Melophorus macrops

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Melophorus macrops
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Melophorini
Genus: Melophorus
Species group: biroi
Species complex: biroi
Species: M. macrops
Binomial name
Melophorus macrops
Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017

Melophorus macrops minor side ANIC32-900105.jpg

Melophorus macrops minor top ANIC32-900105.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships

Melophorus ludius species group

Melophorus potteri species group

Melophorus aeneovirens species group

Melophorus biroi species group (biroi species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (wheeleri species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (brevignathus species complex)

Melophorus biroi species group (fieldi species complex)

Based on Heterick et al., 2017. Only selected species groups/complexes are included.

A Lake Mere specimen was collected from a paddock. Apart from this, nothing more is known about M. macrops.


Heterick et al. (2017) - Melophorus macrops can be placed in the Melophoprus biroi species-group on the basis of characters of the clypeus, propodeum, mandible and palps. The species is placed in the Melophoprus biroi species-complex on the basis of a further suite of characters (viz, metatibia of major worker with only one preapical spur [except rarely in the Melophorus mjobergi clade]; clypeal psammophore placed anteriorly at or just above anterior margin of clypeus in the minor worker and often in the major worker; head dorsoventrally compressed to varying degrees in the minor worker of most species with the eyes placed high on the sides; compact legs, and small body size [excluding mjobergi clade]; HW of smallest minor 0.36 mm, average HW of smallest minors 0.46 mm; HW of largest known major 1.29 mm, average HW of largest majors [where known] 1.05 mm). The minor worker of M. macrops is defined at a species level by its large eye (EI 40-41), the presence of at least several erect setae on the mesosoma including propodeal setae, the deeply impressed metanotal groove (when viewed in profile) and the rounded propodeum. The first gastral tergite has erect setae, including a line of marginal setae. The major worker is unknown.

In appearance this ant is morphologically similar to Melophorus biroi, but has at least a dozen erect setae on the mesosoma, and the eye is rather large (EI 40-41). The ant can also be distinguished from the smaller-eyed Melophorus gracilis by the scalloped mesopleuron.


Heterick et al. (2017) - Melophorus macrops is here described from minor workers from Lake Mere Field Station, NSW, Cunnamulla, QLD and Wilpena Pound, SA, respectively. The only other material seen is a pin of three workers from Wilpena Pound, SA.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Known only from the minor worker.


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

  • macrops. Melophorus macrops Heterick, Castalanelli & Shattuck, 2017: 198, fig. 41 (w.) AUSTRALIA.

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



(n = 2): CI 92–95; EI 40–41; EL 0.18–0.19; HL 0.48–0.51; HW 0.45–0.47; ML 0.61–0.68; MTL 0.32–0.33; PpH 0.08–0.08; PpL 0.24–0.25; SI 109–110; SL 0.49–0.51.

Minor. Head. Head approximately oval with straight sides; posterior margin of head weakly convex; frons shining and smooth except for piliferous pits; pilosity of frons a mixture of short, erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with shorter decumbent setae and well-spaced, short, appressed setae. Eye large (eye length ≥ 0.50 × length of side of head capsule), or moderate (eye length 0.20–0.49 length of side of head capsule); in full-face view, eyes set at about midpoint of head capsule; in profile, eye set anteriad of midline of head capsule; eyes elliptical or slightly reniform. In full-face view, frontal carinae straight, divergent posteriad; frontal lobes curved toward antennal insertion. Anteromedial clypeal margin broadly and evenly convex and protrusive; clypeal psammophore set at or just above anterior clypeal margin; palp formula 6,4. Five mandibular teeth in minor worker; mandibles triangular, weakly incurved; third mandibular tooth distinctly shorter than apical tooth and teeth numbers two and four; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique. Mesosoma. Integument of pronotum, mesonotum and mesopleuron shining and smooth on dorsum, entire lower mesopleuron distinctly striolate-microreticulate; anterior mesosoma in profile weakly elevated anteriad, thereafter gently sinuate, pronotum and mesonotum on same plane; appearance of erect pronotal setae short, (i.e., longest erect setae shorter than length of eye) and unmodified; in profile, metanotal groove shallow, broadly V or U-shaped; propodeum shining and smooth on dorsum and declivitous face, metapleuron with striolate-microreticulate sculpture; propodeum smoothly rounded or with indistinct angle; propodeal dorsum and declivity confluent; erect propodeal setae present and sparse to moderate (1-12); appressed propodeal setulae long and separated by at least own length; propodeal spiracle situated on or beside declivitous face of propodeum, and shorter (length < 0.50 × height of propodeum). Petiole. In profile, petiolar node squamiform; in full-face view, shape of petiolar node uniformly rounded; node shining and smooth throughout. Gaster. Gaster smooth and glossy; pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced, erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with regularly placed appressed setae. General characters. Colour of foreparts uniformly tan (or head dark chocolate, mesosoma tan), gaster dark chocolate.

Type Material

Holotype minor worker from Lake Mere field stn, New South Wales (label now missing, possibly mislaid during photographing), ‘Melophorus sp. J’ [ANIC32-900105] (Australian National Insect Collection). Paratypes: 3 minor workers from Wilpena Pound, South Australia, 18 June 1972, B.B. Lowery (ANIC); minor worker from Cunnamulla, Queensland, 17 September 1974, P.J.M. Greenslade, (8), 16), [ANIC32-900101] (Museum of Comparative Zoology).


Greek makros (‘long’) plus ops (‘eye’); adjective in the nominative singular.