Messor picturatus

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Messor picturatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. picturatus
Binomial name
Messor picturatus
Santschi, 1927

Messor picturatus casent0281603 p 1 high.jpg

Messor picturatus casent0281603 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 1.92-2.12; EL/HW 0.21-0.23. This species has the red head and alitrunk of the Messor minor species group but differs in the more rounded head, grainy head and stronger alitrunk sculpture. This is particularly evident in the larger examples. Small workers are hard to tell apart except for the larger eyes. The petiole in M. picturatus is also thicker compared with similar sized examples of M. minor and the anteroventral prominence on the postpetiole is more developed. M. minor examples from Corsica and what appears to be the same species from Tenerife have a few erect hairs on the first gastral tergite. These are restricted to two or three on the posterior margin of the first tergite in M. picturatus.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 36.8° to 21.133333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia.
Palaearctic Region: Algeria (type locality), Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco.

It is known from North Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq (Abdul-Rassoul et al. 2013).

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.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.




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

  • picturatus. Messor sublaeviceps var. picturatus Santschi, 1927c: 243.
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Algeria: Mascara (Cros), other syntypes Morocco: Marrakech (H. Vaucher), Tunisia: Ain Draham (F. Santschi).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • [First available use of Messor barbarus st. minor var. picturata Santschi, 1921d: 69 (w.q.) ALGERIA, MOROCCO, TUNISIA; unavailable (infrasubspecific) name.]
    • Santschi, 1939d: 71 (q.m.); Cagniant & Espadaler, 1998: 425 (m.).
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1922c: 94; Emery, 1924a: 8.
    • Subspecies of sublaeviceps: Santschi, 1927c: 243 (redescription); Santschi, 1929e: 142; Menozzi, 1934: 158; Santschi, 1939d: 71; Menozzi, 1940: 268; Finzi, 1940: 159.
    • Subspecies of minor: Cagniant, 1968a: 143.
    • Subspecies of medioruber: Cagniant, 1970a: 415.
    • Status as species: Collingwood, 1985: 251; Bolton, 1995b: 256; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 320; Cagniant & Espadaler, 1998: 425; Cagnaint, 2006a: 197; Borowiec, L. 2014: 110; Barech, et al. 2020: 15.
    • Distribution: Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus maurus Santschi.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Cagniant, H and X. Espadaler, X. 1998 [1997]. Le genre Messor au Maroc (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (n.s.) 33: 419-434
  • Cagniant, H. 1968. Liste preliminaire de fourmis forestieres d'Algerie. Resultats obtenus de 1963 a 1964. Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse 104: 138-147
  • Cagniant, H., and X. Espadaler. "Le genre Messor au Maroc." Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (N.S.) 33 (4) (1998): 419-434.
  • Cagniant, H.. "Deuxième liste de fourmis d'Algérie récoltées principalement en forêt. (1re partie)." Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse 105 (1970): 405-430.
  • Cagniant, H.. "Liste actualisee des fourmis du Maroc (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8 (2006): 193-200.
  • Cagniant, H.. "Liste préliminaire de fourmis forestières d'Algérie. Résultats obtenus de 1963 à 1966." Bulletin de la Societe d'Histoire Naturelle de Toulouse 104 (1968): 138-147.
  • Cagniant, H.. Les peuplements de fourmis des forêts algériennes: écologie, biocénotique, essai biologique. Universite de Toulouse, 1973.
  • Collingwood, C. A. and D. Agosti. 1996. Formicidae (Insects: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2) Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15: 300-385.
  • Collingwood, C. A., and Donat Agosti. "Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15 (1996): 300-385.
  • Emery, C.. "Formiche della Cirenaica raccolte dal Dott. Enrico Festa e dal Prof. Filippo Silvestri." Bollettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 56 (1924): 6-11.
  • Finzi, B.. "Formiche della Libia." Memorie della Società Entomologica Italiana 18 (1940): 155-166.
  • Firouzi F., S. P. Rad, S. H. Nezhad, and D. Agosti. 2011. Four new records of ants from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 52: 71–78.
  • Menozzi C. 1934. Reperti mirmecofaunistici raccolti dal Prof. L di Caporiacco nelle oasi di Cufra e in altre localita del deserto Libico. Atti della Societa dei Naturalisti e Matematici di Modena (6)13(65): 153-166
  • Santschi F. 1929. Fourmis du Maroc, d'Algerie et de Tunisie. Bulletin et Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belge 69: 138-165.
  • Santschi, F. 1921. Formicides nouveaux de l'Afrique du Nord. Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Naturelle de l'Afrique du Nord 12: 68-77
  • Santschi, F. 1927. Révision des Messor du groupe instabilis Sm. (Hymenopt.). Boletin de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural 27: 225-250.
  • Santschi, F.. "Fourmis du Maroc, d'Algérie et de Tunisie." Bulletin et Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique (Bruxelles) 69 (1929): 138-165.
  • Santschi, F.. "Revision des Messor du groupe instabilis Sm. (Hymenopt.)." Boletín de la Real Sociedad española de Historia natural (Madrid) 27 (1927): 225-250.