Key to Oriental Meranoplus

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This worker key is based on: Schödl, S. 1998. Taxonomic revision of Oriental Meranoplus F. Smith, 1853 (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. Serie B, Für Botanik und Zoologie. 100:361-394 with an addition from: Schödl, S. 1999. Description of Meranoplus birmanus sp. nov. from Myanmar, and the first record of M. bicolor from Laos (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomological Problems. 30: 61-65 PDF

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Meranoplus

Figures 2-15: Outline of promesonotal shield of Meranoplus workers (sculpture and pilosity omitted): (2) bellii, (3) castaneus, (4) malaysianus, (5) borneensis, (6) bicolor, (7a) rothneyi (paralectotype; Cochin), (7b) rothneyi (specimen from Meghalaya), (8) laeviventris, (9) levis, (10) nepalensis, (11) boltoni, (12) montanus, (13) loebli, ( 1 4) biliran, (15) mucronatus.
Figures 16-22: Lateral view of midbody of Meranoplus workers: (16) bellii, (17) castaneus, (18) malaysianus,(9) borneensis, (20) bicolor, (21a) rothneyi (Paralectotype; Cochin), (21b) rothneyi (specimen from Meghalaya), (22) laeviventris.
Figures 23-29: Lateral view of midbody of Meranoplus workers: (23) levis, (24) nepalensis (25) boltoni, (26) montanus, (27) loebli, (28) biliran, (29) mucronatus (scales representing 1 mm scale a: Figs. 15, 29; scale b: Figs. 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23; scale c- Figs 4, 5, 7a, b, 10 - 14, 18, 19, 21a, b, 24-28).

1

  • Petiolar crest distinctly bidentate, postpetiole with an acute, posteriorly directed short spine (Figs. 16, 17). Mandibles with five teeth. Posterior mesonotal margin not, or only slightly overhanging the propodeum, the latter constituting a part of the dorsal alitrunk . . . . . 2
  • Petiole never bidentate and postpetiole never with a short spine dorsally. Mandibles with four teeth, sometimes with an additional basal offset denticle. Posterior mesonotal margin usually distinctly overhanging the propodeum, the latter meeting the dorsum of the alitrunk almost at a right angle . . . . . 3

2

return to couplet #1

  • Propodeum never overhung by the posterior mesonotal margin (Fig. 2). Suture

between mesonotum and propodeum situated in the angle, where mesonotum and propodeum meet. Dorsal surface of first gastral tergite smooth and brilliant except for shagreened hair-pits. SW-India . . . . . Meranoplus bellii

Meranoplus bellii casent0902023 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus bellii casent0902023 p 1 high.jpg
  • Propodeum slightly overhung by the posterior translucent margin of promesonotal shield (Fig. 3). Suture between mesonotum and propodeum below protruding mesonotal hind margin. Dorsal surface of first gastral tergite dull, entirely shagreened. Thailand, Malaysia . . . . . Meranoplus castaneus
Meranoplus castaneus casent0106276 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus castaneus casent0106276 p 1 high.jpg

3

return to couplet #1

  • Mandibles with five teeth, the basal tooth offset. Dorsal surfaces of head and promesonotum smooth, additionally distinctly carinulate. Southern India, Sri Lanka (Figs. 9, 23) . . . . . Meranoplus levis
Meranoplus levis casent0902025 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus levis casent0902025 p 1 high.jpg

Mandibles with four teeth. Dorsum of head and promesonotum always reticulate- rugulose . . . . . 4

4

return to couplet #3

  • Promesonotal shield armed with a very long, acute spine at each corner. (Figs. 1, 15, 29). Large species (HL 1.4 - 1.7, TL 5.8 - 7.1). Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia . . . . . Meranoplus mucronatus
Meranoplus mucronatus casent0217857 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus mucronatus casent0217857 p 1 high.jpg
  • Promesonotal shield without or with different armament, never with such long spines at the corners of the promesonotal shield. Distinctly smaller species (HL < 1.18, TL<5) . . . . . 5

5

return to couplet #4

  • Promesonotal shield rectangular, lacking any armament (Figs. 4, 5). Small species (TL<3.0) . . . . . 6
  • Promesonotal shield always with conspicuous, specific outstanding projections. Small to medium sized species (TL 3.0 - 4.5 mm) . . . . . 7

6

return to couplet #5

  • Petiole distinctly obliquely truncate. Dorsum of gaster distinctly shagreened. Pilosity consisting of short pubescence and longer outstanding hairs (Figs. 5, 19). Sabah, E-Malaysia . . . . . Meranoplus borneensis
Meranoplus borneensis casent0902030 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus borneensis casent0902030 p 1 high.jpg
  • Petiolar crest only narrowly truncate. Dorsum of gaster either entirely smooth or occasionally with shagreening. Pilosity on dorsal surfaces consisting of a pelt of equal sized, short hairs (Figs. 4, 18). Malaysia, Indonesia . . . . . Meranoplus malaysianus
Meranoplus malaysianus casent0179628 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus malaysianus casent0179628 p 1 high.jpg

7

return to couplet #5

  • Promesonotum with only one pair of posteriorly directed mesonotal spines, without additional postero-lateral and/or posterior paramedian mesonotal projections. (Figs. 6, 7a, b) . . . . . 8
  • Promesonotum of different shape, always with additional postero-lateral and/or posterior paramedian mesonotal projections . . . . . 9

8

return to couplet #7

  • Small species (HL 0.65 - 0.80). Promesonotal shield with a pair of posteriad directed shorter, blunt or acute projections in the posterior mesonotal comers. Dorsal surfaces and appendages without extremely long hairs (Figs. 7a, b, 21a, b). India, Nepal, Bhutan . . . . . Meranoplus rothneyi
Meranoplus rothneyi casent0904683 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus rothneyi casent0904683 p 1 high.jpg
  • Larger species (HL 0.79 - 0.96). Promesonotal shield with a single pair of posteriorly directed longer spines in the posterior mesonotal comers. Dorsal surfaces and appendages with long hairs (Figs. 6, 20) . . . . . 8a

8a

return to couplet #8

  • Dorsal surfaces of head and promesonotal shield rugose to rugulose-reticulate; petiole in lateral view ± an equilateral triangle (PTI 93 - 100) . . . . . Meranoplus bicolor
Meranoplus bicolor casent0217854 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus bicolor casent0217854 p 1 high.jpg
  • Dorsal surfaces of head and promesonotal shield shiny, with rugae and costulae, petiole in lateral view distinctly narrower (PTI 73 - 84) . . . . . Meranoplus birmanus
Meranoplus birmanus casent0902034 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus birmanus casent0902034 p 1 high.jpg

9

return to couplet #7

  • Outline of lateral margins of promesonotum convex in dorsal view; each margin with two large translucent fenestrae (Fig. 13); conspicuously wider than long, foliaceous (PMI 178 - 191). Sri Lanka . . . . . Meranoplus loebli
Meranoplus loebli casent0902032 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus loebli casent0902032 p 1 high.jpg
  • Lateral margins of promesonotum in dorsal view not convex in outline, with lateral constrictions; margins never provided with four translucent fenestrae of that size; promesonotal shield less wide (PMI 134 - 155), rectangular or narrowed towards hind margin, never as foliaceous . . . . . 10

10

return to couplet #9

  • Alitrunk in dorsal view rectangular; lateral margins parallel-sided with a weak constriction at the level of lateral fenestrae (Figs. 12, 14) . . . . . 11
  • Alitrunk in dorsal view not rectangular, lateral margins never parallel-sided, conspicuously narrowed towards hind margin, with distinct lateral constrictions at the level of lateral fenestrae (Figs. 8, 10, 11) . . . . . 12

11

return to couplet #10

  • Hind margin of mesonotum sinuate, with blunt rounded projections, lacking distinct spines (Fig. 14). Anterior margin of clypeal mid-portion produced into a serrate apron. Philippines: Biliran Island . . . . . Meranoplus biliran
Meranoplus biliran casent0902033 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus biliran casent0902033 p 1 high.jpg
  • Hind margin of mesonotum with distinct acute paramedian spines (Fig. 12). Anterior margin of clypeal mid-portion produced into an entire, narrow apron. Borneo (Fig. 30) . . . . . Meranoplus montanus
Meranoplus-montanus-frontal-am-lg.jpg
Meranoplus-montanus-lateral-am-lg.jpg

12

return to couplet #10

  • Petiole in profile distinctly truncate dorsally. Promesonotal shield with one pair of translucent fenestrae (Figs. 8, 22). Larger species (HL 0.98 - 1.07, TL 4.1 - 4.5). Myanmar, Thailand . . . . . Meranoplus laeviventris
Meranoplus laeviventris casent0904685 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus laeviventris casent0904685 p 1 high.jpg
  • Petiole in profile cuneate dorsally. Promesonotal shield with two pairs of translucent fenestrae. Distinctly smaller species (HL 0.7 - 0.83, TL 3.0 - 3.4) . . . . . 13

13

return to couplet #12

  • Promesonotal shield with distinct spine-like postero-lateral and posterior projections (Figs. 11, 25). Anterior margin of clypeal mid-portion denticulate. Sri Lanka . . . . . Meranoplus boltoni
Meranoplus boltoni casent0902031 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus boltoni casent0902031 p 1 high.jpg
  • Promesonotal shield with spine-like projections only posteriorly (Figs. 10, 24). Anterior margin of clypeal mid-portion produced into a narrow, medially excavated apron. Nepal . . . . . Meranoplus nepalensis
Meranoplus nepalensis casent0246061 h 1 high.jpg
Meranoplus nepalensis casent0246061 p 1 high.jpg