| Syllophopsis kondratieffi|
(Sharaf & Aldawood, 2013)
The type locality is one of the largest grassland valleys present in the southwestern Saudi Arabia, extending about 180 km in the north of Qunfudah Province and is characterized by its abundant fresh water resources having fish and wild turtles which is not common phenomenon in areas of similar habitats, and a high diversity of agricultural crops such as wheat, millet, date palm, and sesame. The type locality is one of the poorly surveyed valleys in Saudi Arabia, therefore, very little is known about its fauna and flora. The specimens of S. kondratieffi were collected from loose sandy soil with a high moisture content and among roots of small Portulaca oleracea L. plants (Fig. 13) beneath a date palm tree, Phoenix dactylifera L. Syllophopsis kondratieffi was coexisting with a common yellow species of the Monomorium monomorium group (prope exiguum Forel). Other ant species occurring in the area included: Trichomyrmex destructor, Trichomyrmex mayri, Tetramorium caldarium, Tetramorium sericeiventre, Paratrechina longicornis, Nylanderia jaegerskioeldi, Cardiocondyla sp., Pheidole sp., and Lepisiota sp. (Sharaf & Aldawood 2013)
Sharaf & Aldawood (2013) - Syllophopsis kondratieffi seems closest to Syllophopsis modesta. The two species are similar in color and share several characters. Both are yellow; have eyes composed of single ommatidium; funicular segments 2–8 are distinctly broader than long; and, the metanotal groove no more than simple indentation. Syllophopsis kondratieffi can be readily separated by the following characters: small species TL 1.46–1.49, anterior clypeal margin broad, short and not projecting forward, mesosoma short, ML 0.42–0.44, propodeal profile obtuse and distinctly angled (ca 130°), metanotal groove in form of simple indentation.
Aldawood (2016) - The only other Syllophopsis that occurs in Saudi Arabia is Syllophopsis saudiensis. These two ants can be distinguished using the following couplet:
- Small species, TL 1.46–1.49, ML 0.44; scapes shorter (SI 88–100), when laid back from their insertions distinctly fail to reach posterior margin of head; body pilosity sparse and fine; colour uniformly clear pale yellow . . . . . Syllophopsis kondratieffi
- Larger species, TL 2.09–2.1, ML 0.53; scapes longer (SI 107), when laid back from their insertions distinctly reach posterior margin of head; body pilosity abundant and stiff; colour dirty yellow with brownish tint . . . . . Syllophopsis saudiensis
Keys including this Species
Based on the known collections, S. kondratieffi seems widely distributed in southwestern Saudi Arabia, and perhaps future studies may reveal much broader geographical distribution of the region and including other countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on specimens
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- kondratieffi. Monomorium kondratieffi Sharaf & Aldawood, 2013: 79, figs. 1-12 (w.) SAUDI ARABIA. Combination in Syllophopsis: Ward et al., 2014: 13.
- Holotype, worker, Al Urdiyah gov. Wadi Gonouna, Makkah Province, 353m, Saudi Arabia, King Saud Museum of Arthropods. , 12 May 2011, M.R. Sharaf, CASENT0249587,
- Paratype, 1 worker, Al Urdiyah gov. Wadi Gonouna, Makkah Province, 353m, Saudi Arabia, World Museum Liverpool. , 12 May 2011, M.R. Sharaf,
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Measurements of holotype worker [paratype in brackets].—EL 0.01 [0.01]; HL 0.44 [0.42]; HW0.35 [0.32]; ML0.44 [0.42]; PL 0.12 [0.12]; PPL 0.08 [0.05]; PPW 0.09 [0.08]; PRW 0.22 [0.21]; PW 0.09 [0.07]; SL 0.35 [0.28]; TL 1.49 [1.46]; CI 80 ; SI 100 .
Color uniform yellow, smooth shining and slightly hairy (Fig. 1). Head distinctly longer than broad, with abundant, minute and scattered hair pits on dorsum (Fig. 2); sides of head with abundant and relatively long yellow hairs. Posterior margin of head feebly concave in full face view (Fig. 2). Masticatory margin of mandibles armed with four reddish yellow teeth decreasing in size from apex to base, third and fourth teeth set apart from each other (Fig. 3). Frontal carinae very short (Fig. 2, 3). Anterior margin of median portion of clypeus broad, short, feebly convex and not projecting forward (Fig. 3). Eyes minute and point-like, single ommatidium present and situated at midlength of sides of head (Fig. 5). Antennae with 12 segments terminating in well-defined 3-segmented club, with apical segment about 1.5 times longer than two proceeding segments combined; funicular segments 2–8 distinctly wider than long; entire antennae with dense pubescence (Fig. 4). Promesonotum in profile with flat dorsal outline; metanotal groove in form of simple indentation; in lateral view, propodeal dorsum meeting declivity in very weak but distinct obtuse angle; pronotum and mesonotum with many pairs of long hairs (Fig. 6). Impression between mesopleuron and metapleuron/ propodeum finely cross-ribbed (Fig. 7). Anterior part of propodeal dorsum with two pairs of short suberect hairs; lower part of propodeal declivity with two pairs of short hairs; propodeal spiracles relatively large and circular (Fig. 7). Petiole with long anterior peduncle and high rounded node equipped with two pairs of long hairs and several shorter hairs on dorsum of petiolar node (Fig. 8). Postpetiole node more or less dull, broader than long in dorsal view and distinctly lower than petiolar node. Gaster with abundant and relatively long hairs.
The specific epithet kondratieffi has been selected in honor of Prof. Boris Kondratieff, Director of the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State University, USA.
- 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.
- Sharaf, M.R. & Aldawood, A.S. 2013. First occurrence of the Monomorium hildebrandti-Group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in the Arabian Peninsula, with Description of a new species M. kondratieffi n. sp. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 115(1):75-84. doi:10.4289/0013-87220.127.116.11
- 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