Dorylus helvolus

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Dorylus helvolus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Dorylus
Species: D. helvolus
Binomial name
Dorylus helvolus
(Linnaeus, 1764)

Dorylus helvolus casent0106079 profile 1.jpg

Dorylus helvolus casent0106079 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships

Dorylus laevigatus

Dorylus conradti

Dorylus orientalis

Dorylus fimbriatus laevipodex

Dorylus fulvus

Dorylus spininodis

Dorylus mayri

Dorylus nigricans rubellus

Dorylus nigricans molestus

Dorylus nigricans terrificus

Dorylus wilverthi

Dorylus nigricans burmeisteri

Dorylus nigricans sjostedti

Dorylus nigricans arcens

Dorylus nigricans

Dorylus emeryi

Dorylus gerstaeckeri

Dorylus gribodoi

Dorylus kohli

Dorylus emeryi opacus

Dorylus braunsi

Dorylus affinis

Dorylus helvolus

Based on Kronauer et al., 2007. Note only selected Dorylus species are included, and undescribed species are excluded.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa (type locality), United Republic of Tanzania.
Palaearctic Region: Italy.

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.

  • helvolus. Vespa helvola Linnaeus, 1764: 412 (m.) SOUTH AFRICA. Linnaeus, 1767: 968 (w.); Emery, 1888b: 344 (q.). Combination in Dorylus: Fabricius, 1793: 365. Senior synonym of dorylus, europaea, planifrons, punctata: Emery, 1888b: 350; Emery, 1895j: 714. Current subspecies: nominal plus pretoriae. See also: Arnold, 1915: 116.
  • dorylus. Mutilla dorylus Lamarck, 1817: 101 (m.) "Africa". Junior synonym of helvolus: Emery, 1888b: 350.
  • punctata. Typhlopone punctata Smith, F. 1858b: 112 (w.) SOUTH AFRICA. Combination in Dorylus: André, 1882c: 251. Junior synonym of helvolus: Emery, 1888b: 350.
  • europaea. Typhlopone europaea Roger, 1859: 248, pl. 7, fig. 3 (w.) ITALY. Junior synonym of helvolus: Emery, 1888b: 350.
  • planifrons. Dorylus planifrons Mayr, 1865: 74, pl. 3, fig. 21 (m.) SOUTH AFRICA. Junior synonym of helvolus: Emery, 1888b: 350.



  • Arnold, G. 1915. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part I. Ponerinae, Dorylinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 1-159 (page 116, see also)
  • Emery, C. 1888b [1887]. Le tre forme sessuali del Dorylus helvolus L. e degli altri Dorilidi. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 19: 344-351 (page 344, queen described)
  • Emery, C. 1888b [1887]. Le tre forme sessuali del Dorylus helvolus L. e degli altri Dorilidi. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 19: 344-351 (page 350, Senior synonym of dorylus, europaea, planifrons and punctata)
  • Emery, C. 1895l. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 685-778 (page 714, Senior synonym of dorylus, europaea, planifrons and punctata)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1793. Entomologia systematica emendata et aucta. Secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonimis, locis observationibus, descriptionibus. Tome 2. Hafniae [= Copenhagen]: C. G. Proft, 519 pp. (page 365, Combination in Dorylus)
  • Kronauer, D. J. C.; Schöning, C.; Vilhelmsen, L. B.; Boomsma, J. J. 2007. A molecular phylogeny of Dorylus army ants provides evidence for multiple evolutionary transitions in foraging niche. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7: Article 56 (doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-56).
  • Linnaeus, C. 1764. Museum S:ae R:ae M:tis Ludovicae Ulricae Reginae Svecorum, Gothorum, Vandalorumque, &c. In quo animalia rariora, exotica, imprimis. Insecta & Conchilia describuntur & determinantur. Prodromi instar. Holmiae [= Stockholm]: Salvius, 8 + (page 412, male described)
  • Linnaeus, C. 1767. Systema naturae, per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum caracteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Pars 2. Editio duodecima, reformata. Holmiae [= Stockholm]: L. Salvii, pp. 533-1327. (page 968, worker described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Addison P., and M. J. Samways. 2000. A survey of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) that forage in vineyards in the Western Cape Province, South Africa
  • Borowiec M. L. 2016. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 608: 1–280.
  • Botes, A., M.A. McGeoch, H.G. Robertson, A. van Niekerk, H.P. Davids and S.L. Chown. 2006. Ants, altitude and change in the northern Cape Floristic Region. Journal of Biogeography 33:71-90
  • Emery C. 1895. Die Gattung Dorylus Fab. und die systematische Eintheilung der Formiciden. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 8: 685-778.
  • Emery C. 1895. Voyage de M. E. Simon dans l'Afrique australe (janvier-avril 1893). 3e mémoire. Formicides. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 64: 15-56.
  • Forel A. 1907. Formiciden aus dem Naturhistorischen Museum in Hamburg. II. Teil. Neueingänge seit 1900. Mitt. Naturhist. Mus. Hambg. 24: 1-20.
  • Forel A. 1910. Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika ausgeführt in den Jahren 1903-1905 von Dr. Leonhard Schultze. Vierter Band. Systematik und Tiergeographie. D) Formicidae. Denkschriften der Medizinisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena 16: 1-30.
  • French K., and R. E. Major. 2001. Effect of an exotic Acacia (Fabaceae) on ant assemblages in South African fynbos. Austral Ecology 26: 303–310.
  • Hita Garcia F., E. Wiesel, G. Fischer. 2013. The ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—faunal overview, first species checklist, bibliography, accounts for all genera, and discussion on taxonomy and zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History 101: 127-222.
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Prins A. J. 1963. A list of the ants collected in the Kruger National Park with notes on their distribution. Koedoe 6: 91-108.
  • Prins A. J. 1964. Revised list of the ants collected in the Kruger National Park. Koedoe 7: 77-93.
  • Prins A. J., and J. J. Cillie. 1968. The ants collected in the Hluhluwe and Umfolozi game reserves. The Lammergeyer 8: 40-47.
  • Ratsirarson H., H. G. Robertson, M. D. Picker, and S. van Noort. 2002. Indigenous forests versus exotic eucalypt and pine plantations: a comparison of leaf-litter invertebrate communities. African Entomology 10(1): 93–99
  • Samways M. J. 1990. Species temporal variability: epigaeic ant assemblages and management for abundance and scarcity. Oecologia 84: 482-490.
  • 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