Odontomachus alius

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Odontomachus alius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Odontomachus
Species: O. alius
Binomial name
Odontomachus alius
Sorger & Zettel, 2011

Odontomachus alius casent0915896 p 1 high.jpg

Odontomachus alius casent0915896 d 1 high.jpg

Paratype labels

Collected in lowland dipterocarp forests, some of the forests remnant patches are strongly degraded.


Sorger & Zettel (2011) - A member of the Odontomachus infandus group. We characterize workers of O. alius by the following combination of characters: Head distinctly and gaster notably lighter coloured than mesosoma. Head with extended striation (relatively short in specimens from Catanduanes), but never reaching nuchal carina medially. Mesopleuron without smooth area (although striation is faded in some individuals). Petiole with long, S-curved spine.

Odontomachus alius is a variable species with five distinct island-endemic forms from (I) Cebu, (II) Bohol, (III) Leyte and Biliran, (IV) Samar, and (V) Catanduanes. Odontomachus sp. 1 from southern Luzon may also belong to this species, but its characters do not comfortably fit the pattern (see discussion for Odontomachus sp. 1). Each of these forms is relatively stable in its set of characters, and they may as well be treated as subspecies or morphologically weakly differentiated species. There is a distinct trend of changing characters from Cebu eastwards and northwards. The pronotum sculpture changes from transversely striate (Cebu) to roundish or transverse loops (Bohol) to longitudinal loops (other islands). The gaster is lightest (yellowish brown) in specimens from Cebu and Bohol, and darkest in specimens from Samar and Catanduanes. The striation of the temporal prominences is most strongly extended in specimens from Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, and Biliran, intermediate in specimens from Samar, and distinctly reduced in specimens from Catanduanes. This trend contrasts with the parapatric populations of Odontomachus philippinus on Negros with completely smooth temporal prominences and of Odontomachus infandus on southern Luzon with completely striate temporal prominences.

Keys including this Species


Endemic to the Philippines, recorded from the islands of Catanduanes, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Bohol, and Cebu. (Sorger & Zettel 2011)

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Philippines (type locality).

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.




Odontomachus alius h.jpgOdontomachus alius p.jpgOdontomachus alius d.jpg


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

  • alius. Odontomachus alius Sorger & Zettel, 2011: 152, figs. 5, 11, 17, 46 (w.q.) PHILIPPINES (Cebu I., Leyte I., Bohol I., Biliran I., Samar I., Catanduanes I.).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 101 paratype workers, 2 paratype queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype Philippines: Cebu, W Cebu City, Minglanilla, Camp 7, 16.xi.2003, secondary forest nr small creek (H. Zettel & C.V. Pangantihon); paratypes: 4 workers with same data, 4 workers Bohol, Bilar, Man Made Forest, 29.xi.2005 (C.V. Pangantihon), 19 workers Leyte, E Ormoc, Lake Danao area, 13.iii.200 (S. Schödl), 1 worker Biliran, Almeria, Kabungasan, Upper, 15.xi.2009 (C.V. Pangantihon), 13 workers Samar, W Samar, E Basey, Sohoton Nat. Park, banks of Sohoton River, 29.i.2000 (S. Schödl), 2 workers, 1 queen Catanduanes, E San Andreas, below Lu Yong Cave, 11-12.iii.1999 (H. Zettel), plus extensive list of other paratypes from these localities.
    • Type-depositories: USCC (holotype); DMSC, HSZC, NHMW, UPLB, USCC (paratypes).
    • Distribution: Philippines (Biliran, Bohol, Catanduanes, Cebu, Leyte, Samar).

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



Measurements: holotype worker: CI 69, HL 3.37, HW 2.32, MdI 60, MdL 2.03, MsL 4.27, PnW 1.38, PtH 1.38, PtL 1.44, PtW 0.53, SI 150, SL 3.48, TL 14.81; paratype worker with smallest HW: CI 68, HL 2.67, HW 1.80, MdI 58, MdL 1.53, MsL 3.47, PnW 1.03, PtH 1.02, PtL 1.11, PtW 0.46, SI 154, SL 2.77, TL 11.75; paratype worker with largest HW: CI 77, HL 3.40, HW 2.62, MdI 64, MdL 2.17, MsL 4.60, PtH 1.46, PtL 1.58, PtW 0.62, PnW 1.50, SI 136, SL 3.55, TL 15.56.

Structures: Head striate, but striation not reaching nuchal carina. Pronotum with variable fine striation, either transversely oriented or with roundish or longitudinal loops. Mesopleuron with fine transverse striation. Petiolar spine S-shaped, very long, acute, slightly bent backwards. Gaster low anteriorly, strongly flattened, impression distinct, often linear.

Pilosity: Pubescence sparse, short.

Colour: Bicoloured; head and gaster light brown to almost yellowish, contrasting with dark brown mesosoma and petiole.


Measurements: gyne with smallest HW: CI 73, HL 3.43, HW 2.52, MdI 52, MdL 1.80, MsL 4.73, PnW 1.80, PtH 1.53, PtL 1.57, PtW 0.75, SI 131, SL 3.30, TL 16.56; gyne with largest HW: CI 75, HL 3.47, HW 2.62, MdI 56, MdL 1.95, MsL 5.20, PnW 1.95, PtH 1.91, PtL 1.80, PtW 0.77, SI 124, SL 3.25, TL 16.00.

Compared with Odontomachus infandus gyne, striation of head strongly reduced posteriorly. Compared with worker, striation of mesopleuron strongly reduced, in larger gyne absent except for striation in front of meso-metapleural suture, in smaller gyne almost totally absent, except most dorsal area.

Colour: Head, mesonotum, scutellum, metanotum, and mesopleuron pale, yellowish to very light brown, contrasting strongly with other brown body parts. Petiole and gaster light brown, similar to worker.

Type Material

Cebu, west of Cebu City, Minglanilla, Camp 7, 10° 16' N, 123° 45' E. Holotype (worker, USC): Cebu: west of Cebu City, Minglanilla, Camp 7, secondary forest near small creek, 16.XI.2003, leg. H. Zettel & C. V. Pangantihon (358). Paratypes (101 workers, 2 gynes, CSW, Herbert and S.V. Zettel, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, University of the Philippines Los Baños, University of San Carlos Entomological Collection): Cebu: same locality data as holotype, 4 workers. Cebu City, Tabunan, Cantipla-I, forest reserve, ca. 800 m, 23.IX.2006, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P250), 1 worker, 18.II.2007, leg. H. Zettel (473), 1 worker, 28.IX.2007, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P270), 2 workers, 8.II.2008, leg. H. Zettel & C. V. Pangantihon (503), 1 worker, 19-20.IX.2008, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P301), 4 workers, 1 queen, 20-24.VII.2009, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P327), 2 workers. Dalaguete, Mantalungon, 29-30.VIII.2010, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P361), 1 worker. Dalaguete, Mantalongon, Dingayup River, 4.XI.2010, leg. H. Zettel & C. V. Pangantihon (524), 5 workers. Bohol: Bilar, Man Made Forest, 29.XI.2005, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P427), 4 workers. Leyte: Leyte: E Ormoc, Lake Danao area, 11.III.1998, leg. H. Zettel (158), 2 workers, 13.II.2000, leg. S. Schödl (16), 19 workers, 13.II.2000, leg. H. Zettel (237), 3 workers. Baybay, ViSCA/ LSU, Mt. Pangasugan, Calbiga-a River, 50-200 m, 12.II.2000, leg. H. Zettel (236), 13 workers, 20-21.III.2005, leg. H. Zettel & & C. V. Pangantihon (422), 12 workers. Biliran: Almeria, Kabungasan, Mt. Panamao, Upper, 15.XI.2009, leg. C. V. Pangantihon (P334), 1 worker. Samar: Western Samar: east of Basey, Sohoton National Park, banks of Sohoton River, 29.I.2000, leg. S. Schödl (2), 13 workers, leg. H. Zettel (221), 9 workers. Catanduanes: east of San Andres, below Lu Yong cave, 11-12.III.1999, leg. H. Zettel (200), 2 workers, 1 queen, 12.III.1999, leg. F. Seyfert (26), 1 worker, 12.IV.2000, leg. H. Zettel (254), 1 worker.


Latin for “the other”, this name refers to the fact that samples of this species were already recognized as “different” by Brown (1976) (but remained unnamed). The name is also inspired by the popular American TV show “Lost”.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Sorger, D.M. and H. Zettel. 2011. On the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Philippine Islands: V. The genus Odontomachus LATREILLE, 1804. Myrmecological News. 14:141-163.