Cataulacus mocquerysi

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Cataulacus mocquerysi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Cataulacus
Species: C. mocquerysi
Binomial name
Cataulacus mocquerysi
André, 1889

Cataulacus mocquerysi P casent0217862.jpg

Cataulacus mocquerysi D casent0217862.jpg

Specimen Label


This small and relatively uncommon species nests in hollow twigs on bushes and trees. A nest examined at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana during August 1970 had been made in a dry, hollow twig on a shrub, and was about 3 inches long by 0.25 inch wide. This contained a queen and seven rather small workers along with a number of brood. The workers wander over the bark and leaves of the tree in which the nest is situated but their feeding habits have not been observed. (Bolton 1974)


A member of the intrudens group. The species is characterized by, and is immediately recognizable because of the unique form of the pedicel segments and the great reduction or virtual loss of the propodeal spines.

Keys including this Species


Known from Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.15° to -2.716666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone (type locality).

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.


Cataulacus mocquerysi has been observed in the canopy of a secondary-forest tree, in sampling conducted in tree crowns, in Gamba, Gabon. It was anecdotally reported to subordinate at a tuna bait. C. mocquerysi has been shown to exhibit directed movement while in freefall that allows workers that fall or purposely detach from a tree to glide back and regain a hold on the same tree trunk. This gliding behavior is shared with numerous members of the tribe Cephalotini, and other genera as well. (Yanoviak et al. 2005, 2007, 2008)



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

  • mocquerysi. Cataulacus mocquerysi André, 1889: 229 (w.) SIERRA LEONE. Bolton, 1974a: 48 (q.). Senior synonym of nainei: Bolton, 1974a: 47.
  • nainei. Cataulacus mocquerysi var. nainei Forel, 1918a: 724 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Junior synonym of mocquerysi: Bolton, 1974a: 47.

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



Bolton (1974) - TL 4.0 - 5.5, HL 1.00 – 1.40, HW 1.12 – 1.54, CI 110 - 115, EL 0.46 – 0.56, OI 35 - 41, IOD 0.94 – 1.24, SL 0.60 – 0.72, SI 46 - 53, PW 1.02 – 1.48, AL 1.02 – 1.44, MTL 0.56 – 0.60 (10 measured).

Bolton 1974 fig 22-24

Occipital crest absent, the vertex rounding into the occiput_ Occipital corners with one or two small teeth or denticles, the sides of the head behind the eyes denticulate in most but only crenulate in some individuals. Pronotum marginate laterally, the margins with a few rather large denticles and terminating posterolaterally in a flattened and strongly expanded, roughly triangular shaped lobe which bears one or two denticles upon its posterior border. Mesonotum with one or two large denticles laterally. Propodeal spines reduced to a pair of very short teeth or to a pair of denticles which may be shorter than those upon the mesonotum, and which are usually blunt apically. Petiole and postpetiole strongly flattened dorsoventrally, without differentiated nodes. In dorsal view both segments are very broadly and stoutly V-shaped, the postpetiole more distinctly so than the petiole. Subpetiolar process with a distinct posteroventral heel or spur. First gastral tergite not marginate.

Sculpturation of head and dorsal alitrunk of a fine, loose rugoreticulum with reticulate-punctate interspaces. In some individuals the rugulae tend to assume a longitudinal direction, especially upon the head. Dorsum of petiole similarly sculptured or merely reticulate-punctate; the most common form has numerous fine longitudinal rugulae. Postpetiole more coarsely sculptured, usually with coarse rugae directed longitudinally. First gastral tergite finely and densely reticulate-punctate.

Stout, erect hairs present upon all dorsal surfaces of the head, body and appendages.


Bolton (1974) - TL 6.8, HL 1.54, HW 1.56, CI 101, EL 0.56, OI 36, IOD 1.22, SL 0.76, SI 48, PW 1.44, AL 1.94, MTL 0.86.

Similar to worker but the rugose part of the sculpturation tending to be more coarse everywhere, and the denticulation of the sides of the head and pronotum to be reduced. Propodeum with a pair of bluntly rounded angles.

Type Material

Bolton (1974) - Holotype worker, SIERRA LEONE (MNHN, Paris) [examined].

Cataulacus mocquerysi var. nainei Holotype worker, ZAIRE (H. Kohl) (MHN, Geneva) [examined].


  • André, E. 1889. Hyménoptères nouveaux appartenant au groupe des Formicides. Rev. Entomol. (Caen) 8: 217-231 (page 229, worker described)
  • Bolton, B. 1974a. A revision of the Palaeotropical arboreal ant genus Cataulacus F. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 30: 1-105 (page 48, queen described; page 47, Senior synonym of nainei)
  • Yanoviak, S. P., R. Dudley, and M. Kaspari. 2005. Directed aerial descent in canopy ants. Nature. 433:624-626.
  • Yanoviak, S. P., B. L. Fisher, and A. Alonso. 2007. Arboreal ant diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a central African forest. African Journal of Ecology. 46:60-66.
  • Yanoviak, S. P., B. L. Fisher, and A. Alonso. 2008. Directed aerial descent behavior in African canopy ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Insect Behavior. 21:164-171.

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bolton B. 1974. A revision of the Palaeotropical arboreal ant genus Cataulacus F. Smith (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 30: 1-105.
  • Bolton B. 1982. Afrotropical species of the myrmicine ant genera Cardiocondyla, Leptothorax, Melissotarsus, Messor and Cataulacus (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 45: 307-370.
  • Majer J. D. 1976. The ant mosaic in Ghana cocoa farms: further structural considerations. Journal of Applied Ecology 13: 145-155.
  • Medler J. T. 1980: Insects of Nigeria - Check list and bibliography. Mem. Amer. Ent. Inst. 30: i-vii, 1-919.
  • Taylor B. 1979. Ants of the Nigerian Forest Zone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). III. Myrmicinae (Cardiocondylini to Meranoplini). Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria Research Bulletin 6: 1-65.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004
  • Yanoviak S. P., B. L. Fisher, and A. Alonso. 2007. Arboreal ant diversity (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a central African forest. African Journal of Ecology. 46(1): 60-66.