Crematogaster rochai

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Crematogaster rochai
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Crematogaster
Species: C. rochai
Binomial name
Crematogaster rochai
Forel, 1903

Crematogaster rochai casent0173946 profile 1.jpg

Crematogaster rochai casent0173946 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Forms large, polydomous nests that fill all the available nesting cavities within the trees where a colony is found.


Longino (2003) - This is a member of the crinosa-complex and may not always be distinguishable from Crematogaster crinosa and Crematogaster torosa. See under crinosa for further discussion.

In Costa Rica rochai always has the fourth abdominal tergite completely devoid of erect setae, and the anteroventral petiolar process is long and sharp. Costa Rican material also lacks a differentiated dorsal face of the propodeum, but material from central and southern South America develops a stronger propodeal suture, thus approaching the condition in other crinosa group material. Also, southern material often has one to five erect setae on the anterolateral portions of the fourth abdominal tergite.

Keys including this Species


Widespread in Neotropics from southern Mexico to Argentina.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 23.49161111° to -31.736°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.

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.


Longino (2003) - Crematogaster rochai has a biology very similar to crinosa and torosa. It occurs primarily in open, seasonally dry areas, highly disturbed areas, pasture edges, and beach margins. It occasionally occurs in mangroves, although crinosa is the more common mangrove inhabitant. I have never collected it in rainforest areas.

Nests are large, polydomous, and distributed in a wide variety of plant cavities. Dead branches and knots in living trees are most often used. In Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica colonies may occupy ant acacias and may invade acacias occupied by Pseudomyrmex. I have seen workers distributed in small chambers scattered in the corky bark of Tabebuia trees (Bignoniaceae) and Erythrina trees (Fabaceae). Workers often construct small carton baffles to restrict nest entrances and small carton pavilions that shelter Homoptera on surrounding vegetation.

Foraging is primarily diurnal. Workers are generalized scavengers and they frequently visit extrafloral nectaries. Often columns of workers move between nests.

I often find cockroach egg cases scattered in the nest chambers of C. rochai, at a much higher density than in the environment generally. The nature of the relationship between cockroaches and the crinosa group would be worth investigation.



Images from AntWeb

Crematogaster rochai casent0173947 head 1.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173947 profile 1.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173947 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0173947. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ALWC, Alex L. Wild Collection.


Images from AntWeb

Crematogaster rochai casent0173948 head 1.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173948 profile 1.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173948 profile 2.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173948 profile 3.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173948 dorsal 1.jpgCrematogaster rochai casent0173948 label 1.jpg
Male (alate). Specimen code casent0173948. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by ALWC, Alex L. Wild Collection.


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

  • rochai. Crematogaster rochai Forel, 1903c: 255 (w.q.m.) BRAZIL (Ceará).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Morgan & Mackay, 2017: 356), paralectotype workers, paralectotype queens, paralectotype males (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: lectotype Brazil: Ceará (F. Diaz da Rocha); paralectotypes with same data.
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [Also described as new by Forel, 1908e: 67.]
    • Combination in C. (Orthocrema): Emery, 1922e: 134.
    • Subspecies of brevispinosa: Forel, 1912f: 213; Mann, 1916: 443; Santschi, 1919f: 41; Emery, 1922e: 134; Borgmeier, 1927c: 93; Gallardo, 1934: 21; Kempf, 1972a: 86; Bolton, 1995b: 161; Wild, 2007b: 52.
    • Status as species: Forel, 1908c: 366; Forel, 1911c: 301; Luederwaldt, 1918: 42; Longino, 2003a: 102 (redescription); Wild, 2007b: 32, 52; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 258; Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 117; Morgan & Mackay, 2017: 351 (redescription); Pedraza & Fernández, 2019: 896.
    • Senior synonym of malevolens: Wild, 2007b: 52.
    • Distribution: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru.
  • malevolens. Crematogaster (Orthocrema) brevispinosa st. malevolens Santschi, 1919f: 41 (w.) ARGENTINA (Chaco, Entre Ríos).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Argentina: Chaco, Nueva Pompeya (Joergensen), Argentina: Entre Rios, Estación Sosa (MacDonagh).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • Gallardo, 1931b: 298 (q.m.).
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Santschi, 1923c: 250; Gallardo, 1931b: 297; Gallardo, 1934: 16; Kempf, 1972a: 85.
    • Subspecies of brevispinosa: Bolton, 1995b: 157.
    • Status as species: Longino, 2003a: 131.
    • Junior synonym of rochai: Wild, 2007b: 52.

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



Longino (2003) - (Costa Rica) HL 0.851, 0.519, 1.139; HW 0.915, 0.535, 1.238; HC 0.905, 0.509, 1.207; SL 0.559, 0.375, 0.681; EL 0.198, 0.114, 0.257; A11L 0.247; A11W 0.123; A10L 0.110; A10W 0.104; A09L 0.062; A09W 0.078; A08L 0.045; A08W 0.060; WL 0.913, 0.500, 1.259; SPL 0.098, 0.069, 0.158; PTH 0.200, 0.121, 0.265; PTL 0.271, 0.158, 0.407; PTW 0.279, 0.166, 0.343; PPL 0.232, 0.128, 0.286; PPW 0.262, 0.167, 0.352; CI 108, 103, 109; OI 23, 22, 23; SI 66, 72, 60; PTHI 74, 77, 65; PTWI 103, 105, 84; PPI 113, 130, 123; SPI 11, 14, 13; ACI 0.57.

Differing from crinosa and torosa by the following combination of characters: dorsal and posterior face of propodeum in nearly the same plane, such that the propodeal suture appears very shallow with no posterior wall, the propodeum forming a single declivity from the propodeal suture to the petiolar insertion (very large workers have a short dorsal face that drops to propodeal suture); promesonotum strongly arched, not flattened; anteroventral petiolar tooth long, sharply acute, triangular to spine-like; fourth abdominal tergite completely lacking erect setae.


Longino (2003) - A normal queen (dorsal face of propodeum drops steeply from postscutellum and much of propodeum appears ventral to scutellum and postscutellum) with general shape, sculpture, and pilosity characters of the worker; size characters as in Figures.

Type Material

Longino (2003) - Syntype worker, queen, male: Brazil, Ceara (Diaz da Rocha) Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève (examined).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2016. Trees as islands: canopy ant species richness increases with the size of liana-free trees in a Neotropical forest. Ecography doi: 10.1111/ecog.02608
  • Adams B. J., S. A. Schnitzer, and S. P. Yanoviak. 2019. Connectivity explains local ant community structure in a Neotropical forest canopy: a large-scale experimental approach. Ecology 100(6): e02673.
  • Del Toro, I., M. Vazquez, W. Mackay, P. Rojas, and R. Zapata-Mata. "Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Tabasco: explorando la diversidad de la mirmecofauna en las selvas tropicales de baja altitud." Dugesiana 16, no. 1 (2009): 1-14.
  • Del Toro, I., M. Vázquez, W.P. Mackay, P. Rojas and R. Zapata-Mata. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Tabasco: explorando la diversidad de la mirmecofauna en las selvas tropicales de baja altitud. Dugesiana 16(1):1-14.
  • Donoso D. A. 2014. Assembly mechanisms shaping tropical litter ant communities. Ecography 37 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00253.x
  • Fernandes T. T., R. R. Silva, D. Rodrigues de Souza-Campana, O. Guilherme Morais da Silva, and M. Santina de Castro Morini. 2019. Winged ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) presence in twigs on the leaf litter of Atlantic Forest. Biota Neotropica 19(3):
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1903. Mélanges entomologiques, biologiques et autres. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 47: 249-268.
  • Forel A. 1908. Ameisen aus Sao Paulo (Brasilien), Paraguay etc. gesammelt von Prof. Herm. v. Ihering, Dr. Lutz, Dr. Fiebrig, etc. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 58: 340-418.
  • Forel A. 1908. Catálogo systemático da collecção de formigas do Ceará. Boletim do Museu Rocha 1(1): 62-69.
  • Forel A. 1911. Ameisen des Herrn Prof. v. Ihering aus Brasilien (Sao Paulo usw.) nebst einigen anderen aus Südamerika und Afrika (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1911: 285-312.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Gallardo A. 1934. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Mirmicinas, segunda sección Eumyrmicinae, tribu Crematogastrini (Forel), género Crematogaster Lund. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 38: 1-84.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013.
  • Longino, J.T. 2003. The Crematogaster (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) of Costa Rica. Zootaxa 151:1-150
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • Mann W. M. 1916. The Stanford Expedition to Brazil, 1911, John C. Branner, Director. The ants of Brazil. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 399-490
  • Morgan, C.E. 2009. Revision of the ant genus Crematogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in North America. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas at El Paso, 268 pp.
  • Pérez-Sánchez A. J., J. E. Lattke, and M. A. Riera-Valera. 2014. The Myrmecofauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Macanao Semi-arid Peninsula in Venezuela: An Altitudinal Variation Glance. J Biodivers Biopros Dev 1: 116. doi:10.4172/ijbbd.1000116
  • Santschi F. 1919. Nouveaux formicides de la République Argentine. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 87: 37-57.
  • Smith M. A., W. Hallwachs, D. H. Janzen. 2014. Diversity and phylogenetic community structure of ants along a Costa Rican elevational gradient. Ecography 37(8): 720-731.
  • Suguituru S. S., M. Santina de Castro Morini, R. M. Feitosa, and R. Rosa da Silva. 2015. Formigas do Alto Tiete. Canal 6 Editora 458 pages
  • Ulyssea M. A., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2013. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 57(2): 217–224.
  • Ulysséa M. A., C. R. F. Brandão. 2013. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 57(2): 217-224.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wetterer J. K., M. J. Liles, J. M. Sermeno, L. Serrano Cervantes, E. E. Echeverria, R. M. Estrada Hernandez, A. Henriquez, D. Perez, D. A. Sanchez Garcia, C. E. Gomez Peralta, R. Lopez Sorto, and G. Melendez. 2016. Predaceous fie ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) at sea turtle (Testudines: Cheloniidae) nestig beaches and hatcheries in El Salvador. Florida Entomologist 99(1): 106-109.
  • Wild, A. L.. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.
  • da Silva de Oliveira A. B., and F. A. Schmidt. 2019. Ant assemblages of Brazil nut trees Bertholletia excelsa in forest and pasture habitats in the Southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Biodiversity and Conservation 28(2): 329-344.