Aphaenogaster syriaca

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aphaenogaster syriaca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: splendida
Species complex: festae
Species: A. syriaca
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster syriaca
Emery, 1908

Aphaenogaster syriaca casent0904176 p 1 high.jpg

Aphaenogaster syriaca casent0904176 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on soil in a Caspian moist littoral area.

Little is known about this species. On Cyprus, foraging workers were observed on a stone wall in a shaded area inside coniferous (pine and cedar) forest, on a wall of rock inside a deep gorge and on stones in a shaded area close to a river. There are no data about nest structure or size of the colony. Thirty-two foraging workers were observed in one small, alpine area in cedar forest but the nest, probably deeply hidden in a rock crevice, was not found. (Salata et al., 2021)


Aphaenogaster syriaca, together with Aphaenogaster festae, Aphaenogaster schmitzi and Aphaenogaster transcaucasica, form a complex of similar species characterized by yellow to rusty-yellow coloration, moderately elongate legs and antennae, and distinct, reticulate head sculpture. Aphaenogaster schmitzi and A. transcaucasica differ in anterior part of mesonotum not protruded or protruded only slightly above pronotum, thus promesonotal convexity forms more or less regular arch. They differ also in shorter propodeal spines and less developed body sculpture, especially with more or less shiny pronotal surface with diffused microsculpture and without rugosities, while in A. syriaca whole pronotal surface is distinctly microreticulate and its lateral sides are more or less distinctly longitudinally rugate. Aphaenogaster festae is the most similar to A. syriaca, but differs in more distinctly elongated head, HL/HW: 1.347 (1.313–1.390) vs. HL/HW: 1.270 (1.220–1.307), slightly longer antennal scape in relation to head width, 1.541 (1.463–1.636) vs. 1.420 (1.340–1.469), and propodeal spines directed more upwards than in A. syriaca. Both species are separated geographically, A. festae has more western and northern distribution: north-western Greece, Bulgaria, Aegean Islands, Turkey east to Siirt Province and A. syriaca is known from Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and Adana Province in Turkey. It is possible that they are sympatric in southeastern Turkey, but limited material from this region prevents that assessment.

Keys including this Species


Turkey (Adana), Cyprus, Israel, Egypt (Sinai Peninsula) and Lebanon. Record from Iran (Paknia et al. 2008) needs confirmation as it could be Aphaenogaster transcaucasica (Salata et al., 2021).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Iran, Israel, Lebanon (type locality).

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.

  • syriaca. Aphaenogaster gibbosa subsp. syriaca Emery, 1908c: 335 (w.) LEBANON.
    • Combination in Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma): Emery, 1921f: 60.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1915a: 258 (in text); Emery, 1921f: 60; Kugler, J. 1988: 256; Bolton, 1995b: 73; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 49; Paknia, et al. 2008: 153; Kiran, et al. 2013: 49 (in key); Borowiec, L. 2014: 19 (see note in bibliography).
    • Senior synonym of syria: Emery, 1921f: 60; Bolton, 1995b: 73.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus schmitzi.
  • syria. Aphaenogaster schmitzi var. syria Forel, 1910a: 12 (w.) SYRIA.
    • Junior synonym of syriaca: Emery, 1921f: 60; Bolton, 1995b: 73.

Type Material

  • Syntype worker: A. gibbosa | syriaca Emery || Liban, André || ANTWEB | CASENT | 0904176 (MSNG) [AntWeb, CASENT 0904176, photos by Will Ericson, available on https:// www.AntWeb.org] (Salata et al., 2021).



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Forel A. 1910. Glanures myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 54: 6-32.
  • Kiran K., H. Alipanah, and O. Paknia. 2013. A new species of the ant genus Aphaenogaster Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Asian Myrmecology 5: 45-51.
  • Kugler J. 1988. The zoogeography of Israel. 9. The zoogeography of social insects of Israel and Sinai. Monographiae biologicae 62: 251-275.
  • Paknia O., A. Radchenko, H. Alipanah, and M. Pfeiffer. 2008. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Iran. Myrmecological News 11: 151-159.
  • Pashaei Rad S., B. Taylor, R. Torabi, E. Aram, G. Abolfathi, R. Afshari, F. Borjali, M. Ghatei, F. Hediary, F. Jazini, V. Heidary Kiah, Z. Mahmoudi, F. Safariyan, and M. Seiri. 2018. Further records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 64(2): 145-159.