Current View: All Antweb
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.86.1. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Species: Liometopum occidentale   Emery, 1895 

Download Data

Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Liometopum microcephalum var. occidentale Emery, 1895d PDF: 330 (w.m.) U.S.A. (California). Nearctic. Primary type information: Primary type material: syntype workers (number not stated), 1 syntype male. Primary type locality: workers U.S.A.: California, San Jacinto (no collector’s name) (by restriction of Creighton, 1950a PDF: 339). Primary type depositories: MCZC, MSNG. Type notes: 1) Creighton, 1950a PDF: 339, records that part of the type series is in MCZC, which Shattuck, 1994 PDF: 130, cites as 1 worker, 1 queen; the queen is not mentioned in the original description. 2) Other original syntype locality: male California, Mariposa (no collector’s name). AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Taxon Page Images:

Liometopum occidentale velvety tree ant workers tending larvae of the copper butterfly Lycaena xanthoides. The caterpillars produce a substance attractive to the ants, and the ants provide protection from predators and parasites. Kern County, California, USA.
Image © Alex Wild. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Mexico, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:



Typically associated with deciduous trees (not conifers), often oaks (Quercus spp.).


In the North American fauna, L. occidentale may be recognized by its bicolored pattern, abundantly hairy gastral dorsum, and distribution (see map).

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 48 times found in oak woodland, 38 times found in riparian woodland, 12 times found in chaparral, 12 times found in valley riparian woodland, 8 times found in gully riparian woodland, 5 times found in Quercus-Pinus-Pseudotsuga forest, 4 times found in riparian vegetation, 3 times found in Quercus-Pinus-Pseudotsuga, 1 times found in chaparral/oak woods, 1 times found in open, grassy area, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 25 times ground forager(s), 25 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 12 times on tree trunk, 6 times on Arctostaphylos, 6 times on low vegetation, 3 times on trunk of valley oak, 4 times pitfall trap, 3 times ex rotten log, 4 times under rock, 1 times column on base of oak tree, 3 times foraging on trunk of oak, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 25 times tunafish bait, 15 times hand collecting, 14 times pitfall trap, 7 times Bay Area Ant Survey (BAAS), 4 times direct collection, 4 times search, 4 times malaise trap, 3 times Winkler sifter, 3 times light trap collecting, 2 times 6L sifted litter, extracted in Winkler sack over 48 hours, 2 times at light, ...

Elevations: collected from 2 - 3114 meters, 483 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1905-05-02 00:00:00.0 and 2022-03-20 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Liometopum microcephalum occidentale: casent0905042

See something amiss? Send us an email.
Log In to see maps.