Trichomyrmex oscaris

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Trichomyrmex oscaris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Trichomyrmex
Species group: destructor
Species: T. oscaris
Binomial name
Trichomyrmex oscaris
(Forel, 1894)

Monomorium oscaris casent0235926 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium oscaris casent0235926 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Bolton (1987)

Worker. TL 1.6-3.8, HL 0.46-0.94, HW 0.36-0.84, CI 76-90, SL 0.34-0.54, SI 63-94, PW 0.24-0.52, AL 0.48-1.00 (30 measured).

Workers showing marked size variation in any given series, and displaying monophasic allometric variation. Mandibles with 3 strong teeth, the fourth (basal) tooth reduced to a minute offset denticle or even lost in the smallest workers. Mandibles frequently showing longitudinal rugular sculpture but often smooth. Usually larger workers have the mandibles more strongly sculptured than smaller individuals, but this is by no means universal. Eyes relatively small, the maximum diameter 0.13-0.19 x HW and with 3-6 ommatidia in the longest row. Eyes of larger workers have more ommatidia than those of smaller workers but are smaller in relation to the size of the head. In small workers, with HW < 0-60, the eyes are approximately 0-15-0-19 x HW, whilst in workers with HW > 0.60 the eyes range 0-13-0-16 x HW. In large workers CI is higher than in small, the heads being relatively broader. Antennal scapes relatively longer in small workers and shorter in large workers, as follows.

When HW 0-35-0-45 then SI is 94-84;

when HW 0-45-0-55 then SI is 84-79;

when HW 0-55-0-65 then SI is 76-69;

when HW 0-65-0-75 then SI is 74-64;

when HW 0-75-0-85 then SI is 65-63.

When laid straight back from their insertions the scapes almost reach the occipital margin in smallest workers but fall far short of the margin in the largest individuals. With the head in full-face view the sides shallowly convex and the occipital margin shallowly concave in large workers; in small workers the sides and occipital margin tend to become straighter. Alitrunk in profile with promesonotum convex, the metanotal groove impressed. In dorsal view the petiole node conspicuously anteroposteriorly compressed in large workers, distinctly much broader than long. Postpetiole in dorsal view broader than long. Occipital margin of head with 2-4 or more pairs of standing hairs forming a transverse row. Dorsum of head in front of this row but behind the frontal lobes with 1-4 pairs of standing hairs straddling the midline. Pubescence on head sparse, directed towards the midline. Promesonotal dorsum always with numerous standing hairs; such hairs also present on propodeum in large to medium workers but sometimes absent in small individuals. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster each with numerous elongate backward directed hairs.

Sculpture usually absent from cephalic dorsum, the surface glassy smooth between scattered hair-pits. Medium to large workers with a band of fine transverse striolate sculpture on the rim of the descending occipital surface of the head; this band of weak sculpture usually just visible in full-face view along the rim of the occipital margin. In smaller workers this transverse occipital sculpture is much reduced or absent. Largest workers in some West African samples with the cephalic dorsum showing very fine vestiges of sculpture between the hair-pits. Propodeal dorsum always finely transversely striolate to transversely rugulose; fainter in smaller workers than in larger. Promesonotal dorsum usually smooth with scattered hair-pits, but faint scratch-like or patchy striolate sculpture occurs in the large workers of some samples; a small patch of superficial punctulation may occur at the pronotal-mesonotal junction. Sides of pronotum smooth to vestigially striolate, the remainder of the lateral alitrunk punctuate to reticulate-punctate. First gastral tergite smooth except for hair-pits. Colour yellow to light brownish yellow, glossy

The closest relative of oscaris appears to be the pantropical tramp-species destructor, but the two are separable by the shape of the petiole node in dorsal view, especially in larger workers. In destructor the node is globular to subglobular but in oscaris it is strongly anteroposteriorly compressed and markedly transverse. Also, at any given worker size, the scapes tend to be longer in destructor than in oscaris: compare the tables under their respective descriptions.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe.

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.

  • oscaris. Monomorium oscaris Forel, 1894b: 86 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Combination in Trichomyrmex: Ward et al., 2014: 16. Senior synonym of despecta, dispar, kalahariense, prossae, solleri: Bolton, 1987: 326.
  • dispar. Monomorium dispar Emery, 1895h: 24 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in M. (Parholcomyrmex): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 874. Junior synonym of oscaris: Bolton, 1987: 326.
  • kalahariense. Monomorium destructor subsp. kalahariense Forel, 1910f: 18 (w.) BOTSWANA. Junior synonym of oscaris: Bolton, 1987: 326.
  • solleri. Rhoptromyrmex solleri Forel, 1910e: 430 (q.) SENEGAL. Combination in Monomorium: Ettershank & Brown, 1964: 18. Junior synonym of oscaris: Bolton, 1987: 326.
  • bulawayense. Monomorium amblyops r. bulawayense Forel, 1914d: 247 (w.) ZIMBABWE. Arnold, 1916: 237 (q.m.). [Junior primary homonym of bulawayensis Forel, above.] Replacement name: prossae Forel, 1916: 418.
  • prossae. Monomorium amblyops r. prossae Forel, 1916: 418. Replacement name for bulawayense Forel, 1914d: 247. [Junior primary homonym of bulawayensis Forel, 1913j: 217.] Combination in M.(Parholcomyrmex): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 873. Raised to species: Emery, 1922e: 173. Junior synonym of oscaris: Bolton, 1987: 326.
  • despecta. Monomorium destructor var. despecta Menozzi, 1931a: 154 (w.) ETHIOPIA. [First available use of Monomorium destructor subsp. kalahariense var. despecta Forel, 1910c: 252; unavailable name.] Forel, 1913b: 331 (q.). Junior synonym of oscaris: Bolton, 1987: 326.

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


Type Material

Bolton (1987) - Holotype worker, ETHIOPIA: 'Sudabessinien' (Ilg) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined].