Solenopsis wasmannii species complex

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online

The following is based on: Pacheco, J.A. & Mackay, W.P. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. 501 pp. PDF

Solenopsis wasmannii Species Complex / Key to workers / Clave a las obreras

This is a group of New World thief ants in the genus Solenopsis.

Diagnosis - Workers of this species complex can be recognized by the unusual shape of the clypeus. The clypeal carinae pass dorsally between the antennae and bend laterally, where they reach the anterior margin of the clypeus. Thus, both sides of the anterior margin of the clypeus are bounded by the same carina forming a socket. The eyes are relatively large, ranging up to a diameter of 0.07 mm, with 10 ommatidia. The petiole is often thickened as seen in profile and is nearly always wider than the postpetiole (not seen in S. iheringi), when both are viewed in profile. The postpetiole is often very narrow. Most surfaces of the body are covered with relatively long (0.10 mm), erect hairs. Carebarella alvarengai Kempf (1975) is neither a member of this complex nor a member of Solenopsis. It is separated based on the II-segmented antenna (10 segmented on left side, due to fusion ofthe second segment being fused with the third), with a 3-segmented club and the anterior margin of the clypeus has a pair of sharp, lateral teeth.

The minor workers of S. iheringi and C. bicolor are virtually identical. If one happens to capture a small series of these two species, S. iheringi can be distinguished as the clypeal carinae do not touch the anterior clypeal margin, as seen with C. bicolor. The workers of Solenopsis succinea are very similar to the workers of this group and is included to facilitate identification, however S. succinea is likely unrelated and may be revealed (especially through molecular means) as the monotype to a new complex.

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