Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Worker small, monomorphic. Head subquadrate, rounded laterally and posteriorly. Mandibles with oblique, dentate apical borders. Clypeus broad and high, carinate or subcarinate. Clypeal and antennary foveae confluent. Frontal area small but distinct, triangular. Frontal carinae subparallel, short, rather far apart. Maxillary palpi 6-jointed, labial palpi 4-jointed. Antennae 11-jointed, inserted close to the clypeal suture; scapes long, funiculi slender, not thickened distally. Eyes moderately large, ocelli distinct, rather far apart. Thorax constricted at the mesonotum, the pronotum broad and usually convex anteriorly, somewhat compressed posteriorly; premesonotal and mesoepinotal sutures distinct; epinotum more or less swollen and obtusely dentate on each side. Petiolar scale bidentate or more or less excised above. Gaster broadly oval, with rather pointed tip. Legs slender. Gizzard much like that of Plagiolepis HNS .
Female larger than the worker. Head resembling that of the worker but broadened behind. Thorax robust, mesonotum large, gibbous in front where it overhangs the pronotum, obscurely longitudinally carinate in the middle as is also the scutellum. Epinotum unarmed or bluntly dentate. Wings with a single cubital cell and usually without a discoidal cell.
Male scarcely larger than the worker and resembling that caste in the shape of the head. Eyes large, cheeks very short. Antennae 12-jointed; scapes long and slender; funiculi filiform, all the joints elongate, the first shorter than the two following together. Thorax massive, about as broad as high; epinotum oblique, unarmed; mesonotum slightly convex but not subcarinate. Petiolar scale inclined forward, its upper border entire. External genital valves small, elongate, triangular. Wings long and broad.
Pupae enclosed in cocoons.
Like Plagiolepis HNS , the genus Acantholepis HNS is confined to the warm parts of the Old World, one species, A. frauenfeldi (Mayr) HNS , occurring as far north as southern Europe, Syria, and Persia. In Australia the genus is represented by a peculiar group of species, Stigmacros HNS , which Forel regards as a subgenus but which, I am inclined to believe, should be raised to generic rank. The colonies of Acantholepis HNS are moderately populous and usually nest in the ground, under stones, or in the fissures of rocks, rarely in the cavities of plants.