About Factsheets

Diagnostic Chart
Comparison Chart
Video Clip
Image Gallery
Links and references


The synopsis section gives a brief description of the worker caste, concentrating on identification characters used in the interactive key, diagnostic chart, and comparison chart. Terms appearing in the overview section are linked to their definitions in the illustrated glossary. To see whether a term is included in the glossary, hover the mouse over the text. If the text becomes underlined, click on it to see the definition. The overview section also discusses species of similar morphology and how to differentiate among them. Although a brief mention of the potential environmental, agricultural and public health impacts is given when appropriate, the primary objective of PIAkey is to assist with specimen identification. Once the identity of the species is determined, the user can access additional resources for more information about ecology, impacts and management.

Diagnostic chart

The diagnostic chart illustrates the unique combination of character states that will distinguish the factsheet species from all other species included in PIAkey. Please remember that native species, and possibly other invasive species not included in PIAkey, might also fit the diagnosis. After examining the line drawing for a general illustration of the character state, click on the adjacent photograph to see how the character state is specifically observed in the factsheet species.

Comparison chart

The comparison chart illustrates the differences between the factsheet species and the other PIAkey species for which it might be confused. The photographs and line drawings link to larger images for a more detailed examination. Click on the "species" dropdown menu at the top of the page to explore the factsheets for the other species included in the comparison chart.

Video clip

Short video segments are available for many of the PIAkey species commonly encountered at artificial baits. The segments were taken in Fiji with a tripod-mounted video camera, and include ruler (units in millimeters) and an artificial bait (peanut butter, or a cotton ball soaked in sugar solution) placed on a neutral-gray card. All videos play back at actual speed.

Image gallery

All factsheets include specimen images, and some also include live images. The "CASENT" (California Academy of Sciences, Entomology) numbers included in the specimen image captions refer to the unique identifier number for that particular specimen. Any "EMS" numbers that appear in the captions are referenced to a field collection made and recorded by Eli Sarnat. Additional specimen images for all PIAkey species can be found on the online resource Antweb. Additional live photographs of many PIAkey species can be found at Alex Wild's Myrmecos website. See the Illustration section from more details on photographic images.


The nomenclature section summarizes the taxonomic history, including the current valid name, species author, synonyms and subspecies. The information is copied directly from Antweb, which is itself based on Bolton (1995) and Bolton et al. (2005). Several PIAkey taxa are treated as "species group" or "species complexes." Both terms reflect a lack of taxonomic confidence that the taxa in question represent a single discrete species, or an acknowledgment that several biological species are commonly identified under the umbrella of a single species name.

Links and references

The links and references section offers a limited list of external resources for additional identification aides and information pertaining to the ecology, impacts and management. Oftentimes, many more informational resources for the factsheet species are available than the few listed.