Monday Night Mystery

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned Name That Ant. Tonight’s mystery hails from Australia:

Who am I?

Five points for genus, five more for species. Points will only be awarded for the first correct guess- including supporting information– in each category.

As usual, the cumulative points winner for the month of August will win their choice of 1) any 8×10-sized print from my photo galleries, or 2) a guest post here at Myrmecos on a safe-for-work topic of their choosing.

9 thoughts on “Monday Night Mystery”

  1. I think its genus Heteroponera because of that ridge in the middle of its head, but i’d want other angles to make a guess at species.

  2. FormicidaeFantasy

    I’m going to go with Hypoponera for the genus, because the petiole seams more fused to the first segment of the gaster than it is in Ponera, although that could just be the angle, and I believe that Heteroponerans are generally more hairy/rugose than this specimen.

  3. After pouring myself over the CSIRO website, and pulling up a wikipedia commons diagram of an ant ( – yes, some of your readers are not entomologists, but other flavours of science – I think I agree with FormicidaeFantasy, it’s Hypoponera, and I will hazard a stab at Hypoponera rectidens for the pure, unadulterated reason that it LOOKS the most similar, especially in what I call a thorax, but what wikipedia is telling me is actually a “alitrunk” a term, I cross my heart, I never heard of until today.

    Now imma get back to my enzyme rate equations before y’all mock me into submission for what is certainly a stupid guess.

    Oh, the Heteroponera all looked rather fuzzy to me on the CSIRO website.

  4. Man, of all the ant genera, you had to choose one with so much bleeping confusion and boring similarity (ok, homogeneity in morphology) among the species. I’m voting for Hypoponera opacior because the petiole appears to narrow dorsally. H. opaciceps has a petiole with a more rectangular profile. I guess we can look forward to Crematogaster, Pachycondyla and Camponotus in future.

  5. Oh, yeah, it’s a ponerine because of that constriction between the 1st and 2nd gastral segments. It’s tiny, so it’s a toss-up between Ponera and Hypoponera. Ponera has tiny eyes with only a few ommatidia, while Hypoponera has larger eyes with 20 or so ommatidia. It can’t be Cryptopone either because of the absence of peglike hairs on the middle tibiae. Not Centromyrmex because of the lack of a shelf-like pronotum.

  6. The one-segmented petiole and tubulation (the slight constriction in the gaster) indicates it’s a ponerine. The pale color, slightly darker head, tiny eyes, and peach fuzz look makes it look like Pachycondyla lutea to me. I think that Holldobler and Wilson’s Superorganism mentions that their queens are fully claustral.

  7. Pingback: Answer to the Monday Night Mystery – MYRMECOS - Insect Photography - Insect Pictures

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