Nests are generally under rocks or occasionally other objects on the ground but Anochetus graeffei is also known to nest directly in soil without covering, in termite nests and in rotten wood. This is one of the most widely distributed species within the genus, occurring from southern India east through SE Asia to Australia and onwards to the Cook Islands; it is also one of the most morphologically variable.
Shattuck and Slipinska (2012) - Australia: Eyes very small (EL < 0.16mm); front of head with sculpturing extending to the posterior margin; pronotum with coarse and heavy striate-rugose sculpture; body very hairy, with abundant erect hairs on all surfaces. This is the most heavily sculptured species of Anochetus within Australia, approached only by Anochetus victoriae. These two taxa can be separated by the rugulose rather than striate sculpturing on the dorsum of the pronotum and the smaller eye (eye length < 0.16mm vs. > 0.22mm) in A. graeffei.
Zettel (2012) - Philippines: workers and gyne examined are peculiar by some fine striation in addition to the coarse puncturation of gaster tergite 1, a character that is also present in a sample from Sarawak, Borneo (NHMW). A distinct indention of the apex of the petiolar node is present in the workers from Laguna and in the gyne from Palawan, but absent in the Masbate worker.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Anochetus of India
- Key to Anochetus of the Philippines
- Key to Australian Anochetus Species
- Key to Micronesian Ants
- Key to the Anochetus Species of Asia, Melanesia and the Pacific Region
Southern India east through SE Asia to Australia and onwards to the Cook Islands.
Within Australia this is one of the most widely distributed and commonly encountered species, occurring from the Kimberleys eastward through the Top End and then throughout eastern Queensland south into north-eastern New South Wales. It is most commonly encountered in rainforest habitats but also extends into dry sclerophyll woodlands. It has only rarely been found outside forested sites. (Shattuck and Slipinska 2012)
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Australasian Region: Australia, New Caledonia.
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia (type locality), Kiribati, Krakatau Islands, Malaysia (type locality), Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Guinea, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Philippines (type locality), Samoa (type locality), Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Wallis and Futuna Islands.
Oriental Region: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India (type locality), Laos, Myanmar (type locality), Nicobar Island, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- graeffei. Anochetus graeffei Mayr, 1870b: 961 (w.) SAMOA. Mayr, 1876: 86 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1971b: 1212 (l.); Imai, Brown, et al. 1984: 5 (k.). Senior synonym of amati, minutus, oceanicus, punctiventris: Wilson, 1959a: 507; of rudis, taylori: Brown, 1978c: 557 (see also p. 586). See also: Shattuck & Slipinska, 2012: 11.
- punctiventris. Anochetus punctiventris Mayr, 1879: 659 (w.) INDIA. Forel, 1900c: 63 (q.). Junior synonym of graeffei: Wilson, 1959a: 507.
- rudis. Anochetus rudis Emery, 1889b: 499 (w.) MYANMAR. Subspecies of punctiventris: Forel, 1900c: 60; Emery, 1911d: 109. Revived status as species: Bingham, 1903: 41. Junior synonym of graeffei: Brown, 1978c: 577.
- oceanicus. Anochetus punctiventris subsp. oceanicus Emery, 1897c: 597 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Emery, 1914f: 400 (q.m.). Junior synonym of graeffei: Wilson, 1959a: 507.
- taylori. Anochetus punctiventris r. taylori Forel, 1900c: 63 (w.) INDIA. Raised to species: Bingham, 1903: 43. Junior synonym of graeffei: Brown, 1978c: 557.
- amati. Anochetus amati Karavaiev, 1925c: 285, fig. 8 (q.) INDONESIA (Aru I.). Junior synonym of graeffei: Wilson, 1959a: 507.
- minutus. Anochetus minutus Karavaiev, 1925c: 288, fig. 10 (w.q.) WEST MALAYSIA. Junior synonym of graeffei: Wilson, 1959a: 507.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
- Anochetus graeffei: Syntype, workers (4 examined by Brown, 1978), Upolu Island, Samoa, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna.
- Anochetus amati: Holotype, queen, Aru Island, Indonesia.
- Anochetus minutus: Syntype, worker(s) and queen(s), Segamat, Johore, Malaysia, Naturhistorisches Museum Basel.
- Anochetus punctiventris subsp. oceanicus: Syntype, workers, Madang (as Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen) and Aitape (as Berlinhafen), Papua New Guinea.
- Anochetus punctiventris: Syntype, workers, Calcutta and the "Nuddea District", India.
- Anochetus rudis: Syntype, Myanmar.
- Anochetus ruginotus: Holotype, worker, Luzon, Philippines, Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität.
- Anochetus punctiventris r. taylori: Syntype, syntype, Coonoor, Madras State, India.
Shattuck and Slipinska (2012) - This is one of the most widely distributed species within the genus, occurring from southern India east through SE Asia to Australia and onwards to the Cook Islands; it is also one of the most morphologically variable (Brown, 1978). The concept of this species adopted by Shattuck & Slipinska (2012) follows that proposed by Brown (1978). While a detailed study of the entire species, including examination of specimens from throughout its broad range, was outside the scope of their study, a preliminary analysis does not suggest obvious subdivisions and Brown's interpretation of the variation he noted as intra- rather than interspecific is accepted. Additionally, an examination of specimens from inland north Queensland which Brown flagged as possibly belonging to a separate but closely related species could not be confirmed and material from this region is treated as belong to A. graeffei.
Zettel (2012) - The taxonomy and synonymy of A. graeffei was treated by WILSON (1959) and BROWN (1978). Following these authors, A. graeffei is very widely distributed from India to Australia and a most polymorphic species. According to BROWN (1978) this decision is not final: “The bounds of graeffei variation, and whether or not the species divides into sibling species, are ripe subjects for future gammataxonomic studies.” Variation concerns size, colour, and sculpture (most notably on head, pronotum and gaster tergite 1).
A hitherto undescribed, but important peculiarity of both A. graeffei s.l. and A. ruginotus are short setae on the compound eyes; it is undescribed whether or not this character is also present in other species of Brown's A. graeffei group. Less obvious, shorter setae have been also observed in a few species of the A. risii group.
Shattuck and Slipinska (2012) - Worker description. Body smaller (head length < 1.14mm), with abundant erect or semierect hairs. Eyes very small (eye length < 0.16mm). Sculpturing on front of head nearly reaching posterior margin and extending slightly laterally. Dorsum of head with abundant semierect hairs as well as a few erect hairs. Scapes not reaching posterolateral corners ('lobes') of head; with abundant, slightly elevated pubescence and a limited number of erect hairs. Pronotum with characteristic punctate, irregularly rugose sculpture. Anterior section of pronotum with transverse wrinkles and ridges. Mesonotum and dorsum of propodeum with coarse striate-rugose sculpture. Dorsum of propodeum rounded laterally, with slightly rounded angle and numerous erect hairs. Metapleuron smooth and shining anteriorly. In anterior view petiolar node with apex rounded. Erect hairs on hind tibiae short and scattered. Colour from yellowbrown to brown, head from yellow to yellow-brown, antennae, mandibles and legs yellow or yellow-brown.
Measurements. Worker (n = 5): CI 92–93; EI 14–15; EL 0.13–0.15; HL 0.95–1.13; HW 0.89–1.06; HFL 0.77–0.89; ML 1.09–1.30; MandL 0.52–0.59; MTL 0.54–0.66; PronI 59–63; PronW 0.52–0.64; SL 0.76–0.87; SI 83–89.
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1978c. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Stud. Entomol. 20: 549-638 PDF (page 557, senior synonym of rudis, ruginotus and taylori)
- Chen, Z., Yang, Z., Zhou, S. 2019. Review of the ant genus Anochetus Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from China, with revival of the valid status of Anochetus gracilis. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 68: 49–74 (DOI 10.3897/jhr.68.30784).
- Emery, C. 1897c. Formicidarum species novae vel minus cognitae in collectione Musaei Nationalis Hungarici quas in Nova-Guinea, colonia germanica, collegit L. Biró. Természetr. Füz. 20: 571-599 PDF
- Imai, H. T.; Baroni Urbani, C.; Kubota, M.; Sharma, G. P.; Narasimhanna, M. H.; Das, B. C.; 1984. Karyological survey of Indian ants. Jpn. J. Genet. 59: 1-32 (page 5, karyotype described)
- Mayr, G. 1870b. Neue Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 20: 939-996 (page 961, worker described)
- Mayr, G. 1876. Die australischen Formiciden. J. Mus. Godeffroy 12: 56-115 (page 86, queen described)
- Shattuck, S.O. & Slipinska, E. 2012. Revision of the Australian species of the ant genus Anochetus (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Zootaxa 3426, 1–28.
- Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1971b. Ant larvae of the subfamily Ponerinae: second supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 6 64: 1197-1217 (page 1212, larva described)
- Wilson, E. O. 1959c. Studies on the ant fauna of Melanesia V. The tribe Odontomachini. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 120: 483-510 (page 507, senior synonym of amati, minutus, oceanicus and punctiventris)
- Zettel, H. 2012. New trap-jaw ant species of Anochetus Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Philippine Islands, a key and notes on other species. Myrmecological News. 16:157-167.