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Syllophopsis modesta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Syllophopsis
Santschi, 1915
Type species
Monomorium modestum, now Syllophopsis modesta
22 species
(Species Checklist)

Monomorium modestum casent0026710 profile 1.jpg

Monomorium modestum casent0026710 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships

Austromorium, Bariamyrma, Dolopomyrmex, Kempfidris, Megalomyrmex, Monomorium, Oxyepoecus, Rogeria, Solenopsis, Stegomyrmex, Tropidomyrmex

Monomorium, Tyrannomyrmex

Anillomyrma, Myrmicaria







Based on Ward et al., 2014


Aldawood (2016) - The worker caste of Syllophopsis is readily identified by the combination of the following characters (Bolton 1987): monomorphic; antennae 12-segmented terminating with a 3-segmented club; median clypeal portion distinctly longitudinally bicarinate that project anteriorly as a pair of blunt teeth; eyes tiny with one or two ommatidia; promesonotal suture absent; metanotal groove impressed, sometimes less-developed but distinct; propodeal dorsum making a minute dent with declivity. In many species, propodeal outline obtusely angulate; petiole pedunculate, with a high and rounded node; postpetiole node smaller and lower than petiolar node in profile.

Keys including this Genus

Keys to Species in this Genus


World distribution based on political regions. View/Edit Data
Syllophopsis Distribution.png Worlddistribution legend.jpg

Species richness

Species richness by country based on regional taxon lists (countries with darker colours are more species-rich). View Data

Syllophopsis Species Richness.png


Syllophopsis sechellensis is known to forage both on and under the ground (Eguchi & Bui 2009).



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

  • SYLLOPHOPSIS [Myrmicinae: Solenopsidini]
    • Syllophopsis Santschi, 1915c: 259 [as subgenus of Monomorium]. Type-species: Monomorium modestum, by monotypy.
    • Syllophopsis subgenus of Monomorium: Emery, 1922e: 175; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 676; Arnold, 1952a: 465.
    • Syllophopsis raised to genus: Santschi, 1921c: 119; Ettershank, 1966: 100.
    • Syllophopsis junior synonym of Monomorium: Bolton, 1987: 287.
    • Syllophopsis revived from synonymy: Ward et al., 2014: 13.
  • [Syllopsis Santschi, 1921c: 120, incorrect subsequent spelling.]
  • IRENEIDRIS [junior synonym of Syllophopsis]
    • Ireneidris Donisthorpe, 1943c: 81. Type-species: Ireneidris myops (junior synonym of Monomorium australicum), by original designation.
    • Ireneidris junior synonym of Monomorium: Ettershank, 1966: 82; Bolton, 1987: 298.
    • Ireneidris junior synonym of Syllophopsis: Ward et al., 2014: 13.

Aldawood (2016)- The myrmicine ant genus Syllophopsis was established by Santschi (1915) for the species Syllophopsis modestum Santschi, 1914. The genus now includes 21 valid species distributed in the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions (Bolton, 1987; Heterick, 2006), and two widespread species occurring in the Indo-Australian region and on the islands of the Pacific and Indian oceans (Wilson & Taylor, 1967).

In his comprehensive review of the Solenopsis genus-group and the Afrotropical fauna of the genus Monomorium, Bolton (1987) synonymized Syllophopsis under Monomorium, recorded seven species and described three new African species, Syllophopsis malamixta and Syllophopsis thrascolepta from Ivory Coast and Syllophopsis sersalata from Rwanda. These 10 species were included in the Monomorium fossulatum-group. In a revision of the Malagasy Monomorium, Heterick (2006) included the species of the M. fossulatum-group with the hildebrandti-group. Recently, Syllophopsis was resurrected as a valid genus by Ward, Brady, Fisher, and Schultz (2014).

The only treatment of Syllophopsis for the Arabian Peninsula was by Sharaf & Aldawood (2013), recording the genus for the first time from southwestern Saudi Arabia by the new species, Syllophopsis kondratieffi based on the worker caste. In addition, a key was provided for the species of Syllophopsis known from the Afrotropical region. Recently, Sharaf, Fisher, Collingwood, and Aldawood (unpublished data) reported the genus from Socotra Island (Yemen) for the first time by an undescribed species. In North Africa, Sharaf (2007) described Syllophopsis dentata form the Nile Valley, upper Egypt.


  • Aldawood, A.S. 2016. Ants of the genus Syllophopsis Santschi, 1915 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Saudi Arabia with description of a new species. Zoology in the Middle East. 62(2):137-143. DOI: 10.1080/09397140.2016.1173898.
  • Arnold, G. 1952a. New species of African Hymenoptera. No. 10. Occas. Pap. Natl. Mus. South. Rhod. 2: 460-493 (page 465, Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)
  • Bolton, B. 1987. A review of the Solenopsis genus-group and revision of Afrotropical Monomorium Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 54: 263-452 (page 287, Syllophopsis as junior synonym of Monomorium)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 213, Syllophopsis as junior synonym of Monomorium)
  • Dlussky, G. M.; Fedoseeva, E. B. 1988. Origin and early stages of evolution in ants. Pp. 70-144 in: Ponomarenko, A. G. (ed.) Cretaceous biocenotic crisis and insect evolution. Moskva: Nauka, 232 pp. (page 80, Syllophopsis in Myrmicinae, Monomoriini)
  • Donisthorpe, H. 1943h. A list of the type-species of the genera and subgenera of the Formicidae. [concl.]. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 11(10): 721-737 (page 729, Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)
  • Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 175, Syllophopsis in Myrmicinae, Solenopsidini; Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)
  • Ettershank, G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171 (page 81. 100, Syllophopsis in Myrmicinae, Monomorium genus group; Syllophopsis as genus)
  • Forel, A. 1917. Cadre synoptique actuel de la faune universelle des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 51: 229-253 (page 242, Syllophopsis in Myrmicinae, Solenopsidini [subtribe Monomoriini]; Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)
  • Santschi, F. 1915c. Nouvelles fourmis d'Afrique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 84: 244-282 (page 259, Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)
  • Santschi, F. 1921c. Quelques nouveaux Formicides africains. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 61: 113-122 (page 119, Syllophopsis as genus)
  • Santschi, F. 1936a. Étude sur les fourmis du genre Monomorium Mayr. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Maroc 16: 32-64 (page 32, Syllophopsis as genus)
  • Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. 2014. The evolution of myrmicine ants: phylogeny and biogeography of a hyperdiverse ant clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Systematic Entomology, DOI: 10.1111/syen.12090.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 676, Syllophopsis as subgenus of Monomoorium)