Polyergus longicornis

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Polyergus longicornis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Polyergus
Species group: lucidus
Species: P. longicornis
Binomial name
Polyergus longicornis
Smith, M.R., 1947

Polyergus longicornis casent0281043 p 1 high.jpg

Polyergus longicornis casent0281043 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A southeastern US species that exclusively raids nests of Formica dolosa.

At a Glance • Dulotic  


P. longicornis is most likely to be confused with Polyergus ruber and especially Polyergus sanwaldi. Polyergus longicornis is distinguished from the largely sympatric ruber by its more abundant vertex pilosity, ½ VeM 13 + vs. 12 or less, nearly uniformly matte mesosoma and cephalic integument, and parasitism of Formica dolosa rather than Formica biophilica. Polyergus longicornis is distinguished from the allopatric, more northern P. sanwaldi by its proportionally longer scapes and legs, and its slightly narrower head.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 36.07316667° to 30.491°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Trager (2013): Polyergus longicornis is a southeastern species, known from the Carolinas and Georgia, west to Mississippi. It is found in the open pinelands and oak-pine woodlands on sandy soils with host populations of F. dolosa.

Polyergus longicornis Distribution.png
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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.


This species is known to enslave Formica dolosa (Goodloe & Sanwald, 1985; MacGown & Brown, 2006; King & Trager, 2007; Trager, 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021; slave-maker misidentified as Polyergus lucidus in some publications).




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

  • longicornis. Polyergus lucidus subsp. longicornis Smith, M.R. 1947g: 155 (w.) U.S.A. Raised to species: Trager, 2013: 525.

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

Type Material



Trager (2013) - (N=18) HL 1.60–1.80 (1.71), HW 1.52–1.72 (1.62), SL 1.67–1.89 (1.77), ½ VeM 13–22 (17.78), ½ PnM 0–9 (3.78), WL 2.52–2.88 (2.73), GL 2.08–2.68 (2.34), HFL 2.22–2.56 (240), CI 91–99 (95), SI 101–117 (109), HFI 139–158 (149), FSI 130–144 (136), LI 4.16–4.68 (4.44), TL 6.44–7.32 (6.78).

Head truncate-obovate to narrowly subhexagonal, generally more strongly tapering behind than in front of the eyes, HL > HW; with conspicuous and abundant vertex pilosity of 20–40 erect macrosetae; scapes at least equaling to notably longer than head, always surpassing vertex corners, gradually thickening apically, not notably clavate; pronotum with (3) 6–12 (18) erect macrosetae; mesonotal profile flat or very weakly convex for most of its length; propodeal profile evenly rounded, its dorsal and posterior faces indistinct; petiole a little narrower than propodeum, with convex sides, these convergent dorsad; petiolar dorsum convex, not emarginate; petiole in profile tapering and usually slightly recurved dorsad; first tergite very sparsely pubescent or completely lacking pubescence; first tergite pilosity sparse, usually a few on the anterior half, but these often deciduous; the macrosetae weakly flexuous.

Head matte; mesosoma matte; gaster weakly matte.

Color red with infuscation of appendages and posterior portions of tergites.


Trager (2013) - Smith coined the name of this ant species as an adjective, from Latin “longus” + “cornus”, referring to its long scapes.