Dolichoderus sulcaticeps species group

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Based on Dill 2002.



The sulcaticeps group is a very homogenous, well defined and easily recognizable group. The workers are distinct from all other Oriental species groups in the following characters:

  • the shape of the head (rounded triangular, relatively broad [figs. III-72, III-74, III-76], posterior margin not concave);
  • in dorsal view, the relatively stout outline of the alitrunk (propodeum wide in relation to pronotum [figs. III-75, III-76]);
  • in dorsal view, the stout petiole (petiole scale almost as long as wide);
  • the dense pilosity, in particular on scape, funicle and legs.

In addition, the queens are distinct by their strongly convexly vaulted scutum and scutellum (figs. III-42 to III-44), a relatively slender petiole scale (figs. 78, 80), and their wide heads (fig. III-77). The males are clearly distinct by their typically twisted seventh and eight antennal segments.



(figs. III-36 to III-41): Medium-sized to large (HW 0.84-1.64 mm); variable in colour and surface sculpturing (smooth to areolate-rugose); body, including legs, scape and at least the first four funicle segments densely covered with long, erect hairs, the longest of which are longer than the maximum width of the scape; hairs on head and alitrunk mostly bent forward; additionally with sparse or dense pubescence. Occipital margin of head in full face view not or only slightly concavely emarginate, straight or convex; thus, posterior edges of the head not angular; head distinctly wider than long (CI 106-123); head (incl. mandibles) in full face view ± rounded triangular; scape long and slender (SI 95-113). Alitrunk relatively plump with a wide, ± rounded mesonotum (about as wide as long), a compact metanotal region, and a relatively stout, slightly rising propodeum that does not overhang its declivitous face; the rising, basal face of the propodeum mostly wider than long; propodeum (incl. metapleura) stout in relation to pronotum (AWI 116-150). Petiole with plump, in dorsal view ± round scale.


(known of Dolichoderus crawleyi, Dolichoderus jacobsoni, Dolichoderus patens, and Dolichoderus sulcaticeps) (figs. III-42 to III-44): Shape, colour, pilosity, and pubescence similar to workers; head with well developed ocelli; surface sculpturing of head mostly coarser than in workers. Alitrunk with well developed flight thorax; scutum and scutellum strongly convex.


(known of patens and sulcaticeps): Typical Dolichoderus males, shape of head, alitrunk, petiole and gaster and venation of the wings similar to those of other species groups, but easily recognizable by the typical shape of the antennae with their seventh and eighth segments strongly curved (figs. III-45b, III-46b). Subgenital plates less distinctly v-shaped compared to Dulichoderus cuspidatus or Dolichoderus thoracicus group (figs. III-45d-e, III-46c).


Apart from the morphological similarities, the grouping is further supported by the similar biology of the two species, sulcaticeps and patens, with available biological data. Both species build very similarly constructed, complex multi-chambered nest pavilions out of a strong carton material. Both are polydomous. Trophobiotic partners are kept inside the pavilions as well as outside (Rohe 1991, own observations).

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