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Species: Anochetus rufus   (Jerdon, 1851) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Odontomachus rufus Jerdon, 1851 PDF: 116 (w.) INDIA (Tamil Nadu). Indomalaya. Primary type information: Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated). Type-locality: India: Southern India, Salem Distr. (= Tamil Nadu), under stones in jungle (T.C. Jerdon) (by restriction of Brown, 1978c PDF: 593); other syntype 1 worker Southern India, Wynaad (= Kerala) (T.C. Jerdon). Type-depository: no material is known to exist. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Duplicated in Jerdon, 1854b PDF: 100.]
Combination in Anochetus: Emery, 1892f PDF: 561
Senior synonym of Anochetus mordax: Brown, 1978c PDF: 558; Bolton, 1995b: 65.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Asia: India
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:


Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Brown, WL Jr.,, 1978, Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography., Studia Entomologica 20, pp. 549-638

[20] A. rufusHNS,

originally placed by Jerdon in OdontomachusHNS, was accepted by Emery as an AnochetusHNS. Though there is little in the description of diagnostic value, the size (" 1 -4th of an inch") and color, "head, thorax and legs rufous; abdomen dark brown", fit fairly well the type series of A. mordaxHNS, of which the type locality is Dohnavur, 300 feet, «Tinnevelly» (Tirunelveli) District, now in Madras State, India. The type locality for rufusHNS as here restricted is Salem District, Madras State, about 300 km N of Tirunelveli. Jerdon also says of rufusHNS that the petiole is "raised, pointed and conic", which applies better to a side view of A. mordaxHNS than to such other large AnochetusHNS species from peninsular India as kanariensisHNS or sedillotiHNS.

Jerdon also refers to a larger (11/24 inch) ant from Wynaad District (Kerala State) with finely striated thorax and "teeth of the jaw blunt" as a possible «warrior» caste of rufusHNS, but this description evidently refers to Odontomachus simillimusHNS, which I found to be abundant in Wynaad in 1969.

While it seems impossible to be certain that rufusHNS and mordax refer to the same biological species, acceptance of this synonymy does no violence to the known facts, and it settles a nomenclatorial problem that has persisted in the literature for many years.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Elevations: collected at 107 m

Collect Date Range: collected on 1938-09-30

Type specimens: Holotype of Anochetus mordax: casent0902447

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