Monomorium hirsutum

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Monomorium hirsutum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. hirsutum
Binomial name
Monomorium hirsutum
Forel, 1910

Monomorium hirsutum casent0902188 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium hirsutum casent0902188 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of Monomorium hirsutum.


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

Known only from the type-series, hirsutum has been treated to the present as a subspecies of Monomorium bicolor. It is, however, conspicuously densely hairy, in contrast to bicolor which lacks hairs on the dorsal alitrunk and has only sparse gastral pilosity. M. hirsutum also has shorter scapes and smaller eyes than bicolor, as follows.

M. bicolor SI 104-115, maximum diameter of eye 0.24-0.27 x HW

M. hirsutum SI 99-103, maximum diameter of eye 0.19-0.21 x HW

The closest relative of hirsutum appears to be an unidentified species from South Yemen (in BMNH) which matches hirsutum in colour, pilosity and general appearance, but which has erect pubescence on the scapes, even smaller eyes, and a deeply impressed metanotal groove followed by a conspicuously convex propodeal dorsal outline. In hirsutum the metanotal groove is very shallow and the propodeal dorsum is more or less flat in profile, approximately continuing the line of the promesonotum.

M. hirsutum is easily distinguished from all other Afrotropical members of the bicolor-complex as it is the only species to have hairs present on the propodeum. Only one other species in the entire salomonis-group, as represented in sub-Saharan Africa, has the propodeum densely hairy, Monomorium albopilosum, but this is quickly distinguished by the characters noted in the key.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Eritrea, Ethiopia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • hirsutum. Monomorium bicolor subsp. hirsutum Forel, 1910c: 251 (w.) ETHIOPIA. Subspecies of subopacum: Santschi, 1927d: 245. Raised to species: Bolton, 1987: 345.

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



Bolton (1987) - TL 3.2-3.4, HL 0.76-0.82, HW 0.62-0.67, CI 81-83, SL 0.62-0.68, SI 99-103, PW 0.40-0.44, AL 0.90-1.00 (6 measured).

Prominent median portion of clypeus with its anterior margin shallowly concave. Eyes smaller than in any other member of the bicolor-complex, the maximum diameter 0.19-0.21 x HW and with 9-10 ommatidia in the longest row. Petiole and postpetiole nodes about equal in width in dorsal view (ca 0.20-0.22), each distinctly transverse, anteroposteriorly compressed and broader than long. Propodeal dorsum slightly longitudinally impressed medially but lacking lateral carinae or marginations. Dorsum of head, entirety of alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole, all evenly densely reticulate-punctate, the punctures small, very crowded and all sharply defined. First gastral tergite shagreenate, the sculpture densest basally and fading apically. Dorsal surfaces of head, promesonotum, propodeum, petiole , postpetiole and gaster all with numerous fine standing hairs which are erect to subdecumbent and very dense; the propodeal dorsum with 5-6 pairs of hairs. Occipital margin of head in full-face view with projecting hairs across its entire width. Sides of head behind eyes with 1-2 pairs of projecting hairs in front of each occipital corner which are closer to the corner than to the eye. Head, alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole orange-yellow to orange-red, the gaster blackish brown to black.

Type Material

Bolton (1987) - Syntype workers, Ethiopia: Nefassit [now part of Eritrea] (K. Escherich) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève; The Natural History Museum) [examined].


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.
  • Finzi B. 1939. Materiali zoologici dell'Eritrea raccolti da G. Müller durante la spedizione dell'Istituto Sieroterapico Milanese e conservati al Museo di Trieste. Parte III. Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Atti del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Trieste 14: 153-168.
  • Forel A. 1910. Ameisen aus der Kolonie Erythräa. Gesammelt von Prof. Dr. K. Escherich (nebst einigen in West-Abessinien von Herrn A. Ilg gesammelten Ameisen). Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 29: 243-274.
  • 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. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 9-18.
  • Santschi F. 1914. Formicides de l'Afrique occidentale et australe du voyage de Mr. le Professeur F. Silvestri. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici 8: 309-385.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. 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. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004