Monomorium niloticum

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Monomorium niloticum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Monomorium
Species: M. niloticum
Binomial name
Monomorium niloticum
Emery, 1881

Monomorium niloticum csh000041 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium niloticum csh000041 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


In Oman this species was found nesting under a rock with several unidentified silverfish (Thysanura) in nest galleries. Several workers were observed foraging on the ground. (Sharaf et al 2018)

The broad geographic distribution of this species can be interpreted in the light of the species diverse habitat preferences, including the deserts, mountainous, and cultivated sites. Several worker series were found nesting in either dry or humid soil beneath rocks in an undisturbed site in the KSA where a broad diverse of plant species exists including Acacia (Fabaceae), Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck (Rutaceae), Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D. A. Webb (Rosaceae), Juniperus L. (Cupressaceae), Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae), Ficus sp. (Moraceae), Hibiscus L. (Malvaceae) and Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) (Sharaf et al., 2021).


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - This is the most conspicuous and abundant of the larger Monomorium species throughout western and central areas of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen. It is not recorded from Kuwait or eastern coastal areas of Arabia and seems not to occur in desert sands away from townships, agricultural and irrigated areas. There is some variation in dorsal pilosity but the alitrunk always has several pairs of hairs.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 36.7269° to 13.566667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Egypt (type locality), Israel, Oman (type locality).

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.




Images from AntWeb

Monomorium niloticum casent0249836 h 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0249836 h 2 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0249836 p 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0249836 d 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0249836 d 2 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0249836 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0249836. Photographer Ryan Perry, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMB, Basel, Switzerland.
Monomorium niloticum casent0905755 h 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0905755 h 2 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0905755 p 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0905755 d 1 high.jpgMonomorium niloticum casent0905755 l 1 high.jpg
Syntype of Monomorium niloticumWorker. Specimen code casent0905755. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.
Monomorium matame casent0913814 h 1 high.jpgMonomorium matame casent0913814 p 1 high.jpgMonomorium matame casent0913814 d 1 high.jpgMonomorium matame casent0913814 l 1 high.jpg
Paratype of Monomorium matameWorker. Specimen code casent0913814. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMB, Basel, Switzerland.


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

  • niloticum. Monomorium niloticum Emery, 1881b: 533 (w.) EGYPT.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Egypt: Cairo, iii.1880 (G. Doria & O. Beccari).
    • Type-depositories: MSNG, NHMB.
    • Combination in M. (Xeromyrmex): Emery, 1922e: 179.
    • Subspecies of venustum: Forel, 1910a: 6; Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 170; Stitz, 1917: 346; Emery, 1922e: 179; Finzi, 1936: 175.
    • Status as species: André, 1883a: 334 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 67; Emery, 1908h: 678; Santschi, 1936a: 37; Ettershank, 1966: 91; Collingwood, 1985: 272; Kugler, J. 1988: 258; Bolton, 1995b: 265; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 352; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 52; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 43; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 435; Borowiec, L. 2014: 123 (see note in bibliography); Sharaf, Fisher, et al. 2018: 26.
    • Distribution: Egypt, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus gracilicorne.
  • matame. Monomorium matame Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 350, fig. 22 (w.) OMAN, SAUDI ARABIA, YEMEN.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: holotype Oman: Wadi Matam, 1.ii.1986 (M.D. Gallagher); paratypes: workers with same data, workers Saudi Arabia: Nuayriyah, 20.v.1980 (W. Büttiker), workers Yemen: Sana’a, ii.1991 (A. van Harten).
    • Type-depository: WMLC (holotype) (possibly also in NHMB if Büttiker material was returned, possibly in OMHN if Gallagher material has been retained there).
    • Status as species: Borowiec, L. 2014: 121.
    • Junior synonym of niloticum: Sharaf, Mohamed, Boudinot, et al. 2021: 37.

Type Material

Monomorium matame: Holotype: worker, Oman, Wadi Matam, l.II.1986, M.D. Gallagher. - Paratypes: Oman: workers, same series as holotype. - Saudi Arabia: 1 queen, Nuayriyah, 20.V.1980, W Buttiker. - Yemen: workers, Sana'a, II.1991, A. van Harten.

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



Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 0.80-0.88; CI 77-85; SI 100-120; EL/HW 0.285-0.32.

The head is somewhat rectangular in shape but narrowing above the eyes to the widely emarginate occiput. The rather flat mesonotum falls obliquely to the broad and deep mesopropodeal furrow. The propodeal dorsum is at a lower level than the mesonotum with the convex dorsum rounding smoothly into the descending face. The propodeal furrow is well defined with raised side margins. There are 3-4 pairs of hairs on the pronotum, 4-5 on the mesonotum, two on the propodeum, two on the petiole, three on the postpetiole and 6-7 on the first gastral tergite. The head and promesonotum have superficial sculpture with a general shining appearance; the propodeum is punctate with a transverse striate effect. Head, alitrunk and nodes are pale red with the gaster usually darker.


60: 167-174 (page 170, Subspecies of venustum)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Ahmad G. M. M., and M. I. Basuony. 2003. Taxonomy and biodiversity of ant fauna of the Mediterranean coastal desert (Western desert-Egypt). J. Egypt. Ger. Soc. Zool. 42E: 69-83.
  • Al-Khalifa M. S., A. M. Ahmed, A. M. A. Mashaly, F. A. Al-Mekhafi, G. K. M. Iqbal Siddiqui, and M. Fadl Ali. 2010. Studies on the Distribution of Pachycondyla sennaarensis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Ponerinae) in Saudi Arabia. 1. Ar-Riyadh Region. Pakistan J. Zool. 42(6): 707-713.
  • Barech G., M. Khaldi, X. Espadaler, and H. Cagniant. 2017. The genus Monomorium Mayr, 1855 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the Maghreb (North Africa): Identification key, redescription of Monomorium major Bernard, 1953 and new records from Algeria. Boletin de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 61: 151-157.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Collingwood C. A. 1985. Hymenoptera: Fam. Formicidae of Saudi Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 7: 230-302.
  • Collingwood C. A., D. Agosti, M. R. Sharaf, A. Van Harten, 2011. Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae. Arthropod Fauna of the UAE 4: 405-474
  • Collingwood C.A., D.Agosti, M.R. Sharaf, and A. van Harten. 2011. Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae. Arthropod fauna of the UAE, 4: 405–474
  • Collingwood, C. A., and Donat Agosti. "Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15 (1996): 300-385.
  • Collingwood, C. A. "Hymenoptera: Fam. Formicidae of Saudi Arabia." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 7 (1985): 230-302.
  • Elbanna S. M. 2011. Ant-Acacia interaction: chemical or physical physical defense? Entomological Research 41: 135–141.
  • Emery, C. "Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil V. Monomorium." Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1908 (1908): 663-686.
  • Ettershank G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171.
  • Finzi, B. "Risultati scientifici della spedizione di S. A. S. il Principe Alessandro della Torre e Tasso nell'Egitto e peninsola del Sinai. XI. Formiche." Bulletin de la Société Entomologique d'Egypte 20 (1936): 155-210.
  • Izhaki I., B. Idelovich, R. Laster, and Y. Ofer. 2009. The impact of macro- vs micro environmental factors on the structure of ant communities inhabiting East-Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests. Israel Journal of Entomology 39: 129-146.
  • Kugler J. 1988. The zoogeography of Israel. 9. The zoogeography of social insects of Israel and Sinai. Monographiae biologicae 62: 251-275.
  • Mashaly A. M. A., N. I. Shoker, and M. Waleed Negm. 2011. Observations on mites (Arachnida: Acari) associated with three ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Saudi Arabia. Pakistan J. Zool. 43(6): 1095-1100.
  • Mohamed, S., S. Zalat, H. Fadl, S.Gadalla and M. Sharaf. 2001. Taxonomy of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected by pitfall traps from Sinai and Delta region, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Natural History 3:40-61
  • Orabi G. M., F. M. Semida, M. S. Abdel-Dayem, M. R. Sharaf, and S. M. Zalat. 2011. Diversity patterns of ants along an elevation gradient at St. Catherine Protectorate, South Sinai, Egypt (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zoology in the Middle East 54(1): 101-112.
  • Santschi, F. 1936. Étude sur les fourmis du genre Monomorium Mayr. Bulletin de la Société des Sciences Naturelles du Maroc 16: 32-64
  • Sharaf M. R., B. L. Fisher, H. M. Al Dhafer, A. Polaszek, and A. S. Aldawood. 2018. Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Oman: an updated list, new records and a description of two new species. Asian Myrmecology 10: e010004
  • Vonshak M., and A. Ionescu-Hirsch. 2009. A checklist of the ants of Israel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 39: 33-55.
  • Wheeler W. M. and W. M. Mann. 1916. The ants of the Phillips Expedition to Palestine during 1914. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 167-174.
  • Wheeler W. M., and W. M. Mann. 1916. The ants of the Phillips Expedition to Palestine during 1914. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 167-174.