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Although Pelicinus Simon and its type species P. marmoratus Simon were initially described from Saint Vincent in the Lesser Antilles, we hypothesize that Pelicinus is primarily an Old World genus, occurring natively in both southern Asia and Australasia. The type species has attained an anomalously pantropical distribution, and has been described at least eight times, in at least seven different genera; all those synonyms were based on island populations. Myrmopopaea jacobsoni Reimoser from Sumatra, Gamasomorpha minima Berland from the Phoenix Islands, Triaeris pusillus (Bryant) from the Virgin Islands, Scaphiella ula Suman from Hawaii, and P. mahei (Benoit) from the Seychelles are newly synonymized with P. marmoratus, and the species is newly recorded from the Bahama Islands, Brazil, Kenya, and the Marshall Islands. Myrmopopaea Reimoser and Harryoonops Makhan and Ezzatpanah are placed as junior synonyms of Pelicinus. The bulk of the species-level diversity of Pelicinus occurs in Australia. Here we treat only those members of the genus that occur outside that continent; 16 new species are described from Iran (P. sengleti), India (P. lachivala, P. madurai), Thailand (P. deelemanae, P. schwendingeri, P. sayam, P. khao), Laos (P. tham), Vietnam (P. duong), Malaysia (P. penang, P. johor), the Solomon Islands (P. churchillae), Fiji (P. raveni), and New Caledonia (P. monteithi, P. damieu, P. koghis).