Acanthostichus femoralis

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Acanthostichus femoralis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Acanthostichus
Species: A. femoralis
Binomial name
Acanthostichus femoralis
Kusnezov, 1962

Acanthostichus femoralis casent0281967 p 1 high.jpg

Acanthostichus femoralis casent0281967 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Mackay (1996) - Soil inhabiting species which preys on termites. Specimens have been found under cattle manure. One colony was found nesting in soil near the nest of Acromyrmex sp. (Kusnezov. 1962). Another series was collected with Pheidole sp. (Willink. per. comm.). Flights recorded during all months except Feb. Aug. and Oct. (Kusnezov. 1962). It is one of the few species which flies during the winter in Argentina.


A member of the brevicornis species complex. Mackay (1996) - The workers of this species can be separated from most others (except Acanthostichus sanchezorum) as the spiracle is located high on the propodeum. It could only be confused with A. sanchezorum, from which it can be distinguished as the outer surface of the scape is convex and it does not have an angle near the apex. as occurs in A. sanchezorum. The male of this species is easily distinguished from all others in that the petiole is nearly quadrate. but is strongly constricted on the two lateral surfaces. Otherwise it could be confused with Acanthostichus brevinodis or even with Acanthostichus fuscipennis. The single male was not associated with workers. but was labeled as A. femoralis. It seems reasonable that it is correctly identified. but must remain questionable until we have a complete series.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -10.06666667° to -24.383333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Brazil.

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.



Images from AntWeb

Acanthostichus femoralis casent0281967 d 2 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0281967. Photographer Shannon Hartman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


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

  • femoralis. Acanthostichus femoralis Kusnezov, 1962a: 126, figs. 2, 3b (w.) ARGENTINA (Formosa).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 41 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype Argentina: W Formosa, Estación Ingeniero Juárez, vii.1958, no. 10423 (N. Kusnezov); paratypes with same data but nos 10422, 10429, 10449.
    • [Note: Mackay, 1996: 151, points out that the type-material is dated viii.1958, not vii.1958 as printed.]
    • Type-depositories: IMLT (holotype); IMLT, MACN, MCZC (paratypes).
    • Mackay, 1996: 151 (m.).
    • Status as species: Kempf, 1968b: 372; Kempf, 1972a: 10; Brown, 1975: 38; Bolton, 1995b: 54; Mackay, 1996: 150 (redescription).
    • Distribution: Brazil, Argentina.

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


Mackay 1996. Figures 34-49.


Mackay (1996) - HL 0.69-0.91, HW 0.54-0.76, SL 0.30-0.34, SW 0.11-0.15, WL 0.80-1.30, FL 0.41-0.51, FW 0.19-0.34, PW 0.28-0.41, PL 0.31-0.45, SI 37-44, CI 78-84, PI 109-114, FI 152-220, SL/SW 2.25-2.67.

Lateral angles on clypeus poorly defined; anterior borders of scape convex; head elongate, concave at vertex; femora of all legs, especially posterior, strongly incrassate (Fig. 44); petiole elongate, strongly concave anteriorly (Fig. 22); ventral process poorly developed. Glossy and shining, light brown throughout, scattered erect hairs on all surfaces.


Mackay (1996) - Similar to most other species, except petiole is nearly quadrate and strongly constricted on the sides.

Type Material

Mackay (1996) - Worker, ARGENTINA: Western Formosa State, Ingeniero Juarez train station (Fundacion e Instituto Miguel Lillo , Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Museum of Comparative Zoology) [paratypes seen]. Holotype worker. # 10423 (IMLA) [not seen] and 41 cotype workers. #'s 10422. 10424. 10449 (IMLA) [6 seen]. 2 paratype workers (MCZC) [seen]. Rio Argentina. Formosa. viii - 1958 [listed as July in Kusnezov (1962)]. Ing. Juarez. Col. N. Kusnezov.


  • Agosti, D. 1998b [1997]. The ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) types in Argentinian collections. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 105: 199-205 (page 199, types)
  • Kusnezov, N. 1962a. El género Acanthostichus Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zool. Lilloana 18: 121-138 (page 126, figs. 2, 3 worker described)
  • Mackay, W. P. 1996. A revision of the ant genus Acanthostichus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 27: 129-179 (page 150, male described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Kempf W. W. 1968. Miscellaneous studies on Neotropical ants. IV. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 11: 369-415.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1962. El género Acanthostichus Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zoologica Lilloana 18: 121-138.
  • MacKay W. P. 1996. A revision of the ant genus Acanthostichus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 27: 129-179