Acanthostichus arizonensis

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Acanthostichus arizonensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Acanthostichus
Species: A. arizonensis
Binomial name
Acanthostichus arizonensis
Mackay, W.P., 1996

Acanthostichus arizonensis casent0103128 profile 2.jpg

Acanthostichus arizonensis casent0103128 dorsal 2.jpg

Specimen label

A. arizonensis is a Southwest US and Northwest Mexico species which has been found associated with termites. Workers have been collected from chambers found under stones that occurred at elevations ranging from 1070m to 1780m. Little else is known about this species or its biology.


A member of the brevicornis species complex. Workers (MacKay 1996): The densely punctate petiolar node will distinguish it from all other species in the genus except Acanthostichus punctiscapus. It can be separated from this latter species in that the scape is mostly smooth and glossy (not heavily punctate as in A. punctiscapus).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.
Acanthostichus arizonensis Distribution.png

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Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Acanthostichus arizonensis for further details


A. arizonensis has been found in grasslands at the Santa Rita Experimental Range. It occurs from 1070m to 1780m, reaching up to the oak-juniper association. Workers are often associated with termites, which may be their principal or exclusive prey (Mackay and Mackay, 2002).


Known only from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • arizonensis. Acanthostichus arizonensis Mackay, W.P., 1996: 141, figs. 6, 17, 18 (w.) U. S. A.
    • Status as species: Mackay & Mackay, 2002: 40.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Type Material

  • Holotype, worker, 7 mi SE Sahuarita, Pima Co., Arizona, United States, Sept 3, 1982, T.C. Myles, Museum of Comparative Zoology.
  • Paratype, 13 workers, 7 mi SE Sahuarita, Pima Co., Arizona, United States, Sept 3, 1982, T.C. Myles, BMNH, CWEM, IMLA, INPA, LACM, MCZ, MNHC, MIZA, MZSP, UAIC, USNM.



Mandible with tooth-like protuberance on medial masticatory border, which may be essentially worn away; lateral clypeal angles well formed; outer edge of scape convex: eye consisting of four or five poorly defined ommatidia; vertex concave; hind femora elongate, not incrassate; petiole slightly longer than broad, slightly wider posteriorly; subpetiolar process poorly defined. Sparse erect hairs (most less than 0.1 mm, some as long as 0.25 mm) scattered on all body surfaces. Mandibles, scape, head and mesosoma smooth and glossy, with scattered punctures. Dorsum of petiole and most terga of gaster with dense punctures.

Measurements: HL 0.94-0.95; HW 0.79-0.83; SL 0.43-0.44; SW 0.16; WL 1.28-1.32; PW 0.44-0.46; PL 0.46-0.48; FL 0.58-0.60; FW 0.25; SI 45-46; CI 84-87; PI 103-106; FI 2.30-2.40; SL/SW 2.62-2.69;


Geographic. "Indicates that this species occurs in Arizona."