Pogonomyrmex colei

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Pogonomyrmex colei
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Pogonomyrmecini
Genus: Pogonomyrmex
Species group: barbatus
Species: P. colei
Binomial name
Pogonomyrmex colei
Snelling, R.R., 1982

Pogonomyrmex colei casent0005716 profile 1.jpg

Pogonomyrmex colei casent0005716 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

A workerless inquiline within the nests of Pogonomyrmex rugosus.

At a Glance • Workerless Inquiline  



Southern Nevada and central Arizona.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 35.978591° to 32.933°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (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.



The genome of P. colei was sequenced for a study examining how this and other parasitic ants with no worker caste may have altered their genome to arrive at a workerless state. In comparison to ants with a full complement of castes, there appeared to be no loss of genes in the parasitic ants. This suggests regulatory differences and not sequence differences predominate in gains and losses of castes (phenotypes). (Smith et al. 2015)



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

  • colei. Pogonomyrmex (Pogonomyrmex) colei Snelling, R.R. 1982a: 99, figs. 1-11 (q.m.) U.S.A. See also: Rissing, 1983: 321; Johnson, R.A., Parker & Rissing, 1996: 69.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Anderson K. E., L. Zeltzer, R. P. Overson, and W. H. Clark. 2010. Identification of cryptic hosts for two inquiline parasites of the seed-harvester ant Pogonomyrmex and new localities for P. anergismus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Southwestern Naturalist 55: 532-538.
  • Johnson R. A., J. D. Parker, and S. W. Rissing. 1996. Rediscovery of the workerless inquiline ant Pogonomyrmex colei and additional notes on natural history. Insectes Sociaux 43: 69-76.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at http://www.asu.edu/clas/sirgtools/resources.htm
  • Snelling, R.R. 1981. The taxonomy and distribution of some North American Pogonomyrmex and descriptions of two new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Science 80(3):97-112.
  • Wheeler G. C., and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.