Zasphinctus steinheili

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Zasphinctus steinheili
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Zasphinctus
Species: Z. steinheili
Binomial name
Zasphinctus steinheili
(Forel, 1900)

Sphinctomyrmex steinheili casent0173064 profile 1.jpg

Sphinctomyrmex steinheili casent0173064 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms
At a Glance • Ergatoid queen  

 

Brown (1975) - A raid of Zasphinctus steinheili observed by me in Victoria, Australia (Wilson, 1958: 136) was waged against a small Stigmacros (Formicinae) species during the afternoon the Zasphinctus ran over bare soil, but took advantage of cracks in the earth where they could. The Stigmacros workers were seen' scattering and hiding on pieces of eucalypt bark and dead leaves lying on the ground, often carrying their own larvae. Their behavior recalled that of Formica fusca- or pallidefulva group species raided by F. sanguinea-group slavemakers in the Northern Hemisphere, and may imply the use of “propaganda” allomones such as those sprayed by the slavemakers to spread panic in the slave Formica colonies they are attacking (Wilson and Regnier, 1971).

Identification

Distribution

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -16.52° to -42.93333333°.

     
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Elevation Range

Occurrence at collecting sites during elevational surveys of rainforest in the Eungella region, Queensland, Australia (Burwell et al., 2020).
Species Elevation (m asl)
200 400 600 800 1000 1200
?Zasphinctus steinheili 10-20 20-30 30-40
Shading indicates the bands of elevation where species was recorded.
Numbers are the percentage of total samples containing this species.

Biology

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Buschnger et al., 1989; Mizuno et al., 2021) (9-20 queens)
  • Queen type: ergatoid (Buschnger et al., 1989; Mizuno et al., 2021)
  • Mean colony size: 80-400 (Buschnger et al., 1989; Mizuno et al., 2021)

Castes

A total of 20 ergatoid queens from 3 colonies were dissected mostly soon after collecting, during an egg-laying period (Buschinger et al. 1989). Sixteen females were all mated and fully fertile, having long ovarioles (when straightened out, as long as both gaster and petiole) with developing as well as mature oocytes. Presence of "yellow bodies" in most of the ovarioles indicated previous egg-laying. Colonies are thus polygynous.

Nomenclature

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

  • steinheili. Sphinctomyrmex (Eusphinctus) steinheili Forel, 1900b: 72 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Queensland).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • [Note: Clark, 1925a: 62, implies that at least one ergatoid queen is present in the type-series.]
    • Type-locality: Australia: Queensland, Mackay (Turner).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG.
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 225 (w.l.); Wheeler, G.C. 1950: 104 (l.); Imai, Crozier & Taylor, 1977: 348 (k.).
    • Combination in Eusphinctus (Eusphinctus): Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 225;
    • combination in Sphinctomyrmex: Brown, 1975: 33;
    • combination in Zasphinctus: Borowiec, M.L. 2016: 243.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1911d: 7; Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 225 (redescription); Clark, 1925a: 62; Wilson, 1958c: 136; Brown, 1975: 33, 79; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 73; Buschinger, Peeters & Crozier, 1990: 287; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
    • Senior synonym of fallax: Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 225; Clark, 1925a: 62; Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 73; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
    • Senior synonym of fulvipes: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
    • Senior synonym of hedwigae: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 73; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
    • Senior synonym of hirsutus: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
    • Distribution: Australia.
  • fallax. Sphinctomyrmex (Eusphinctus) fallax Forel, 1900b: 73 (w.) AUSTRALIA (Queensland).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: Queensland, Mackay (Turner).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1911d: 7.
    • Junior synonym of steinheili: Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 225; Clark, 1925a: 62; Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 73; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
  • fulvipes. Eusphinctus fulvipes Clark, 1934c: 49, pl. 4, fig. 1 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (Victoria).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Australia: Victoria, Otway Ranges, Gellibrand, i.1932 (J. Clark).
    • Type-depository: MVMA.
    • Junior synonym of steinheili: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
  • hedwigae. Sphinctomyrmex (Eusphinctus) fallax subsp. hedwigae Forel, 1910b: 21 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated), 1 syntype ergatoid queen.
    • Type-locality: Australia: New South Wales (Walcher).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, MHNG.
    • Combination in Eusphinctus (Eusphinctus): Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 228.
    • Subspecies of fallax: Emery, 1911d: 7; Emery, 1914b: 179.
    • Subspecies of steinheili: Wheeler, W.M. 1918a: 228; Clark, 1925a: 63.
    • Junior synonym of steinheili: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 392.
  • hirsutus. Eusphinctus hirsutus Clark, 1929: 118, pl. 1, figs. 1, 2 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (Victoria).
    • Type-material: 60 syntype workers, 5 syntype ergatoid queens.
    • Type-locality: Australia: Victoria, East Gippsland, Cann River, 26.xi.-8.xii.1928, riverbank (J. Clark).
    • Type-depository: MVMA.
    • Junior synonym of steinheili: Brown, 1975: 33; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 51; Taylor, 1987a: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 392.

Type Material

Description

Karyotype

  • 2n = 45 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977) (as Sphinctomyrmex steinheili).
  • 2n = 46 (Australia) (Imai et al., 1977) (as Sphinctomyrmex steinheili).

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search Agric. (Ithaca N. Y.) 5(1): 1-115.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • Lowery B. B., and R. J. Taylor. 1994. Occurrence of ant species in a range of sclerophyll forest communities at Old Chum Dam, north-eastern Tasmania. Australian Entomologist 21: 11-14.