Atta texana

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Atta texana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Atta
Species: A. texana
Binomial name
Atta texana
(Buckley, 1860)

Atta texana casent0006045 profile 1.jpg

Atta texana casent0006045 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Photo Gallery

  • A queen leafcutter ant searches for a nesting site after her first and only mating flight. McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Texas. Photo by Alex Wild.
  • A male Atta texana falls to the ground after a dawn mating flight. Austin, Texas, USA. Photo by Alex Wild.


Identification Keys including this Taxon

Key to US Atta species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 38.342773° to 18.03333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

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.



Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the pteromalid wasp Spalangia attae (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).
  • This species is a host for the milichiid fly Pholeomyia comans (a myrmecophile) (Moser & Neff, 1971; Muesebeck, 1980) (associated with or potential host).
  • This species is a host for the milichiid fly Pholeomyia texensis (a myrmecophile) in Texas (Waller, 1980) (associated with or potential host).
  • This species is a host for the diapriid wasp Coptera pholeomyiae (a parasite) ( (potential host).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Aspergillus flavus (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission within nest).
  • This species is a host for the fungus Beauveria bassiana (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission within nest).
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus wallerae (a parasite) ( (attacked).
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Megaselia sp. (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Myrmosicarius texanus (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).

Waller and Moser (1990) - The springtail species Pseudosinella violenta (Folsom) (Lepidocyrtidae) is known from nests of this ant.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 10,000,000 (Moser & Blum, 1963; Riley et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: mass recruiter (Moser & Blum, 1963; Riley et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)



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

  • texana. Myrmica (Atta) texana Buckley, 1860a: 233 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. (Texas).
    • Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1974d: 79 (l.).
    • Combination in Oecodoma: Mayr, 1863: 438;
    • combination in Atta: Roger, 1863b: 35;
    • combination in Atta (Archeatta): Gonçalves, 1942: 343.
    • Junior synonym of fervens: Mayr, 1865: 81; Forel, 1885a: 362; Mayr, 1886d: 442; Cresson, 1887: 259; Dalla Torre, 1893: 152, Forel, 1899c: 33; Wheeler, W.M. 1902f: 29.
    • Subspecies of insularis: Emery, 1913b: 259; Emery, 1924d: 354.
    • Subspecies of fervens: Borgmeier, 1939: 423 (in list).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 35; Mayr, 1863: 438; Buckley, 1867: 347; Wheeler, W.M. 1907c: 700 (redescription); Wheeler, W.M. 1910g: 568; Gonçalves, 1942: 343; Creighton, 1950a: 329; Borgmeier, 1950d: 261; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 832; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 138; Borgmeier, 1959b: 356 (redescription); Smith, M.R. 1967: 363; Smith, D.R., 1979: 1413; Petralia & Vinson, 1980: 386; Cherrett & Cherrett, 1989: 54; Bolton, 1995b: 77.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cokendolpher J.C., Reddell J.R., Taylor S.J, Krejca J.K., Suarez A.V. and Pekins C.E. 2009. Further ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from caves of Texas [Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicdae) adicionales de cuevas de Texas]. Texas Memorial Museum Speleological Monographs, 7. Studies on the cave and endogean fauna of North America, V. Pp. 151-168
  • Dash S. T. and L. M. Hooper-Bui. 2008. Species diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Louisiana. Conservation Biology and Biodiversity. 101: 1056-1066
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Garcia-Martinez M. A., V. Vanoye-Eligio, O. R. Leyva-Ovalle, P. Zetina-Cordoba, M. J. Aguilar-Mendez, and M. Rosas-Mejia. 2019. Diversity of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a sub-montane and sub-tropical cityscape of Northeastern Mexico. Sociobiology 66(3): 440-447.
  • LeBrun E. G., R. M. Plowes, and L. E. Gilbert. 2015. Imported fire ants near the edge of their range: disturbance and moisture determine prevalence and impact of an invasive social insect. Journal of Animal Ecology,81: 884–895.
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • MacKay W. P., and S. B. Vinson. 1988. Rediscovery of the ant Gnamptogenys hartmani (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in eastern Texas. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 91: 127.
  • McDonald D. L., D. R. Hoffpauir, and J. L. Cook. 2016. Survey yields seven new Texas county records and documents further spread of Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Southwestern Entomologist, 41(4): 913-920.
  • Moody J. V., and O. F. Francke. 1982. The Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Western Texas Part 1: Subfamily Myrmicinae. Graduate Studies Texas Tech University 27: 80 pp.
  • Morrison, L.W. 2002. Long-Term Impacts of an Arthropod-Community Invasion by the Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta. Ecology 83(8):2337-2345
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Pescador A. 1980. Las hormigas arrieras. Naturaleza 11: 278-290.
  • Reddell J. R., and J. C. Cokendolpher. 2001. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from caves of Belize, Mexico, and California and Texas (U.S.A.) Texas. Texas Memorial Museum Speleological Monographs 5: 129-154.
  • Rico-Gray,V., J.G. Garcia-Franco, M. Palacios-Rios, C. Diaz-Castelazo, V. Parra-Tabla and J.A. Navarro. 1998. Geographical and Seasonal Variation in the Richness of Ant-Plant Interactions in Mexico. Biotropica 30(2):190-200.
  • Rios-Casanova, L., A. Valiente-Banuet, and V. Rico-Gray. (2004). Las hormigas del Valle de Tehuacan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): una comparacion con otras zonas aridas de Mexico. Acta Zoologica Mexicana 20: 37-54.
  • Seal, J.N. and W.R. Tschinkel. 2007. Co-evolution and the superorganism: switching cultivars does not alter the performance of fungus-gardening ant colonies. Functional Ecology 21(5): 988-997
  • Smith M. R. 1936. A list of the ants of Texas. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 44: 155-170.
  • Smith M. R. 1963. Notes on the leaf-cutting ants, Atta spp., of the United States and Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 65: 299-302.
  • Solomon S. E., C. Rabeling, J. Sosa-Calvo, C. Lopes, A. Rodrigues, H. L. Vasconcelos, M. Bacci, U. G. Mueller, and T. R. Schultz. 2019. The molecular phylogenetics of Trachymyrmex Forel ants and their fungal cultivars provide insights into the origin and coevolutionary history of ‘higher-attine’ ant agriculture. Systematic Entomology 44: 939–956.
  • Vasquez-Bolanos M. 2011. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Mexico. Dugesiana 18(1): 95-133.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Watkins J. F., II 1969. A new species of Neivamyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Louisiana. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 41: 528-531.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1907. The fungus-growing ants of North America. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 23: 669-807.
  • Wheeler, G.C. and J. Wheeler. 1985. A checklist of Texas ants. Prairie Naturalist 17:49-64.