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Pests > Pests Entities > Insects > Ants, bees, wasps & sawflies > Ants > Monomorium, Cook Is
January 2006. A “new” ant found outside of a house in Cook Islands was sent for identification. It was thought to be a Monomorium species. Cook Ilands does not have a bicoloured species with dimorphic workers on the ant list. There was no microscope to show the number of ommatidia, which seems like a useful feature.
It was thought to be Monomorium floricola, a monomorphic species, the larger individual is a wingless queen. However, Cook Islands responded that the key of Neil Reimer (Hawaii DoA) was used and although the small ant fitted Monomorium floricola, big one caused some doubt. If the large individuals are wingless queens, is it typical behaviour for them to be out feeding with the workers? Are these wingless queens going to establish new colonies or are there winged queens for this purpose?
In response, a member said that wingless queens have been seen out and about, particularly in June/July in Tokelau. They were probably not feeding, establishing a new nest, or moving from the old site if it became unsuitable, which may be the case if there is quite a few of them on the go at the same time.
It was also said, that it is not uncommon for queens of some ant genera, e.g. Iridomyrmex, to habitually walkabout with the workers. This habit means that when the workers are inadvertently carried in cargoes etc., the queens go with them, and are then available to establish colonies in new places. Iridomyrmex, and probably your Monomorium species, have wide geographical distribution.