Genus Oecophylla F.Smith (1860b: 101)
A monogeneric tribe OECOPHYLLINI.
The genus definition by F Smith (1860b) is at . Note that Smith notes F. virescens
as found in "Australia and South Africa".
What one might call the traditional view of the genus is
as follows -
Colloquially known as weaver ants. There is only one
species in Africa, another, Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius
(1775: 828), is found in Asia and Australasia. Wheeler (1922: 227) gave
simple criteria for separating the two species as -
smaragdina with the petiole very slender, its stigmata seen
from above very prominent, its ventral surface nearly straight or very
feebly convex in profile.
longinoda s.s. has a stouter and higher petiole, with the
stigmata not prominent from above, and the ventral surface strongly
convex in profile.
The petiole differences are clear and the alitrunk is more domed in smaragdina
(compare also the drawing from Emery, 1925b).
The reality is that both the Asian-Australasian and
African populations of Oecophylla genus members appear to be
made up of more than one and possibly several species. My concern here,
however, is with the African species and it is for someone else to
tackle the Asian-Australasian members.
The African situation, therefore is
set out on the "Oecophylla
longinoda" variability page