| Messor piceus|
Nothing is known about the biology of Messor piceus.
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The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- piceus. Messor piceus Stitz, 1923: 150 (w.q.) SOUTH AFRICA. See also: Bolton, 1982: 352.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Bolton (1982) - Medium to Large, HW 3.28- > 4.20.
Answering to the description of Messor capensis, but differing mainly in the colour of the body pilosity which is white to yellowish in capensis but very deep red-brown to blackish in piceus. Apart from this the anterior clypeal margin is indented medially in piceus; the propodeum varies from narrowly rounded through right-angled to broadly and bluntly dentate, and the largest known workers are larger than those of capensis. In the HW range 3.28-4.20 the maximum diameter of the eye is 0.54-0.64, about 0.15-0.17 x HW, and the CI range is 106--119. The maximum known for capensis is HW 3.44 but this may not be the largest worker of the species, merely the largest available for study at present. Relative size of eye and CI fall within the range of capensis.
Unfortunately the type-series of piceus appears to be lost, but three short series from Transvaal match the original description tolerably well and show the dark pilosity noted by Stitz. I am therefore applying the name piceus to these specimens and to two other short series, from Natal and Botswana. (Bolton 1982)
- Bolton, B. 1982. Afrotropical species of the myrmecine ant genera Cardiocondyla, Leptothorax, Melissotarsus, Messor and Cataulacus (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology, 46: 307-370 (page 352)
- Stitz, H. 1923. Hymenoptera, VII. Formicidae. Beitr. Kennt. Land- Süsswasserfauna Dtsch.-Südwestafr. 2: 143-167 (page 150, worker, queen described)