The Systematics and Biology of the New World Thief Ants of the Genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formic (BOK)
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Thief ants are among the most common ants in nearly all terrestrial habitats. In this book a new scheme of well-defined species complexes is outlined, doing away with the ambiguities of previous schemes. Well-illustrated keys, in Spanish and English offer recognition of slightly over 80 species, all diagnosed, described, and illustrated. The New World thief ant group of the genus Solenopsis is revised. Although it may not be a monophyletic taxon, the species can be defined as tiny (1.5 mm total length, some species have larger majors) predominately yellow ants; the funicular segments are about as long as wide. The clypeus nearly always has two carinae which diverge anteriorly and usually terminate in small teeth. There is a single seta at the midpoint of the anterior margin of the clypeus. Seventy-four taxa are recognized and 12 new species are described, totaling 86 species. Species limits were based on distinct disparities in overall morphology among specimens. All available subspecies, stirps, races and varieties were examined. Decisions for synonymy or revised species status were also based on geographic and ecological grouping when such information was available. Major taxonomic changes are proposed, including the synonymy of many taxa. Diagnoses of the worker, female and male castes are included. All castes are described when available, accompanied by illustrations, measurements, discussions, locality maps, with keys provided for the identification of the workers.