Open Access: CC BY 4.0


Heterick, B.E.

Year: 2019


First record of the formicine genus Overbeckia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Australia

Journal: Myrmecological News

Volume: 29

Pages: 163-166

Type of contribution: Original Article

Supplementary material: no


A collection of ants deeded to the Western Australian Museum by visiting amateur Raul Jordan included representatives of 10 subfamilies, 65 genera and 270 species. The ants were collected in 2002 in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Among the specimens were three workers of Overbeckia collected in Mossman, Queensland. This is an extremely rare arboreal genus known previously from only two collections in Singapore and the Philippines. The sole known species is Overbeckia subclavata VIEHMEYER, 1916. The Australian material is hairier but otherwise agrees exactly with syntype workers illustrated on AntWeb. The implications of this find are discussed. The alternatives include (i) a new species of Overbeckia possibly endemic to Australia, (ii) the extension of the known range of Overbeckia subclavata and (iii) the introduction to Australia of a hairy morph of O. subclavata by human agency. At present, insufficient material is available to enable this author to choose between these alternatives. The Jordan Collection also includes the first Australian records of Solenopsis papuana EMERY, 1900 and Cardiocondyla minutior FOREL, 1899. These three new records are of considerable significance, and the value of amateur collections and the importance of good taxonomy are discussed in this paper.

Open access, licensed under CC BY 4.0. © 2019 The Author(s).

Key words: Overbeckia, Formicinae, Australia, Raul Jordan Collection, relevance of museum collections.

Publisher: The Austrian Society of Entomofaunistics

ISSN: 1997-3500