Nylanderia bruesii

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Nylanderia bruesii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Lasiini
Genus: Nylanderia
Species: N. bruesii
Binomial name
Nylanderia bruesii
(Wheeler, W.M., 1903)

Paratrechina bruesii casent0102819 profile 1.jpg

Paratrechina bruesii casent0102819 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is frequently found nesting under stones or otherwise shady areas near water, even in arid environments. Reproductives fly, as in the other Nearctic species, at the onset of warm, humid days (Trager, 1984).


Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Large species (TL: 2.3–3.3); pronotum with dense pubescence; pronotum and mesonotum often lighter in color than mesopleuron and propodeum; mesosoma notum and gaster with densely distributed macrosetae.

Compare with: Nylanderia austroccidua.

In the United States, there can be little confusion in identifying N. bruesii with any other species except perhaps Nylanderia austroccidua. However, N. bruesii lacks the bluish coloration and angular pronotum of the latter, and is frequently more pubescent.

Identification Keys including this Taxon


The known range of N. bruesii extends from the desert southwest United States to Baja California Sur, Coahuila, and Sonora in Mexico (Kallal & LaPolla 2012).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Desert washes, mountainous hillsides, grassy meadows, and mesic forests populated by willow, cottonwood, oak, and juniper (Kallal & LaPolla, 2012).


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - This species nests under stones in streambeds or arroyos in the lowlands and foothills in scrub lands or grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert, at elevations of 750 - 1800. It is also found in subtropical thorn forest, juniper-oak or juniper-cottonwood woodlands. This ant nests under stones or under wood (such as a dead Yucca log). Alates were found in nests from April to December. Apparently the alates remain in the nest throughout the winter and fly at the outset of hot weather or after spring rains.



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

  • bruesii. Prenolepis bruesii Wheeler, W.M. 1903b: 106, fig. 9 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1968: 211 (l.). Combination in Pr. (Nylanderia): Emery, 1914f: 422; in Paratrechina (Nylanderia): Emery, 1925b: 222; in Nylanderia: LaPolla, Brady & Shattuck, 2010a: 127. See also: Trager, 1984b: 129; Kallal & LaPolla, 2012: 15.

Type Material

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



Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Measurements (n=15) TL: 2.37–3.23; HW: 0.59–0.72; HL: 0.65–0.85; EL: 0.16–0.21; SL: 0.73–0.95; PW: 0.39–0.55; WL: 0.78–1.01; GL: 0.86–1.46; PH: 0.22–0.28; PFL: 0.58–0.78; PFW: 0.15–0.22. SMC: 10–22; PMC: 3–10; MMC: 3–6. Indices: CI: 83–89; REL: 22–28; SI: 111–126; FI: 90–121.

Overall dark brown with mandibles, scapes, and legs lighter brown; pronotum and mesonotum sometimes lighter than mesopleuron and propodeum; mesocoxae and metacoxae sometimes lighter; cuticle smooth and shiny; cephalic pubescence moderate to dense; pronotum with dense pubescence becoming less dense on mesonotum, anteriodorsal area of propodeum with a narrow band of moderate pubescence; gastral pubescence moderate, densest along segmental margins. Head ovate; posterior margin slightly emarginated medially; scapes surpass posterior margin by length of first 3–4 funicular segments; ocelli apparent. Pronotal anterior face at approximately 45°, without distinct inflection between pronotal anterior and dorsal faces; anterior margin of mesonotum continuous with posterior pronotal margin; propodeum rounded with slightly longer declivitous face.


Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - Measurements (n=2) TL: 4.58–5.13; HW: 0.94–0.98; HL: 0.97–1.10; EL: 0.26–0.29; SL: 1.03–1.04; PW: 0.95–1.1; MW: 0.89–0.99; WL: 1.64–1.7; GL: 1.97–2.39; PH: 0.56–0.57; PFL: 0.85–0.93; PFW: 0.22–0.24. SMC: 12–15; PMC: 6–10; MMC: 1–4; MtMC: 2. Indices: CI: 94–97; REL: 27–28; SI: 99–107; FI: 82–96.

Overall dark brown in color, with darker gaster darker, scapes, mandibles, and legs lighter; cuticle smooth and shiny; body with dense pubescence; macrosetae brown. Head broad as it is long; scapes surpass posterior margin by the length of 3–4 funicular segments. Propodeum with short dorsal face and long declivitous face.


Kallal & LaPolla (2012) - MALE. Measurements (n=8) TL: 2.86–3.51; HW: 0.58–0.66; HL: 0.62–0.68; EL: 0.22–0.27; SL: 0.79–0.92; PW: 0.55–0.70; MW: 0.50–0.61; WL: 0.90–1.23; GL: 1.27–1.61; PH: 0.27–0.40; PFL: 0.71–0.89; PFW: 0.14–0.19; PL: 0.21–0.37. SMC: 5–12; MMC: 5–12; MtMC: 2–4. Indices: CI: 98–106; REL: 31–41; SI: 124–134; FI: 115–132.

Overall dark brown with lighter mandibles, scapes, and leg joints; cuticle smooth and shiny; cephalic pubescence dense; mesosoma with pubescence densest on mesonotum, extending to posterior pronotum, katepisternum, mesopleuron and propodeum; gastral pubescence moderate. Head as broad as long; eyes convex, extending beyond the lateral margins of the head in full face view; scapes surpass posterior margin by first 3–4 funicular segments; inner mandibular margin long and straight; basal angle approximately 90°; masticatory margin with large apical tooth plus two smaller subapical teeth. Mesosoma enlarged to accommodate flight muscles; in lateral view, pronotal margin gently curved; propodeum relatively flat, with dorsal face longer than declivitous face; gaster distinctly long and cylindrical. Genitalia: parameres long, distinctly narrow, digitiform; digiti gently curved ventrally, broadly flattened distally; digiti and cuspides meet about midlength of digiti with rounded teeth on both lobes; aedeagal valves with nearly parallel margins for much of length, becoming triangular in shape, teeth absent; ninth sternite almost square in shape with short, thin lateral apodemes and a long, slender ventral apodeme.

Type Material

This species which I dedicate to my former pupil, Mr. C. T. Brues, is described from numerous males, females, and workers which I collected Dec. 19th, 1901, in Fresno Canon, in the southern part of Presidio County, Texas. The nests, more extensive and populous than those of P. melanderi, were found under piles of stones, just above high water mark where the soil retains some moisture during the dry season.


  • Emery, C. 1914f. Les fourmis de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et des îles Loyalty. Nova Caled. A Zool. 1: 393-437 (page 422, Combination in Pr. (Nylanderia))
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 222, Combination in Paratrechina (Nylanderia))
  • Kallal, R.J. & LaPolla, J.S. 2012. Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the World, Part II: Nylanderia in the Nearctic. Zootaxa 3508, 1-64.
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Trager, J. C. 1984b. A revision of the genus Paratrechina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the continental United States. Sociobiology 9: 49-162 (page 129, see also)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1903c. A decad of Texan Formicidae. Psyche (Camb.) 10: 93-111 (page 106, fig. 9 worker, queen, male described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cokendolpher J. C., and O. F. Francke. 1990. The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of western Texas. Part II. Subfamilies Ecitoninae, Ponerinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, Dolichoderinae, and Formicinae. Special Publications, the Museum. Texas Tech University 30:1-76.
  • Cover S. P., and R. A. Johnson. 20011. Checklist of Arizona Ants. Downloaded on January 7th at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/AZants-2011%20updatev2.pdf
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2944
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/resources.htm
  • Johnson, R.A. and P.S. Ward. 2002. Biogeography and endemism of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Baja California, Mexico: a first overview. Journal of Biogeography 29:1009–1026/
  • Kallal R. J, and J. S. Lapolla. 2012. Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the world, part II: Nylanderia in the Nearctic. Zootaxa 3508: 1-64.
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Mackay, W.P. and E. Mackay. XXXX. The Ants of New Mexico
  • McDonald D. L., D. R. Hoffpauir, and J. L. Cook. 2016. Survey yields seven new Texas county records and documents further spread of Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren. Southwestern Entomologist, 41(4): 913-920.
  • O'Keefe S. T., J. L. Cook, T. Dudek, D. F. Wunneburger, M. D. Guzman, R. N. Coulson, and S. B. Vinson. 2000. The Distribution of Texas Ants. The Southwestern Entomologist 22: 1-92.
  • Smith M. R. 1936. A list of the ants of Texas. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 44: 155-170.
  • Trager J. C. 1984. A revision of the genus Paratrechina (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the continental United States. Sociobiology 9: 49-162
  • Van Pelt, A. 1983. Ants of the Chisos Mountains, Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) . Southwestern Naturalist 28:137-142.
  • Vasquez Bolanos M., and J. Escoto Rocha. 2018. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Aguascalientes. Investigacion y Ciencia 24(68): 36-40.
  • Vasquez-Bolanos M. 2011. Checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Mexico. Dugesiana 18(1): 95-133.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wheeler W. M. 1903. A decad of Texan Formicidae. Psyche (Cambridge). 10: 93-111.
  • Wheeler, G.C. and J. Wheeler. 1985. A checklist of Texas ants. Prairie Naturalist 17:49-64.