Tag Archives: Ants

Monomorium antarcticum (Fr. Smith)

Common New Zealand Ant (Monomorium antarcticum)

The genus Monomorium contains over 300 species, with six species occurring in New Zealand, only two (or three) of which are native resp. endemic to New Zealand.

Altogether about five native species are known to exist within the Polynesian region.


The Common New Zealand Ant is actually not a species but a species complex, which contains at least four distinct species, and which needs further investigation.

The ‘species’ reaches a size of about 0,3 to 0,4 cm.


In the year 1936 (and again in the year 2002) a ant species was found on the island of Rapa / Austral Islands, that was identified as this ‘species’ – these ants, which seem indeed to be native to this island, however, most probably represent another, distinct, and hitherto undescribed species from the species complex. [1][2]



[1] William Morton Wheeler: Ants from the Society, Austral, Tuamotu and Mangareva Islands. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 12(18). 1936
[2] R. A. Englund: Report for the 2002 Pacific Biological Survey, Bishop Museum Austral Islands, French Polynesia Expedition to Raivavae and Rapa Iti. prepered for: Délégation à la Recherche (Ministère de la Culture, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche), B.P. 20981 Papeete, Tahiti, Polynésie française. 2003



Photo: April Nobile

(under creative commons license (3.0))