|At a Glance||• Ergatoid queen|
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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Thirty-five colonies (228-3999 workers) of Monomorium algiricum were excavated at different times of the year (Peeters & Tinaut 2014). New sexuals (ergatoid queens and males) were found during a short period at the end of summer. Dissection of spermathecae in 331 queens revealed that new gynes mate soon after emergence. Ovarian activity was assessed to distinguish between "old" and newly mated queens. Both monogynous and polygynous colonies were found throughout the year; queens in the latter were less fecund. Sexuals were not produced in some polygynous colonies. The life history of M. algiricum is complex due to interactions between extreme seasonality (no foraging and no egg-laying during six months of the year), coexistence between "old" and newly mated ergatoid queens, and the irregularity inherent to colony fission.
Queens are ergatoid and markedly bigger than workers. Due to lack of wing muscles, the thorax of ergatoid queens is worker-like with a decreased volume and pronounced fusion of flight sclerites. Queens of M. algiricum have 28-40 ovarioles (Peeters & Tinaut 2014). Monomorium workers lack ovaries.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- algiricum. Epixenus algiricus Bernard, 1955b: 274, figs. 1, 2 (w.q.l.) ALGERIA. Tinaut & Ortiz, 1988: 167 (m.). Combination in Monomorium: Brown & Wilson, 1957b: 245.
- Bernard, F. 1955b. Morphologie et comportement des fourmis lestobiotiques du genre Epixenus Emery. Insectes Soc. 2: 273-283 PDF (page 274, figs. 1, 2 worker, queen, larva described)
- Brown, W. L., Jr.; Wilson, E. O. 1957b. A new parasitic ant of the genus Monomorium from Alabama, with a consideration of the status of genus Epixenus Emery. Entomol. News 68: 239-246 (page 245, Combination in Monomorium)
- Peeters, C. & Tinaut, A. 2014. Reconstructing life history in ants: Ergatoid queens, facultative monogyny and dependent colony foundation in Monomorium algiricum (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 20: 77-85 PDF
- Tinaut, A.; Ortiz, F. J. 1988. Descripción del macho de Monomorium algiricum (Bernard 1955) y consideraciones sobre el valor taxonómico del genero Epixenus Emery, 1908 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bol. Asoc. Esp. Entomol. 12: 165-174 (page 167, male described)