Cardiocondyla wroughtonii

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Cardiocondyla wroughtonii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cardiocondyla
Species: C. wroughtonii
Binomial name
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii
(Forel, 1890)

Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 profile 1.jpg

Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Common Name
Language: Japanese
Language: Japanese
Notes: for Cardiocondyla yamauchii

A tramp species probably originating in South East Asia, C. wroughtonii is now widespread in the tropics and subtropics. It is arboreal and typically nests in hollows in decaying branches and plant cavities such like grass stems, and is found in open areas, grassland and forest margins. The males are dimorphic; alate and ergatoid, the latter with falcate mandibles. (Japanese Ant Image Database)

At a Glance • Highly invasive  • Polygynous  • Supercolonies  


A member of the Cardiocondyla wroughtonii group.

Amongst the Afrotropical region species wroughtonii is recognizable by its small size, relatively short scapes and broad head, subglobular petiole node in dorsal view, and the characteristic shape of the promesonotum in profile. In terms of CI it is approached only by Cardiocondyla sekhemka, but this species is uniformly dark in colour, has much shorter scapes (SI 74), and has a differently shaped mesosoma. (Bolton 1982)

Keys including this Species


In Florida this is a relatively uncommon species found as far north and west as Okaloosa County. Nests are usually in hollow stems of dead woody herbs or grass culms, often at the edge of wet areas or in marshes. Pest status: none. First published Florida record: Wheeler 1932 (Deyrup, Davis & Cover, 2000.)

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 32.628611° to -21.28333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania.
Australasian Region: Australia, New Caledonia.
Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore.
Malagasy Region: Mayotte.
Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Cuba, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mexico.
Oriental Region: Cambodia, India (type locality), Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China, Israel, Italy, Japan, Oman.

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.


Seifert (2003) - C. wroughtonii is reported to nest near to or on the ground; it was found in hollow stems of dead Eulalia grasses (Okinawa), in a dead twig on the ground (New Orleans/USA), between layers of Eugenia jambolana leaves (India), in litter (Sulawesi), and “under leaves in a silk patch” (Tanzania).

Colonies contain less then 500 workers and may have more than one queen. New nests can be formed by fission.

Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.

This species is a mutualist for the aphid Pentalonia nigronervosa (a trophobiont) (Idechiil et al., 2007; Saddiqui et al., 2019).

Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)
  • Male type: winged; ergatoid


Images from AntWeb

Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009246 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009246 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009246 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009246 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0009246. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0102969 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0102969. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103749 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103749 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103749 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103749 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0103749. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103750 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103750 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103750 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103750 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0103750. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ABS, Lake Placid, FL, USA.
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0133506 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0133506 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0133506 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0133506 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0133506. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009245 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009245 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009245 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0009245 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0009245. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Ergatoid Male

The males of this species are dimorphic, complising both alates and ergatoids. Ergatoid males are further divided into 3 types: the first has 13-segmented antennae and falcate mandibles; the second has 12-segmented antennae; and the third has 9-segmented antennae.

Images from AntWeb

Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103168 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103168 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103168 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0103168 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0103168. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by USNM, Washington, DC, USA.
Cardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0000503 head 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0000503 profile 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0000503 dorsal 1.jpgCardiocondyla wroughtonii casent0000503 label 1.jpg
Male (ergatoid). Specimen code casent0000503. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • wroughtonii. Emeryia wroughtonii Forel, 1890b: cxi (w.) INDIA (Maharashtra).
    • Type-material: holotype ergatoid male.
    • [Note (i): holotype is an ergatoid male, not a worker (Forel, 1892h: 461). Note (ii): Seifert, 2003a: 269, treated as paratypes 4 workers (in NHMB, NHMW), apparently from the same series as the holotype; but Forel had stated in the original description that the holotype was “a single worker”.]
    • Type-locality: India: Poona (R.C. Wroughton).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Forel, 1903a: 689 (w.q.); Borgmeier, 1937a: 129 (ergatoid m.); Kugler, J. 1984: 7 (m., ergatoid m.).
    • Combination in Cardiocondyla: Forel, 1892h: 461; Forel, 1892i: 313.
    • Status as species: Forel, 1892h: 461; Forel, 1892i: 313; Dalla Torre, 1893: 71; Emery, 1900d: 680; Forel, 1901b: 12; Dahl, 1901: 20; Forel, 1903a: 689; Bingham, 1903: 287; Emery, 1922e: 126; Crawley, 1924: 394; Wheeler, W.M. 1927h: 87; Wheeler, W.M. 1929g: 43; Borgmeier, 1937a: 129; Creighton, 1950a: 199; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 84; Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 56; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1376; Onoyama, 1980: 198; Bolton, 1982: 317 (redescription); Kugler, J. 1984: 7; Collingwood, 1985: 257; Taylor, 1987a: 16; Kugler, J. 1988: 258; Deyrup, et al. 1989: 95; Brandão, 1991: 336; Ogata, 1991b: 99; Morisita, et al. 1992: 32; Bolton, 1995b: 133; Mackay, 1995: 171 (in key)Wu, J. & Wang, 1995: 68; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 327; Deyrup, et al. 2000: 297; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 50; Zhou, 2001b: 86; Rigato, 2002: 172 (in key); Deyrup, 2003: 44; Imai, et al. 2003: 153; Lin & Wu, 2003: 63; Seifert, 2003a: 269 (redescription); Jaitrong & Nabhitabhata, 2005: 16; Zhou, 2006: 583; Framenau & Thomas, 2008: 67; Terayama, 2009: 179; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 41; Pfeiffer, et al. 2011: 44; Guénard & Dunn, 2012: 41; Hita Garcia, et al. 2013: 208; Borowiec, L. 2014: 49; Ramage, 2014: 172; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 34; Jaitrong, Guénard, et al. 2016: 34; Deyrup, 2017: 57; Dekoninck, et al. 2019: 1153; Fernández & Serna, 2019: 820; Rasheed, et al. 2019: 431; Dias, R.K.S. et al. 2020: 63; Khachonpisitsak, et al. 2020: 80.
    • Senior synonym of bimaculata: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1376; Bolton, 1995b: 133; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 50; Zhou, 2001b: 86; Seifert, 2003a: 269; Terayama, 2009: 179.
    • Senior synonym of chlorotica: Bolton, 1982: 317; Bolton, 1995b: 133; Zhou, 2001b: 86.
    • Senior synonym of hawaiensis: Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 56; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1376; Bolton, 1982: 317; Kugler, J. 1984: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 133; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 50; Zhou, 2001b: 86; Seifert, 2003a: 269.
    • Senior synonym of longispina: Seifert, 2003a: 269.
    • Senior synonym of quadraticeps: Seifert, 2003a: 269.
    • Senior synonym of yamauchii: Seifert, 2003a: 269.
    • Distribution [tramp species]
      • Afrotropical: Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania.
      • Austral: Australia.
      • Malesian: Brunei, Christmas I., French Polynesia, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore.
      • Nearctic: U.S.A.
      • Neotropical: Colombia.
      • Oriental: China, India, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand.
      • Palaearctic: Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Yemen.
  • bimaculata. Cardiocondyla wroughtoni var. bimaculata Wheeler, W.M. 1929g: 43 (w.q.) TAIWAN.
    • Type-material: 7 syntype workers, 1 syntype queen.
    • Type-locality: Taiwan (“Formosa”): Karashisho (F. Silvestri).
    • Type-depository: MCZC.
    • Subspecies of wroughtonii: Wheeler, W.M. 1932a: 7; Smith, M.R. 1944a: 40 (redescription); Creighton, 1950a: 199; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 807; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 84; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 125.
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1376; Bolton, 1995b: 132; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 50; Zhou, 2001b: 86; Seifert, 2003a: 269; Terayama, 2009: 179.
  • chlorotica. Cardiocondyla emeryi subsp. chlorotica Menozzi, 1930b: 84 (w.q.) SOMALIA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated), 2 syntype queens.
    • Type-locality: Somalia: Duke of Abruzzi village, x.1926 (G. Paoli & A. Chiaromonte); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depository: IEUB.
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Bolton, 1982: 317; Bolton, 1995b: 132; Zhou, 2001b: 86.
  • hawaiensis. Cardiocondyla wroughtonii var. hawaiensis Forel, 1899a: 119 (w.) HAWAII.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Hawaii (“Sandwich Is”): Molokai, 3000 ft, ix.1893 (Perkins).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [Misspelled as hawaiiensis by Wheeler, W.M. 1934h: 14,]
    • Forel, 1902h: 440 (q.); Santschi, 1919a: 328 (m.); Smith, M.R. 1944a: 30 (ergatoid m.).
    • Subspecies of wroughtonii: Forel, 1902h: 440; Forel, 1907a: 17; Santschi, 1919a: 328; Emery, 1922e: 126; Wheeler, W.M. 1934h: 14; Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 21.
    • Status as species: Alayo, 1974: 12 (in key).
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Wilson & Taylor, 1967: 56; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1376; Bolton, 1982: 317; Kugler, J. 1984: 6; Bolton, 1995b: 132; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 50; Zhou, 2001b: 86; Seifert, 2003a: 269.
  • longispina. Cardiocondyla longispina Karavaiev, 1935a: 88, fig. 14 (w.) INDONESIA (Java).
    • Type-material: 10 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Indonesia: Java, Tjibodas, 1912-13, no. 5377 (W. Karawajew).
    • Type-depository: SIZK.
    • Status as species: Chapman & Capco, 1951: 83; Bolton, 1995b: 132.
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Seifert, 2003a: 269.
  • quadraticeps. Cardiocondyla wroughtonii subsp. quadraticeps Forel, 1912n: 57 (w.) SINGAPORE.
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: Singapore: (A. Müller).
    • [Note: Seifert, 2003a: 269, incorrectly refers to workers and queens from Singapore, collected by H. Overbeck (in MNHU), as syntypes. The original description specifies the collector as Dr Arthur Müller, and makes no reference to queens.]
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [Misspelled as quadriceps by Santschi, 1928h: 125.]
    • Viehmeyer, 1916a: 122 (q.).
    • Subspecies of wroughtonii: Viehmeyer, 1916a: 122; Emery, 1922e: 126; Santschi, 1928h: 125; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 84; Bolton, 1995b: 133.
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Seifert, 2003a: 269.
  • yamauchii. Cardiocondyla yamauchii Terayama, 1999d: 104, figs. 14-19 (w.q.m. ergatoid m.) JAPAN (Okinawa I.).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 9 paratype workers, 8 paratype queens, 3 paratype males.
    • Type-locality: holotype Japan: Okinawa Pref., Okinawa-jima, Ada, (K. Yamauchi); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: MNHA (holotype); MNHA, SMNG (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Imai, et al. 2003: 153.
    • Junior synonym of wroughtonii: Seifert, 2003a: 269.

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

Type Material



Bolton (1982) - TL 1.6-1.9, HL 0.42-0.50, HW 0.34-0.40, CI 79-86, SL 0.30-0.36, SI 81-89, PW 0.24-0.28, AL 0.46--0.55 (25 measured).

Small species with relatively broad head and short scapes, CI and SI above. When laid back on the head the scapes failing to reach the occipital corners in full-face view. Maximum diameter of eye 0.09-0.11, about 0.26-0.30 x HW and with 9-11 ommatidia in the longest row. Pronotal corners rounded in dorsal view. With the alitrunk in profile the promesonotum forming a shallow convexity from front to back but the slope changing sharply posteriorly and becoming quite steep where it slopes down to the strongly impressed metanotal groove; this change in slope very conspicuous in absolute profile. Propodeal dorsum behind the metanotal groove convex in profile, then entering a long downward slope to the propodeal spines. Propodeal spines enlongate and narrow in profile, longer than their basal width; in dorsal view each spine as long as the distance separating their bases. Petiole node in dorsal view subglobular, as broad as or slightly broader than long. Postpetiole distinctly broader than long. Dorsal surfaces of head and alitrunk blanketed by fine shagreening or punctulate shagreening. Petiole and postpetiole finely superficially shagreened. Hairs absent except on mouthparts and gastral apex but a sparse appressed pubescence is present, easiest seen on the first gastral tergite. Head, alitrunk and appendages yellow to yellowish brown, colour of gaster variable. Frequently the gaster is the same colour as the head and alitrunk but in some the sides of the tergite are darker than the dorsum. In others the darker colour has also extended across the posterior portion of the first tergite and in some the gaster is uniformly dark.


  • 2n = 52 (Imai & Yamauchi, unpublished, see Japanese Ant Image Database).


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