Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.87. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Genus: Aphaenogaster   Mayr, 1853 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 206 valid species, 16 valid subspecies

Fossil: 16 valid 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 PDF: 19 [Myrmicidae]; Dours, 1873 PDF: 167 [Myrmicidae]; Forel, 1874 PDF: 73 [Myrmicidae]; Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 461 [Myrmicidae]; Cresson, 1887 PDF: 260 [Myrmicidae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 98 [Myrmicinae].
Aphaenogaster as junior synonym of Atta: Smith, 1858a PDF: 161; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 395.
Aphaenogaster as subgenus of Stenamma: Emery, 1895b PDF: 179 (footnote); Emery, 1895d PDF: 298; Emery, 1895l PDF: 769; Forel, 1903a PDF: 693; Forel, 1906b PDF: 87.
Aphaenogaster as genus: Mayr, 1863a PDF: 458; Roger, 1863b PDF: 29; Mayr, 1865 PDF: 19; Dours, 1873 PDF: 167; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 98; Emery, 1908d PDF: 309; Emery, 1914e PDF: 40; Forel, 1917 PDF: 241; Emery, 1921c PDF: 56; Wheeler, 1922: 1016; subsequent authors; Bolton, 1995b: 20; Bolton, 2003 PDF: 64, 229, 273.
Aphaenogaster as senior synonym of Sinaphaenogaster: Bolton, 2003 PDF: 230, 273.
Genus Aphaenogaster catalogues
Roger, 1863b PDF: 29; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 395 (Atta); Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 461 (Europe); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 260 (U.S.A.); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 98; Emery, 1921c PDF: 56, 61, 64, 65, 66 (Aphaenogaster, Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Nystalomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma), Aphaenogaster (Planimyrma)); Wheeler, 1922: 1016, 1029 (Malagasy Aphaenogaster, Brunella); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 131 (Asia); Smith, 1951c PDF: 795 (North America Aphaenogaster); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 22 (Neotropical Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma)); Smith, 1979: 1359 (North America); Taylor & Brown, 1985: 54 (Australia); Taylor, 1987a PDF: 8 (Australia); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 326 (Neotropical); Bolton, 1995b: 68; Fisher & Bolton, 2016: 198 (Malagasy checklist).
Genus Aphaenogaster references
Mayr, 1855 PDF: 466 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1861 PDF: 66 (Europe species key, as Atta); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 19 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1867a PDF: 92 (diagnosis); André, 1874c: 195 (Europe species key); Forel, 1874 PDF: 74 (Switzerland species key); André, 1883b: 348 (Europe, Algeria species key); Mayr, 1886d PDF: 443 (U.S.A. species key); Emery, 1888: 531 (Aphaenogaster (Ischnomyrmex) species key); Nasonov, 1889: 74 (Russia species key); 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 PDF: 55 (diagnosis, subgenera key); Emery, 1921c PDF: 56, 61, 64, 65, 66 (Aphaenogaster, Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Nystalomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma), Aphaenogaster (Planimyrma), Novomessor diagnoses); Wheeler, 1922: 680 (subgenera key); Santschi, 1933d PDF: 389 (Aphaenogaster (Aphaenogaster) taxonomy); Menozzi, 1939a PDF: 296 (Himalaya, Tibet species key); Stitz, 1939: 112 (Germany species key); Kratochvíl, 1941b PDF: 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 (Nearctic species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1953b PDF: 54, 63 (larval diagnosis, Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma)); 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); Arnol'di, 1976b PDF: 1023 (former U.S.S.R. species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1977a PDF: 583, 584 (larval diagnosis, Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma), Aphaenogaster (Deromyrma)); 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); Allred, 1982: 439 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Gösswald, 1985: 298 (Germany species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1986g PDF: 35 (U.S.A., Nevada species key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 269 (Balkans species key); Dlussky & Fedoseeva, 1988: 79 (synoptic classification); Dlussky et al., 1990 PDF: 211 (Turkmenistan species key); Ogata, 1991b PDF: 83 (diagnosis, Japan); Morisita et al., 1992: 15 (Japan species key); Atanassov & 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); 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); Dlussky, 1997a PDF: 57 (in Baltic amber genera key); Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 13 (Portugal species key); Shattuck, 1999: 126 (Australia synopsis); Park & Kim, 2000a PDF: 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, all species revision, key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 164 (Taiwan species key); Heterick, 2009 PDF: 144 (south-western Australia species key); Eguchi et al., 2011 PDF: 11 (diagnosis, Vietnam synopsis); Kiran & Alipanah, 2013 PDF: 49 (Iran species key); Cagniant & Galkowski, 2013 PDF: 179 (Morocco species, emended key); Boer, 2013 PDF: 62, 63 (Europe Aphaenogaster, Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa group keys); Borowiec & Salata, 2014a PDF: 42 (Mediterranean Aphaenogaster cecconii group revision, key); Demarco & Cognato, 2015 10.1093/aesa/sau013 PDF: 1 (phylogeny); Salata & Borowiec, 2016 10.11646/zootaxa.4170.1.13 PDF: 194 (Aphaenogaster cecconii group key); Fisher & Bolton, 2016: 197 (diagnosis); Radchenko, 2016: 166 (Ukraine species key); Mackay & Dash, 2016 10.3157/061.142.0108 PDF: 3 (Aphaenogaster phalangium complex key, revision); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 185 (brief male diagnosis); Sharaf et al., 2018 10.20362/am.010004 PDF: 17 (Arabia species key); Salata & Borowiec, 2018a 10.20362/am.010002 PDF: 12 (Aphaenogaster gibbosa group key); Gómez et al., 2018 10.13102/sociobiology.v65i2.2099 PDF: 221 (Iberian species key); Bračko et al., 2019 10.3897/zookeys.862.32946 PDF: 105 (Aphaenogaster graeca complex key); Fernández & Serna, 2019 PDF: 799 (Colombia species key); Jessen, 2020 10.1007/s12549-019-00406-2 PDF: 21 (Oligocene diagnosis); Csosz et al., 2021 DOI 10.7717/peerj.10900 PDF: 15 (Malagasy, all species revision, key); Salata et al., 2021 10.3161/00034541ANZ2021.71.2.008 PDF: 300 (Aphaenogaster splendida species group key); Schifani et al., 2021 10.13133/2284-4880/482 PDF: 21 (Aphaenogaster crocea group); Heterick, 2021 10.18195/issn.0313-122x.86.2021.001-245 PDF: 156 (Western Australia species key); Schifani et al., 2022 10.3897/asp.80.e84428 PDF: 634 (phylogeny, West-Palearctic species groups), 636 (new species groups classification).

Taxon Page Images:

Aphaenogaster fulva
Image copyright Alex Wild. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Algeria, Canary Islands, Madagascar, Morocco, Tunisia
    Americas: Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States
    Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Borneo, China, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicobar Island, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam
    Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom
    Oceania: Australia, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Australasia, Indomalaya, Malagasy, Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania, Palearctic
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Australasia, Indomalaya, Malagasy, Nearctic, Neotropical, Palearctic


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.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Aphaenogaster   Emery, C., 1908, Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) (Fortsetzung.). 3. Die mit Aphaenogaster verwandte Gattungen-gruppe., Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1908, pp. 305-338: 314, (download) 314 3843
Aphaenogaster   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 31, (download) 31 21008
Aphaenogaster   Emery, C., 1908, Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) (Fortsetzung.). 3. Die mit Aphaenogaster verwandte Gattungen-gruppe., Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1908, pp. 305-338: 309-310, (download) 309-310 3843
Aphaenogaster   Mohamed, S., Zalat, S. & Fadl, H., 2001, Taxonomy of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected by pitfall traps from Sinai and Delta region, Egypt., Egyptian Journal of Natural History 3, pp. 40-61: 49, (download) 49 21622
Aphaenogaster   Forel, A., 1891, Histoire naturelle des Hymenopteres. Deuxieme partie: Les Formicides., Histoire Physique, Naturelle et Politique de Madagascar., Paris: L'Imprimerie Nationale, pp. 1-231: 166, (download) 166 6734
Aphaenogaster   Eguchi, K., Viet, B. T. & Yamane, S., 2011, Generic synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera), Part I - Myrmicinae and Pseudomyrmicinae., Zootaxa 2878, pp. 1-61: 12, (download) 12 23462
Aphaenogaster   Shattuck, S. O., 2008, Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1677, pp. 25-45: 27-28, (download) 27-28 21723

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