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Polyrhachis (Aulacomyrma) wardi HNS , new species

Figures 46, 49, 52


HOLOTYPE: PAPUA NEW GUINEA, East Sepik Prov ., 3 km S ofWewak , 03 º 37 ’ S , 143 º 37 ’ E , 400 m, 15. ii. 1989 , P. S. Ward# 10199 (worker). PARATYPES : data as for holotype (10 workers, 3 alate [[ queen ]], with some of the specimens not entirely hardened and fully pigmented). Type distribution: holotype , 1 nidoparatype worker and 1 nidoparatype queen in ANIC ; 2 nidoparatype workers each in BMNH , CASC , MCZC and QMBA .


Dimensions: TL c. 4.33 - 5.09 (4.84); HL 1.15 - 1.34 (1.28); HW 1.00 - 1.18 (1.09); CI 83 - 88 (85); SL 1.31, 1.22 - 1.37; SI 114 - 126 (120); PW 0.94 - 1.06 (0.97); MTL 1.12 - 1.25 (1.18) (11 measured).

Anterior clypeal margin shallowly emarginate medially; clypeus in profile weakly convex with shallow basal margin. Frontal carinae sinuate, with laminate lobes. Sides of head weakly convex, anteriorly converging. Eyes strongly convex, in full face view clearly breaking cephalic outline. Mesosomal dorsum marginate along entire length; weakly convex in profile. Pronotal humeri virtually right-angled, with margins raised. Promesonotal suture distinct. Metanotal groove lacking dorsally, position indicated by emarginations of lateral margins. Propodeal dorsum with lateral margins diverging and extended into rather short, blunt, laterally directed teeth, posterior margins continued as transverse, somewhat incurved ridge, dividing propodeal dorsum from declivity. Petiole with dorsal margin acute, entire, terminating laterally in distinct, backwardly curved spines with weakly upturned tips. First gastral segment concave anteriorly; concavity sharply margined dorsally, but not elevated above dorsal face of segment.

Mandibles irregularly longitudinally striate. Head mostly longitudinally, somewhat irregularly striate-rugose; sculpture more regular on sides; striae originating from below posterolateral corners bowed inwards and then outwards, terminating at bases of mandibles. Striation of mesosomal dorsum longitudinal, anteriorly diverging on pronotum, posteriorly converging on mesonotal-propodeal dorsum, mostly oblique on sides of mesosoma. Petiole with both faces shagreened, some rugosity evident towards sides. First gastral segment mostly shagreened dorsally, sides finely, longitudinally striate.

Rather short, mostly erect, silvery and yellowish hairs on all body surfaces and appendages. Appressed, silvery or greyish pubescence very sparse on head, more abundant on dorsum of mesosoma, curving towards midline, not concealing underlying sculpture; patches of denser pubescence on meso- and metapleuron, coxae and petiole; pubescence fairly abundant on first gastral segment, silvery on sides and richly golden on dorsum, almost hiding underlying sculpture.

Black, including coxae and most of antennal scapes. Apices of scapes, funiculi, mandibular masticatory border, distal portion of femora, proximal ends of tibiae and basal tarsal segments very dark to dark reddish brown. Rest of legs light yellow, almost white in some specimens.


Dimensions: TL c. 5.84 - 6.10; HL 1.43 - 1.47; HW 1.25 - 1.26; CI 85 - 87; SL 1.40 - 1.43; SI 112 - 113; PW 1.25 - 1.28; MTL 1.40 (3 measured).

Similar to worker with usual differences associated with caste. Sculpture similar, pattern of striation following fully developed thoracic structure. Pronotal humeri less acute, propodeal teeth less distinct and petiolar spines shorter. Color of body and appendages identical to worker.

Male and immature stages (larvae and a pupa) present in ANIC .


INDONESIA, IRIAN JAYA (New Guinea: Neth . on data label), Waris , S of Hollandia , 450 - 500 m, 1 - 7. viii. 1959 , sweeping, T. C. Maa (w) . PAPUA NEW GUINEA: East Sepik Prov ., Amok , N of Maprik , 03 º 35 ’ S , 142 º 57 ’ E , 165 m, 6. i. 1960 ( T. C. Maa ) (w) .


Named in honor of the collector of the type series, Dr Phil S. Ward.


P. wardi HNS is a very distinct species separated from other Aulacomyrma HNS by the distinctly laterally widened margins of the propodeal dorsum that extend into short, bluntly terminated, laterally directed teeth.


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