The genus Crematogaster is one of the most species-rich and widespread groups of ants. Despite their often-high local abundance and important ecological interactions, the taxonomy of the genus is fragmentary and in great need of modern revisionary studies. As a first step towards a revision for the Arabian fauna of Crematogaster, a review of all known species with synoptic species accounts is provided. Seventeen species are recognized and illustrated from the Arabian Peninsula, of which two new species are described: C. jacindae Sharaf & Hita Garcia, sp. nov. from the Dhofar Governorate, Oman, and C. gryllsi Sharaf & Hita Garcia, sp. nov. from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) based on the worker caste. Crematogaster jacindae sp. nov. is easily separated from the remainder of the Arabian Crematogaster fauna due to its complete lack of propodeal spines, slit-shaped propodeal spiracles, and its distinct bicoloration, whereas C. gryllsi sp. nov. is readily distinguished by its unlobed postpetiolar dorsum. Furthermore, new country records are presented: C. acaciae Forel for the KSA and Yemen, and C. delagoensis Forel and C. jehovae Forel for the KSAC. antaris for Qatar, whereas C. luctans Forel is excluded from the Arabian fauna. In addition, on the basis of morphological examination of original type material, C. affabilis Forel is proposed as junior synonym of C. chiarinii Mayr, and C. striaticeps is elevated to species rank stat. nov. Furthermore, a new identification key for the Arabian species is provided, as well as distribution maps for all species.
Keywords: Arabian Peninsula; Asir Mountains; Dhofar Governorate; Middle East; Qatar; new records; new species; new status; new synonymy; taxonomy.
Mostafa R. Sharaf, Abdulrahman S. Aldawood, Francisco Hita Garcia.