Key to Arabian Plagiolepis Species

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The following key to Arabian Plagiolepis is based on Sharaf, Aldawood & Taylor (2011[1]).

1

  • Scape short (SL 0.26), not reaching posterior margin of head in full-face view => 2
  • Scape longer (SL 0.29-0.46) and surpassing posterior margin of head in full-face view => 4

2

  • SI 63; antennal scape exceptionally short, only reaching half of head length; relatively large species, TL 1.40, HL 0.47, HW 0.41 (Yemen)=> Plagiolepis breviscapa
  • SI 84 or more; antennal scape longer surpassing half of head length; smaller species, TL 1.23 or less, HL 0.29-0.36, HW 0.28-0.31 => 3

3

  • EL 0.19 X HW, with 6 ommatidia in the longest row; funiculus segments 3-4 broader than long; pubescence quite dense over whole body; TL 1.23, SL 0.31, SI 84 (India, west to Yemen) => Plagiolepis exigua
  • EL 0.25 X HW; with 9 ommatidia in the longest row, funiculus segments 3-4 longer than broad; pubescence sparser; TL 1.02, SL 0.26, SI 111 (Yemen) => Plagiolepis juddi

4

  • Head as long as broad; clypeus yellow contrasting the dark brown head dorsum; eyes small (EL 0.07); TL 1.20 or less, SL 0.29, SI 100 (Ethiopia, North East Africa, Saudi Arabia) => Plagiolepis abyssinica
  • Head distinctly longer than broad; clypeus unicolorous with head dorsum; eyes larger (EL > 0.11) TL 1.3 or more => 5

5

  • Funiculus segments 2-4 longer than broad; yellowish brown to red-brown; TL 2.1, SL 0.46, SI 100 (Madeira, Spain, North Africa and Saudi Arabia) => Plagiolepis schmitzii
  • At least one of funiculus segments 2-4 broader than long => 6

6

  • Funiculus segment 4 broader than long; eyes with 9 ommatidia in the longest row, EL 0.28X HW; occiput distinctly concave; red-brown, gaster often darker; TL 1.9 plus, SL 0.46, SI 110 (Mediterranean, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) => Plagiolepis pygmaea
  • Funiculus segment 4 longer than broad; eyes with eleven ommatidia in the longest row, EL 0.30X HW or more; occiput nearly straight or feebly concave; unicolorous yellow or yellowish brown; TL max. 1.60 => 7

7

  • Clear yellow species; funiculus segment 2 distinctly shorter than 3; anterior margin of clypeus with two lateral pairs of long yellow hairs, posterior margin with one pair of long hairs situated between antennal insertions; TL 1.35-1.60, SL 0.36-0.41, SI 100-103 (Saudi Arabia) => Plagiolepis boltoni
  • Yellowish brown, at least base of gaster paler than rest of body; funiculus segments 2-3 nearly subequal; anterior margin of clypeus with several pairs of long hairs; TL 1.4-1.5, SL 0.39, SI 100 (North Africa, Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Yemen) => Plagiolepis pallescens maura

References

  1. Sharaf, M.R., Aldawood, S.A., Taylor, B. 2011. The formicine ant genus Plagiolepis Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula, with description of two new species. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 137:203-215.