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Genus: Aphaenogaster   Mayr, 1853 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Extant: 188 species, 41 subspecies

Fossil: 18 species

Aphaenogaster Mayr, 1853c PDF: 107 . Type-species: Aphaenogaster sardoa, by subsequent designation of Bingham, 1903 PDF: 270. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Aphaenogaster in Myrmicinae: Mayr, 1855 PDF: 466 [Myrmicidae]; Mayr, 1865: 19 [Myrmicidae]; Emery & Forel, 1879a: 461 [Myrmicidae]; Cresson, 1887 PDF: 260 [Myrmicidae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF}: 98.
Aphaenogaster in Myrmicinae, Pheidolini: Emery, 1877b PDF: 81 [Pheidolidae]; Emery, 1914e: 40; Forel, 1917 PDF: 241; Emery, 1921c: 55 [subtribe Stenammini]; Wheeler, 1922: 661; Brown, 1949a PDF}: 48; Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 131; all subsequent authors.
Aphaenogaster as junior synonym of Atta: Mayr, 1863a PDF: 395.
Aphaenogaster as genus: Emery, 1908d PDF: 309; all subsequent authors.
Genus Aphaenogaster references
Mayr, 1855 PDF: 466 (diagnosis); Roger, 1863b: 29 (catalogue); Mayr, 1865: 19 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1867a PDF: 92 (diagnosis); Forel, 1874 PDF: 74 (Switzerland species key); André, 1883b: 348 (Europe & Algeria species key); Mayr, 1886d PDF: 443 (U.S.A. species key); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 260 (U.S.A. catalogue); Emery, 1888: 531 (Aphaenogaster (Ischnomyrmex) species key); Nasonov, 1889: 74 (Russia species key); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 98 (catalogue); Forel, 1903a PDF: 693 (India & Sri Lanka species key); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 270 (India, Sri Lanka & Burma species key); Ruzsky, 1905b: 714 (Russian Empire species key); Emery, 1908d PDF: 310 (Palaearctic species key); Bondroit, 1910 PDF: 495 (Belgium species key); Emery, 1916a PDF: 132 (Italy species key); Wheeler, 1916r: 585 (U.S.A., Connecticut species key); Wheeler, 1916n PDF: 213 (Australia species); Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 156 (France & Belgium species key); Emery, 1921c: 55 (diagnosis, subgenera key, catalogue); Emery, 1921c: 56, 61, 64, 65 (Attomyrma); Emery, 1921c: 66 (Novomessor diagnosis, catalogue); Wheeler, 1922: 680 (subgenera key); Wheeler, 1922: 1016, 1029 (Aphaenogaster, Brunella catalogues); Wheeler & Creighton, 1934 PDF: 348 (Novomessor species key); Menozzi, 1939a PDF: 296 (Himalaya & Tibet species key); Stitz, 1939: 112 (Germany species key); Kratochvíl, 1941b: 81 (Central Europe species key); Novák & Sadil, 1941 PDF: 81 (Central Europe species key); Cole, 1942 PDF: 363 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Buren, 1944a PDF: 284 (U.S.A., Iowa species key); Creighton, 1950a PDF: 140, 155 (North America Aphaenogaster, Novomessor species keys); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 131 (Asia checklist); Smith, 1961b PDF: 218 (New Guinea species key); Gregg, 1963: 336 (U.S.A., Colorado species key); Bernard, 1967a PDF: 128 (diagnosis, Western Europe species key); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 22, 166 (Neotropical Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma), Novomessor catalogues); Arnol'di, 1976b PDF: 1023 (former U.S.S.R. species key); Kutter, 1977c: 77 (Switzerland species key); Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 536 (former European U.S.S.R. species key); Collingwood, 1978 PDF: 79 (Iberian Peninsula species key); Smith, 1979: 1359 (North America catalogue); Allred, 1982: 439 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 54 (Australia catalogue); Gösswald, 1985: 298 (Germany species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1986g PDF: 35 (U.S.A., Nevada species key); Taylor, 1987a PDF: 8 (Australia checklist); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 269 (Balkans species key); Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 79 (synoptic classification); Dlussky, Soyunov & Zabelin, 1990 PDF: 211 (Turkmenistan species key); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 326 (Neotropical catalogue); Morisita, Kubota, et al. 1992: 15 (Japan species key); Atanasov & Dlussky, 1992: 107 (Bulgaria species key); Schulz, 1994a PDF: 425 (Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma), partial key); Arakelian, 1994 PDF: 29 (Armenia species key); Bolton, 1994: 106 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1048 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 68 (catalogue); Wu & Wang, 1995a: 110 (China species key); Umphrey, 1996 PDF: 557 (North America Aphaenogaster fulva complex key); Cagniant, 1996A: 67 (Morocco species key); Seifert, 1996B: 156 (Central Europe species key); Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 13 (Portugal species key); Shattuck, 1999: 126 (Australia synopsis); Park & Kim, 2000: 108 (Korea species key); Zhou, 2001A PDF: 142 (China, Guangxi species key); Mackay & MacKay, 2002 PDF: 60 (U.S.A., New Mexico species key); Longino & Cover, 2004 PDF: 1 (Aphaenogaster phalangium complex revision); Radchenko, 2005B PDF: 192 (North Korea species key); Seifert, 2007: 144 (North and Central Europe species key); Shattuck, 2008A PDF: 27 (Australia species revision, key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 164 (Taiwan species key); Heterick, 2009 PDF: 144 (south-western Australia species key); Kiran & Alipanah, 2013 PDF (Iranian species key); Boer, 2013 PDF (testaceopilosa-group diagnosis, description revision, Europe species synopsis, Europe species key for workers, gynes and males; Europe Aphaenogaster species key); Borowiec & Salata, 2014 PDF (Mediterranean Aphaenogaster cecconii species-group revision; species key).

Taxon Page Images:

Aphaenogaster fulva
Image copyright Alex Wild.


Aphaenogaster is a genus of elongate, slender ants, which are very fast and agile in the field. Most species nest in the soil under stones or logs; some of the desert species nest in the soil with the nest entrance surrounded by pebbles. These ants are omnivorous, collecting dead insects and tending Homoptera or collect nectar. The colonies are moderately large to very large. This is a common genus in New Mexico and occurs in all habitats, but is especially common in desert regions.
(Modified from Mackay and Mackay, 2002).


These ants can usually be easily distinguished by their elongate, slender habitus (general appearance). Their head is usually longer than broad, eye large, convex and placed at the middle of the head. The mesonotum of the worker is elongate and depressed, the propodeum usually has a pair of spines or small teeth. The workers could be confused with the minor workers of Pheidole, but differ in usually being much larger (over 3 mm total length, usually less than 3 mm in Pheidole), and that the antennal club is poorly defined and consists of four segments (well defined in Pheidole and usually consisting of three segments).
(From Mackay and Mackay, 2002).


Mackay, W.P. and Mackay, E.E. (2002). The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Edwin Mullen Press, Lewiston: 400 pp.

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-08-20 06:25:45 Zach Lieberman modified Images
On 2012-04-21 06:48:59 Alex Wild modified Images
On 2012-04-21 06:48:43 Alex Wild modified Images

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