Trichomyrmex mayri

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Trichomyrmex mayri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Trichomyrmex
Species group: destructor
Species: T. mayri
Binomial name
Trichomyrmex mayri
(Forel, 1902)

Monomorium mayri casent0249904 p 1 high.jpg

Monomorium mayri casent0249904 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Monomorium mayri is considered one of the most common ant species of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a common species at Rawdhat Khorim, Saudi Arabia, exhibits high abundances from April to October, peaking in June and slowly declining from November to March (Sharaf et al., 2013).

At a Glance • Invasive  


Bolton (1987) - Answering the description of Trichomyrmex destructor in all respects except colour, mayri being uniformly dark brown, sometimes with a paler patch at the base of the first gastral tergite. I have decided to retain mayri as a valid species, separate from destructor, for the time being. The colour character is admittedly feeble but appears to be consistent, and mayri does not show the tramping ability so strongly developed in destructor.

Keys including this Species


Trichomyrmex mayri has been successfully introduced into many regions of the tropics but compared with Trichomyrmex destructor apparently has a more limited invasion capability (Bolton 1987). The speculated origin of the species is the Indian subcontinent (Bolton 1987), with geographic extensions westward to the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula (Collingwood 1985; Collingwood and Agosti 1996; Sharaf et al. 2013; Abdul-Rassoul et al. 2013; Tigar and Collingwood, 1993), North Africa (Egypt) (Sharaf 2006) and along the coastal zones of Sub-Saharan Africa (Bolton 1987). It is also recorded from the Far East (Thailand and Malaysia) (Bolton 1987) (Sharaf et al., 2013; Sharaf et al., 2017).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Mali, Niger, Saudi Arabia, Socotra Archipelago, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
Indo-Australian Region: Philippines, Singapore.
Oriental Region: India (type locality), Sri Lanka.
Palaearctic Region: China, Cyprus, Iraq, Israel, Oman.

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.


Arabian Peninsula

Sharaf et al. (2016) – A nest series was found under a Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T.Aiton 1811 tree and coexisting with several ant species including: Carebara arabica, Tapinoma melanocephalum, Nylanderia jaegerskioeldi, Monomorium sp. and Cardiocondyla sp. Another nest series was found under a stone next to a Citrus limon (L.) Burm. F. (Rutaceae) tree and a nest of Brachyponera sennaarensis (Mayr, 1862). Many workers were foraging on moist clay soil under a mango tree, Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae). Some other workers were collected from dry leaf litter under a Myoporum insulare R.Br. (Scrophulariaceae) tree. A nest was found under a stone in moist soil and next to a Juniperus procera Hochst. ex. Endlicher (Cupressaceae) in the Asir Mountains. Some workers were foraging in leaf litter under a Psidium guajava L. (Myrtaceae) tree. Another nest was found in moist soil, rich in decayed organic matter and the surrounding area of dense grasses. Many workers were collected by sifting the leaf litter under date palms. In Shada Al A’la, a nest was found under a discarded bag filled with soil rich in decaying organic matter under a coffee tree, Coffea arabica L. (Rubiaceae). Several workers were found under the bark of Acacia sp. trees. A nest series was foraging under a pomegranate tree, Punica granatum L. (Lythraceae). Some workers were collected under a ficus tree (Moraceae) where soil was moist and rich in decaying organic matter.


Sharaf et al. (2018) - The nesting sites of T. mayri was found to be diverse. This species was collected by sifting moist leaf litter. Several workers were found foraging on the ground close to an Acacia tree. Many workers were observed foraging under a pomegranate tree. A nest series was collected from beneath a rock where the soil was dry and loose. Some additional workers were foraging under a small Acacia tree and carrying a dead moth. A nest series was collected from leaf litter under a date palm tree where the soil was soft and dry.


Sharaf et al. (2017) - This species is one of the more widely distributed invasive species in Socotra due to its broad range of acceptable habitats. It was observed foraging on the ground next to a date palm tree. Several specimens were collected from leaf litter where the soil was moist and rich in the faecal material of sheep and goats. Another nest was found in dry soil under Eragrostis eragrostis (L.) (Poaceae). Several workers were foraging on sandy, moist soil next to a small running stream. Many workers were observed foraging on green twigs of a plant and coexisting with Tapinoma melanocephalum. Workers of a nest series were foraging on a rock next to a Cochliasanthus caracalla (L.) Trew (Fabaceae) plant. Several workers were nesting in loose, dry soil under a rock. Many individuals were foraging at the base of a trunk of Boswellia scacra Flueck. (Buseraceae). Another nest series was found in a dry leaf litter close to a date palm tree.

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is associated with the aphids Aphis craccivora, Aphis fabae, Aphis frangulae, Aphis nerii, Aphis polygonata, Chaitophorus euphraticus, Hyalopterus amygdali, Myzus persicae and Rhopalosiphum maidis (Saddiqui et al., 2019 and included references).



Images from AntWeb

Monomorium mayri casent0249903 h 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249903 p 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249903 d 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249903 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0249903. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


Images from AntWeb

Monomorium mayri casent0249902 h 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249902 p 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249902 d 1 high.jpgMonomorium mayri casent0249902 l 1 high.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0249902. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


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

  • mayri. Monomorium gracillimum var. mayri Forel, 1902c: 209 (w.) INDIA (no state data).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Sharaf, Salman, et al. 2016a: 20).
    • Type-locality: India: (no further data), “very widespread in the whole of India”.
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Wheeler, W.M. 1923b: 3 (m.).
    • Combination in M. (Parholcomyrmex): Emery, 1922e: 180;
    • combination in Trichomyrmex: Ward, et al. 2015: 76.
    • Subspecies of destructor: Forel, 1911a: 24; Forel, 1913k: 53; Viehmeyer, 1916a: 132.
    • Subspecies of gracillimum: Forel, 1907a: 19; Santschi, 1920h: 161; Emery, 1922e: 180; Wheeler, W.M. 1930h: 67; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 166; Ettershank, 1966: 90.
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1987: 326 (redescription); Kugler, J. 1988: 258; Bolton, 1995b: 264; Wu, J. & Wang, 1995: 88; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 350; Tiwari, 1999: 53; Zhou, 2001b: 112; Zhang, W. & Zheng, 2002: 220; Collingwood, et al. 2004: 481; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 43; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 435; Guénard & Dunn, 2012: 45; Sharaf, Abdel-Dayem, et al. 2013: 574; Borowiec, L. 2014: 122; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 47; Sharaf, Salman, et al. 2016a: 20 (redescription); Sharaf, Fisher, et al. 2017: 49; Sharaf, Fisher, et al. 2018: 32; Dias, R.K.S. et al. 2020: 100; Sharaf, Abdel-Dayem, et al. 2020: 552.
    • Senior synonym of karawaiewi: Bolton, 1987: 326; Bolton, 1995b: 264; Zhou, 2001b: 112 Sharaf, Salman, et al. 2016a: 20.
    • Distribution: China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Mali, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
  • karawaiewi. Monomorium (Parholcomyrmex) gracillimum var. karawaiewi Emery, 1922e: 180 (date of publication 2.ix.1922).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Sudan: Khartoum (Karawajew), Israel: Rehovot, nr Jaffa (= Tel Aviv-Yafo) (Aharoni).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [First available use of Monomorium destructor r. gracillimum var. karawajewi Forel, 1913d: 437 (w.) SUDAN, ISRAEL; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name (Bolton, 1987: 326).]
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Viehmeyer, 1923: 91; Ettershank, 1966: 90.
    • Subspecies of gracillima: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 875 (date of publication 25.x.1922); Menozzi, 1933b: 64; Santschi, 1939d: 74.
    • Status as species: Collingwood, 1985: 270.
    • Junior synonym of mayri: Bolton, 1987: 326; Bolton, 1995b: 263; Zhou, 2001b: 112 Sharaf, Salman, et al. 2016a: 20.

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


Type Material

Sharaf et al. (2016) - India, Indomalaya. Syntype worker [examined] (lectotype here designated (CASENT0249904) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève)).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Forel A. 1907. Formicides du Musée National Hongrois. Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 5: 1-42.
  • Tak N. 1995. Studies on ants (Formicidae) of Rajasthan - 1 Jodhpur. Hexapoda 7(1): 17-28.
  • Tak N. 2008. Ants of Rajasthan. Conserving Biodiversity of Rajasthan Zool. Surv. India. 149-155.
  • Tak N. 2010. Insecta: Hymenoptera: Formicidae. Zool. Surv. India, Fauna of Ranthambore National Park, Conservation Area Series 43: 133-144.
  • Tak N., and N. S. Rathore. 1996. Ant (Formicidae) fauna of the Thar Desert. Pp. 271-276 in: Ghosh, A. K.; Baqri, Q. H.; Prakash, I. (eds.) 1996. Faunal diversity in the Thar Desert: gaps in research. Jodhpur: Scientific Publishers, xi + 410 pp.
  • Tak N., and N. S. Rathore. 2004. Insecta: Hymenoptera. Rathore, N.S. Fauna of Desert National Park Rajasthan (proposed biosphere reserve). Conservation Area Series 19,Zool. Surv. India. 1-135. Chapter pagination: 81-84.
  • Tak, N. 2009. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and Gujarat. in C. Sivaperuman et al. (eds.), Faunal Ecology and Conservation of the Great Indian Desert