Solenopsis maboya

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Solenopsis maboya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: molesta
Species: S. maboya
Binomial name
Solenopsis maboya
Snelling, R.R., 2001

Solenopsis maboya was collected in a moist forest and nests in the ground (Snelling, 2001).


A New World thief ant that is a member of the molesta species complex. (Key to New World Solenopsis Species Complexes)

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - The worker is very small (1.14 mm TL) and uniformly yellow in color. The head and pronotum are semi-coarsely punctate. The notopropodeal suture is not well depressed, but the groove breaks the sculpture of the mesosoma. The eyes is small with three ommatidia. Both the petiolar peduncle and postpetiole lack a tooth or flange ventrally. Queen - The queen is small and medium brown in color with lighter brown appendages. Both the lateral and extralateral teeth are blunt and short. The frontal lobes are vertically striated. The sides of the propodeum, petiole and postpetiolar are horizontally striated.

The workers of Solenopsis maboya are most similar to Solenopsis corticalis. They can be separated as S. corticalis has less developed lateral clypeal teeth, a longer posterior propodeal margin and a longer petiolar peduncle than S. maboya. Solenopsis maboya is similar to Solenopsis pygmaea as well but can be separated as S. pygmaea has a coarser cephalic punctures and a more elongated head.

Both the queens of S. maboya and S. pygmaea have coarse cephalic punctures, separating them from the finely punctate, smooth and shiny head of S. corticalis. The queen of S. pygmaea is much larger than the queen of S. maboya at 5.0 mm total length compared to just under 3.0 mm for S. maboya. The queen of S. maboya is further separated from S. pygmaea and S. corticalis as the frontal lobes are vertically striated, a feature lacking with S. pygmaea and S. maboya.

Solenopsis maboya resembles Solenopsis pollux, but can be distinguished as the head is larger as compared to the mesosoma and it has a small triangular-shaped petiolar node, as compared to the more rounded node in S. pollux.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 12.102° to 12.102°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Grenada, Puerto Rico (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.




Males have yet to be collected.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • maboya. Solenopsis maboya Snelling, R.R. 2001: 518, figs. 8-13 (w.q.) PUERTO RICO.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, paratype workers, paratype queens (numbers not stated, “numerous”).
    • Type-locality: holotype Puerto Rico: Guaynabo, 14.ii.1999, #82 (J.A. Torres); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: LACM (holotype); AEPR, BMNH, LACM, MCZC, USNM, WEMC (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 214 (redescription).
    • Distribution: Puerto Rico.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=2). TL 1.14; HL 0.360; HW 0.282; EL 0.036; ED 0.024; SL 0.240; FSL 0.078; CI 78.3; SI 66.7; PL 0.048; PW 0.072; PI 66.7; PPL 0.078; PPW 0.102-0.108 (0.105); PPI 72.2-76.5 (74.3); WL 0.240; PSL 0.030; PSW 0.024.

Small; concolorous yellow; head, longer than wide, sides nearly straight, slightly wider anteriorly, semi-coarsely punctate; lateral clypeal teeth well developed, extralateral teeth angulate; clypeal carinae well defined; eye small, three ommatidia; scape does not reach posterior border of head; minor funicular segments 3-8 short; pronotum semi-coarsely punctate, smooth and shiny between punctures; mesopleuron smooth and shiny; notopropodeal suture depressed, groove breaks sculpture of mesosoma; posterior propodeal margin rounded; propodeal spiracle small; metapleuron horizontally striated; anterior and posterior faces of petiolar node subparallel, peduncle lacking tooth or flange ventrally; postpetiolar node semicircular, postpetiole lacking tooth or flange ventrally.

Abundantly hairy, pilosity yellow; erect and suberect hairs of various lengths covering all body surfaces; hairs on dorsum of mesosoma (0.030-0.060 mm); hairs on petiole, postpetiole and gaster curve posteriorly.


Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=1). TL 2.76; HL 0.510; HW 0.456; EL 0.168; ED 0.144; MOL 0.054; MOD 0.060; SL 0.360; FSL 0.150; CI 89.4; SI 70.6; PSL 0.048; PSW 0.042; PL 0.072; PW 0.198; PI 36.4; PPL 0.168; PPW 0.258; PPI 65.1; WL 0.720.

Small; concolorous brown, lighter brown appendages; head, longer than wide, sides nearly straight, coarsely punctate; lateral and extralateral teeth blunt, short; clypeal carinae well defined; frontal lobes vertically striated; eyes large, extend 0.060 mm past lateral margin of head; scapes long, reach past medial ocellus; minor funicular segments 3-8 long; medial ocellus small, without pigment; pronotum coarsely punctate, smooth and shiny between punctures; posterior propodeal margin rounded; propodeal spiracle small, round; side ofpropodeum striated; petiolar node triangular, horizontally striated, peduncle lacking tooth or flange ventrally; postpetiolar node semicircular, side horizontally striated, postpetiole lacking tooth or flange ventrally.

Abundantly hairy, pilosity yellow; erect and suberect hairs of various lengths covering all body surfaces; scapes with numerous hairs of various lengths (longest 0.102 mm); hairs abundant on dorsum of mesosoma (0.060-0.120 mm); hairs on petiole and postpetiole curve posteriorly, longest hairs up to 0.180 mm in total length.

Type Material

Puerto Rico, Guaynabo, 14-ii-1999, JA Torres #82 (2 paratype workers, 1 paratype queen William and Emma Mackay Collection).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Pacheco J. A., and W. P. Mackay. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 501 pp.