, barely attaining the posterior margin of the head, or falling short of it (SI 90) (exceeding the posterior margin of head by at least its width in I. mjobergi (SI 90)), and the antennal scape is distinctly lighter in colour than the head capsule (approximately the same colour in I. mjobergi). The mesosoma is also glabrous (generally with a few to several erect setae in small, northern I. mjobergi). A second species, Iridomyrmex difficilis, is readily differentiated from I. hertogi by the latter’s much larger eye (EI ≈ 0.30 versus EI < 0.30) and by the appearance of the antennal scape, which is noticeably lighter in colour than the head capsule in I. hertogi (approximately the same colour in I. difficilis). Iridomyrmex hertogi however, appears to have as its nearest relative another very small Iridomyrmex; Iridomyrmex niger, known only from much further south, is almost identical in morphology and can only be separated on the basis of its larger size and smaller eye (i.e., EI 3 1–33, compared with EI 36–37 in I. hertogi, and HL of 0.62–0.76mm and HW of 0.59–0.60mm compared with HL of 0.59–0.60mm and HW of 0.51mm in I. hertogi).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Iridomyrmex hertogi appears to be confined to the Northern Territory, and is only known from one collection.

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

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • hertogi. Iridomyrmex hertogi Heterick & Shattuck, 2011: 88, figs. 41, 94 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

Type Material

  • Holotype, worker, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem escarpment near Round Jungle, Northern Territory, Australia, July 1993, H. Reichel, ANIC32-047828, Australian National Insect Collection.
  • Paratype, 1 worker, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem escarpment near Round Jungle, Northern Territory, Australia, July 1993, H. Reichel, ANIC32-047828, Australian National Insect Collection.

Description

Worker Description. Head. Posterior margin of head planar to weakly concave; erect setae on posterior margin absent; sides of head noticeably convex; erect genal setae absent from sides of head in full-face view (one to a few small setae may be present near mandibular insertion). Ocelli absent; in full-face view, eyes set at about midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of head capsule; eye asymmetrical, curvature of inner eye margin more pronounced than that of its outer margin. Frontal carinae straight; antennal scape barely attaining posterior margin of head, or surpassing it by less than 1 x its diameter. Erect setae on scape absent, except at tip; prominence on anteromedial clypeal margin present as an indistinct swelling or undulation; mandible regularly triangular with oblique basal margin; long, curved setae on venter of head capsule absent. Mesosoma. Pronotum moderately and evenly curved over its length. Erect pronotal setae lacking or very minute (one or two tiny setae may be present). Mesonotum evenly curved. Erect mesonotal setae lacking or very minute (one or two tiny setae present). Mesothoracic spiracles always inconspicuous; propodeal dorsum straight and short (equal in length to propodeal declivity); placement of propodeal spiracle posteriad and near propodeal declivity, or mesad, more than its diameter away from propodeal declivity; propodeal angle weakly present or absent, the confluence of the dorsal and declivitous propodeal faces indicated, if at all, by an undulation. Erect propodeal setae lacking or very minute (one or two tiny setae present). Petiole. Dorsum of node convex; node thin, scale-like, orientation more-or-less vertical. Gaster. Non-marginal erect setae of gaster absent on first gastral tergite; marginal erect setae of gaster present on first tergite, or absent on first tergite. General characters. Allometric differences between workers of same nest absent. Colour dark grey-brown. Colour of erect setae whitish (clypeus and coxae).

Measurements. Worker (n = 2)—CI 85–86; EI 36–37; EL 0.18–0.19; EW 0.14–0.15; HFL 0.53–0.55; HL 0.59–0.60; HW 0.51–0.51; ML 0.71–0.72; MTL 0.40–0.40; PpH 0.11–0.11; PpL 0.29–0.29; SI 87–90; SL 0.44– 0.46.

Etymology

Named in honour of Mr Tony Hertog (TERC) who first alerted our attention to this species.

References