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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Monomorium Pharaonis

Monomorium pharaonis is a pest ant that is ubiquitous to tropical South Asia. This species is commonly found in human habitation and structures. It is rarely found in the wild.  The workers similarly to those of the pest ghost ant Tapinoma melanocephalum are often found floating on water surface in water containers where these ants get the water to keep the humidity in their nests which are usually in low moisture hidden areas in human habitation. Nests of Monomorium pharaonis are found among clothes, newspaper stacks, in and between books, inside electrical socket, under containers, in shoe boxes, etc.

There is very likely several strains (or sub species) within this genus with the most obvious morphological differences seen in the gyne or queen. Monomorium are monomorphic and polygynous. A colony typically have several sub nests that may span more than one building address.


Worker of Monomorium pharaonis

Worker of Monomorium pharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pharaonis

Worker of Monomorium pharaonis

Queen of Monomorium pharaonis

Queen of Monomorium pharaonis

Queen of Monomorium pharaonis

Queen and worker of Monomorium pharaonis.

Monomorium pharaonis gyne and worker

Monomorium pharaonis queen and worker

Monomorium pharaonis queen and workers


Monomorium sp

This species which at first look (with my naked eye) I thought was Monomorium pharaoanis as it was the near the same size and characterized by the same behavior and habitat in buildings.

But closer examination reveal that it is either a variant or an entirely different species of Monomorium which I have have provisioning tagged as Monomorium pseudopharaonis. 

Monomorium pharaonis secondary queens and workers
Monomorium pseudopharaonis secondary queens and workers. In these set of queens the thorax shows that these are secondary queens which never develop with wings and therefore incapable of participating in the nuptial swarming. Monomorium pharaonis reproduce new colonies both by swarming and by budding as is the case with most polymorphic ants but this species does so entirely by budding as they do not produce (as far as I know) winged female alates.

Monomorium pseudopharaonis are characterized by their secondary queens. The workers approximately the same size as Monomorium pharaonis is differentiated by the gaster with prominent dark portion that nearly covers four fifth of the gaster. Another distinguishing characteristic is the post petiole node which is noticeably larger than the petiole.
Secondary queens are common in termites and ants though not all genera have them, even in genus that are polymorphic. These secondary queens are what I called non imago queens. Ants from this location such as Diacamma, Leptogenys,
Aenictus, Dorylus all have queens that do not develop into the imago stage common in insects. Of course there are insects that never have a true imago expression in their life cycle whether they undergo complete (wasp, bees, beetles, ants) or incomplete metamorphosis (such as grasshopper, cockroach, termites).

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis

Workers of Monomorium pseudopharaonis


See also:
Monomorium
Momomorium destructor (Trichomyrmex destructor)
Monomorium floricola



Taxonomy
(no rank) Root 1
(Top Node) Cellular organism 131567
Superkingdom: Eukaryota 2759 [Domain]
(no rank) Opisthokonta 33154
Kingdom: Metazoa 33208
(no rank) Eumetazoa 6072
(no rank) Bilateria 33213
(no rank) Coelomata 33316
(no rank) Protosomia 33317
(no rank) Panarthropoda 88770
Phylum: Arthropoda 6656
(no rank) Mandibulata 197563
(no rank) Pancrustacea 197562
Superclass: Hexapoda 6960
Class: Insecta 50557
(no rank) Dicondylia 85512
(no rank) Pterygota 7496
Subclass: Neoptera 33340
Infraclass: Endopterygota 33392
Order: Hymenoptera 7399
(no rank) Apocrita 7400
Suborder: Aculeata 7434
Superfamily: Vespoidea 34725
Family: Formicidae 36668
Subfamily: Myrmicinae 34695
Tribe: Solenopsidini 144017
Genus: Monomorium 55077
Species: pharaonis 307658


Last Updated:  2018 04 18
First Posted: 2013 06 06
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