The Ants of Africa
Genus Solenopsis
  Solenopsis semilaevis Mayr - revived status

Solenopsis semilaevis Mayr - revived status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location South Africa (Solenopsis semilaevis nov. spec., Mayr, 1901b: 15, minor; in Oligomyrmex (Aeromyrma) by Emery 1915c: 59) Port Elizabeth - see below
Minor described (see Bolton, 1995) .

The "subspecies" hewitti (Oligomyrmex (Aeromyrma) Hewitti n. sp., Santschi, 1919a: 341, illustrated, major & minor; synonymy Arnold, 1926: 236) from South Africa, Grahamstown, Cape Province, Hewitt - is readily separable.  it is a distinct Oligomyrmex and is not related to semilaevis. See Oligomyrmex hewitti.

Mayr's (1901b) description is at {original description}. Arnold (1916: 247) gave a translation, this is at {original description}.

Solenopsis semilaevisThe photomontage is of a syntype minor worker collated from

Emery (1915c: 58), reviewing the Solenopsis of Africa, wrote of S. semilaevis from South Africa - "this species has the clypeus without teeth and the mandible with five teeth, with the masticatory margin slightly oblique". He continued that as - "In general, the Solenopsis have the clypeus armed with four teeth, or at least two, .... with a more oblique margin to the mandible, with five teeth, or by anolamy in large species, five teeth". As the workers of the genus Aeromyrma had 10-segmented antennae, as do the workers of Solenopsis, he felt this species, of which no major was known, and, as the workers of the latter have no teeth on the clypeus and five teeth on the mandibles, this should be assigned to the genus (or subgenus) Aeromyrma. It seems from his text, however, that Emery relied on Mayr's description. The type image shown here is clearly a Solenopsis in form and the presence of a well formed minute eye.

Thus, I am restoring it to the genus Solenopsis. Another Solenopsis from the Cape of Good Hope described by Mayr (1866b) was the queen of Solenopsis capensis. Mayr noted that as differing from S. fugax by having a clypeus without cariane, with only minute teeth.

The worker is smaller than Solenopsis africana and has a relatively wider postpetiole viewed from above.

2007, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.