Comprehensive Description

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Monomorium robustior Forel HNS

Figs. 15, 90.

Monomorium gracillimum r. robustior Forel HNS 1892a:352. Syntype [[worker]]"s (lectotype here designated), Somalia (MHNG) [examined]. [NB. Misspelled as Monomorium gracillimum r. robustius Forel HNS 1894b:228.]

Monomorium (Parholcomyrmex) gracillimum r. robustior Wheeler HNS W.M. 1922:875.

Monomorium robustior Forel HNS : Bolton 1987:328.

Material examined.- Lectotype: [[worker]], Somalia, C. Keller (MHNG). A lectotype has been chosen to fix the name for the species, which was originally described as simply a race of Monomorium gracillimum HNS , itself now a synonym for Monomorium destructor HNS . The specimen, originally on a pin holding three pointed specimens, has been transferred to a single pin, along with the original labels and a lectotype label. Paralectotypes: Two pins with 12 and 13 workers, respectively, data the same as for the lectotype (MHNG). Photocopies of the original labels have been affixed to the pin with the two specimens.

Other material examined: Prov. Antananarivo: Antananarivo, 14.xi.1990 P. S. Ward (2 [[worker]]) (MCZ); Lac Alarobia [Alarobie"], 10 km NE Antananarivo 10.iii.1991, G.D. Alpert (2 [[worker]]) (MCZ). Prov. Fianarantsoa: Foret Analalava, 29.6 km 280 WRanohira 1-5.ii.2003 Fisher et al. (1 [[worker]]). Prov. Mahajanga: Station Forestiere Ampijoroa, 22.xi.1990 (2 [[worker]]) (MCZ). Prov. Toliara: 18 km NNWBetroka, 29.xi.-4.xii.1994 MA. Ivie & D.A. Pollock (8 [[worker]]) (MCZ); Ehazoara Canyon, 26 km E Betioky 27.iv.1997 BL. Fisher (8 [[worker]]); Foret Mahavelo, Isantoria Riv., 5.2 km 44 NE Ifotaka 28.i.-1.ii 2001 Fisher et al. (37[[worker]]); Foret Mite, 20.7 km 29 WNW Tongobory 27.ii-3.iii. 2002 Fisher et al. (79 [[worker]]); Mahafaly Plateau, 6.2 km 74 ENE Itampolo 21-25ii.2002 Fisher et al. (10 [[worker]]); Res. Berenty, Foret Bealoka, 14.6 km 329 NNW Amboasary 3-8.ii.2002 Fisher et al. (3 [[worker]]); Res. Beza Mahafaly ["Mahafely"], 18.xi.1984 R. L. Brooks (17 [[worker]]) (MCZ); Tsimanampetsotsa, Bemanateza, 23.0 km 131SE Beheloka, 22-26.iii.2002 Fisher et al. (14[[worker]]).

Worker description.- Head: Head square; vertex planar or weakly concave; frons longitudinally finely striolate anteriad (striolae curving inwards around antennal insertions), smooth and shining posteriad; pilosity of frons consisting of abundant, incurved, appressed setulae only. Eye moderate, eye width 1-1.5x greatest width of antennal scape; (in full-face view) eyes set above midpoint of head capsule to set below midpoint of head capsule; (viewed in profile) eyes set posteriad of midline of head capsule; eye elongate with or without eye narrowed to point anteriad. Antennal segments 12; antennal club three-segmented. Clypeal carinae indistinct; anteromedian clypeal margin straight; paraclypeal setae moderately long and fine, curved; posteromedian clypeal margin approximately level with antennal fossae. Anterior tentorial pits situated nearer antennal fossae than mandibular insertions. Frontal lobes sinuate, divergent posteriad. Psammophore present. Palp formula 2,2. Mandibular teeth three, plus minute, basal denticle or angle; mandibles with sub-parallel inner and outer margins, striate; masticatory margin of mandibles strongly oblique; basal tooth a small to minute denticle or angle, much smaller than t3 (four teeth present).

Mesosoma: Promesonotum shining and smooth on dorsum, lower mesopleuron strongly punctate; (viewed in profile) promesonotum broadly convex; promesonotal setae seven to twelve; standing promesonotal setae a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer, erect and semi-erect setae which are curved distally and often paired, interspersed with much shorter, incurved, decumbent setae; appressed promesonotal setulae well-spaced over entire promesonotum. Metanotal groove strongly impressed, with distinct transverse costulae. Propodeum with sculpture reduced dorsally, metapleuron punctate; propodeal dorsum slightly elevated anteriad and sloping away posteriad, propodeal angles not raised; propodeum angulate, propodeal angle blunt; length ratio of propodeal dorsum to its declivity about 1:1; standing propodeal setae consisting of two or more pairs of longer, suberect setae near propodeal angles, with shorter setae anteriad; appressed propodeal setulae very sparse or absent; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove and declivitous face of propodeum. Vestibule of propodeal spiracle distinct. Propodeal lobes present as vestigial flanges or small strips of cuticle only.

Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated slightly anteriad of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) conical, vertex rounded; appearance of node shining and smooth with vestigial microreticulation anteriad; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 1:1; anteroventral petiolar process absent or vestigial; ventral petiolar lobe absent; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole about 4:3; height-length ratio of postpetiole about 1:1; sternite not depressed at midpoint, its anterior end an inconspicuous lip or small carina.

Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced, short, thick, erect setae interspersed with minute, appressed setulae.

General characters: Color brown, gaster chocolate. Worker caste monomorphic.

Lectotype measurements: HML 1.83 HL 0.68 HW 0.68 CeI 100 SL 0.56 SI 82 PW 0.38.

Other worker measurements (non-types): HML 1.65-1.97 HL 0.62-0.76 HW 0.64-0.75 CeI 95-103 SL 0.51-0.61 SI 75-85 PW 0.36-0.46 (n=20).

Remarks.- Monomorium robustior HNS has a wider known distribution than M. destructor HNS in Madagascar, mainly in more southerly regions (Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga and Toliara Provinces). Specimens have been collected by a variety of means in dry tropical and spiny forest. In Africa, this species has been recorded from Kenya and Somalia (Bolton 1987).


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