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Forum for Epiphytic Myrmecophytes

An Australian ant-tree, Tuckeroo.

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"Taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography of the ant genus Tetraponera (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Oriental and Australian regions."


The ant species, "Tetraponera tucurua is known from only two localities in southeast Queensland (Fig. 196). At the type locality it occurred in a small patch of closedevergreen forest ('vine forest') in a gully, with Eucalyptus overstorey. Here the species was found living inside live terminal branches of a sapindaceous tree, Cupaniopsis anacardioides, whose pith had been removed. The cavities so occupied contained adult workers, alates, brood and scale insects (Myzolecanium sp.).   The workers would sting when molested. On a Cupaniopsis sapling I observed several dealate queens (one with a hindwing still attached) walking over new shoots. There were also dealate queens inside some of the new branches of this same sapling, each in a separate excavated cavity with an exit hole. Thus, it appears that colony-founding queens of T. tucurua chew their way into new shoots of Cupaniopsis, and mature colonies later occupy multiple branches. The species was briefly discussed in Ward (1991), using the appellation 'Tetraponera sp. PSW-77'."  EDIT. A common name for this popular tree in Australia is Tuckeroo.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupaniopsis_anacardioides.Terrestrial myrmecophytes seem to be very rare in Australia. This is the only instance I have located so far.  EDIT. Now see also Psydrax. 
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