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Odontomachus animosus Fr. Smith

(Fig. 4, no. 3)

Odontomachus animosus Fr. Smith , 1860, J. Proc. Linn. Soc. London, Zool., 4 (suppl.): 102-103, worker. Type locality: Dory (Manokwari), Neth. New Guinea. Donisthorpe, 1932, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., (10)10:461. (Holotype examined - Oxford University Museum.)

Through the courtesy of Mr. Ernest Taylor of Oxford University I have recently had the opportunity to study the unique type of this most enigmatic of Odontomachus species. 0. animosus proves to be a very distinct species belonging to the saevissimus group. In petiole shape and general habitus it is convergent (or annectant) to the species of the simillimus group, in particular simillimus itself, and may in fact represent a true phylogenetic link between the two groups. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any more material of this species in recent collections. Below is a brief redescription of the holotype.

Holotype worker. H¥ 2.08 mm, HL 3.08 mm, SL 3.09 mm, PW 1.19 mm, distance from the basal line of the petiolar node to the tip of the petiolar spine 1.34 mm, distance from the posterior margin of the petiolar spiracle to the tip of the spine 1.21 mm. Shape of petiole similar to that of O. papuanus Emery , differing in that the anterodorsal face of the node seen from the side forms an almost perfectly straight line from the spine itself to the anterior collar, thus lacking the rounded angle that separates the anterior and dorsal faces in other members of the saevissimus group ( animosus shares this character with some species of the simillimm and tyrannicus groups; see Fig. 4). Entire dorsal surface of head striate, the striae becoming feeble in the occipital region. Ocular ridge striate posterior to the eye, smooth anterior to it. Sides of head ventral to the inner border of the eye, including the ventral half of the extraocular furrow, smooth and shining. Pronotum, mesonotum, and propodeum covered by dense transverse striae. Anepisternum vertically striate; katepisternum almost completely smooth and shining. Anterior face of petiolar node very faintly and transversely striate; remainder of node smooth and shining. Gaster entirely smooth and shining. Coloration uniformly yellowish brown (but the specimen is undoubtedly faded; Frederick Smith described it in 1860 as “ferruginous” ).


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