Messor aciculatus

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Messor aciculatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. aciculatus
Binomial name
Messor aciculatus
(Smith, F., 1874)

Messor aciculatus casent0217860 p 1 high.jpg

Messor aciculatus casent0217860 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


In Japan, this species is known to be winter-active (Hosoishi et al., 2019).



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Japan (type locality), Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Hosoishi et al. (2019) examined winter foraging activity in western Japan. They found foraging activity was generally low, except during relatively warm periods when the surface ground temperature was above 6–7°C or soil temperature was above 4–5°C. Tetramorium tsushimae, Messor aciculatus and Pheidole nodus were the most abundant in the open land type, whereas Nylanderia flavipes, Pheidole nodus and Crematogaster osakensis were the most abundant in the forest type.



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

  • aciculatus. Aphaenogaster aciculata Smith, F. 1874: 405 (w.q.) JAPAN. Imai, 1966: 119 (k.); Onoyama, 1982: 325 (l.); Kupyanskaya, 1990: 122 (m.). Combination in Stenamma (Messor): Forel, 1901h: 60; in Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma): Emery, 1921f: 57; in Messor: Forel, 1922: 93. Senior synonym of brunneicorne: Yano, 1910: 420; Wheeler, W.M. 1928d: 107 (in text); of lobulifera: Wheeler, W.M. 1928c: 9 (in text); Wheeler, W.M. 1928d: 107 (in text). Current subspecies: nominal plus risianus.
  • brunneicorne. Stenamma (Messor) aciculatum var. brunneicorne Forel, 1901h: 60 (w.) JAPAN. Combination in Messor: Emery, 1908e: 459. Raised to species: Emery, 1908e: 459. Junior synonym of aciculatus: Yano, 1910: 420.
  • lobulifera. Messor barbarus var. lobulifera Emery, 1901i: 159 (w.) MONGOLIA. Santschi, 1925f: 93 (q.m.). Raised to species: Ruzsky, 1905b: 739. [Misspelled as lobifer by Santschi, 1925f: 93.] Junior synonym of aciculatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1928c: 9 (in text); Wheeler, W.M. 1928d: 107. See also: Santschi, 1928b: 31.



  • n = 22, 2n = 44 (Japan) (Imai & Yosida, 1964; Imai, 1966; Imai, 1969).


  • Emery, C. 1921c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174A:1-94 94: 1-94 + 7 (page 57, Combination in Aphaenogaster (Attomyrma))
  • Forel, A. 1901m. Formiciden des Naturhistorischen Museums zu Hamburg. Neue Calyptomyrmex-, Dacryon-, Podomyrma- und Echinopla-Arten. Mitt. Naturhist. Mus. Hambg. 18: 43-82 (page 60, Combination in Stenamma (Messor))
  • Forel, A. 1922b. Glanures myrmécologiques en 1922. Rev. Suisse Zool. 30: 87-102 (page 93, Combination in Messor)
  • Hosoishi, S., Rahman, M.M., Murakami, T., Park, S.-H., Kuboki, Y., Ogata, K. 2019. Winter activity of ants in an urban area of western Japan. Sociobiology 66(3): 414-419 (doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v66i3.4374).
  • Imai, H. T. 1966b. The chromosome observation techniques of ants and the chromosomes of Formicinae and Myrmicinae. Acta Hymenopterol. 2: 119-131 (page 119, karyotype described)
  • Kupyanskaya, A. N. 1990a. Ants of the Far Eastern USSR. Vladivostok: Akademiya Nauk SSSR, 258 pp. (page 122, male described)
  • Onoyama, K. 1982a. Immature stages of the harvester ant Messor aciculatus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Kontyû 50: 324-329 (page 325, larva described)
  • Smith, F. 1874b. Descriptions of new species of Tenthredinidae, Ichneumonidae, Chrysididae, Formicidae, &c. of Japan. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1874: 373-409 (page 405, worker, queen described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1928c. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in China. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 22: 3-38 (page 9, Senior synonym of lobulifera (in text))
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1928d. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in Japan and Korea. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 22: 96-125 (page 107, Senior synonym of brunneicorne (in text))
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1928d. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in Japan and Korea. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 22: 96-125 (page 107, Senior synonym of lobulifera (in text))
  • Yano, M. 1910a. On the ants of Japan. Dobutsugaku Zasshi (Zool. Mag.) 22: 416-425 (page 420, Senior synonym of brunneicorne)