Aphaenogaster species groups

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There are a number of Aphaenogaster species groups and complexes. These have primarily served as a convenience for organizing revisionary studies that focus on a morphologically similar set of species from a particular region.

It should be noted that unpublished evidence has suggested Aphaenogaster is not monophyletic. A molecular phylogenetic study is needed to resolve this problem.

Aphaenogaster crocea group

Bračko, Lapeva-Gjonova, Salata, Borowiec & Polak (2019)

Further investigations are needed to test the hypothesis of a possible A. crocea species group among the Mediterranean Aphaenogaster that would range from the Maghreb (and perhaps Canary Islands) to Sicily, Malta and Southern Italy. In particular, it would be worth to investigate the relationship between these species and those of the A. gibbosa group.

Aphaenogaster gibbosa group

Salata and Borowiec (2018)

Aphaenogaster splendida group

Schulz (1994), Boer (2013), Borowiec and Salata (2014) and Salata and Borowiec (2018).

Aphaenogaster subterranea complex

Bračko, Lapeva-Gjonova, Salata, Borowiec and Polak (2019) - We list the Mediterranean species considered to be members of the Aphaenogaster subterranea species group, as defined by Schulz (1994), Boer (2013), and as follows. Aphaenogaster crocea [[Aphaenogaster fiorii, Aphaenogaster faureli, Aphaenogaster hesperia, Aphaenogaster sicula, and Aphaenogaster trinacriae are excluded from the list as they are considered members of a closely related, but distinct group (Alicata and Schifani 2019).

Recently published papers (Borowiec and Salata 2017, Alicata and Schifani 2019) indicate that the Apahenogaster subterranea group is very diverse and comprise several undescribed taxa. The Balkans appears to be the most species-rich region and is in need of further investigation. Results presented in this publication are a preliminary attempt to systematise our knowledge about this group, and Aphaenogaster illyrica and Aphaenogaster graeca compose a distinct complex within the Aphaenogaster subterranea group. Therefore, we decided to describe the new species in a separate paper. Other undescribed forms, mentioned in the publication, will be a subject of further study. Because the Aphaenogaster subterranea group consists of mixture of species of uncertain taxonomic status and several undescribed morphotaxa, we can provide only a generic key to the subterranea group with features focused on the graeca complex.

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