Solenopsis tetracantha

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Solenopsis tetracantha
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: fugax
Species: S. tetracantha
Binomial name
Solenopsis tetracantha
Emery, 1906

Solenopsis tetracantha casent0178148 profile 1.jpg

Solenopsis tetracantha casent0178148 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Solenopsis tetracantha has been collected in a nest of Acromyrmex lundii in La Plata, Argentina (Forel 1912).


A New World thief ant. It's morphology shows affinities with the molesta and fugax complexes. (Key to New World Solenopsis Species Complexes)

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Minor worker - This is a small shiny, yellow species. The head is noticeably elongate and resembles species of the pygmaea complex, but can be distinguished by the fine head punctures instead of coarse punctures present in the pygmaea group. The anterior clypeal margin is also elongate and the clypeal carinae are well defined with the lateral clypeal teeth present and well developed, but the extralateral clypeal teeth are only angulate. The eye is small with only one or two ommatidia. The posterior margin of the propodeum is rounded. The petiole is barely wider than the postpetiole in profile and has a tooth ventrally. Major worker - This is one of the very few species that is dimorphic. The major is concolorous golden yellow and slightly darker than the minor worker. The head is noticeably elongate and coarsely punctate. Both the lateral and extralateral teeth are well developed. The eye is small with one ommatidium. The scapes are short and barely extend past the middle of the head. The pronotum has a flat dorsal slope. The petiole is thick, robust and the node extends laterally, with a subpeduncular tooth. Queen - The queen is medium brown in color. All four clypeal teeth are present and well developed. The clypeal carinae are weakly defined. The propodeum is horizontally striated. The petiolar peduncle has a well-developed tooth ventrally.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -22.809943° to -34.55°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Paraguay.

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.



Dimorphic workers.


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

  • tetracantha. Solenopsis tetracantha Emery, 1906c: 131, fig. 13 (w.q.) ARGENTINA (Buenos Aires).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 331), 2 paralectotype workers, 2 paralectotype queens.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Argentina: Buenos Aires, Nuñez, (F. Silvestri); paralectotypes with same data.
    • [Note: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 331, say the original syntype material was collected by C. Bruch, but Emery, 1906c: 107, implies that all material in the publication was collected by F. Silvestri.]
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • Santschi, 1917f: 281 (m.).
    • Status as species: Bruch, 1914: 223; Santschi, 1917f: 281; Emery, 1922e: 201; Ettershank, 1966: 144; Kempf, 1972a: 240; Bolton, 1995b: 391; Wild, 2007b: 37; Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 329 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of videns: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 329.
    • Distribution: Argentina, Paraguay.
  • videns. Solenopsis tetracantha var. videns Forel, 1912g: 4 (w.) ARGENTINA (Buenos Aires).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 331).
    • Type-locality: Argentina: LaPlata (C. Bruch).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Subspecies of tetracantha: Bruch, 1914: 224; Emery, 1922e: 201; Ettershank, 1966: 144; Kempf, 1972a: 240; Bolton, 1995b: 391.
    • Junior synonym of tetracantha: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 329.

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) - Major. Measurements (n=1). TL 1.92; HL 0.570; HW 0.450; EL 0.036; ED 0.030; SL 0.312; FSL 0.138; CI 78.9; SI 54.7; PL 0.108; PW 0.162; PI 66.7; PPL 0.120; PPW 0.168; PPI 71.4; WL 0.444; PSL 0.030; PSW 0.030.

Moderately large, concolorous golden brown; head noticeably elongate; lateral clypeal teeth well developed, elongate, extending 0.030 mm past anterior margin, extralateral teeth reduced, smaller than lateral teeth; clypeal carinae well defined; eye small, one ommatidium; scape barely exceeds past middle of head; pronotum flat dorsally; posterior propodeal margin angulate; metapleuron horizontally striated; petiole robust, thickened laterally, peduncle with sharp tooth ventrally; postpetiole oval viewed dorsally.

Hairy, pilosity yellow; most hairs erect and suberect (0.060 mm) covering all body surfaces; hairs on petiole and postpetiole curve posteriorly.

Minor. Measurements (n=4). TL 1.32-1.44 (l.40); HL 0.390-0.462 (0.424); HW 0.300-0.330 (0.318); EL 0.018-0.030 (0.024); ED 0.018-0.024 (0.022); SL 0.228-0.312 (0.266); FSL 0.090-0.132 (0.104); CI 70.1-78.6 (75.2); SI 58.5-67.5 (62.5); PL 0.066-0.078 (0.072); PW 0.090-0.120 (0.107); PI 60.0-80.0 (68.4); PPL 0.078; PPW 0.114-0.132 (0.123); PPI 59.1-68.4 (63.6); WL 0.276-0.300 (0.289); PSL 0.024-0.030 (0.027); PSW 0.024.

Small, concolorous golden yellow; head elongate, much longer than wide; coarsely punctate; anterior clypeal margin elongate, extends anteriorly; clypeal carinae well defined; lateral clypeal teeth well developed, extralateral teeth angulate; scape barely exceeding head medially; eye small with one ommatidium; pronotum flat dorsally; notopropodeal suture well depressed, groove breaks sculpture of mesosoma; posterior margin of propodeum rounded; petiole barely wider than postpetiole in profile, with sharp peduncular tooth ventrally.

Moderately hairy with some hair present on all body surfaces; pilosity yellow, mainly suberect hairs of different lengths; head more heavily pilose than rest of body; hairs on petiole and postpetiole curve posteriorly.


Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=2). TL 5.40; HL 0.810-0.822 (0.816); HW 0.660-0.720 (0.690); EL 0.240-0.258 (0.249); ED 0.222-0.228 (0.225); MOL 0.072; MOD 0.072-0.078 (0.075); SL 0.540; FSL 0.300-0.312 (0.306); CI 80.3-88.9 (84.6); SI 65.7-66.7 (66.2); PSL 0.066-0.072 (0.069); PSW 0.060-0.078 (0.069); PL 0.228-0.240 (0.234); PW 0.330; PI 69.1; PPL 0.360; PPW 0.402; PPI 89.6; WL 1.08-1.20 (1.14).

Moderately large; concolorous medium brown; head longer than wide, coarsely punctate; lateral clypeal teeth and extralateral teeth well developed; clypeal carinae weakly defined; scape long, nearly reaching posterior border of head; eyes large; medial ocellus small; pronotum coarsely punctate, smooth and shiny between punctures; propodeum horizontally striated below spiracle; petiole and postpetiole horizontally striated; petiolar peduncle with well-developed tooth ventrally. Moderately hairy, pilosity yellow; erect and suberect covering all body surfaces, hairs on pronotum 0.012 mm in length.

Type Material

Emery 1906, Museo Civico coll. C. Emery (dono 1925), Argentina, La Plata (Bruch leg), Nunez, (lectotype worker, 2 paralectotype workers and 2 paralectotype queens [here designated] Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa). Solenopsis tetracantha videns, Forel Coll., Argentina, La Plata (D'Bruch) (lectotype worker [here designated] Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.