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Species: Monomorium versicolor   Heterick, 2006 

Classification:
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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Monomorium versicolor Heterick, 2006 PDF: 148, figs. 25, 67, 68 (w.q.m.) MADAGASCAR. Malagasy. Primary type information: Madagascar, Toliara, Réserve Berenty, Forêt Malaza, 8.6 km 314° NW Amboasary, 25°00'S, 46°18'E, 40 m, 6.ii.2002, gallery forest, ex rotten log, coll. Fisher et al., collection code BLF05434; CASENT0042524; CASC. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Distribution:

  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Madagascar
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Malagasy

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Heterick, B. E., 2006, A revision of the Malagasy ants belonging to genus Monomorium Mayr, 1855 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 57, pp. 69-202

Monomorium versicolor HeterickHNS, sp. nov.

Figs. 25, 67-68.

Etymology.- Latin "of various colors".

Material examined.- Holotype: [[worker]], Prov. Toliara, Res. Berenty, Foret Malaza, 8.6 km 314 NW Amboasary 25°00"S, 46°18"E 40m, 6.ii.2002 Fisher et al BLF #/ex rotten log, gallery forest/CASENT 0042524 5434 (CAS). Paratypes: Prov. Toliara (all specimens with same collection data as holotype): 2 [[worker]], 1 [[male]] (ANIC); 12 [[worker]] + 2 [[worker]] + 12[[male]] (BMNH); 3 [[worker]], 1 [[male]] (CAS); 22 [[worker]] + 1 [[worker]] + 13 [[worker]] (MCZ).

Other material examined: Prov. Antsiranana: Foret Anabohazo, 21.6 km 247 WSW Maromandia 11-16.iii.2001 Fisher et al. (10 [[worker]]); Montagne Francais, 7.2 km 142 SE Diego Suarez 22-28.ii.2001 Fisher et al. (3 [[worker]]); Res. Spec. Ankarana, 22.9 km 224 SW Anivorano Nord 10-16.ii.2001 Fisher et al. (3 [[worker]]). Prov. Fianarantsoa: P.N. Isalo, Sahanafa Riv., 29.2 km 351 N Ranohira R. S. 10-13.ii.2003 Fisher et al. (5 [[worker]]); Res. Andringitra 8.5 km SE Antanitotsy 6.iii.1997 B.L. Fisher (8 [[worker]], 1 [[queen]]). Prov. Mahajanga: Foret Analalava, 29.6 km 280 W Ranohira 1-5.ii.2003 Fisher et al. (19 [[worker]], 1 [[queen]]) P.N. Ankarafantsika, Ankoririka, 10.6 km 13 NE Tsaramandroso 9-14.iv.2001 Rabeson et al. (1 [[worker]]); N. Ankarafantsika, Tsimaloto, 18.3 km 46 NE Tsaramandroso 2-8.iv.2001 Rabeson et al. (66 [[worker]]); P.N. Namoroka, 9.8 km 300 WNW Vilanandro 4-8.xi.2002 B.L. Fisher (3 [[queen]]); P.N. Tsingy de Bemaraha, 3.4 km 93 E Bekopaka 6-10.xi.2001 B.L. Fisher (18 [[worker]]); P.N. Tsingy de Bemaraha, 2.5 km 62 ENE Bekopaka 11-15.xi.2001 (1 [[queen]]); Res. Bemarivo, 23.8 km 223 SW Besalampy, 19-23.xi.2002 Fisher et al (1 [[worker]]). Prov. Toliara: P.N. Andohahela, Manantalinjo, 7.6 km 99 E Hazofotsy 12-16.i.2002 Fisher et al. (28 [[worker]]); P.N. Andohahela, 1.7 km 61 ENE Tsimelahy 16-20.i.2002 Fisher et al. (12 [[worker]]); Res. Berenty, Foret Malaza, 8.6 km 314 NW Amboasary 6.ii.2002 Fisher et al. (2 [[worker]]); southern Isoky-Vohimena Forest, 21.i.1996 BL. Fisher (2[[worker]]) Tsimanampetsotsa, Bemanateza, 23.0km 131 SE Beheloka, 22-26.iii.2002 BL. Fisher (1 [[worker]]).

Worker description.- Head: Head oval; vertex planar or weakly concave; frons shining and smooth except for piliferous pits; pilosity of frons a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with shorter decumbent setae or setulae. 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 around midline of head capsule; eye elliptical, curvature of inner eye margin may be more pronounced than that of its outer margin. Antennal segments 12; antennal club three-segmented. Clypeal carinae indistinct; anteromedian clypeal margin straight, or, emarginate, clypeal carinae indistinct; paraclypeal setae moderately long and fine, curved; posteromedian clypeal margin extending slightly beyond level of posterior margin of antennal fossae. Anterior tentorial pits situated nearer antennal fossae than mandibular insertions. Frontal lobes sinuate, divergent posteriad. Psammophore absent. Palp formula2,2. Mandible with three evenly sized teeth; mandibles with sub-parallel inner and outer margins, smooth (except for piliferous pits); masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique; basal tooth approximately same size as t2 (three teeth present).

Mesosoma: Promesonotum shining and mainly smooth, vestigial striolae, if present, confined to lower anterior mesopleuron; (viewed in profile) promesonotum broadly convex; promesonotal setae greater than twelve; 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 few, mainly on sides of promesonotum. Metanotal groove weakly impressed, with faint costulae or costulae lacking. Propodeum shining and smooth, with a few weak striolae on metapleuron; propodeal dorsum flat throughout most of its length; propodeum smoothly rounded or with indistinct angle; standing propodeal setae consisting of two or more prominent pairs anteriad, often with another pair of prominent setae posteriad, and other smaller setae on/around dorsal and declivitous surfaces of propodeum; appressed propodeal setulae well-spaced and sparse; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove and declivitous face of propodeum. Vestibule of propodeal spiracle absent or not visible. Propodeal lobes present as rounded flanges.

Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated within anterior sector of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) cuneate, vertex rounded; appearance of node shining and smooth throughout; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 3:4; anteroventral petiolar process present as a thin flange tapering posteriad, or, absent or vestigial; ventral petiolar lobe present; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole about 4:3; height-length ratio of postpetiole between 3:2 and 4:3; postpetiole shining and smooth; postpetiolar sternite without anterior lip or carina, or this structure vestigial.

Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced, erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with a few appressed setulae.

General characters: Color variable: from concolorous dark reddish-brown to orange-andbrown, or orange, gaster chocolate, antenna always darker than head in lighter-colored specimens. Worker caste monomorphic.

Holotype measurements: HML 1.50 HL 0.58 HW 0.51 CeI 89 SL 0.48 SI 93 PW 0.32.

Other worker measurements: HML 1.21-1.63 HL 0.49-0.62 HW 0.41-0.55 CeI 82-89 SL 0.38-0.52 SI 85-101 PW 0.25-0.36 (n=20).

Queen description.- Head: Head rectangular; vertex weakly concave or planar; frons shining and smooth except for piliferous pits; (viewed dorsally), occipital angles of head capsule conspicuous, lobate; pilosity of frons a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with shorter setae or setulae, which are decumbent or appressed, longer setae thickest on vertex. Eye elliptical, curvature of inner eye margin may be more pronounced than that of its outer margin; (in full-face view) eyes set below midpoint of head capsule; (viewed in profile) eyes set posteriad of midline of head capsule.

Mesosoma: Anterior mesoscutum smoothly rounded, thereafter more-or-less flattened; pronotum, mesoscutum and mesopleuron shining and mainly smooth, vestigial striolae, if present, confined to anterior katepisternum; length -width ratio of mesoscutum and scutellum combined between 2:1 and 3:2; axillae narrowly separated (i.e., less than width of one axilla); standing pronotal /mesoscutal setae a mixture of well-spaced, distinctly longer, erect and semi-erect setae which are curved distally, interspersed with much shorter, incurved, decumbent setae; appressed pronotal, mescoscutal and mesopleural setulae few, mainly on sides of pronotum and mesopleuron; Propodeum shining and smooth, with a few weak striolae on metapleuron. Propodeum oblique, more-or-less straight; propodeal dorsum flat throughout most of its length; standing propodeal setae consisting of up to a dozen or more longer erect and shorter sub-erect setae; appressed propodeal setulae well-spaced and sparse; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove and declivitous face of propodeum. Propodeal lobes present as well-developed, rounded flanges.

Wing: Wing not seen (queens dealated).

Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated within anterior sector of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) cuneate, vertex tapered. Appearance of node shining and smooth; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) between 2:1 and 3:2; anteroventral petiolar process present as a thin flange tapering posteriad; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole between 4:3 and 1:1; height -length ratio of postpetiole between 7:3 and 2:1; postpetiole shining and smooth; postpetiolar sternite without anterior lip or carina, or this structure vestigial.

Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of a mixture of incurved, erect and semi-erect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae.

General characters: Color dark chocolate, mandibles orange. Brachypterous alates not seen. Ergatoid or worker-female intercastes not seen.

Queen measurements: HML 1.81-1.94 HL 0.58-0.64 HW 0.49-0.53 CeI 80-84 SL 0.45-0.54 SI 90-102 PW 0.37-0.38 (n=5).

Male description.- Head: (In full-face view) head width -mesosoma width ratio between 4:3 and 1:1; frons finely micropunctate. Compound eyes protuberant and elliptical; margin of compound eye clearly separated from posterior margin of clypeus. Ocelli not turreted. Ratio of length of first funicular segment of antenna to second funicular segment between 2:3 and 1:2. Maximum number of mandibular teeth and denticles three.

Mesosoma: Mesoscutum broadly convex; pronotum and mesoscutum shining and mainly smooth, vestigial striolae, if present, confined to lower anterior mesopleuron; parapsidal furrows distinct; notauli absent; axillae separated by width of at least one axilla.

Wing: Wing veins predominantly depigmented, with distal segments reduced to vestigial lines; vein m-cu absent; vein cu-a absent.

Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated within anterior sector of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) conical, vertex rounded; appearance of node shining and smooth; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 1:1; anteroventral petiolar process absent or vestigial; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole between 4:3 and 1:1; height-length ratio of postpetiole between 2:1 and 3:2; postpetiole shining, with vestigial sculpture.

Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of a mixture of incurved, semi-erect setae and slightly shorter decumbent setae.

General characters: Color chocolate.

Male measurements: HML 1.63-1.86 HL 0.49-0.54 HW 0.47-0.53 CeI 94-102 SL 0.15-0.18 SI 31-35 PW 0.45-0.65 (n=10).

Remarks.- This fairly large (worker HML 1.21-1.63 mm), handsome species is readily recognized, principally through its three-toothed mandible and high, vertically attenuate petiolar node. The postpetiole is also high and somewhat compressed, resembling that of M. platynodisHNS. The different color pattern and the shape of the clypeus distinguish it from that species. The body color of workers varies from a light brownish-orange with darker gaster to uniform blackish-red, and in many workers the propodeum in dorsal view is distinctly darker than the promesonotum. In lighter colored workers the brown antennal scapes are always slightly to distinctly darker than the head capsule. The anteromedian clypeal margin is broadly depressed, as in other members of the M. flavimembraHNS complex. The queen and male are equally distinctive, with three strong teeth on each mandible. The occipital angles in queens and males are produced to form a small lobe or sharp angle, which is best seen in dorsal view. The wings of reproductives are pale and the veins are weak, becoming obsolete distally

Monomorium versicolorHNS is distributed throughout Madagascar, with most collections coming from southern and western regions. Like many other Malagasy MonomoriumHNS this species prefers a wood substrate for its nests, while individual workers have been collected by such means as beating of low vegetation and sifting of litter. Monomorium versicolorHNS does not appear to be limited by habitat, being found in a diverse number of vegetation communities including spiny forest, dry tropical forest, montane rainforest and gallery forest.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 28 times found in tropical dry forest, 3 times found in gallery forest, 1 times found in spiny forest/thicket, 2 times found in tropical dry forest on Tsingy, 2 times found in Gallery forest on sandy soil, 3 times found in deciduous spiny forest, 3 times found in montane rainforest, 1 times found in transition forest, 1 times found in Gallery forest with bamboo, 2 times found in spiny forest/dry forest transition, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 11 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 7 times ex rotten log, 5 times on low vegetation, 2 times under tree bark, live tree, 2 times under stone, 1 times ground forager(s), 1 times twig nest, 1 times ex rotten stick on ground, 1 times ex dead twig above ground.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 8 times MW 50 sample transect, 5m, 8 times Malaise trap, 3 times Beat 25 sample transect, 10m, beating low vegetation, 1 times yellow pan trap, YP 25 trap transect, 2 times MW 25 sample transect, 5m, 1 times 4 MaxiWinks, mixed samples, 1 times beating low vegetation, 1 times pitfall trap, PF 50 traps, 11 cm dbh with water, soap, formalin, nonlinear placement.

Elevations: collected from 30 - 1990 meters, 307 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Monomorium versicolor: casent0442524; paratype of Monomorium versicolor: casent0442526, casent0442529, casent0442532, casent0442536



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