Socotra Archipelago

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Socotra Archipelago
Location
Region Asia
Subregion Western Asia
BioRegion Afrotropical Region
Diversity
Subfamilies 4
Genera 12
Endemic Genera 0
% Endemic Genera 0.0%
Species/Subspecies 28
Endemic Species 0
% Endemic Species 0.0%
Introduced Species 0

A list of ant species recorded from Yemen's Socotra Island and the outlying islands of Samha, Darsa and Abd al-Kuri.

This list is based on Sharaf et al., 2017 and Collingwood et al., 2004.

Some of the findings and comments regarding the ant fauna from Collingwood et al., 2004:

The only early record of ants from the Socotra Archipelago was that of Camponotus maculatus collected by the 1898/1899 expedition of the Vienna museum (Kohl 1907). Although those specimens have not been studied by us, our current knowledge now indicates that this record should rather refer to Camponotus hova. Collingwood (1985) reported five species: Brachyponera sennaarensis, Pheidole lamellinoda, Lepisiota spinisquama, Camponotus acvapimensis and C. hova, all collected by K. M. Guichard during the Middle East Command Expedition in 1967. In a guidebook to the ants of Yemen, Collingwood & Van Harten (1994) listed ten species from Socotra without indicating localities and collection data. Collingwood & Agosti (1996) cited records for two species, C. hova and L. spinisquama, provided by A. van Harten in 1993.

Some contemporary faunistic collecting activities have taken place and even though it now is quite clear that the archipelago is poor in ant species, we present here a species synopsis reflecting present knowledge, also including all previous records. In total, 18 species are identified, one of them new to science. A few additional species appear to be present among the available collections. All but one of these are represented only by few sexuals which do not suffice for positive determination.

While it has turned out that ants are not nearly as numerous on Socotra and its outlying islands as in comparable habitats in the African tropics and the Arabian Peninsula, they still occur in all major terrestrial habitats on the island. Probably the majority of species have been transported to the islands by man, and their monitoring is of importance, as they may exert a negative impact on the native fauna. Also, like other non-native arthropods, they may be household pests and can cause economic damage.

With so few species present, identification is comparatively easy and will be possible for nonspecialists in most cases. For these reasons, we present a key to the recorded species which we hope will be easy to use, as it is based on simple, readily observed morphological characters. Key to workers

Nonetheless, some native species may remain to be discovered, and unfortunately there is a high probability that further alien species will be transferred to the islands by ever-increasing travel and commerce. Thus it is highly recommended that specimens suspected to pertain to yet unrecorded species are submitted to an eminent specialist in ant taxonomy.

The specimens dealt with here were collected during several visits by three of us (H. Pohl, W. Wranik and A. van Harten) to the Socotra Archipelago between 1993 and 2000. Also included in the paper are the samples procured by K. M. Guichard in 1967. Collections were made during general investigations of the invertebrate fauna using various methods, including pitfall and light traps.

The specimens are deposited at the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, the Naturhistorisches Museum Basel, the Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Garlitz, the Faculty of Forestry of the Czech University of Agriculture and the collections of C. A. Collingwood and W. Wranik.

Half of the specimens originating from the project "Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity of Socotra Archipelago" are reserved for the National History Collection of Yemen, to be established.

Brachyponera

Camponotus

Cardiocondyla

Hypoponera

Lepisiota

Monomorium

Key to Monomorium of Socotra

Paratrechina

Pheidole

Syllophopsis

Tapinoma

Tetramorium

Trichomyrmex

References