Welcome to the new AntWeb!

We here at AntWeb have been busy working on our newest (and most ambitious) version of the site - and there are lots of great new things! Which means there are lots of changes (don't worry, they're all for the best).

And we've put together a handy little guide to show you all the new features and enhancements - why don't you have a quick look to check out all the new features and enhancements?

No thanks
Current View: Australian: New Zealand
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print: . Accessed

· For web:

Species: Monomorium (salomonis) pharaonis   (Linnaeus, 1758) 

Download Data

See Also:

Monomorium pharaonis_nr, Monomorium pharaonis atrigaster

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Formica pharaonis Linnaeus, 1758 PDF: 580 (w.) EGYPT. Palearctic. "Egypt." AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history


Throughout SLO


Introduced, in heated premises, temporary outside


Introduced species


Caste of types: (w)


Williams, D. F., (ed.). 1994. Exotic ants. Biology, impact, and control of introduced species. Westview Press, Boulder.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Mayr, G., 1893:

Wheeler, W. M., 1922:
Numerous workers and females from Stanleyville and Thysville (Lang and Chapin). This is the well-known, little, red house ant, spread by commerce throughout the world.

Ward, P. S., 2005:
I [introduced species]

Heterick, B. E., 2006:
Figs. 16, 91-92.
Formica pharaonis l. 1758:580. Syntype [[worker]]"s, Egypt [whereabouts of type material unknown]
Monomorium pharaonis (l.): Mayr 1862:752.
Formica antiguensis Fabricius 1793:357. Syntype [[worker]], West Indies: Antigua [whereabouts of type material unknown]. Syn. under M. pharaonis (l.): Roger 1862b: 294.
Myrmica domestica Shuckard 1838:627. Syntype [[worker]]"s,, Great Britain: London [no types known to exist]. Syn. under M pharaonis (l.): Roger 1862b:294.
Atta minuta Jerdon 1851:105. Syntype [[worker]]"s, India [no types known to exist]. Syn. under M. pharaonis (l.): Emery 1892:165.
Myrmica vastator Smith 1857:71. Syntype [[worker]]"s (lectotype here designated), Singapore (oxum) [examined].
Monomorium vastator (Smith) : Mayr 1886:359. Syn. under M destructor (Jerdon) : Dalla Torre 1893: 66. Syn. under M pharaonis (l.): Donisthorpe 1932:449.
Myrmica fragilis Smith 1858:124. Syntype [[worker]]"s (lectotype here designated), Singapore (bmnh) [examined]. Syn. under M. pharaonis (l.): Mayr 1886:359.
Myrmica contigua Smith 1858:125. Holotype, Sri lanka (BMNH) [examined]. Syn. under M pharaonis (L.) : Mayr 1886:359.
Material examined.- M. vastator : Lectotype: [[worker]], Singapore, J. Smith (OXUM). Four syntype workers are carded, two above and two below, on the one pin. The worker on the lower left-hand side (viewed from the rear of the pin) is here designated a lectotype to fix the name " vastator in the interests of stability. Monomorium pharaonis belongs to a small complex of closely related ants, and was also confused with Monomorium destructor by early researchers (Bolton 1987). Paralectotypes: Three workers, same data as the lectotype (OXUM). (The lectotype and three paralectotypes are covered with a uniform, thin layer of glue and cannot be separated.). M. fragile : Lectotype: [[worker]], Singapore, J. Smith (BMNH). Four syntype workers carded on one rectangle. The worker on the lower right (viewed from the rear) is here designated a lectotype to fix the name "fragile" in the interests of nomenclatural stability. Paralectotypes: Three workers, same data as the lectotype (BMNH). (The lectotype and three paralectotypes are glued and could not be separated without serious risk of damage.). M. contiguum : Holotype: [[queen]], Ceylon. J. Smith (BMNH).
Other material examined: Prov. Antsiranana: Res. Spec. Ankarana, 22.9 km 224 SW Anivorano Nord 10-16.ii.2001 Fisher et al. (1 [[worker]]); Sambava, 7.xi.1992 Solomon (1 [[queen]]) (MCZ). Prov. Fianarantsoa: Ranomafana NP, Talatakely 14.iv.1998 M.E. Irwin & E.I. Schlinger (4 [[worker]]). Prov. Mahajanga: P.N. Ankarafantsika, Ankoririka, 10.6 km 13 NE Tsaramandroso 9-14.iv.2001 Rabeson et al. (1 [[worker]]).
Worker description.- Head: Head oval; vertex weakly convex; frons shining and finely striolate and microreticulate; pilosity of frons consisting of a few short, thick, erect setae interspersed with short, appressed setulae. Eye moderate, eye width 1-1.5x greatest width of antennal scape; (in full-face view) eyes set above midpoint of head capsule; (viewed in profile) eyes set posteriad of 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 indicated by multiple weak ridges; anteromedian clypeal margin broadly convex; 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 straight, parallel. Psammophore absent. Palp formula 2,2. Mandibular teeth four; mandibles with sub-parallel inner and outer margins, striate; masticatory margin of mandibles approximately vertical or weakly oblique; basal tooth approximately same size as t3 (four teeth present).
Mesosoma: Promesonotum shining and microreticulate throughout; (viewed in profile) promesonotum broadly convex; promesonotal setae two to six; standing promesonotal setae consisting of very short, incurved decumbent setae only; appressed promesonotal setulae well-spaced over entire promesonotum. Metanotal groove strongly impressed, with distinct transverse costulae. Propodeum shining and microreticulate; propodeal dorsum flat throughout most of its length; propodeum smoothly rounded or with indistinct angle; standing propodeal setae consisting of one prominent pair anteriad, with other shorter setae very sparse or absent; 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 blunt-angled flanges.
Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated within anterior sector of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) conical, vertex tapered; appearance of node shining and distinctly microreticulate; ratio of greatest node breadth (viewed from front) to greatest node width (viewed in profile) about 1:1; anteroventral petiolar process present as a thin flange tapering posteriad; ventral petiolar lobe present; height ratio of petiole to postpetiole between 4:3 and 1:1; height-length ratio of postpetiole about 1:1; postpetiole shining and microreticulate; postpetiolar sternite not depressed at midpoint, its anterior end an inconspicuous lip or small carina.
Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced, erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with a few appressed setulae.
General characters: Color yellowish, gastral tergites with brown infuscation in basal sector. Worker caste monomorphic.
Lectotype measurements ( M. vastator ): The physical condition and alignment of the worker does not permit ready measurements.
Lectotype measurements ( M. fragile ): HML 1.52 HL 0.56 HW 0.42 CeI 75 SL 0.48 SI 114 PW 0.23.
Other worker measurements: HML 1.39-1.48 HL 0.53-0.56 HW 0.42-0.45 CeI 78-81 SL 0.45-0.49 SI 105-111 PW 0.22-0.28 (n=8).
Queen description.- Head: Head square; vertex always planar; frons matt and uniformly reticulate-punctate; 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; eyes (in full-face view) set at about midpoint of head capsule; eyes (viewed in profile) set around midline of head capsule.
Mesosoma: Anterior mesoscutum smoothly rounded, thereafter more-or-less flattened; pronotum, mesoscutum and mesopleuron uniformly reticulate-punctate, punctations tending to form fine striolae on dorsum of mesoscutum; length-width ratio of mesoscutum and scutellum combined between 7:3 and 2:1. Axillae narrowly separated (i.e., less than width of one axilla). Standing pronotal/mesoscutal setae consisting of well-spaced, incurved, erect and semi-erect setae only; appressed pronotal, mescoscutal and mesopleural setulae well-spaced over entire surface. Propodeum uniformly reticulate-punctate; always smoothly rounded; propodeal dorsum convex; standing propodeal setae consisting of two or more pairs of prominent setae anteriad, with a few decumbent setae around declivitous face; appressed propodeal setulae well-spaced and sparse; propodeal spiracle equidistant from metanotal groove and declivitous face of propodeum; propodeal lobes present as bluntly angled flanges.
Wing: Wing not seen (queen dealated).
Petiole and postpetiole: Petiolar spiracle lateral and situated within anterior sector of petiolar node; node (viewed in profile) conical, vertex tapered; appearance of node matt and reticulatepunctate; 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 about 1:1; height -length ratio of postpetiole about 4:3; postpetiole matt and reticulate-punctate; postpetiolar sternite forming a narrow wedge-shaped projection through strong convergence of its anterior and posterior ends.
Gaster: Pilosity of first gastral tergite consisting of well-spaced, erect and semi-erect setae interspersed with a few appressed setulae.
General characters: Color orange-yellow, gaster brown, with large, yellow sector at apex of first tergite. Brachypterous alates not seen. Ergatoid or worker-female intercastes not seen.
Holotype measurements ( M. contiguum ): HML 2.43 HL 0.68 HW 0.63 CeI 93 SL 0.62 SI 98 PW 0.73.
Other queen measurements: HML 2.37 HL 0.66 HW 0.62 CeI 94 SL 0.58 SI 94 PW 0.52 (n=1).
Remarks.- One of several tramp species in the M. destructor and M. salomonis groups found in Madagascar, M. pharaonis has recently been recorded from tropical dry forest and secondary rainforest. However, because of its anthropophilic nature, this ant probably has a wider distribution in Madagascar than these few (non-urban) records suggest.

Fernández, F., 2007:
Monomorium pharaonis, M. salomonis and M. subopacum are the only species in the Neotropics with head and mesosoma with fine reticulate-punctate sculpturation and mandibular dorsum with coarse longitudinal rugulae. M. pharaonis has two rows of hairs on the head between the vertex and carinae, which distinguishes this species from the other two. M. pharaonis is one of the best-known Old World tramp species.

Emery, C., 1877:
Syst. Nat., ed. 12, I, 963.
Massaua (Beccari); molti esemplari [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]].
Specie cosmopolita.

Wild, A. L., 2007:
Canindeyú , Central, Concepción (ALWC, IFML, INBP). Literature records: Central, Concepción (Fowler 1981). [* = species not native to Paraguay]

Mayr, G., 1862:
Diese Ameisenart ist jedenfalls die bedauernswuerdigste ihres Gleichen, denn nicht nur, dass sie durch Pflanzen oder Waaren in die ganze Welt zerstreut wurde, haben, sie auch die Naturforscher von einer Gattung zur andern geworfen, und ihr auch die verschiedensten Artnamen beigelegt. Ich glaube, dass nun ein Ruhepunct fuer dieselbe eingetreten ist, denn Herr Dr. Roger ist in Beziehung des Artnamens gluecklich bis zu Linne zurueckgegangen, indem er Formica Pharaonis L., F. antiguensis F., Myrmicadomestica Shuck, und M. (Diplorhoptum) molesta Smith (nicht Say) als synonym erklaerte. In generischer Beziehung trug derselbe bereits die Namen Formica , Myrmica , Diplorhoptrum und Pheidole . Smith stellte sie zu Diplorhoptum, o bschon er selbst in der Characteristik seiner sechsten Subdivision der Gattung Myrmica ( Diplorhoptrum ) angibt, dass die [[ worker ]] und [[ queen ]] zehngliedrige Fuehler (obschon auch gefehlt, denn das [[ queen ]] dieser Gattung hat eilfgliedrige Fuehler) und eine zweigliedrige Keule haben, waehrend unsere Art zwoelfgliedrige Fuehler und eine dreigliedrige Keule hat. Dass Smith wirklich dieselbe Art vor sich hatte, erhellt daraus, dass er mir schon vor der Herausgabe seines Catalogue Exemplare sandte, welche wirklich zu dieser Art gehoeren. Herr Dr. Roger stellte sie in seinen „ Beitraegen zur Kenntniss der Ameisen der Mittelmeerlaender " zur Gattung Pheidole , ohne Gruende anzufuehren, ueberdiess legt er derselben eilfgliedrige Fuehler bei, obschon er die echte Art hatte, wie ein Exemplar beweist, welches ich von ihm erhalten habe. Im heurigen Jahre stellte er sie in der Berliner entomologischen Zeitschrift zur Gattung Myrmica . - Ich erlaube mir nur, die Bitte an die oben genannten Herren Myrmecologen zu stellen, einen [[ worker ]], ein [[ queen ]] oder ein [[ male ]] dieser Art nach den analytischen Tabellen in meinen Europ. Formic, zu bestimmen und jedermann wird mit der groessten Leichtigkeit zur Gattung Monomorium gelangen, mit welcher diese Art in jeder Beziehung uebereinstimmt; zur weiteren Ueberzeugung kann man noch den Gattungscharacter von Monomorium pag. 71 lesen und wird dann nicht mehr den geringsten Zweifel haben. Die Beschreihung des [[ queen ]] und [[ male ]] werde ich im Novarawerke folgen lassen.
Mir liegt diese Art vor aus Paris, London, Hamburg, Kasan, Manilla (in meiner Sammlung), Sidney, Chili (Novara) und dem Cap der guten Hoffnung (M. C. Vienn.).

Mayr, G., 1895:
Junk River in Liberia und Deutsch-Togo an der Sclavenkueste (Dr. Brauns).

Bernard, F., 1953:
Cosmopolite grace a son introduction dans les maisons (commun a Paris notamment). Cite de toute l'Afrique occidentale, meme en foret. Pris abondamment au Camp IV (foret, l.000 m.), et dans les mousses de foret primaire nord-est par VILLIERS. Etant donne que LamOTTE ne l'a trouve ni pres des villages ni en savane, que de plus le groupe Pharaophanes est essentiellement ethiopien, il y a lieu de croire que le banal M. pharaonis est originaire des forets africaines occidentales, et non d'Egypte ou des Indes comme l'ont suggere divers auteurs.

Forel, A., 1908:
[[ queen ]] [[ worker ]] Surubres pres San Mateo. 250 metres, Fougeres, Costa Rica (P. Biolley). Espece cosmopolite.

Forel, A., 1907:
[[ worker ]]. He Cerf, Providence. Espece cosmopolite, transportee par les vaisseaux.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 0 times found in Unknown, 8 times found in urban/garden, 0 times found in Anthropogenic, 1 times found in Botanical garden rubber plantation, 7 times found in 2º wet forest, 5 times found in Port of entry, 1 times found in forest, 1 times found in mixed forest, 1 times found in palm forest, 1 times found in from inside empty cup o noodles right outside of Delkuu house, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 4 times Random coll. Winkler sifting, 2 times 9 MaxiWinks, mixed samples, 0 times Manual catch, 1 times 6 MaxiWinks, mixed samples, 2 times water traps, 6 times MiniWinkler, 2 times aspirated, 1 times in houses, 3 times search, 3 times Hand collection, 3 times aspirating; PB & maple syrup bait, ...

Elevations: collected from 2 - 2130 meters, 370 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Myrmica contigua: casent0102682; Lectotype of Monomorium vastator: casent0008625; Lectotype of Myrmica fragilis: casent0102330

(-1 examples)

See something amiss? Send us an email.
Enlarge Map