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.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 41.69° to -19.6°.

Tropical South

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

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.


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.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Rissing and Pollock, 1988; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)



MCZ-ENT00021364 Dorymyrmex pyramicus var bicolor hef.jpgMCZ-ENT00021364 Dorymyrmex pyramicus var bicolor hal.jpgMCZ-ENT00021364 Dorymyrmex pyramicus var bicolor had.jpgMCZ-ENT00021364 Dorymyrmex pyramicus var bicolor lbs.jpg
Syntype of Dorymyrmex bicolorWorker. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.
Mcz-ent00668698 Dorymyrmex bicolor hef.jpgMcz-ent00668698 Dorymyrmex bicolor hal.jpgMcz-ent00668698 Dorymyrmex bicolor had.jpgMcz-ent00668698 Dorymyrmex bicolor lbs.JPG
Worker. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Dorymyrmex bicolor casent0102752 head 1.jpgDorymyrmex bicolor casent0102752 profile 1.jpgDorymyrmex bicolor casent0102752 dorsal 1.jpgDorymyrmex bicolor casent0102752 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0102752. Photographer Jen Fogarty, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • 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).

Worker Morphology

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Worker Morphology data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.
  • Caste: monomorphic


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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