Atta mexicana

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Atta mexicana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Atta
Species: A. mexicana
Binomial name
Atta mexicana
(Smith, F., 1858)

Atta mexicana casent0421379 profile 1.jpg

Atta mexicana casent0421379 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Photo Gallery

  • Major worker.


Identification Keys including this Taxon

Key to US Atta species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species is a host for the pteromalid wasp Spalangia attae (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • mexicana. Oecodoma mexicana Smith, F. 1858b: 185, pl. 10, fig. 20 (q.m.) MEXICO. Norton, 1868c: 9 (s.w.). Combination in Atta: Roger, 1863b: 35; in Atta (Archeatta): Gonçalves, 1942: 343. Junior synonym of fervens: Forel, 1885a: 362. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of insularis: Emery, 1913b: 259. Revived status as species: Gonçalves, 1942: 335. See also: Borgmeier, 1959b: 351.


Female. Length 8-9 lines. Obscurely ferruginous, nearly black;closely resembling Atta cephalotes, but the thorax is more elongate; the second node of the abdomen wider, with the lateral angels produced and acute; the base of the abdomen truncated, the first segment longer than broad; in other respects resembling Atta cephalotes, but more hairy or downy.

Male. In size and form resembling the male of Atta cephalotes but of a uniform pale reddish yellow; the second abdominal node much wider.

The insect described as Atta laevigata is probably the worker of this species; in the Museum are several specimens from Mexico.


  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 76, catalogue)
  • Borgmeier, T. 1959b. Revision der Gattung Atta Fabricius (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 2: 321-390 (page 351, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1913b. Über die Abstammung der europäischen arbeiterinnenlosen Ameise Anergates. Biol. Centralbl. 33: 258-260 (page 259, Revived from synonymy as subspecies of insularis)
  • Forel, A. 1885a [1884]. Études myrmécologiques en 1884 avec une description des organes sensoriels des antennes. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 20: 316-380 (page 362, Junior synonym of fervens)
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1942. Contribuiça~o para o conhecimento do gênero Atta Fabr., das formigas saúvas. Bol. Soc. Bras. Agron. 5: 333-358 (page 343, Combination in Atta (Archeatta))
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1942. Contribuiça~o para o conhecimento do gênero Atta Fabr., das formigas saúvas. Bol. Soc. Bras. Agron. 5: 333-358 (page 335, Revived status as species)
  • Mintzer, A. C.; Mintzer, C. L. 1988. Population status of the Mexican leafcutting ant, Atta mexicana (Formicidae), in the Sonoran desert of Arizona. The Southwestern Naturalist 33:250-251.
  • Norton, E. 1868a. Notes on Mexican ants. Am. Nat. 2: 57-72 (page 66, soldier, worker described)
  • Norton, E. 1868c. Description of Mexican ants noticed in the American Naturalist, April, 1868. Proc. Essex Inst. (Commun.) 6: 1-10 (page 9, soldier, worker described)
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 35, Combination in Atta)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp.(page 185, pl. 10, fig. 20 queen, male described)