Aenictus orientalis

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Aenictus orientalis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. orientalis
Binomial name
Aenictus orientalis
(Karavaiev, 1926)

Aenictus orientalis casent0916856 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus orientalis casent0916856 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


A member of the ceylonicus group.

Key to Aenictus species groups


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -6° to -7.199999809°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia (type locality), New Guinea.

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

Aenictus orientalis casent0916856 h 2 high.jpg
Syntype of Eciton ceylonicus orientalisWorker. Specimen code casent0916856. Photographer Kate Martynova, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by SIZK, Kiev, Ukraine.

Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • orientalis. Eciton (Aenictus) ceylonicus subsp. orientalis Karavaiev, 1926d: 423, fig. 2 (w.) INDONESIA (Aru Is).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “numerous”).
    • [Notes (i): Kostyuk, 1976: 93, cites 64w syntypes SIZK; (ii) Radchenko, Fisher, et al. 2023: 17, cite 43w syntypes SIZK.]
    • Type-locality: Indonesia: Aru Is, Wammar I., 19.iii.1913 (W. Karawajew).
    • Type-depositories: ANIC, SIZK.
    • Subspecies of ceylonicus: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 11.
    • Junior synonym of ceylonicus: Wilson, 1964a: 452; Bolton, 1995b: 60; Zhou, 2001b: 59.
    • Status as species: Shattuck, 2008c: 18.
    • Senior synonym of papuanus: Shattuck, 2008c: 18.
    • Senior synonym of similis: Shattuck, 2008c: 18.
    • Distribution: Indonesia (Aru, Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea.
  • papuanus. Aenictus papuanus Donisthorpe, 1941c: 129 (w.) NEW GUINEA (Papua New Guinea).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “a number of workers”).
    • Type-locality: Papua New Guinea: Mafulu, Wharton Range, 4000 ft, xii.1933, no. 556 (L.E. Cheesman).
    • Type-depositories: BMNH, MCZC.
    • Status as species: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 11; Chapman, 1963: 253.
    • Junior synonym of ceylonicus: Wilson, 1964a: 452; Bolton, 1995b: 60; Zhou, 2001b: 59.
    • Junior synonym of orientalis: Shattuck, 2008c: 18.
  • similis. Aenictus similis Donisthorpe, 1948g: 131 (w.) NEW GUINEA (Indonesia).
    • Type-material: 14 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Indonesia: Irian Jaya (“Dutch New Guinea”), Maffin Bay, 8.viii.1944 (E.S. Ross).
    • Type-depositories: CASC, MCZC.
    • Status as species: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 12.
    • Junior synonym of ceylonicus: Wilson, 1964a: 452; Bolton, 1995b: 60; Zhou, 2001b: 59.
    • Junior synonym of orientalis: Shattuck, 2008c: 18.

The following taxonomic notes are offered by Shattuck (2008):

In this species the pronotal humeral angles are well developed, causing the anterodorsal surface of the pronotum to be nearly vertical, in dorsal view the area between the humeral angles is weakly convex to weakly concave. This is in contrast to the otherwise similar A. prolixus and A. turneri where the humeral angles are weakly developed and the anterodorsal section of the pronotum is gradually sloping, the area between the humeral angles being moderately convex. In addition, A. orientalis can be separated from A. prolixus by the shorter scapes (SI 65–82 vs. 89–96) and from A. turneri by the yellow head and legs which contrast with the yellow-red mesosoma (the body is essentially uniform in colour in A. turneri).

Type Material



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec M. L. 2016. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 608: 1–280.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • 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.
  • Janda M., G. D. Alpert, M. L. Borowiec, E. P. Economo, P. Klimes, E. Sarnat, and S. O. Shattuck. 2011. Cheklist of ants described and recorded from New Guinea and associated islands. Available on Accessed on 24th Feb. 2011.
  • Karavaiev V. 1926. Ameisen aus dem Indo-Australischen Gebiet. Treubia 8: 413-445.
  • Shattuck, S. O. 2008. Review of the ant genus Aenictus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Australia with notes on A. ceylonicus (Mayr). Zootaxa 1926:1-19.