Australian journal of zoology vol:48 issue:6 pages:661-667
The third tarsomere of the hindlegs of both workers and queens of Nothomyrmecia macrops is almost entirely filled with a hitherto unknown exocrine gland (which does not occur in the closely related Myrmecia). Each of the approximately 30 secretory cells is connected to the outside via a duct cell. These open individually via large cuticular pores at the mesoventral side of the anterior part of the tarsomere. The diameter of the duct cells is narrow near the secretory cell, but gradually increases towards their opening site. The rounded secretory cells show a well developed Golgi apparatus and numerous clear vesicles. The function of this gland is not yet known, although its opening site may be indicative of the deposition of marking substances. At the mediodistal side of tarsomeres 2, 3 and 4 in the three pairs of legs, a glandular thickening of the epidermal epithelium occurs; this represents another novel exocrine structure in ants. This epithelial gland occurs in both Nothomyrmecia and Myrmecia.