Cladomyrma maschwitzi

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Cladomyrma maschwitzi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Plagiolepidini
Genus: Cladomyrma
Species: C. maschwitzi
Binomial name
Cladomyrma maschwitzi
Agosti, 1991

Cladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173898 profile 1.jpg

Cladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173898 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Cladomyrma maschwitzi is the most widespread Cladomyrma species, occurring in Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia and in Sumatra.


Agosti et al. (1999) placed Cladomyrma species into two groups based on the shape of the queen's petiole, raised (an erect node or scale) or depressed (dorsally truncate and low). Cladomyrma maschwitzi belongs to the depressed petiole group.

This species is easily recognized by its small, light yellow workers, the large metapleural gland orifice, and the uniform brown-colored queen with, at most, appendages and frontal part yellowish. The Sumatran specimens differ somewhat in the body coloration of the queens, which is of a dark brown color and they are larger (AL = 2.24–2.38), however, the workers are of the same yellowish appearance as the non-Sumatran specimens.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia (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.


Agosti et al. (1999) - This species is known only from Crypteronia griffithii (Crypteroniaceae) but may inhabit another Crypteronia species as well. A detailed account of the protective function of C. maschwitzi to its host and colonization rates of different aged host trees are given in Moog et al. (1998). The ants patrol young foliage and deter or kill herbivores they encounter. In addition they clean the surface of young leaves from insect eggs. Preliminary data suggest a competitive relationship of C. maschwitzi with C. crypteroniae, the sympatric second ant partner of Crypteronia in Borneo and Sumatra (unpubl. results). It appears that young Crypteronia saplings are occupied primarily by maschwitzi, due to the smaller twig diameter, giving the smaller maschwitzi queens priority of access to the host plant resource. However, a large percentage of older saplings has been subsequently colonized by crypteroniae. It will be interesting to study this phenomenon in detail, i.e. if the observed pattern is the consequence of direct or indirect (e.g. better performance of initial colonies) interactions between the two species. An alternative hypothesis— that the host plant is locally so abundant that founding queens do not compete for it—can be excluded both by a colonization rate of almost 100% and by the regular occurrence of multiple founding on individual host plants.

Moog et al. (1997) - Cladomyrma maschwitzi, like all Cladomyrma species, are arboreal ants. This species nests in excavated tree branches of Crypteronia griffithii. The tropical forests where their host occurs experience frequent and strong rains. The risk of rain and rain-runoff getting into C. maschwitzi nests is mitigated in part by their laterally oriented nest-entrances. If water does get into a nest, it is removed using a water-bailing behavior. Workers will ingest the liquid and regurgitate it outside the nest until no standing water remains.



Images from AntWeb

Cladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173899 head 1.jpgCladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173899 profile 1.jpgCladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173899 dorsal 1.jpgCladomyrma maschwitzi casent0173899 label 1.jpg
Paratype of Cladomyrma maschwitziQueen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0173899. 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.

  • maschwitzi. Cladomyrma maschwitzi Agosti, 1991: 306, figs. 5, 8-12, 15, 19, 21, 24 (s.w.q.m.) WEST MALAYSIA.
    • Type-material: holotype queen, 38 paratype workers, 4 paratype queens, 2 paratype males.
    • Type-locality: holotype Malaysia: Selangor, Ulu Gombak, 1990, no. 3 (J. Moog); paratypes: 11 workers with same data, 3 workers Ulu Gombak, 22.ii.1988, no. 707 (U. Maschwitz), 2 workers, 1 queen Ulu Gombak, 1980 (J. Moog), 12 workers Gombak, 30.x.1988, no. 871 (U. Maschwitz), 2 workers, 1 queen Ulu Gomnak, 1990 (J. Moog), 2 workers, 1 queen Malaysia: Templers Park, 1.xi.1988, no. 859 (U. Maschwitz), 3 workers Malaysia: Maxwells Hill, 21.i.1988, no. 947 (U. Maschwitz), 3 workers, 2 males Malaysia: Negeri Sembilan, Pasoh (80 km. S Kuala Lumpur), 2.iv.1990 (Rosciszewski).
    • Type-depositories: BMNH (holotype); BMNH, DAPC, FRKL, MCZC, MHNG (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Bolton, 1995b: 146; Agosti, et al. 1999: 11 (redescription); Pfeiffer, et al. 2011: 39.
    • Distribution: Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia (Peninsula).

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


Agosti et al. (1999):


Major worker. AL 0.84–1.00, HL 0.81–0.98, HW 0.68–0.82, EL 0.15–0.20, SL 0.38–0.48, CI 83–85, EI 22–25, SI 53–59 (n = 8).

Median part of clypeus coarsely sculptured; large, open metapleural gland orifice; whole body light yellow colored; few hairs on dorsum of mesonotum.

Minor worker. AL 0.68–0.71, HL 0.62–0.65, HW 0.52–0.56, EL 0.12–0.14, SL 0.32–0.34, CI 84–87, EI 22–25, SI 57–63 (n = 8).

Large, open metapleural gland orifice; whole body light yellow colored.


AL 1.82–2.38, HL 1.22–1.41, HW 0.98–1.06, EL 0.44–0.48, SL 0.62–0.68, CI 74–80, EI 44–49, SI 63–66 (n = 6). Holotype: AL 1.82, HL 1.62, HW 0.92, SL 0.62, EL 0.44, CI 80.3, EI 55, SI 63.

Dense, subdecumbent pubescence on scape, occiput, and alitrunk; an- and katepisternum with few erect hairs, especially in the dorsal regions; large metapleural gland orifice; petiole low, dorsally truncated but slightly dorsally convex.

Type Material

Agosti et al. (1999) - Holotype queen, WEST MALAYSIA, Selangor, Ulu Gombak, 1990, #3, ex Crypteronia griffithii, Joachim Moog, The Natural History Museum.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Agosti D., J. Moog, and U. Maschwitz. 1999. Revision of the Oriental Plant-ant genus Cladomyrma. American Museum Novitates 3283: 1-24.
  • Pfeiffer M.; Mezger, D.; Hosoishi, S.; Bakhtiar, E. Y.; Kohout, R. J. 2011. The Formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): a preliminary species list. Asian Myrmecology 4:9-58