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electric ant

Scientific Name
Wasmannia auropunctata
Scientific Author
(Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae)

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Lateral view worker

Diagnostic Notes

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Body length approximately 1.5 mm and reddish to golden brown; workers are monomorphic; antennae consist of 11 segments with the last two forming a distinct club; antennal scrobes are well marked and extend almost to the occipital border; head and thorax are heavily sculptured with grooves and pits; epinotal spines are set close together at the base, strongly diverging and slightly incurved when seen from above; node of the petiole is rectangular in profile and higher than the post-petiole; erect body hairs are long, coarse and rather sparse.

The strongly quadrate lateral profile of the petiolar node is unique to this species.


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Size: monomorphic. Total length approximately 1.5 mm.
Colour: light brown to golden brown in colour, the gaster often somewhat darker.
Surface sculpture: Head, alitrunk and nodes are heavily sculptured, appearing dull; gaster unsculptured, appearing shiny.
General description: antennae 11-segmented; last 2 segments greatly enlarged. Antennal scape (first segment) inserted into a distinct groove (scrobe) that extends almost to the posterior border of the head. Eyes relatively small, with about 6 ommatidia in the longest row. Mandibles each with 5 teeth, the topmost (nearest clypeus) small. Clypeus without longitudinal carinae. Anterodorsal angles of the pronotum acute. Metanotal groove weak. Propodeum with a pair of long, sharp spines set closely together at the base, strongly diverging and slightly incurved when seen from above. Two nodes present, the first (petiole) is “hatchet-like,” almost rectangular in profile and higher than the second (postpetiole). Body sparsely covered with long, erect hairs.


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Worker - minute, body length less than 2.0 mm. Antennae 11-segmented, with a 3-segmented club. Antennal scrobes present, bounded below by a weak longitudinal carina running above the eye. Anterodorsal angles of the pronotum acute, pronotum strongly marginate anteriorly. Promesonotal suture absent, metanotal grove weakly impressed. Propodeum bispinose, metapleural lobes present.


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