Comprehensive Description

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Monomorium HNS Mayr

Monomorium HNS Mayr, 1855: 452. Type-species: Monomorium monomorium Bolton HNS , 1987: 287.

Phacota HNS Roger, 1862: 260. Type species: Phacota sichelli Roger HNS , 1862: 262. Synonym of Monomorium HNS : Ettershank, 1966: 82. Genus revalidated: Bolton, 1987: 281. Syn. rev.

Nothidris HNS Ettershank, 1966: 105. Type-species: Monomorium latastei Emery HNS , 1895: 10. Syn. n.

Antichthonidris HNS Snelling, 1975: 5. Type-species: Monomorium denticulatum Mayr HNS , 1887: 614. Junior synonym of Monomorium HNS : Heterick, 2001: 361.

Epelysidris HNS Bolton, 1987: 279. Type-species: Epelysidris brocha Bolton HNS , 1987: 280. Syn. n.

For a full list of synonymies before Heterick (2001) see Bolton (1987: 287 - 288).

WORKER DIAGNOSIS (after Bolton, 1987: 289; Heterick, 2001: 363 - 364).

Monomorphic to polymorphic. Minute to moderately large in total length. Mandibles with 4 to 5 teeth. Maxillary palps with 2 to 4 segments. Median clypeal seta present, sometimes displaced or absent. Median portion of clypeus raised, longitudinally bicarinate, the carinae rarely effaced. Frontal carinae absent past frontal lobes. Antennal scrobes absent. Antennae with 11 - 12 segments and with club of 3 (rarely 4) segments. Eyes present, sometimes reduced. Metapleural glands never bulging or hypertrophied. Metapleural lobes usually small, rounded. Propodeum normally unarmed, sometimes angulated to dentate, rarely with lamelliform process. Propodeal spiracle usually circular and at about midlength of the sclerite, rarely in another position. Petiole pedunculated, the petiolar spiracle usually close to or at node. Sting functional.

Nothidris HNS was created by Ettershank (1966) and further delimited by Snelling (1975), who created Antichthonidris HNS to accomodate some species. Bolton (1987: 284 - 285) discussed the traits proposed for the latter, demonstrating their weakness and dubious value as generic-level characters: a vestibulated propodeal spiracle appears to be present in some Australian Monomorium HNS species (Bolton, 1987), for instance, as well as in M. delabiei HNS . Moreover, the inclusion of Antichthonidris HNS in Monomorium HNS , as proposed by Heterick (2001), leaves no justification for maintaining Nothidris HNS as a separate genus.

Phacota HNS has been a taxonomic problem in the myrmicines, due to its poor description, the disappearance of the type specimen, and the lack of collected material referable to P. sichelii (Bolton, 1987) HNS , all of which have impeded an evaluation of its taxonomic status. Ettershank (1966) considered this name a junior synonym of Monomorium HNS . Bolton (1987) subsequently revived the genus, citing the few attributes that can be retrieved from Roger's (1862) original description; nevertheless, he made explicit his strong suspicion that the putative species is based on a wingless, ergatoid Monomorium HNS female, perhaps from the M. salomonis HNS group. Both the meager description (e. g., that the gaster is bigger than the head) and the important fact that the species has not been rediscovered in Spain or any other nearby location, are consistent with this interpretation. Given that the European ant fauna can be considered acceptably collected and studied, and in light of the group's importance, samples assignable to Phacota HNS would surely have been detected and described by now. According to its description, Phacota HNS is characterized by 11 - segmented antennae with a 2 - segmented club. Some Neotropical Solenopsis HNS females possess this combination, but it is an antennal configuration unknown in Monomorium HNS , and it is highly probable that the description of the number of flagellomeres in the antenna and club is erroneous. It would not be the only inadvertent mistake of this type in the history of ant systematics, especially given the size of the ants and the optical resolution possible in the 19 th century. It seems of little practical use to maintain a badlydescribed genus, with no associated type material, and no other collected material, and I recommend that Phacota HNS once again be demoted as proposed by Ettershank (1966) until and unless more material is discovered, or the type specimen (in good condition) reappears.

Epelysidris HNS is a monotypic genus of eastern Malaysia, easily separable by the distinctive pair of lobules on the basal border of each mandible, mandibular and clypeal structure, and palpal formula (Bolton, 1987). Although this taxon is undoubtedly monophyletic, its continued recognition as a separate genus would create the same dilemmas that characterize Antichthonidris HNS , Nothidris HNS , and some others. It is preferable to leave brocha as one additional (although highly apomorphic) species within Monomorium HNS ; I propose here that Epelysidris HNS thus be considered a junior synonym of Monomorium HNS .

Neotropical species of Monomorium HNS (includes recent introductions *).

M. bidentatum Mayr HNS , 1887 comb. rev. – Chile, Argentina

M. brasiliense Forel HNS , 1908 - Brazil

M. carbonarium Fr. Smith HNS , 1858 – Azores

M. cekalovici (Snelling, 1975) HNS comb. nov. - Chile

M. chilensis HNS , n. name for N. bicolor Ettershank HNS , 1965: 55, preoccupied by M. bicolor Emery HNS , 1877: 368 - Chile

M. cyaneum Wheeler HNS , 1914 - Mexico

M. compressum Wheeler HNS , 1914 – Mexico

M. delabiei HNS sp. n. - Brazil

M. denticulatum Mayr HNS , 1887 comb. rev. – Chile, Argentina

M. destructor (Jerdon, 1852) HNS * - Widespread

M. ebeninum Forel HNS , 1891 – Caribbean and coastal Mesoamerica

M. floricola (Jerdon, 1852) HNS * - Widespread

M. inquilinum HNS DuBois, 1980 - Mexico

M. inusuale HNS sp. n. - Brazil

M. latastei Emery HNS , 1895 comb. rev. - Chile

M. marjoriae HNS DuBois, 1986 – Mexico

M. minimum (Buckley, 1867) HNS – Mexico (?) Paraguay (?)

M. monomorium Bolton HNS , 1987 * – Barbados

M. pharaonis (Linnaeus, 1758) HNS * - Widespread

M. salomonis (Linnaeus, 1758) HNS * - Widespread

M. subcoecum Emery HNS , 1894 – Caribbean (St. Thomas and Puerto Rico)

M. subopacum Fr. Smith HNS , 1858 * – Antigua

Outside the Neotropical fauna the following changes are proposed:

Monomorium sichelii (Roger, 1862) HNS comb. rev.

Monomorium brocha (Bolton, 1987) HNS comb. n.


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