| Trichomyrmex mayri|
Monomorium mayri is considered one of the most common ant species of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a common species at Rawdhat Khorim, Saudi Arabia, exhibits high abundances from April to October, peaking in June and slowly declining from November to March (Sharaf et al., 2013).
Answering the description of destructor in all respects except colour, mayri being uniformly dark brown, sometimes with a paler patch at the base of the first gastral tergite.
I have decided to retain mayri as a valid species, separate from destructor, for the time being. The colour character is admittedly feeble but appears to be consistent, and mayri does not show the tramping ability so strongly developed in destructor.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Afrotropical Erromyrma, Monomorium, Syllophopsis and Trichomyrmex species
- Key to workers of the Socotra Archipelago, Yemen
Trichomyrmex mayri has been successfully introduced into many regions of the tropics but compared with Trichomyrmex destructor apparently has a more limited invasion capability (Bolton 1987). The speculated origin of the species is the Indian subcontinent (Bolton 1987), with geographic extensions westward to the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood 1985; Collingwood and Agosti 1996; Sharaf et al. 2013; Abdul-Rassoul et al. 2013; Tigar and Collingwood, 1993), North Africa (Egypt) (Sharaf 2006) and along the coastal zones of Sub-Saharan Africa (Bolton 1987). It is also recorded from the Far East (Thailand and Malaysia) (Bolton 1987) (Sharaf et al., 2013; Sharaf et al., 2017).
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on specimens
Sharaf et al. (2017) - This species is one of the more widely distributed invasive species in Socotra due to its broad range of acceptable habitats. It was observed foraging on the ground next to a date palm tree. Several specimens were collected from leaf litter where the soil was moist and rich in the faecal material of sheep and goats. Another nest was found in dry soil under Eragrostis eragrostis (L.) (Poaceae). Several workers were foraging on sandy, moist soil next to a small running stream. Many workers were observed foraging on green twigs of a plant and coexisting with Tapinoma melanocephalum. Workers of a nest series were foraging on a rock next to a Cochliasanthus caracalla (L.) Trew (Fabaceae) plant. Several workers were nesting in loose, dry soil under a rock. Many individuals were foraging at the base of a trunk of Boswellia scacra Flueck. (Buseraceae). Another nest series was found in a dry leaf litter close to a date palm tree.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- mayri. Monomorium gracillimum var. mayri Forel, 1902c: 209 (w.) INDIA. Wheeler, W.M. 1923b: 3 (m.). Combination in M. (Parholcomyrmex): Emery, 1922e: 180; in Trichomyrmex: Ward et al., 2014: 16. Subspecies of destructor: Forel, 1911a: 24; Viehmeyer, 1916a: 132. Raised to species and senior synonym of karawajewi: Bolton, 1987: 326.
- karawajewi. Monomorium (Parholcomyrmex) gracillimum var. karawajewi Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 875 (w.) SUDAN. [First available use of Monomorium destructor r. gracillimum var. karawajewi Forel, 1913d: 437; unavailable name.] Raised to species: Collingwood, 1985: 270. Junior synonym of mayri: Bolton, 1987: 326.
- Abdul-Rassoul, M.S., Ali, H.B. & Augul, R.SH. 2013. New Records of Unidentified Ants worker (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae) stored in Iraqi Natural History Museum with key to Species. Adv. Biores., Vol 4 (2): 27-33.
- 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
- Collingwood, C. A., Pohl, H., Guesten, R., Wranik, W. and van Harten, A. 2004. The ants (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Socotra Archipelago. Fauna of Arabia. 20:473-495. PDF
- Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 180, Combination in M. (Parholcomyrmex))
- Forel, A. 1902c. Myrmicinae nouveaux de l'Inde et de Ceylan. Rev. Suisse Zool. 10: 165-249 (page 209, worker described)
- Forel, A. 1911a. Fourmis de Bornéo, Singapore, Ceylan, etc. récoltées par MM. Haviland, Green, Winkler, Will, Hose, Roepke et Waldo. Rev. Suisse Zool. 19: 23-62 (page 24, Subspecies of destructor)
- Sharaf, M. R.; Abdel-Dayem, M. S.; Al Dhafer, H. M.; Aldawood, S. A. 2013. The ants (Hymenoptera:formicidae) of Rawdhat Khorim Nature Preserve, Saudi Arabia, with description of a new species of the genus Tetramorium Mayr. Zootaxa 3709:565-580. PDF
- Sharaf, M.R., Fisher, B.L., Collingwood, C.A., Aldawood, A.S. 2017. Ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Socotra Archipelago (Yemen): zoogeography, distribution and description of a new species. Journal of Natural History 51, 317–378 (DOI 10.1080/00222933.2016.1271157).
- Sharaf, M.R., Salman, S., Al Dhafer, H.M., Akbar, S.A., Abdel-Dayem, M.S. & Aldawood, A.S. 2016. Taxonomy and distribution of the genus Trichomyrmex Mayr, 1865 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Arabian Peninsula, with the description of two new species. European Journal of Taxonomy 246:1-36 (DOI 10.5852/ejt.2016.246).
- Viehmeyer, H. 1916a . Ameisen von Singapore. Beobachtet und gesammelt von H. Overbeck. Arch. Naturgesch. (A) 81(8): 108-168 (page 132, Subspecies of destructor)
- 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. 1923b. Social life among the insects. Lecture V. Parasitic ants and ant guests. Sci. Mon. 16: 5-33 (page 3, male described)