Rhoptromyrmex mayri Forel

Bolton, B., 1979, The ant tribe Tetramoriini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The genus Tetramorium Mayr in the Malagasy region and in the New World., Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology 38, pp. 129-181: 173

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Rhoptromyrmex mayri Forel


Rhoptromyrmex mayri Forel  HNS 

Rhoptromyrmex mayri Forel  HNS  , 1912: 57. Syntype females, India: Poona (Wroughton) (BMNH) [examined]. Hagioxenus mayri (Forel)  HNS  ; Brown, 1964 / 3: 19.

Brown (1964 b) indicated that this species was not a member of Rhoptromyrmex  HNS  and proposed that it be transferred to genus Hagioxenus Forel, where it was left in the first part of this study (Bolton, 1976). Since then I have found four syntype females in the BMNH collection and dissection of two of them has shown that mayri  HNS  is in fact correctly placed in Rhoptromyrmex  HNS  , to which genus it is now formally returned.

The only Rhoptromyrmex  HNS  species known from workers in India is R. wroughtonii Forel  HNS  , and strangely the female of this species has not yet been discovered. It is tempting to assume that mayri  HNS  represents the unknown female of wroughtonii  HNS  but the differences between worker and queen seem greater than can be accounted for by the presumed parasitic lifeway of the females of this genus. In particular the pilosity in the queens representing mayri  HNS  is much more dense and conspicuous than in wroughtonii  HNS  workers, with spectacularly long hairs arising all over the legs and antennal scapes, which are absent from wroughtonii  HNS  workers. On its own this character may not be significant but I think it best to leave the two separate until queen-associated samples of wroughtonii  HNS  are forthcoming.