Key to Australian Aphaenogaster Species

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The following key to Australian Aphaenogaster is based on Shattuck (2008).[1]

1: Hairs under head

  • Majority of hairs on venter of head located laterally and forming a distinct psammophore, only scattered hairs on central portion => 2

Aphaenogaster Australian key 1a.jpg
(Leads to: Aphaenogaster barbigula, Aphaenogaster mediterrae, Aphaenogaster poultoni)

  • Hairs on venter of head randomly distributed and not forming a distinct psammophore => 3

Aphaenogaster Australian key 1b.jpg
(Leads to: Aphaenogaster barbara, Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis, Aphaenogaster longiceps, Aphaenogaster pythia, Aphaenogaster reichelae)

2: Eye size, scape length

  • Eye relatively small (EI less than 21); scape relatively short (SI less than 106) => 4
Aphaenogaster Australian key 2.jpg

(Leads to: Aphaenogaster barbigula, Aphaenogaster poultoni)

3: Shape of head

  • Posterior margin of head nearly flat in full face view, extending laterally of the occipital collar before passing through a distinct posterolateral corner into the lateral margin of the head => 5

Aphaenogaster Australian key 4a.jpg
(Leads to: Aphaenogaster pythia, Aphaenogaster reichelae)

  • Posterior margin of head broadly arched in full face view, the arch beginning at the occipital collar and with at most a weak angle separating the posterior and lateral margins of the head (often posterior and lateral margins forming a continuous surface) => 6

Aphaenogaster Australian key 4b.jpg
(Leads to: Aphaenogaster barbara, Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis, Aphaenogaster longiceps)

4: Petiolar shape, mandibular sculpturing

  • Petiolar node (in dorsal view) wider than long; mandibular sculpture composed of irregularly sized striations (occurring in Western Australia) => Aphaenogaster poultoni

Aphaenogaster Australian key 3-2a.jpgAphaenogaster Australian key 3a.jpg

  • Petiolar node (in dorsal view) approximately square; mandibular sculpture composed of regularly sized striations (occurring in South Australia and eastward) => Aphaenogaster barbigula

Aphaenogaster Australian key 3-2b.jpgAphaenogaster Australian key 3b.jpg

5: Scape length

  • Scape relatively short (SI less than 125) (occurring in eastern Queensland and north eastern New South Wales) => Aphaenogaster pythia
Aphaenogaster Australian key 5.jpg

6: Hair shape, propodeal spines

  • Shorter erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum (especially those on mesonotum) with blunt tips; dorsal surfaces of propodeum and propodeal spines connected through a gentle concavity (so that the base of each spine is at approximately the same level as the dorsal surface of the propodeum) => Aphaenogaster longiceps

Aphaenogaster Australian key 6a.jpg

  • Erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum tapering to sharp points; dorsal surfaces of propodeum and propodeal spines connected through a gentle concavity followed by a gentle convexity (so that the base of each spine is raised slightly above the dorsal surface of the propodeum) => 7

Aphaenogaster Australian key 6b.jpg
(Leads to: Aphaenogaster barbara, Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis)

7: Head shape, scape length

  • Head relatively narrow, scape relatively long (occurring in northern Northern Territory and northern Western Australia) => Aphaenogaster kimberleyensis
Aphaenogaster Australian key 7.jpg


  1. Shattuck, S. 2008. Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). ZooTaxa 1677:25-45.