Monomorium bicolor

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Monomorium bicolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. bicolor
Binomial name
Monomorium bicolor
Emery, 1877

Monomorium bicolor casent0073615 profile 1.jpg

Monomorium bicolor casent0073615 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Subspecies
Synonyms

An Afrotropical species that appears to have a wide native range. It has also been found in the Dominican Republic. The latter is an unusual occurrence. While there are many Monomorium tramp species, most have been spread to many areas outside of their native range.

Identification

Bolton (1987) - A member of the M. bicolor complex in the M. salomonis species group.

Worker. TL 3.2-3.9, HL 0.70-0.93, HW 0.52-0.75, CI 73-83, SL 0.56-0.78, SI 104-115, PW 0.36-0.50, AL 0.82-1.20 (25 measured).

Third and fourth (basal) tooth of mandible approximately the same size or the fourth very slightly smaller than the third, but the basal tooth never reduced to a minute denticle. Median portion of clypeus with its anterior free margin usually indented, more rarely the margin approximately transverse but never with flanking sharp teeth. Eyes of moderate size, the maximum diameter 0.24-0.27 x HW. Ventral surface of head with curved simple hairs but lacking extremely long J-shaped ammochaete hairs. Dorsal alitrunk hairless, petiole with one pair and postpetiole with 1-2 pairs of posteriorly directed hairs. Discounting the apical transverse row the first gastral tergite usually with only 1-2 pairs of hairs, situated on the basal half; rarely 3-4 pairs of hairs present. Dorsum and sides of head and entirety of alitrunk densely and sharply reticulate-punctate. Gaster usually finely and densely shagreenate dorsally but the sculpture may fade posteriorly in some examples and is reduced in a few. Colour bright orange to red on the head and alitrunk, the gaster blackish brown to black, the two strongly contrasting. First gastral tergite frequently with an anteromedian paler area.

In the bicolor-complex Monomorium bicolor differs from its closest relatives in that it lacks the densely hairy alitrunk seen in Monomorium hirsutum, has such smaller eyes than Monomorium personatum (0.31-0.33 x HW), lacks the reduced basal mandibular tooth of Monomorium rufulum, lacks the pair of sharp clypeal teeth characteristic of Monomorium westi, and lacks the dense gastral pilosity of Monomorium dictator.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality), Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Togo, United Arab Emirates.
Neotropical Region: Dominican Republic, Greater Antilles.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Bolton (1987) - In sub-Saharan Africa Monomorium bicolor is characteristically a species of open savannah or semi-arid zones, but it also occurs in forested areas where there is some direct insolation, often being found on forest paths in Nigeria and Ghana. Nests are constructed directly into the earth and the species appears to be a general scavenger in habits, quickly appearing in traps baited with crushed large insects.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • bicolor. Monomorium bicolor Emery, 1877b: 368 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Mayr, 1901b: 7 (q.). Combination in M. (Xeromyrmex): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 868. Subspecies of subopacum: Santschi, 1927d: 244; Santschi, 1935b: 268. Revived status as species: Santschi, 1937d: 222; Bolton, 1987: 338. Senior synonym of coerulescens: Santschi, 1914d: 353 (in key); Bolton, 1987: 338; of aequatoriale, rufibasis, uelense, tropicale: Bolton, 1987: 338. Current subspecies: nominal plus judaicum.
  • coerulescens. Monomorium bicolor var. coerulescens Santschi, 1912c: 148 (w.) DJIBOUTI. Junior synonym of bicolor: Santschi, 1914d: 353 (in key); Bolton, 1987: 338.
  • rufibasis. Monomorium bicolor var. rufibasis Santschi, 1914d: 353 (diagnosis in key) (w.) EGYPT. Santschi, 1927d: 244 (q.m.). [Misspelled as rufobasalis by Santschi, 1926b: 240.] Junior synonym of bicolor: Bolton, 1987: 338.
  • aequatoriale. Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolor var. aequatoriale Santschi, 1926b: 240 (w.) CAMEROUN. Junior synonym of bicolor: Bolton, 1987: 338.
  • tropicale. Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolor var. tropicale Santschi, 1926b: 240 (w.q.m.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Junior synonym of bicolor: Bolton, 1987: 338.
  • uelense. Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolor var. uelense Santschi, 1926b: 239 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. [Misspelled as uluense by Santschi, 1926b: 240.] Junior synonym of bicolor: Bolton, 1987: 338.

Type Material

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

Description

Worker

Bolton (1987) - TL 3.2-3.9, HL 0.70-0.93, HW 0.52-0.75, CI 73-83, SL 0.56-0.78, SI 104-115, PW 0.36-0.50, AL 0.82-1.20 (25 measured).

Third and fourth (basal) tooth of mandible approximately the same size or the fourth very slightly smaller than the third, but the basal tooth never reduced to a minute denticle. Median portion of clypeus with its anterior free margin usually indented, more rarely the margin approximately transverse but never withftanking sharpteeth. Eyes of moderate size, the maximum diameter 0.24-0.27 x HW. Ventral surface of head with curved simple hairs but lacking extremely long J-shaped ammochaete hairs. Dorsal alitrunk hairless, petiole with one pair and postpetiole with 1-2 pairs of posteriorly directed hairs. Discounting the apical transverse row the first gastral tergite usually with only 1-2 pairs of hairs, situated on the basal half; rarely 3-4 pairs of hairs present. Dorsum and sides of head and entirety of alitrunk densely and sharply reticulate-punctate. Gaster usually finely and densely shagreenate dorsally but the sculpture may fade posteriorly in some examples and is reduced in a few. Colour bright orange to red on the head and alitrunk, the gaster blackish brown to black, the two strongly contrasting. First gastral tergite frequently with an anteromedian paler area.

Type Material

Monomorium bicolor var. coerulescens Santschi, 1912: 148. Holotype worker, DJIBOUTI: Obock, 1893 (M. Maindron) (Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle) [examined].

Monomorium bicolor var. rufibasis Santschi, 1914c: 353. Syntype workers, EGYPT: Upper Egypt (diagnosis in key) (not in Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, presumed lost).

Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolor var. uelense Santschi, 1926a: 239. Syntype workers, ZAIRE: Haut Uele, Moto, 1920 (L. Burgeon) (NHMB; MRAC) [examined].

Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolor var. aequatoriale Santschi, 19200: 240. Syntype workers, CAMEROUN: Gr. Batanga, 1911 (Schwab), (Wasmann) (NHMB) [examined].

Monomorium (Xeromyrmex) bicolorvar. tropicale Santschi, 19200: 240. Syntype workers, female, ZAIRE: Stanleyville (Majella) (NHMB) [examined].

References

  • 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 (page 338, Revived status as species, Senior synonym of coerulescens, Senior synonym of aequatoriale, rufibasis, uelense and tropicale)
  • Emery, C. 1877a. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte prima. Formiche provenienti dal Viaggio dei signori Antinori, Beccari e Issel nel Mar Rosso e nel paese dei Bogos. [part]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 9: 363-368 (page 368, worker described)
  • Madl, M. 2019. Notes on the ant fauna of Eritrea (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae): type specimens deposited in the Natural History Museum Vienna (Austria) and a preliminary checklist. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, B, 121, 9-18.
  • Mayr, G. 1901b. Südafrikanische Formiciden, gesammelt von Dr. Hans Brauns. Ann. K-K. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 16: 1-30 (page 7, queen described)
  • Santschi, F. 1914d. Formicides de l'Afrique occidentale et australe du voyage de Mr. le Professeur F. Silvestri. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 8: 309-385 (page 353, Senior synonym of coerulescens (in key))
  • Santschi, F. 1927e. Révision myrmécologique. Bull. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 67: 240-248 (page 244, Stirps of subopacum)
  • Santschi, F. 1935b. Hymenoptera. I. Formicidae. Mission Sci. Omo 2: 255-277 (page 268, Stirps of subopacum)
  • Santschi, F. 1937d. Résultats de la Mission scientifique suisse en Angola (2me voyage) 1932-1933. Fourmis angolaises. Rev. Suisse Zool. 44: 211-250 (page 222, Revived status as species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922j. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 711-1004 (page 868, Combination in M. (Xeromyrmex))