Monomorium subcomae

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Monomorium subcomae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. subcomae
Binomial name
Monomorium subcomae
Lush, 2008

Monomorium subcomae casent0902232 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium subcomae casent0902232 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Monomorium subcomae.


Lush (2008) - M. subcomae is a member of the areniphilum-complex in the salomonis-group. It belongs in the latter due to the number of mandibular teeth, palp formula, sculpture and reduced pilosity on the head and mesosoma.

M. subcomae clearly forms part of the areniphilum-complex. Members of this complex share the same striate cephalic sculpture, large eyes and distinctive shape of the mesosoma in profile. Bolton (1987) comments on the confusion of species within this complex in North Africa and the Middle East, though the latter has been largely clarified by subsequent works (Collingwood 1985, Collingwood & Agosti 1996). Unfortunately, Collingwood and Agosti (1996) made no attempt to identify species groups, so the precise number of Middle Eastern species in the areniphilum-complex is not known. However, it is evident from the discussion in Collingwood and Agosti (1996), and original descriptions (Santschi 1936, Smith 1858), that the complex also includes: Monomorium areniphilum, Monomorium acutinode, Monomorium dirie, Monomorium fezzanense, Monomorium hemame, Monomorium marmule and Monomorium venustum.

M. subcomae is the smallest Middle Eastern member of the areniphilum-complex. Although it has the longest SI of any species in the complex, M. venustum is perhaps the most closely related species to M. subcomae, being only slightly larger and having the same colouration, and otherwise differing mainly in the absence of subcephalic setae.

M. subcomae can be distinguished from other Middle Eastern Monomorium due to the distinctive shape of the mesosoma, sculpturation, maximum eye width, distribution of setae and colouration.

Using Bolton (1987) M. subcomae keys out with Monomorium areniphilum, but is distinguished by the eyes being smaller and having on average fewer ommatidia in the longest row, its generally smaller size and the fact that it is distinctly bicoloured.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Kuwait (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • subcomae. Monomorium subcomae Lush, 2008: 68, figs. 1-6 (w.) KUWAIT.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Holotype: HML 2.20, HL 0.78, HW 0.66, CI 85, SL 0.66, SI 100, PW 0.42, ML 0.95. - Paratypes: HML 2.06-2.22, HL 0.75-0.79, HW 0.64-0.69, CI 83-90, SL 0.62-0.66, SI (90)97-102, PW 0.38-0.42, ML 0.91-0.95 (n=8).

Head: Head shortly rectangular with rounded sides; vertex planar; frons punctulate-striate, with striae radiating from frontal triangle and converging again at vertex; 1 pair of erect setae present on dorsum straddling midline, otherwise only sparse adpressed setulae present. Ventral surface of the head with (5)11-15 pairs of nonpsammophorous long erect setae. Eye large (maximum length 0.26-0.30 times head width); in full face view set at the midpoint of the head capsule; in profile set slightly dorsal to the midpoint of the head capsule; eye elliptical with a straight ventral edge; 10-12 ommatidia in longest row. Antenna! segments 12; scape long, reaching posterior margin of the head; club 3-segmented, not very strongly pronounced. Clypeal carinae weak, parallel; anteromedian clypeal margin weakly concave, lateral margins weakly convex; paraclypeal setae long, reaching the external margin of closed mandibles; posteromedian clypeal margin extending just posterior to the antennal insertions. Anterior tentorial pits situated midway between the antennal and mandibular insertions. Frontal lobes slightly pronounced; frontal carinae straight, parallel. Palp formula 2:2. Mandibular teeth 4; mandibles weakly convex, distinctly longitudinally rugose; apical margin of mandibles when closed oblique.

Mesosoma: Promesonotum reticulate-punctate, strongly so on lower mesopleuron (katepisternum); pronotum broadly and evenly convex; mesonotum flat or weakly concave, posteriorly rounded into metanotal groove; promesonotum on a conspicuously higher plane than propodeum; erect promesonotal setae absent, only sparse adpressed setulae present, densest on anterior half of pronotum. Metanotal groove narrowly but conspicuously impressed, with short but distinct costulae. Propodeum reticulate-punctate, coarsely so ventrolaterally, but finer dorsally giving a granular appearance; propodeal dorsum shortly and shallowly convex, rounding smoothly into straight declivitous face; erect setae absent; few adpressed setulae, mainly anteriorly; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove, declivitous face and dorsal surface of propodeum; vestibule of propodeal spiracle distinct; propodeal lobes vestigial.

Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle situated anterolaterally at base of node; node in profile high, broadly and evenly rounded; node sculpture reticulate; anteroventral petiolar process large and distinct; ventral petiolar lobe slight, anteriad the base of the node; occasionally 1 pair of backwards pointing setae present. Postpetiole node evenly rounded with a sloping posterior face; node sculpture unevenly reticulate-punctate; midpoint of postpetiole stemite depressed; 1 pair of backwards pointing setae present. Ratio of greatest petiole node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) = 1.07-1.21. Height ratio of petiole to postpetiole = 1.16-1.53. Height-length ratio ofpostpetiole = 0.94-1.17.

Gaster: Gaster glossy, superficially reticulate; row of transverse erect setae at apex of first sclerite, erect setae otherwise absent; ad pressed or suberect setulae thinly and evenly distributed.

Colour: Head, mesosoma and appendages evenly warm orange-yellow; gaster contrasting dark red-brown.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker, Camp Doha, near Kuwait City, Kuwait, [approximately 29°21 'N, 47°48'E] 18.i.2003, collected by David M. King. Paratypes. Camp Doha (all specimens with the same collection data as holotype): 1 worker mounted; 7 workers in 94% ethanol.

The holotype specimen and the paratype material preserved in ethanol have been deposited at the Natural History Museum, London, accession number: The Natural History Museum {E} 2008-61. The mounted paratype worker has been retained by the author.


Latin sub ('under') + coma ('hair of the head').