Pogonomyrmex rastratus

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Pogonomyrmex rastratus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Pogonomyrmecini
Genus: Pogonomyrmex
Species group: rastratus
Species: P. rastratus
Binomial name
Pogonomyrmex rastratus
Mayr, 1868

Pogonomyrmex rastratus casent0102689 profile 1.jpg

Pogonomyrmex rastratus casent0102689 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Field experiments studying foraging in P. rastratus were conducted in the Monte Desert, Argentina (Pol et al. 2015). Pogonomyrmex rastratus are solitary foragers. The sum of their foraging efforts, in terms of the area covered, suggests their nest surroundings are continuously and thoroughly explored for food. Pogonomyrmex rastratus primarily collect grass seeds from spring to autumn but can be somewhat flexible. When seeds are scarce, the proportion of non-grass seeds items in their diet increases. Colony size is modest, from 300 - 1100 workers.


Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Dietary preferences of these seed harvesting ants have been studied in the Monte Desert (Biosphere Reserve of Ñacuñán 34°03′S 67°54′W / 34.05°S 67.9°W / -34.05; -67.9), Argentina (see Pirk et. al 2011). In choice tests this species preferred seeds of grass species to those of forbs and shrub.




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

  • rastratus. Pogonomyrmex rastratus Mayr, 1868b: 171 (w.) ARGENTINA. Mayr, 1887: 611 (m.). Senior synonym of neuquensis, weiseri: Kusnezov, 1951a: 252. Current subspecies: nominal plus pulchellus.
  • neuquensis. Pogonomyrmex weiseri var. neuquensis Santschi, 1922d: 243 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of rastratus: Kusnezov, 1951a: 252.
  • weiseri. Pogonomyrmex weiseri Santschi, 1922b: 348 (w.q.m.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of rastratus: Kusnezov, 1951a: 252.



  • Kusnezov, N. 1951e. El género Pogonomyrmex Mayr (Hym., Formicidae). Acta Zool. Lilloana 11: 227-333 (page 252, Senior synonym of neuquensis and weisei)
  • Mayr, G. 1868b. Formicidae novae Americanae collectae a Prof. P. de Strobel. Annu. Soc. Nat. Mat. Modena 3: 161-178 (page 171, worker described)
  • Mayr, G. 1887. Südamerikanische Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 37: 511-632 (page 611, male described)
  • Pirk, G. I. and J. L. De Casenave. 2011. Seed Preferences of Three Harvester Ants of the Genus Pogonomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Monte Desert: Are They Reflected in the Diet? Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104:212-220. DOI:10.1603/AN10093
  • Pol, R. G., J. Lopez de Casenave, and F. A. Milesi. 2015. Foraging strategies and foraging plasticity in harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex spp., Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the central Monte desert, Argentina. Myrmecological News. 21:1-12.