Acanthostichus serratulus

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Acanthostichus serratulus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Acanthostichus
Species: A. serratulus
Binomial name
Acanthostichus serratulus
(Smith, F., 1858)

Acanthostichus serratulus casent0903667 p 1 high.jpg

Acanthostichus serratulus casent0903667 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nests in rotten wood (Luederwaldt 1926).


A member of the serratulus species complex. Mackay (1996) - The workers of this species are very similar to those of Acanthostichus kirbyi, Acanthostichus quadratus and Acanthostichus lattkei. This species is somewhat intermediate between A. kirbyi and A. quadratus, and my first impulse was to synonymize these three species. In terms of the shape of the petiole and scape, it is similar to A. kirbyi. On the other hand, the sculpture of the dorsum of the petiole (relatively smooth and shining, with longitudinal troughs, sides angulate, the petiole of the lectotype is especially smooth) and the lack of lateral teeth on the clypeus are similar to those of A. quadratus. The dorsal surface of the petiole of A. kirbyi is lightly punctate. Other differences between A. serratulus and A. kirbyi can be found in the discussion section of A. kirbyi. Furthermore, the males of A. kirbyi and A. quadratus are different (see key).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Paraguay.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • serratulus. Typhlopone serratula Smith, F. 1858b: 111 (w.) BRAZIL (Amazonas).
    • Mayr, 1887: 551 (m.); Emery, 1899c: 6 (l.).
    • Combination in Acanthostichus: Mayr, 1887: 551;
    • combination in A. (Acanthostichus): Emery, 1911d: 13.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1861a: 45; Roger, 1863b: 20; Mayr, 1863: 457; Mayr, 1884: 33; Mayr, 1887: 551; Emery, 1888c: 353; Dalla Torre, 1893: 16; Emery, 1894c: 142; von Jhering, 1894: 379; Forel, 1895b: 116; Emery, 1895j: 749; Emery, 1906c: 111; Emery, 1911d: 13; Bruch, 1914: 212; Gallardo, 1918b: 9 (redescription); Luederwaldt, 1918: 34; Borgmeier, 1923: 51; Wheeler, W.M. 1934g: 163 (in key); Kusnezov, 1962a: 132; Kempf, 1972a: 10; Brown, 1975: 42; Bolton, 1995b: 54; Mackay, 1996: 165 (redescription); Wild, 2007b: 23.

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



Mackay (1996) - (lectotype in parentheses): HL 0.89-(1.05), HW 0.76-(0.91), SL 0.41-(0.54), EL 0.03-(0.04), WL 1.05-(1.38), PW 0.35-(0.45), PL 0.34-(0.51), SI 46-(51), CI 86-(87)-88, PI 96-(114), SL/SW 2.54 (2.69)-2.92.

Mandibles without teeth; clypeus with medial tooth, but without lateral teeth; frontal carinae closely set, rounded anteriorly; occipital border concave; promesonotal suture moderately well differentiated on dorsum of mesosoma; propodeal spiracle located about halfway down from dorsum of propodeum; petiole slightly longer than broad, with angulate lateral borders which form longitudinal carinae, longitudinal troughs present, subpetiolar tooth concave ventrally (Fig. 38); femur not incrassate. Dorsum of petiole slightly roughened and sides of mesosoma and petiole with longitudinal striae.


Mackay (1996) - HL 0.99, HW 1.01, SL 0.29, EL 0.56, WL 2.00, PW 0.39, PL 0.54, SI 29, CI 103, PI 139.

The male is very similar to that of Acanthostichus kirbyi, but differs in the shape of the petiole.

Type Material

Worker, BRAZIL: Amazonas, Vila Nova (The Natural History Museum) (seen). Lectotype worker (here designated) (BMNH). Lectotype labeled: 55 44; Typhlomynnex serratula; Type. Smith; syntype [round white label with light blue border); second specimen labeled: Brazil Villa [=Vila] Nova; Syntype; T. serratula Sm.; labeled syntype [second specimen is A. quadratus - both seen]. The male described by Mayr (1887) is apparently lost. A male specimen deposited in the USNM is labeled as A. serratulus, but is not associated with workers. The hand written label appears to be written by Emery (compared with labels of three type specimens of Camponotus obtritus Emery), and thus is presumably A. serratulus, as Emery described the male. It is very similar to the male of A. kirbyi, but differs in that the node of the petiole is bullet shaped, narrowed and pointed anteriorly. A second possible male in the USNM was collected from the West border of Mato Grosso, Brazil.

The following notes on F. Smith type specimens have been provided by Barry Bolton (details):

Typhlopone serratula

One worker syntype in The Natural History Museum. Labelled “Villa Nova,” and “55/44.” Acc. Reg.: “1855 no. 44 (June 22nd). Amazon. Villa Nova. Bought of Stevens. Collected by Mr Bates.”

The specimen is marked syntype as obviously two workers were originally mounted on the card, but one has long ago fallen off and cannot now be found.


  • Emery, C. 1899g. Intorno alle larve di alcune formiche. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (5) 8: 3-10 (page 6, larva described)
  • Gallardo, A. 1918c. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Ponerinas. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. B. Aires 30: 1-112 (page 9, see also)
  • Mackay, W. P. 1996. A revision of the ant genus Acanthostichus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 27: 129-179 (page 165, see also)
  • Mayr, G. 1887. Südamerikanische Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 37: 511-632 (page 551, male described; page 549, Combination in Acanthostichus)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 111, worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borgmeier T. 1923. Catalogo systematico e synonymico das formigas do Brasil. 1 parte. Subfam. Dorylinae, Cerapachyinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae. Archivos do Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) 24: 33-103.
  • Bruch C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Revista del Museo de La Plata 19: 211-234.
  • 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.
  • Emery C. 1894. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 26: 137-241.
  • Emery C. 1895. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 8: 685-778.
  • Emery C. 1906. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 37: 107-194.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Gallardo A. 1918. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Ponerinas. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 30: 1-112.
  • Gallardo A. 1919. Una nueva prodorilina Acanthostichus afflictus [male]. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 30: 237-242.
  • 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.
  • Luederwaldt H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64.
  • MacKay W. P. 1996. A revision of the ant genus Acanthostichus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 27: 129-179
  • Neves F. S., K. S. Queiroz-Dantas, W. D. da Rocha, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2013. Ants of Three Adjacent Habitats of a Transition Region Between the Cerrado and Caatinga Biomes: The Effects of Heterogeneity and Variation in Canopy Cover. Neotrop Entomol 42: 258–268.
  • Ulyssea M. A., C. E. Cereto, F. B. Rosumek, R. R. Silva, and B. C. Lopes. 2011. Updated list of ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) recorded in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, with a discussion of research advances and priorities. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55(4): 603–611.
  • Ulyssea M. A., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2013. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 57(2): 217–224.
  • Ulysséa M. A., C. R. F. Brandão. 2013. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 57(2): 217-224.
  • Vittar, F. 2008. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mesopotamia Argentina. INSUGEO Miscelania 17(2):447-466
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.