Monomorium arboreum

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Monomorium arboreum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. arboreum
Binomial name
Monomorium arboreum
Weber, 1943

Monomorium arboreum casent0235534 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium arboreum casent0235534 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Weber (1943) discovered this species nesting in humus about the base of a large fern which was growing epiphytically on a forest tree about 5 m above the ground. As indicated by the Kenyan samples noted below, which were taken from forest leaf litter, a subarboreal lifeway is not obligatory and it is more probably the case that arboreum is normally a litter-layer species which, in the case of Weber's sample, was taking advantage of a functional but unusual nest-site. (Bolton 1987)


Bolton (1987) - A member of the M. schultzei complex in the M. monomorium species group. Weber described arboreum as a subspecies of Monomorium minutum, to which it is not truly related. M. arboreum belongs instead to the small complex of Afrotropical species including Monomorium schultzei, Monomorium firmum and their allies, and is a valid species in its own right. Its closest relative appears to be the Ethiopian Monomorium crawleyi but that species has a very broad metanotal groove which forms a distinctive shallow V-shaped trough in the alitrunk outline.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -0.317° to -8.94497°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya, Sudan (type locality), United Republic of Tanzania.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • arboreum. Monomorium (Monomorium) minutum subsp. arboreum Weber, 1943c: 360 (w.q.) SOUTH SUDAN.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “one colony”), 1 syntype queen.
    • Type-locality: South Sudan (“Anglo-Egyptian Sudan”): Imatong Mts, W slopes, ca 6200 ft, 2.viii.1939, no. 1397 (N.A. Weber).
    • Type-depository: MCZC.
    • [Misspelled as arboretum by Hita Garcia, et al. 2013: 212.]
    • Subspecies of minutum: Ettershank, 1966: 87.
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1987: 377 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 259; Hita Garcia, et al. 2013: 212.
    • Distribution: Kenya, South Sudan.

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



Bolton (1987) - TL 2.1-2.3, HL 0.48-0.60, HW 0.39-0.46, CI 77-81, SL 0.38-0.48, SI 96-104, PW 0.25-0.30, AL 0.54-0.68 (15 measured).

Clypeal carinae narrow but sharply defined, moderately divergent anteriorly and not terminating in a pair of denticles at the anterior clypeal margin. Anterior margin and lateral margins of the prominent median portion of the clypeus meeting in a poorly defined obtuse angle. Maximum diameter of eye 0.20-0.24 x HW and with 6 ommatidia in the longest row. Outer circle of ommatidia enclosing more than one longitudinal ommatidial row. In full-face view the eyes with their posterior margins at or just behind the midlength of the sides and the scapes, when laid straight back from their insertions, just reaching the occipital margin. Sides of head almost parallel but feebly convergent posteriorly, rounding broadly and evenly into the relatively short occipital margin; the latter almost transverse, only with the feeblest median concavity in full-face view. Promesonotum evenly convex in profile, the highest point just in front of the midlength. Metanotal groove broad but only shallowly impressed and the propodeal dorsum behind the groove shallowly sloping posteriorly. Apex of promesonotal convexity on a much higher level than the propodeal dorsum, and the propodeal spiracle large and very conspicuous. Propodeal dorsum and declivity meeting in a rounded angle, the two surfaces with decidedly different slopes and not forming a single sloping surface. Subpetiolar process varying from a small lobe to a small blunt triangle. Petiole node in profile relatively low, subconical, with a narrowly rounded dorsum. Postpetiole smaller than petiole, its dorsal surface evenly broadly rounded in profile. All dorsal surfaces of head and body with standing hairs present, the promesonotal dorsum with 4-6, or very rarely 7 pairs present. Mandibles and dorsum of head unsculptured except for small pits from which hairs arise. Mesopleuron reticulate. Metanotal groove strongly and conspicuously cross-ribbed, the cross-ribs extending down the sides of the alitrunk; alitrunk otherwise unsculptured, smooth and shining. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster unsculptured. Colour dull yellow, the head dorsally and the first gastral tergite usually slightly darker in shade than the alitrunk and often with a brownish yellow tint.

Type Material

Bolton (1987) - Syntype workers, female, Sudan: Imatong Mts, 6200 ft (1890 m), 2.viii.1939, no. 1397 (N. A. Weber) (Museum of Comparative Zoology) [examined].


93: 263-389 (page 360, worker, queen described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1987. A review of the Solenopsis genus-group and revision of Afrotropical Monomorium Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 54: 263-452.
  • Ettershank G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171.
  • Garcia F.H., Wiesel E. and Fischer G. 2013.The Ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—Faunal Overview, First Species Checklist, Bibliography, Accounts for All Genera, and Discussion on Taxonomy and Zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History, 101(2): 127-222
  • Weber N. A. 1943. The ants of the Imatong Mountains, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 93: 263-389.