Solenopsis brevicornis

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Solenopsis brevicornis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: brevicornis
Species: S. brevicornis
Binomial name
Solenopsis brevicornis
Emery, 1888

Solenopsis medioclara casent0178140 profile 1.jpg

Solenopsis medioclara casent0178140 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Solenopsis brevicornis was collected in riparian tropical rain forest soil, tropical rain forest and disturbed tropical rain forest in clay soil using subterranean baits in Guatemala at elevation ranging from 11-1400 m. It has also been collected from extractions from forest litter. (Pacheco and Mackay 2013)


A New World thief ant that is a member of the brevicornis species complex

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - This is a small concolorous yellow or brown species. It is easily recognized by the short scape and short minor segments of the funiculus. Additionally, it usually has roughened sculpturing on the mesopleuron, metapleuron and side of the petiole.

Solenopsis brevicornis is similar to Solenopsis azteca. The distribution of the two species overlap and the color can often be identical but can be distinguished by the punctures on the side of the mesopleuron and petiole (both completely smooth and polished in S. azteca or with weak sculpture along the lower, anterior border of mesopleuron). The similar Solenopsis terricola of lower Central America is dark, mahogany brown, with yellow antennae and legs. Solenopsis terricola can be further separated as it is has vertically striated frontal lobes (difficult to see), a trait absent from S. brevicornis, Moreover, S. terricola has a rounded petiolar node while S. brevicornis has a thinner, angulate node.


Keys including this Species


Mexico south to Brazil.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 18.6° to -22.809943°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Males have yet to be collected.


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

  • brevicornis. Solenopsis brevicornis Emery, 1888c: 356 (w.q.) BRAZIL (Rio Grande do Sul).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 124).
    • Type-locality: lectotype Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul (H. von Ihering).
    • [Note: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 124, report that the original syntype queen could not be found.]
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 75; von Jhering, 1894: 393; Forel, 1895b: 130; Emery, 1896g: 84 (in key); Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 3; Emery, 1922e: 199; Santschi, 1923c: 254; Borgmeier, 1927c: 103; Ettershank, 1966: 140; Kempf, 1972a: 234; Bolton, 1995b: 386; Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 123 (redescription); Fernández & Serna, 2019: 816.
    • Senior synonym of medioclara: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 123.
    • Senior synonym of petropolitana: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 123.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama.
  • medioclara. Solenopsis brevicornis var. medioclara Santschi, 1923c: 254 (w.) BRAZIL (Minas Gerais).
    • Type-material: 30 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Minas Gerais, Piracicabo (E. Luja).
    • Type-depositories: LACM, NHMB.
    • Subspecies of brevicornis: Borgmeier, 1927c: 103; Ettershank, 1966: 142; Kempf, 1972a: 234; Bolton, 1995b: 389.
    • Status as species: Wild, 2007b: 37, 54.
    • Junior synonym of brevicornis: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 123.
  • petropolitana. Solenopsis brevicornis var. petropolitana Borgmeier, 1928a: 35, figs. 1-3 (w.) BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated, “several”).
    • Type-locality: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Petrópolis, 22.ix.1924 (P.C. Prade).
    • Type-depository: MZSP.
    • [Misspelled as petropelotana by Ettershank, 1966: 142.]
    • [Solenopsis brevicornis var. petropolitana Borgmeier, 1927c: 103. Nomen nudum.]
    • Subspecies of brevicornis: Ettershank, 1966: 142; Kempf, 1972a: 234; Bolton, 1995b: 390.
    • Junior synonym of brevicornis: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 123.

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



Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=5). TL 1.20-1.32 (1.25); HL 0.336-0.360 (0.346); HW 0.288-0.300 (0.293); EL 0.036-0.042 (0.037); ED 0.030; SL 0.186-0.216 (0.200); FSL 0.072; CI 81.7-87.5 (84.8); SI 51.7-60.7 (58.0); PL 0.078; PW 0.090-0.096 (0.091); PI 81.3-86.7 (85.6); PPL 0.096-0.102 (0.101); PPW 0.114-0.120 (0.118); PPI 80.0-89.5 (85.8); WL 0.240-0.288 (0.259); PSL 0.03; PSW 0.024-0.030 (0.026).

Small; yellow or brown, including legs; head subquadrate, longer than wide; lateral clypeal teeth angular, extralateral teeth absent; scape short; minor segments of funiculus short; cephalic punctures fine; eye small (4 ommatidia); punctures or roughened sculpturing at least on lower mesopleuron, metapleuron, side of petiole, postpetiole; petiole wider than postpetiole viewed laterally; petiolar peduncle lacking subpeduncular tooth.

Moderately hairy; sub erect hairs of various lengths encompassing nearly all body surfaces.

Type Material

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Guianas, (lectotype worker [here designated], Ihering (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa), queen not found]. Solenopsis brevicornis medioclara Brazil, Minas Gerais, Pirapora (Luja) 30, E Layin, (4 workers, M.C.Z. Type 1420918 Museum of Comparative Zoology). Solenopsis brevicornis medioclara, Brazil, Riacicabo Luja, (cotype 2 workers Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Galkowski C. 2016. New data on the ants from the Guadeloupe (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Linn. Bordeaux 151, 44(1): 25-36.
  • Jeanne R. J. 1979. A latitudinal gradient in rates of ant predation. Ecology 60(6): 1211-1224.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at
  • Pacheco J. A., and W. P. Mackay. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 501 pp.
  • Rosa da Silva R. 1999. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) do oeste de Santa Catarina: historico das coletas e lista atualizada das especies do Estado de Santa Catarina. Biotemas 12(2): 75-100.
  • Santschi F. 1923. Solenopsis et autres fourmis néotropicales. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 30: 245-273.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.