Taylor, Robert W., 2009, Ants of the genus Lordomyrma Emery (1) Generic synonymy, composition and distribution, with notes on Ancyridris Wheeler and Cyphoidris Weber (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), Zootaxa 1979, pp. 16-28: 24

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http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.274639

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Lordomyrma   species of the Fiji islands

The Fijian Lordomyrma   were monographed and comprehensively illustrated by Sarnat (2006), supplemented by Lucky & Sarnat (2008). Five species additional to six recognized by W.M. Mann in the 1920 ’s were described. They constitute the species group of L. rugosa   . Inclusion in Lordomyrma   is readily confirmed by comparison of Figs 21-22 with those of L. azumai   ( Figs 1, 2 View FIGURES 1, 2 ), L. cryptocera   (Figs 5, 6) and L. infundibuli   (Figs 9, 10 - see also Sarnat’s (2006) figures). The group is significantly species-rich considering the size of Fiji. It evidences morphological variability much less spectacular than in the western Melanesian and New Caledonian faunas, and essentially as low as that of the Asian and Australian species. Nine of the twelve known species are from relatively well-collected Viti Levu, and two only from Vanua   Levu. L. tortuosa   is known from seven of eight investigated islands, and several Viti Levu species are widespread on other islands

Because of this high species richness and low morphological disparity, the Fijian species are of special interest relative to the very species-rich but additionally highly morphologically diverse faunas of lowland New Guinea and New Caledonia. These various faunas could well be important for analysis in comparative studies investigating the nature and mechanisms of speciation (generating species richness) and adaptive radiation (generating morphological and biotic diversity) among ants.

There seems likely to be relatively less interspecific competition between congeneric species in Fiji than in the more richly concentrated Lordomyrma   faunas of lowland New Guinea and New Caledonia. These differences in relative species density might have influenced the levels of morphological divergence in the several faunas, as effects resulting from ecological displacement among related competing species. The two main Fijian Islands, Viti Levu and Vanua   Levu, are together about as large as mainland New Caledonia - their areas are 4, 0 0 1 sq.mi. (c. 10, 360 sq.km.) and 2, 137 sq.mi. (c. 5, 535 sq.km.) respectively ( Robson 1963).

The collection and study of Fijian Lordomyrma   species (and those of other ant genera significantly species-rich on the islands - e.g. Hypoponera   , Leptogenys   , Gnamptogenys   , Strumigenys   , Pheidole   , Camponotus   and others, along with the endemic myrmicine genus Poecilomyrma   ) deserves special scientific attention, and highlights the need for more vigorous conservation of the remaining stands of native Fijian rain forest.