Known from litter collections, rotten wood on the ground and a single collection taken from under a rock. Occurs in a range of forest habitats, from swamp forest through to higher altitude montane forest.
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys szalayi-group. Brown (1971) considered the morphological and geographical variation of the widespread szalayi in some detail. He discussed the large size-variation recorded but retained all the samples in one species. Since then Roy Snelling (LACM) has collected a series at Wapoga camp, Irian Jaya, whose darkly coloured workers are even larger than the biggest specimen recorded by Brown. These workers have HL ca 1.00 but morphologically seem inseparable from other samples currently included in szalayi. I have retained this series in szalayi but with some misgivings. I suspect that a detailed re-analysis, when more of these anomalous specimens are available, may change our concept of the species.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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Brown (1971) - A colony I collected at Kuranda. Queensland consisted of about 60 workers and 2 dealate females nesting beneath a sheet of fungus on the underside of a piece: of bark lying on the floor of rain forest. The colony was transferred to a small glass-topped plaster nest and was offered various small, living soft-bodied arthropods during a 3-day observation on the ants' food preferences. Although offered small nematocerous Diptera, aphids, various mites, minute spiders and an assortment of springtails, the S. szalayi took only entomobryoid Collembola during this period. I had no opportunity to observe the ants under circumstances of prolonged food scarcity, so I do not know whether such conditions would lead to acceptance of other prey organisms, but it is reasonably clear the S. szalayi is predominantly a collembolan predator. The preferred prey were members of subfamily Paronellinae, common in the rain forests of northern Queensland; poduroids were avoided. Hunting by S. szalayi is relatively active and efficient; in striking, the mandibles are opened to more than 180°.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- szalayi. Strumigenys szalayi Emery, 1897c: 578, pl. 14, figs. 10, 11 (w.q.) NEW GUINEA. Senior synonym of australis: Brown, 1971c: 75. See also: Bolton, 2000: 906.
- australis. Strumigenys szalayi subsp. australis Forel, 1910b: 50 (w.m.) AUSTRALIA. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1955a: 137 (l.). Junior synonym of szalayi: Brown, 1971c: 75.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Bolton (2000) - TL 2.4-3.5, HL 0.68-0.94, HW 0.48-0.62, CI 64-75, ML 0.34-0.52, MI 50-57, SL 0.40-0.66, SI 88-106, PW 0.26-0.34, AL 0.68-0.91 (32 measured).
With head in profile the postocular concavity in the vetrolateral margin broad and quite shallow, but distinct. Propodeal teeth not long and spiniform, length very obviously less than twice the distance separating their bases. Alitrunk reticulate-punctate, often with a small un sculptured patch on katepisternum. Hairs on first gastral tergite similar to those on postpetiole. Colour variable (Brown, 1971), uniformly yellow to uniformly brown, or with gaster slightly to very much darker in shade than head and alitrunk, but head and alitrunk never bicoloured black and yellow.
Brown (1971) - The female is much like the worker, with the usual caste differences, slightly larger size, etc.
Brown (1971) - 1 specimen taken with workers, Negros I., Philippines, 18-V-22: TL 2.4, HL 0.52, WL 0.78, greatest diameter of eve 0.16, forewing L about 1.7 mm.
Occipital depression moderate. Scutellum and metanotum both projecting, the latter medially angulate. Propodeal teeth well-developed, acute. Petiole and postpetiole without appendages, their surfaces densely reticulate-punctate. Color ferruginous brown, legs and appendages dull yellow.
Brown (1971) - Worker, female, worker pupae. Type loc.: Seleo Island, near Berlinhafen (=Aitape). New Guinea, by present selection. Other original locs.: Beliao Island, near Friedrich Wilhelmsafen (=Madang), New Guinea. Syntypes in Hungarian Natural History Museum, National Museum of Natural History, etc., several seen.
- Syntype, worker(s), male(s), Kuranda near Cairns, Queensland, Australia, The Natural History Museum.
- Syntype, worker(s), male(s), Kuranda near Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle.
- Syntype, Seleo Island near Aitape (as Berlinhafen), Papua New Guinea, museum unknown (prob. MCSN (Genoa) or HNHM (Budapest)).
- Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 906, fig. 479 redescription of worker)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1971c. The Indo-Australian species of the ant genus Strumigenys: group of szalayi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pp. 73-86 in: Asahina, S., et al. (eds.) Entomological essays to commemorate the retirement of Professor K. Yasumatsu. Tokyo: Hokuryukan Publishing Co. PDF (page 75, senior synonym of australis, redescription of worker)
- Emery, C. 1897c. Formicidarum species novae vel minus cognitae in collectione Musaei Nationalis Hungarici quas in Nova-Guinea, colonia germanica, collegit L. Biró. Természetr. Füz. 20: 571-599 PDF (page 578, pl. 14, figs. 10, 11 worker, queen described)
- Emery, C. 1924f . Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 322, catalogue)
- Taylor, R. W.; Brown, D. R. 1985. Formicoidea. Zool. Cat. Aust. 2:1- 149: 1-149, 30 (page 88, catalogue)
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1955a . The ant larvae of the myrmicine tribes Basicerotini and Dacetini. Psyche (Camb.) 61: 111-145 (page 137, larva described)
- Wilson, E. O.; Taylor, R. W. 1967b. The ants of Polynesia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pac. Insects Monogr. 14: 1-109 (page 41, redescription of worker)