Plagiolepis alluaudi

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Plagiolepis alluaudi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Plagiolepis
Species: P. alluaudi
Binomial name
Plagiolepis alluaudi
Emery, 1894

Plagiolepis alluaudi casent0003320 profile 1.jpg

Plagiolepis alluaudi casent0003320 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Plagiolepis alluaudi is a tiny Old World ant that has spread to many parts of the world through human commerce. It is a primarily tropical species, apparently native to Madagascar and neighboring islands. It has become a pest on Pacific islands and in European greenhouses (Wetterer, 2013).



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Comoros, Kenya, Saint Helena.
Australasian Region: New Caledonia, Norfolk Island.
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion, Seychelles (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada.
Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: China, Iran, Japan, Switzerland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb There is a single record of this species from Catalina Island, California (collected by William M. Mann; SMITH 1957). Many researchers have made extensive ant collections in California, but have never produced another record of P. alluaudi, suggesting that either the California population has been extirpated or the one record was based on a labeling error. In fact, this one record of P. alluaudi is very suspect: I have been unable to find any other records of ants collected by William M. Mann on Catalina Island (Wetterer 2013).




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

  • alluaudi. Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery, 1894a: 71 (w.) SEYCHELLES IS. Forel, 1907a: 30 (q.). Senior synonym of augusti, foreli, mactavishi, ornata: Smith, M.R. 1958b: 196. See also: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1423.
  • mactavishi. Plagiolepis mactavishi Wheeler, W.M. 1908c: 166 (w.) FRENCH POLYNESIA (Society Is). Wheeler, W.M. 1922f: 318 (q.); Santschi, 1928b: 37 (m.). Junior synonym of alluaudi: Smith, M.R. 1958b: 196.
  • foreli. Plagiolepis foreli Santschi, 1920g: 165, fig. 1 (w.) SWITZERLAND. Subspecies of alluaudi: Emery, 1921d: 318. Junior synonym of alluaudi: Smith, M.R. 1958b: 196.
  • ornata. Plagiolepis foreli var. ornata Santschi, 1920g: 166 (w.) NEW CALEDONIA. Subspecies of alluaudi: Emery, 1921d: 318. Junior synonym of alluaudi: Smith, M.R. 1958b: 196.
  • augusti. Plagiolepis augusti Emery, 1921d: 317. Replacement name for foreli Mann, 1921: 473. [Junior primary homonym of foreli Santschi, 1920g: 165.] Junior synonym of alluaudi: Smith, M.R. 1958b: 196.
  • foreli. Plagiolepis foreli Mann, 1921: 473 (w.) FIJI IS. [Junior primary homonym of foreli Santschi, above.] Replacement name: augusti Emery, 1921d: 317.



  • Emery, C. 1894b. Mission scientifique de M. Ch. Alluaud aux îles Séchelles (mars, avril, mai 1892). 2e mémoire. Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 63: 67-72 (page 71, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1907d. Formicides du Musée National Hongrois. Ann. Hist.-Nat. Mus. Natl. Hung. 5: 1-42 (page 30, queen described)
  • Krushelnycky, P. D. 2015. Ecology of some lesser-studied introduced ant species in Hawaiian forests. Journal of Insect Conservation. 19:659-667. doi:10.1007/s10841-015-9789-y
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1423, see also)
  • Smith, M. R. 1958b [1957]. A contribution to the taxonomy, distribution and biology of the vagrant ant, Plagiolepis alluaudi Emery (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 65: 195-198 (page 196, Senior synonym of augusti, foreli, mactavishi and ornata)
  • Wetterer, J.K. 2013. Worldwide spread of Alluaud's little yellow ant, Plagiolepis alluaudi (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 19, 53-59.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922k. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 4 45: 1005-1055 (see also)
  • Wilson, E. O.; Taylor, R. W. 1967b. The ants of Polynesia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pac. Insects Monogr. 14: 1-109 (see also)