Monomorium emarginatum

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Monomorium emarginatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. emarginatum
Binomial name
Monomorium emarginatum
DuBois, 1986

Monomorium emarginatum casent0103535 profile 1.jpg

Monomorium emarginatum casent0103535 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Previous literature records (Wheeler, 1916) indicate that this species prefers to nest in sandy or gravelly soil with tumuli forming tiny craters. Details of nest architecture and biology are unknown. Although the collections of this species are sporadic in the northeastern United States, it appears to be the only species which occurs there. Since workers could be easily mistaken for M. minimum, I assume this was the species that Wheeler (1916) discussed. Unfortunately, he did not collect any queens during his study and workers are difficult to separate, It is possible this species occurs sympatrically with M. viridum in coastal areas. (DuBois 1986)

At a Glance • Polygynous  



DuBois (1986) - A member of the Monomorium minimum species group. Queen: Winged; mesonotum with notal furrow; mandible with 4 teeth, basal tooth reduced. Worker: Propodeum not angular; mesopleuron not punctate; 4-6 erect setae projecting above dorsal outline of alitrunk; PI 34-42 (37).

This species is most likely to be confused with Monomorium minimum and Monomorium viridum. Queens of M. minimum can be separated from those of M. emarginatum since the latter possess a furrow 0n the mesonotum. Queens of M. viridum can be separated from those of M. emarginatum since the petiole and postpetiole of the former are always emarginate while those of the latter are not. Additionally, M. marginatum queens have less facial sculpturing. Workers of M. emarginatum can be separated from both these species since the basal face of the propodeum is shorter than the declivitous face.

Keys including this Species


Scattered localities throughout the northeastern United States.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 44.33333333° to 38.671502°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


An alate Monomorium emarginatum queen preparing to embark on her nuptial flight. Video courtesy of Dick Walton / Natural History Services CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)





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

  • emarginatum. Monomorium emarginatum DuBois, 1986: 101, figs. 111-118 (w.q.) U.S.A. (Virginia, Massachusetts, New York).
    • Type-material: holotype queen, 7 paratype workers, 3 paratype queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype U.S.A.: Virginia, Rappahannock County, Amissville 3.2 km. W, (W.L. Brown & E.O. Wilson); paratypes: 3 workers, 1 queen Massachusetts, Barnstable County, Cape Cod, Brewster, 4.viii.1955 (W.L. Brown), 4 workers, 2 queens Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Woods Hole, 15.vii.1930 (A.H. Sturtevant).
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); MCZC, USNM (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 261; Coovert, 2005: 63; Ellison, et al. 2012: 255.
    • Distribution: U.S.A.

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



Head: (representing separate localities; N: 5) HL 0.44-0.51 (0.48), HW 0.38-0.44 (0.41), SL 0.28-0.41 (0.35), EL 0.09-0.10 (0.09), MOD 0.06 (0.06). Structure—C180-87 (84), SIL 64-80 (72), SIW 74-93 (86). Scape not surpassing occiput. Sculpture—Head smooth and shining with small piliferous punctures evenly distributed. Alitrunk: Measurement: PW 0.22-0.29 (0.26), PL 0.18-0.21 (0.19), WL 0.49-0.62 (0.53). Structure—Anterior propodeal suture of moderate depth. Propodeum rounded, basal face 2/3 as long as declivitous face. P1 34-42 (37). Pilosity—Dorsal outline of alitrunk with 4-6 erect setae projecting above dorsal outline. Sculpture—Anterior propodeal suture with short, parallel, longitudinal rugae; lower 1/3 of side of propodeum (below spiracle) with small, sometimes faint, parallel, longitudinal rugae. Petiole: Dorsum of node flat to slightly convex. Setae erect on dorsum of node, remainder bare. Color: Head dark brown except as follows: antenna and mandible yellow-brown to brown. Alitrunk brown, legs brown to yellow-brown. Petiole, postpetiole, and gaster brown to dark brown. All setae yellow.


As described for Monomorium viridum except as follows. Head. (representing different localities; N=6) HL 0.71-0.80 (0.74) {0.80}, HW 0.69-0.81 (0.75) {0.81}, SL 0.52-0.64 (0.58) {0.62}, IOD 0.16-0.18 (0.17) {0.18}, OD 0.05-0.06 (0.05) {0.05}, EL 0.15-0.19 (0.18) {0.19}, MOD 0.09-0.12 (0.11) {0.12}. Structure—Head as broad as long, C196-106 (101) {101}, distinctly longer than scape, SIL 68-86 (78) {78}; SIW 68-88 (77) {76}. Scape not surpassing occiput.{Holotype lacks left antenna}. Mandible with 4 teeth, basal tooth reduced. Sculpture—Moderate, faint, parallel, longitudinal rugae beginning along lateral margin of clypeus, extending past antennal insertion, and converging with frontal carinae. Large to moderate, piliferous punctures evenly distributed. Alitrunk: Measurement: PW 0.58-0.66 (0.62) {0.58}, PL 0.29040 (0.34) {0.40}, WL 1.26-1.65 (1.52) {1.52}. Structure—Mesopleural suture straight with small pit on posterior end. Metanotum (in lateral View) not projecting to level of propodeum and scutellum. PI 20-26 (23) {26}. Wings present {lacking on holotype}. Sculpture—Smooth and shining with moderate piliferous punctures except as follows: lower 1/3 of propodeum (below spiracle) with moderate to large, parallel, longitudinal rugae. Petiole. All surfaces smooth and shining (moderate piliferous punctures where applicable) with small non-piliferous punctures (leading to a granular appearance) along lower 1/2 of side. Postpetiole: Dorsum of node flat. Setae appressed to decumbent on anterior surface of node, decumbent to suberect on dorsum, erect 0n posterior surface and side of node, absent elsewhere. Postpetiolar surface smooth and shining with small piliferous punctures throughout. Color: Head dark brown to brown except as follows: antenna, mandible, and lateral margin of clypeus brown to yellow. Alitrunk dark brown to brown, legs brown to yellow-brown. Petiole, postpetiole, and gaster dark brown to brown. All setae yellow.

Type Material

Virginia. Rappahannock Co.; Amissville 3.2 km W, June 21, 1957, W. L. Brown, Jr., & E. O. Wilson. Holotype queen Museum of Comparative Zoology bears red, handwritten label: Monomorium emarginatum Holotype M. DuBois 1983. Paratypes: Brewster, Cape Cod - 1 queen, 3 workers [MCZ], Woods Hole - 2 queens, 4 workers National Museum of Natural History. All paratypes bear blue, handwritten labels: Monomorium emarginatum Paratype M. DuBois 1983.


This species is named for the furrow (emargination) on the mesonotum.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Carroll T. M. 2011. The ants of Indiana (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Master's Thesis Purdue university, 385 pages.
  • Clark A. T., J. J. Rykken, and B. D. Farrell. 2011. The Effects of Biogeography on Ant Diversity and Activity on the Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts, U.S.A. PloS One 6(11): 1-13.
  • Clark Adam. Personal communication on November 25th 2013.
  • Coovert, G.A. 2005. The Ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin New Series Volume 15(2):1-196
  • Del Toro I., K. Towle, D. N. Morrison, and S. L. Pelini. 2013. Community Structure, Ecological and Behavioral Traits of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Massachusetts Open and Forested Habitats. Northeastern Naturalist 20: 1-12.
  • DuBois M. B. 1986. A revision of the native New World species of the ant genus Monomorium (minimum group) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Kans. Sci. Bull. 53: 65-119
  • DuBois, M.B. 1986, A revision of the native New World species of the ant genus Monomorium (minimum group) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 53(2):65-119
  • Ellison A. M., and E. J. Farnsworth. 2014. Targeted sampling increases knowledge and improves estimates of ant species richness in Rhode Island. Northeastern Naturalist 21(1): NENHC-13–NENHC-24.
  • Ivanov K., L. Hightower, S. T. Dash, and J. B. Keiper. 2019. 150 years in the making: first comprehensive list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Virginia, USA. Zootaxa 4554 (2): 532–560.