Monomorium longipes, copyright Zach Lieberman/

Belongs within: Myrmicinae.

Monomorium is a cosmopolitan genus of small ants, most diverse in the Old World tropics with relatively few species native to the Americas. Colonies are often polygynous and may possess either winged or ergatoid queens or a combination of both. Despite their small size, a number of species of Monomorium are significant pests. These include the pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis and the Singapore ant M. destructor. The latter species is known to cause damage to infrastructure by chewing through cabling (Heterick 2009). Monophyly of the genus has been questioned by recent studies leading to proposals to divide it between several genera.

Characters (from Wheeler & Wheeler 1990): Antenna with twelve segments; epinotum unarmed, basal face at same level as dorsum of mesonotum; postpetiol attached to anterior end of first gastric somite; gaster about equally convex above and below.

<==Monomorium Mayr 1855 FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--M. monomorium (Mayr 1855) Z01 [incl. Myrmica (Monomorium) carbonaria Smith 1858 B03, *Mo. minutum Mayr 1855 Z01]
    |--M. aberrans Forel 1902 B03
    |--M. aithoderum H09
    |--M. antarcticum WL04 [=Chelaner antarcticus M83]
    |--M. anthracinum H09
    |--M. aper Emery 1914 [incl. M. aper var. dubia Emery 1914] E14
    |--M. arenarium H09
    |--M. armstrongi McAreavey 1949 [=M. (Holcomyrmex) armstrongi, Chelaner armstrongi] TB85
    |--M. atomus Forel 1902 [incl. M. atomus var. integrius] B03
    |--M. australicum Forel 1907 TB85 [=M. subcoecum australicum TB85; incl. M. talpa FT08]
    |--M. barbatulum E89
    |--M. bicorne Forel 1907 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner bicornis TB85; incl. M. macareaveyi H09]
    |--M. bihamatum H09
    |--M. brachythrix H09
    |--M. broomense Forel 1915 [=M. (Mitara) laeve broomense] TB85
    |--M. centrale Forel 1910 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner centralis TB85]
    |--M. chinense Z01
    |--M. concolor Zhou 2001 Z01
    |--‘Holcomyrmex’ criniceps Mayr 1878 [incl. H. crinicipitoscabriceps Forel 1902] B03
    |--M. crinitum H09
    |--M. croceiventre Emery 1914 E14
    |--M. decuria H09
    |--M. destructor (Jerdon 1851) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--M. dichroum Forel 1902 B03
    |--M. disetigerum H09
    |--M. donisthorpei Crawley 1915 [=M. (Mitara) donisthorpei] TB85
    |--M. durokoppinense H09
    |--M. edentatum Emery 1897 E14
    |--M. elegantulum H09
    |--M. eremophilum H09
    |--M. ergatogyna BS06
    |--M. euryodon H09
    |--M. falcatum (McAreavey 1949) H09, TB85 [=*Schizopelta falcata H09, Chelaner falcatus TB85]
    |--M. fieldi Forel 1910 TB85 [=M. (Martia) fieldi TB85; incl. M. (Mitara) laeve nigrius Forel 1915 TB85, H09, TB85]
    |--M. flavipes Clark 1938 [=M. (Notomyrmex) flavipes, Chelaner flavipes] TB85
    |--M. flavonigrum H09
    |--M. floricola (Jerdon 1851) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--M. forcipatum Emery 1914 [=M. (*Chelaner) forcipatum, *Chelaner forcipatus] TB85
    |--M. foreli Viehmeyer 1913 [=M. (Holcomyrmex) foreli, Chelaner foreli] TB85
    |--M. fossulatum Emery 1894 B03
    |--M. fraterculus Santschi 1919 [=M. (Mitara) laeve fraterculus] TB85
    |    |--M. f. fraterculus TB85
    |    `--M. f. barretti Santschi 1928 [=M. (Lampromyrmex) fraterculus barretti] TB85
    |--M. gilberti Forel 1902 [=Chelaner gilberti] TB85
    |    |--M. g. gilberti TB85
    |    `--M. g. mediorubra Forel 1915 [=Chelaner gilberti mediorubrus] TB85
    |--‘Holcomyrmex’ glaber André 1883 [incl. H. glaber var. clarus Forel 1902, H. glabrocriniceps Forel 1902] B03
    |--M. glyciphilum (Smith 1858) [=Myrmica glyciphila] B03
    |--M. gracillimum (Smith 1861) [=Myrmica gracillima] B03
    |--M. hildebrandti H09
    |--M. howense Wheeler 1927 [=M. (Notomyrmex) howense, Chelaner howensis] TB85
    |--M. ilia Forel 1907 [=M. (Martia) ilia] TB85
    |    |--M. i. ilia TB85
    |    `--M. i. lamingtonense Forel 1915 [=M. (Mitara) ilia lamingtonensis] TB85
    |--M. indicum Forel 1902 [=M. salomonis indicum] B03
    |--M. insolescens Wheeler 1934 H13, TB85 [=M. (Notomyrmex) insolescens TB85, Chelaner insolescens TB85]
    |--M. insularis Clark 1938 [=M. (Notomyrmex) insularis, Chelaner insularis] TB85
    |--M. integrum E14
    |--M. intrudens Smith 1874 [incl. lampromyrmex gracilum Mayr 1868, M. nipponense Wheeler 1906] Z01
    |--M. kiliani Forel 1902 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner kiliani TB85]
    |    |--M. k. kiliani TB85
    |    |--M. k. obscurella Viehmeyer 1925 [=Chelaner kiliani obscurellus] TB85
    |    `--M. k. tambourinensis Forel 1915 [=Chelaner kiliani tambourinensis] TB85
    |--M. lacunosum H09
    |--M. laeve Mayr 1876 [=M. (*Mitara) laeve] TB85
    |--M. latinode Mayr 1872 FT08
    |--M. leae Forel 1913 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner leae TB85; incl. M. (Notomyrmex) hemiphaeum Clark 1934 TB85]
    |--M. legulus H09
    |--M. longi Forel 1902 B03
    |--M. longiceps Wheeler 1934 H09, TB85 [=M. (Notomyrmex) longiceps TB85, Chelaner longiceps TB85]
    |--M. longinode H09
    |--M. longipes Emery 1914 [=M. (Chelaner) longipes] E14
    |--M. luteum G89
    |--‘Chelaner’ macareaveyi Ettershank 1966 (see below for synonymy) TB85
    |--M. majeri H09
    |--M. mayri Forel 1902 Z01 (see below for synonymy)
    |--M. megalops H09
    |--M. melleum Emery 1914 E14
    |--M. micron Crawley 1925 TB85
    |--M. micula H09
    |--‘Holcomyrmex’ muticus Emery 1887 B03
    |--M. nanum H09
    |--M. nitidum E14
    |--M. occidaneus Crawley 1922 [=Chelaner occidaneus] TB85
    |--M. orientale Mayr 1879 FT08
    |--M. pergandei [=Epoecus pergandei] WW90
    |--M. pharaonis (Linnaeus 1758) FT08 (see below for synonymy)
    |--M. pubescens H09
    |--M. punctipectoris Zhou 2001 Z01
    |--M. punctulatum MC13
    |--M. rothsteini Forel 1902 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner rothsteini H09, M. (*Protholcomyrmex) rothsteini TB85]
    |    |--M. r. rothsteini TB85
    |    |--M. r. doddi Santschi 1919 [=M. (Paraholcomyrmex) rothsteini doddi, Chelaner rothsteini doddi] TB85
    |    |--M. r. humilior Forel 1910 [=Chelaner rothsteini humilior] TB85
    |    |--M. r. leda Forel 1915 [=Chelaner rothsteini leda] TB85
    |    |--M. r. squamigena Viehmeyer 1925 [=Chelaner rothsteini squamigena] TB85
    |    `--M. r. tostum Wheeler 1915 [=Chelaner rothsteini tostum] TB85
    |--M. rubriceps Mayr 1876 H13, TB85 [=Chelaner rubriceps TB85]
    |    |--M. r. rubriceps TB85
    |    |--M. r. cinctum Wheeler 1917 [=Chelaner rubriceps cinctus] TB85
    |    |--M. r. extreminigrum Forel 1915 [=Monomorium rubriceps extreminigrus] TB85
    |    `--M. r. rubra Forel 1915 [=Chelaner rubriceps rubrus] TB85
    |--M. rufiventris [=Vollenhovia rufiventris] E14
    |--M. rufonigrum H09
    |--M. sagei Forel 1902 B03
    |--M. sanguinolentum Wheeler 1927 [=M. (Notomyrmex) sanguinolentum, Chelaner sanguinolentus] TB85
    |--*Holcomyrmex’ scabriceps Mayr 1878 B03
    |--M. sculpturatum Clark 1934 H09, TB85 [=M. (Notomyrmex) sculpturatum TB85, Chelaner sculpturatus TB85]
    |--M. silaceum H09
    |--M. sordidum Forel 1902 H09, TB85 [=Chelaner sordidus H09]
    |    |--M. s. sordidum TB85
    |    `--M. s. nigriventris Forel 1910 [=Chelaner sordidus nigriventris] TB85
    |--M. stictonotum H09
    |--M. striatifrons H09
    |--M. subapterum Wheeler 1917 [=Chelaner subapterus] TB85
    |    |--M. s. subapterum TB85
    |    `--M. s. bogischi Wheeler 1917 [=Chelaner subapterus bogischi] TB85
    |--M. subcoecum Emery 1894 FT08
    |--M. sublamellatum H09
    |--M. subopacum (Smith 1858) (see below for synonymy) Z01
    |--M. sydneyense Forel 1902 TB85
    |    |--M. s. sydneyense TB85
    |    `--M. s. nigellum Emery 1914 [=M. (Mitara) sydneyense nigella] TB85
    |--M. tricolor Emery 1914 E14
    |--M. turneri (Forel 1910) E14, TB85 [=Vollenhovia turneri TB85, Chelaner turneri TB85]
    |--M. whitei Wheeler 1915 [=M. (Holcomyrmex) whitei, Chelaner whitei] TB85
    |--M. wroughtoni Forel 1902 B03
    `--M. xantheklemma H09

‘Chelaner’ macareaveyi Ettershank 1966 [=Monomorium (Holcomyrmex) niger McAreavey 1949 non Holcomyrmex criniceps nigrum Forel 1902] TB85

Monomorium Mayr 1855 FT08 [incl. Chelaner Emery 1914 Z01, Corynomyrmex Viehmeyer 1916 Z01, Epixenus Emery 1908 Z01, Epoecus Emery 1892 Z01, Equestrimessor Santschi 1919 Z01, Holcomyrmex Mayr 1878 Z01, Irenidris Donisthorpe 1943 Z01, Isolcomyrmex Santschi 1917 Z01, Lampromyrmex Mayr 1868 Z01, Mitara Emery 1913 TB85, Notomyrmex Emery 1915 Z01, Paraphacota Santschi 1919 Z01, Parholcomyrmex Emery 1915 Z01, Phacota Roger 1862 Z01, Protholcomyrmex Wheeler 1922 TB85, Schizopelta McAreavey 1949 H09, Wheeleria Forel 1905 Z01, Wheleriella Forel 1907 Z01, Xenhyboma Santschi 1919 Z01, Xeromyrmex Emery 1915 Z01]

Monomorium destructor (Jerdon 1851) FT08 [=Atta destructor B03; incl. Mo. basale Mayr 1865 B03, Myrmica vastator Smith 1857 B03]

Monomorium floricola (Jerdon 1851) FT08 [=Atta floricola Z01, M. floreanum (l. c.) Z01; incl. M. anngusticlava Donisthorpe 1947 Z01, M. cinnabari Rober 1863 Z01, M. impressum Smith 1876 Z01, M. poecilum Roger 1863 Z01, M. specularis Mayr 1866 Z01]

Monomorium mayri Forel 1902 Z01 [=M. destructor var. mayri Z01, M. gracillimum var. mayri B03; incl. M. gracillimum var. karawajewi Wheeler 1922 Z01]

Monomorium pharaonis (Linnaeus 1758) FT08 [=Formica pharaonis Z01; incl. F. antiguensis Fabricius 1793 Z01, Myrmica contigua Smith 1858 Z01, My. domestica Schuckard 1838 Z01, Diplorhoptrum domesticum Gaskell 1877 Z01, My. fragilis Smith 1858 Z01, D. fugax Lucas 1858 Z01, Atta minuta Jerdon 1851 Z01, My. molesta Say 1836 Z01, My. unifasciata Bostock 1839 Z01]

Monomorium subopacum (Smith 1858) [=Myrmica subopaca, Mo. salomonis var. subopaca; incl. Mo. subopacum var. intermedium Santschi 1928, Mo. subopacum var. liberta Santschi 1927, Mo. mediterraneum Mayr 1861, Paraphacota cabrenae st. obscuripes Santschi 1921, P. surcoufi Santschi 1919] Z01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera Vol. 2. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172–18177.

[E89] Emery, C. 1889. Intorno ad alcune formiche della fauna palearctica. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 439–443.

[E14] Emery, C. 1914. Les fourmis de la Nouvelle-Calédonie & des îles Loyalty. In: Sarasin, F., & J. Roux (eds) Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1 pt 4 pp. 393–436, pl. 12. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[FT08] Framenau, V. W., & M. L. Thomas. 2008. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean): identification and distribution. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25 (1): 45–85.

[G89] Gestro, R. 1889. Viaggio ab Assab nel Mar Rosso dei signori G. Doria ed O. Beccari con il R. Avviso «Esploratore» dal 16 Novembre 1879 al 26 Febbraio 1880.—IV. Coleotteri. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a, 7: 5–72.

[H09] Heterick, B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 76: 1–206.

[H13] Heterick, B. E. 2013. A taxonomic overview and key to the ants of Barrow Island, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 375–404.

[MC13] Majer, J. D., S. K. Callan, K. Edwards, N. R. Gunawardene & C. K. Taylor. 2013. Baseline survey of the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Barrow Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 83: 13–112.

[M83] Martin, N. A. 1983. Miscellaneous observations on a pasture fauna: An annotated species list. DSIR Entomology Division Report 3: 1–98.

[TB85] Taylor, R. W., & D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.) Zoological Catalogue of Australia vol. 2. Hymenoptera: Formicoidea, Vespoidea and Sphecoidea pp. 1–149. Australian Government Publishing Service: Canberra.

[WL04] Wang, X.-H., & P. J. Lester. 2004. A preliminary study of the usefulness of morphometric tools for splitting the Monomorium antarcticum (Smith) complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), New Zealand’s most common native ants. New Zealand Entomologist 27: 103–108.

[WW90] Wheeler, G. C., & J. Wheeler. 1990. Insecta: Hymenoptera Formicidae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1277–1294. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[Z01] Zhou, S. 2001. Ants of Guangxi. Guangxi Normal University Press: Guilin (China).

Last updated: 13 June 2020.

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