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


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 34.156971° to 31.885716°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



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.

. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • arizonensis. Acanthostichus arizonensis Mackay, 1996: 141, figs. 6, 17, 18 (w.) U. S. A. (Arizona).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 13 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype U.S.A.: Arizona, Pima Co., 7 mi SE Sahuarita, 3.ix.1982 (T.C. Myles); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); BMNH, ICNB, IMLT, INPA, LACM, MCZC, MIZA, MZSP, UATA, USNM, WEMC (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Mackay & Mackay, 2002: 40.
    • Distribution: U.S.A.

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

Type Material



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."


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at
  • Esteves F. A., C. R. F. Brandao, and L. P. Prado. 2011. The type specimens of Dorylomorph ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae: Aenictinae, Ecitoninae, Cerapachyinae, Leptanilloidinae) deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 51(22): 341-397.
  • Instituto de Ciencias Naturales de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia (GBIF)
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • MacKay W. P. 1996. A revision of the ant genus Acanthostichus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 27: 129-179
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133