Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, 1892

Sharaf, Mostafa R., Dhafer, Hathal M. Al & Aldawood, Abdulrahman S., 2018, Review of the ant genus Technomyrmex Mayr, 1872 in the Arabian Peninsula (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), ZooKeys 780, pp. 35-59: 35

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Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, 1892


Technomyrmex difficilis Forel, 1892  Figure 5A, B, C

Technomyrmex mayri r. difficilis  Forel, 1892: 242 (w. q.) Syntype worker, Madagascar, Nosibe, Village de l’Imerina coll. (Sikora), CASENT0101932, ( MHNG), (image examined), Malagasy. Junior synonym of Technomyrmex mayri nitidulans  Santschi, 1930; raised to species and senior synonym of Technomyrmex nitidulans  : Bolton 2007: 47.


Worker. Measurements: TL: 2.40-3.10; HL: 0.57-0.76; HW: 0.52-0.69; SL: 0.52-0.74; PW: 0.36-0.47; WL: 0.74-1.02; Indices: CI: 89-97; SI: 95-107; OI: 25-30; EPI: 72-86; DTI: 127-135 (n = 35, from Bolton 2007).

Head. In full-face view with feebly convex sides and nearly straight posterior margin; anterior clypeal margin weak but distinct medially concave; eyes located in front of midlength of head, with outer margin of eye fail to break head sides. Mesosoma. In profile promesonotal and mesonotal outlines forming a continuous curve that descends steeply to a well-defined metanotal groove; propodeal dorsum and declivity meeting in a continuous curve in profile. Pilosity. Frontal carina with two pairs of setae: in profile the first above torulus, the second at about level of anterior margin of eyes. Number of setal pairs on mesosoma: pronotum with one or two pairs; mesonotum bare or with one pair; propodeal dorsum bare; lateral margins of propodeal declivity with one or two pairs. Gastral tergites 1-4 each with many pairs of setae, scattered on tergites. Sculpture. Body sculpture finely and densely reticulate-punctate, general appearance dull. Colour. Head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster dark brown to black; coxae, femora and tibiae of same colour as mesosoma or slightly lighter. Tarsi of middle and hind legs yellow-white to yellow, lighter than tibiae.

Material examined.

KSA, Riyadh Province: Riyadh, Almorouj, 24.75837°N, 46.66409°E, 07.x.2017, (M. R. Sharaf) (1 w), KSMA.

Ecological and biological notes.

The nesting habit of T. difficilis  is diverse ( Warner 2003). Nests are found in both urban and undisturbed native habitats and are constructed directly into the ground, in trees holes, under palm fronds and old petiole bases, in leaf-litter and under stones and debris. The feeding habits include plant nectar, honeydew, dead insects, and other protein sources. The wide range of nesting sites and feeding habits make T. difficilis  one of the most successfully dispersed species of the genus worldwide ( Bolton 2007). The single specimen studied here was found hiding inside the persistent stamen cluster of a pomegranate fruit imported from Yemen at "Al Othaim Hypermarket", Riyadh.

Geographic range.

Technomyrmex difficilis  is broadly distributed worldwide and recorded from the Nearctic ( Deyrup 1991), the Australian ( Shattuck 1999, Andersen 2000), the Malagasy, the Neotropical, and the Oriental ( Bolton 2007) Regions. The present record represents the first for the KSA, Yemen, and the Palearctic Region in general.