Dolichoderus kinabaluensis

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Dolichoderus kinabaluensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Dolichoderini
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species: D. kinabaluensis
Binomial name
Dolichoderus kinabaluensis
Dill, 2002

Dolichoderus kinabaluensis casent0616945 p 1 high.jpg

Dolichoderus kinabaluensis casent0616945 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Dolichoderus kinabaluensis is a typical migrating herdsmen, showing all behavioural characteristics of the herdsmen lifestyle. Biologically, it is further characterized by having very large colonies, by nesting in subterranean cavities, and by preferring montane habitats at altitudes between 860 and 2,300 m a.s.l.. The population from Mount Kinabalu is associated with the species of Allomyrmococcini Bolbococcus oresbius. (Dill 2002)


Dill (2002) - A member of the Dolichoderus cuspidatus species group. Dolichoderus kinabaluensis is clearly defined by the combination of the at least partly subareolate sculpturing of the head, the very dense, golden-yellowish pubescence, the relatively flat mesonotum hump, and the ± rounded propodeum. Regarding the pubescense and the shape of the alitrunk, particularly of the propodeum, kinabaluensis is close to Dolichoderus gibbifer. The latter differs in lacking the coarser sculpturing of the head and in having a higher mesonotal hump as well as an edged transition between the ascending and the declivitous face of the propodeum. Like Dolichoderus pastorulus and Dolichoderus pilinomas, kinabaluensis is characterized by a relative small body size. However, it distinctly differs from these species in the sculpturing of the head and the shape of the propodeum. The fact that kinabaluensis and pastorulus are both species-specifically associated with closely related Allomyrmococcini species of the same genus (Bolbococcus) corresponds with their close morphology and seems to indicate a closer phylogentic relationship of the two species.

The queen which is only known from one specimen is characterized by its extremely wide scale of the petiole and its strong physogastry. The latter, obviously, is related with the very large size of the colonies.

Keys including this Species


All specimens were collected in higher altitudes (860-2,295 m) in Northeastern Borneo (Sabah and East Sarawak).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb





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

  • kinabaluensis. Dolichoderus kinabaluensis Dill, 2002: 53, figs. III-16, III-24, III-30, III-65 (w.q.m.) BORNEO.

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



(Holotype in brackets): HL 1.08-1.50 [1.35]; HW 0.98-1.51 [1.31]; EL 0.24-0.30 [0.28]; SL 0.98-1.20 [1.14]; AL 1.47-1.96 [1.84]; PnW 0.67-0.87 [0.86]; ML 0.41-0.64 [0.55]; MW 0.30-0.44 [0.39]; MH 0.08-0.14 [0.10]; PpL 0.59-0.78 [0.75]; PpW 0.44-0.62 [0.57]; PpH 0.41-0.66 [0.42]; PpSW 0.29-0.52 [0.41]; PtL 0.37-0.49; PtW 0.30-0.46 [0.41]; TL 4.28-5.80 [5.18]. Indices: CI 91-101 [97]; OI 19-24 [22]; SI 79-100 [87]; MI 135-161 [140]; PpSPpI 60-84 [72]; (n = 35).

Head: Black; entire head densely punctate (= microimbricate); except for clypeus and frontal triangle, this line sculpturing superimposed by a slightly coarser, sometimes weakly developed sub-areolate sculpturing, which forms irregular, shallow, sub-oval or lateral elongate, ± parallel pits (figs. III-65a-b). Entire head, except frontal triangle very densely, golden-yellowish pubescent, particularly dense on clypeus; entirely lacking erect hairs. Head hardly longer than wide; sides strongly curved; suboval; occipital margin shallowly emarginate; superoccipital pit usually missing, rarely forming a shallow impression.

Alitrunk: From reddish-brown to black; from densely punctate to finely reticulate (=micro-imbricate); partly (e. g. on mesopleuron and mesonotum) with coarser, areolate or elongate wrinkles and furrows (fig. III -65c); ± densely pubescent; erect hairs sparse and restricted to ventral face and coxae. Dorsal face of pronotum flat or weakly concave, its lateral margins usually indistinct and not edged; shoulders indistinct. Mesontum hump very flat, arched ± evenly over its full length; not or only very shallowly medially depressed. Propodeum moderately high; in profile, transition between ascending dorsal face and declivity rounded, without a distinct edge (fig. III-16b), with or without median depression; if depressed, then corners somewhat expanded, forming two rounded humps pointing up but not sidewards; posterior margin of ascending face in profile not overhanging the declivity, i. e. the declivity slopes down and backwards and is not concavely curved forwards.

Petiole: Black; punctate (= micro-imbricate) and densely pubescent; upper margin of scale entire or weakly concavely emarginate.

Gaster: From blackish-brown to black. Finely reticulate or punctate (= micro-imbricate); very densely, yellowish-golden pubescent; pubescense on tergites arranged in cowlicks and merging in a median line, thus, depending on incidence of light, causing the appearance of broad golden stripes; erect hairs restricted to ventral face and gaster tip.


HL 1.73; HW 1.77; EL 0.33; SL 1.31; AL 2.31; PnW 1.31; ML 1.09; ScL 0.49; MW 1.17; MH 0.55; PpL 0.94; PpW 1.14; PpH 0.94; PtW 1.24; TL 10.06. Indices: CI 103; OI 19; SI 74; MI 93; ScI 33; (n = 1).

Coloration and fine sculpturing as in workers, but lacking the subareolate sculpturing of the head; also, alitrunk less coarsely sculptured; pubescence even denser than in workers. Sides of head in full face view strongly curved; occipital margin only very shallowly emarginate; ocelli partly reduced (posterior pair distinctly smaller than anterior ocellus). Mesonotum strongly vaulted, its anterior portion medially somewhat depressed; the deliminations of the fused scutum, axillar region, and scutellum still vaguely marked by shallow furrows; vestigial remnants of wing buds present; dorsal face of propodeum in profile ± flat and horizontal, not as distinctly ascending as in workers. Scale of petiole very large and wide, even wider than propodeum (fig. III-24c); strongly physogastric.


HL 0.80-0.82; HW 0.95-1.00; EL 0.41-0.43; EW: 0.31-0.33; SL 0.37-0.39; CpL 0.24-0.28; MdL 0.32-0.34; AL 1.84-1.94; ML 1.31-1.37; ScW 0.90-0.96; PtW 0.33. Indices: CI 117-122; OI 42-45; OI2 50-54; OI3 31-34; OI4 38-42; MdI 39-42; MdCpI 122- 142; SI 38-41; (n = 6).

Typical Dolichoderus males with the characters of the cuspidatus group. Head brownish-black, alitrunk reddish-brown to castaneous or dark-brown; evenly and densely punctate, but lacking the subareolate sculpturing of the workers. Mandibles long; eyes comparatively smaller than in males of most other species of the group.

Type Material

Holotype worker (The Natural History Museum), 2 paratype workers (BMNH), 3 paratype workers (Museum of Comparative Zoology) from same nest series: Borneo, Sabah, Kinabalu NP Headquarters, 6°02'N, 116°33' E, 1,560 m, 21.vii.1991 (M. Dill); 3 paratype workers (BMNH), 3 paratype workers (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel), 6 paratype workers (FNMS) with same collection data as holotype series; 1 paratype female (BMNH): same collection site as holotype, vii.1991 (M. Dill); 3 paratype males (BMNH), 1 paratype male (MCZ), 2 paratype males (FNMS), same collection site as holotype, 6.ii.1984 (U. Maschwitz).


Named after the type locality, Gunung Kinabalu in Sabah.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dill M. 2002. Taxonomy of the migrating herdsmen species of the genus Dolichoderus Lund, 1831, with remarks on the systematics of other southeast-Asian Dolichoderus. Pp. 17-113 in: Dill, M.; Williams, D. J.; Maschwitz, U. 2002. Herdsmen ants and their mealybug partners. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 557: 1-373.
  • Dill M., D.J. Williams, and U. Maschwitz. 2002. Herdsmen ants and their mealybug partners. Abh. senckenberg. naturforsch. Ges. 557: 1-373.
  • 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