Dorymyrmex bicolor

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Dorymyrmex bicolor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Dorymyrmex
Species: D. bicolor
Binomial name
Dorymyrmex bicolor
Wheeler, W.M., 1906

Dorymyrmex bicolor casent0005318 profile 1.jpg

Dorymyrmex bicolor casent0005318 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

A desert species with common desert ant behaviors; fast moving and forages at high temperatures. Nests in unshaded areas surmounted by a crater of fine sand. Feeds on living and dead insects and honeydew.

At a Glance • Polygynous  



Cuezzo and Guerrero (2011) - Worker CI equal or over 90. Worker bicolored: head, mesosoma, and petiole, dark reddish; gaster black. Same pattern of color is found in queen. Posterior margin of the head slightly concave in frontal view. Dorsal face of pronotum with no erect setae. Mesonotal profile continuous with pronotum, with a distinct dorsal and declivitous face before mesopropodeal suture. Queen Head slightly wider than long with the posterior margin of head strongly concave. Maximum diameter the head behind of compound eyes.

Several species of Dorymyrmex (Dorymyrmex pyramicus, Dorymyrmex thoracicus, etc.) have the same pattern of colors and could be confused with D. bicolor s. str. In some papers, D. bicolor was confused with D. pyramicus, because of its pattern of colors (orange head, mesosoma and petiole with dark gaster), but two main characters are useful to identify and to differentiate both species: head width (larger in workers and queens of D. bicolor) and mesonotum interrupted in lateral view, with a well-defined dorsal and declivitous faces, often descending vertically or nearly so, into mesopropodeal suture, (as described below, D. pyramicus has a promesonotal profile continuous, convex in lateral view). Apparently, D. bicolor belongs to a complex of species, as observed by Forel (1911). The identity of this complex could be solved with a more detailed and extensive research, especially comparing nest series from the west part of USA.

Keys including this Species


Southwestern US to Peru.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Belize, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Cuezzo and Guerrero (2011) - The nest, briefly described by Wilson (1957), has a small entrance hall with more regularly formed craters than Dorymyrmex insanus. Dorymyrmex insanus and Dorymyrmex pyramicus are sympatric in the northern part of its distributional range. Both species mentioned above are very active in open areas between 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m and share similar habits of foraging according to Wilson’s observations.




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • bicolor. Dorymyrmex pyramicus var. bicolor Wheeler, W.M. 1906d: 342 (w.q.) U.S.A. Gallardo, 1916a: 63 (q.); Crozier, 1970: 114 (k.). Combination in D. (Conomyrma): Gallardo, 1916a: 63; in D. (Biconomyrma): Kusnezov, 1952g: 430; in Conomyrma: Snelling, R.R. 1973b: 4; in Dorymyrmex: Shattuck, 1992c: 85. Subspecies of pyramicus: Creighton, 1950a: 349. Raised to species: Kusnezov, 1952g: 430; Cole, 1958b: 130. See also: Wilson, 1958b: 76; Johnson, C. 1989b: 192; Shattuck, 1994: 75; Cuezzo & Guerrero, 2011: 6.

Type Material

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



Cuezzo and Guerrero (2011) - (n = 25):HL: 0.78–1.1;HW: 0.7–1; EL: 0.18–0.28; EW: 0.15–0.2; SL: 0.78–1.05; WL: 1.25–1.53; CI: 90-91; SI: 105–111; REL: 23–25; OI: 73–86; TLI: 139–161.

Worker bicolored: head, mesosoma, and petiole, dark reddish; gaster black. Funicle and legs darker than rest of the body in some specimens. Head: square in frontal view, almost as wide as long, sides slightly convex. Posterior margin of head feebly convex medially. Scape short (SI: 105–111). Psammophore with short hairs disposed in a triangle, far from the foramen magnum, slightly reaching the oral cavity. Mesosoma: promesonotum in profile, forming a continuous convexity; end of mesonotum with well-differentiated dorsal and declivitous faces, anterior to metanotal suture. Propodeal tubercle short, upward directed, with wide base. Metasoma: petiolar scale forward directed.


Cuezzo and Guerrero (2011) - (n = 7): HL: 1.18–1.23; HW: 1.25–1.33; EL: 0.38–0.4; EW: 0.18–0.23; SL: 1.08–1.13; WL: 2.43–2.6; CI: 106–108; SI: 91-92; REL: 32-33; OI: 47–56; TLI: 206–212.

Similar to worker in color. Whitish pubescence covering all body tagma. Head: Wider than long, with convex sides, in frontal view. Posterolateral corner rounded, posteriormargin of head slightly concave. Masticatory margin of mandible with six teeth and two or three denticles; basal margin completely dentate with a well-differentiated angle between both margins. Scape surpassing posterior margin of the head by more than twice its maximum diameter. Mesosoma: Parapsidal furrow well developed, diverging forward, axilla not divided. Anepisternum and katepisternum incompletely divided by a short pleural suture. Wings: forewing with only one close radial cell, one cubital cell, and no discoidal cell; pterostigma well developed, longer than wide. Hindwing with three cells closed in basal area; hamuli with 12 hooks. Metasoma: petiolar scale tall, stout, forward directed, and rounded apically. Ventral face of petiole slightly convex. Gaster with dark brown tergites and covered with whitish pubescence.

Syntype Specimen Labels


  • n = 13, 2n = 26 (USA) (Crozier, 1970b).


Cuezzo and Guerrero (2011) - The name of bicolor is referred to the particular pattern of colors found in all known castes (worker and queen).


  • Cole, A. C., Jr. 1958b [1957]. Notes on western ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 65: 129-131 (page 130, Raised to species)
  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 349, Subspecies of pyramicus.)
  • Crozier, R. H. 1970a. Karyotypes of twenty-one ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with reviews of the known ant karyotypes. Can. J. Genet. Cytol. 12: 109-128 (page 114, Karyotype described)
  • Cuezzo, F. & Guerrero, R.J. 2011. The ant genus Dorymyrmex Mayr in Colombia. Psyche 2012: 24 pp. Article ID 516058. [doi: 10.1155/2012/516058.] PDF
  • Forel, A. 1911. Ameisen des Herrn Prof. v. Ihering aus Brasilien (Sao Paulo usw.) nebst einigen anderen aus Sudamerika und Afrika (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift. 285–312.
  • Gallardo, A. 1916b. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Dolicoderinas. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. B. Aires 28: 1-130 (page 63, queen described, Combination in D. (Conomyrma))
  • Johnson, C. 1989b. Taxonomy and diagnosis of Conomyrma insana (Buckley) and C. flava (McCook) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 3: 179-194 (page 192, see also)
  • Kusnezov, N. 1952j [1951]. El estado real del grupo Dorymyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zool. Lilloana 10: 427-448 (page 430, Combination in D. (Biconomyrma), Raised to species)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1992c. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 21: 1-181 (page 85, Combination in Dorymyrmex)
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 112:i-xix, 1-241. (page 75, see also)
  • Snelling, R. R. 1973b. The ant genus Conomyrma in the United States (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Contr. Sci. (Los Angel.) 238: 1-6 (page 4, Combination in Conomyrma)
  • Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1906i. The ants of the Grand Cañon. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 22: 329-345 (page 342, worker described)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1958e [1957]. Sympatry of the ants Conomyrma bicolor (Wheeler) and C. pyramica (Roger). Psyche (Camb.) 64: 76 (page 76, see also)