Strumigenys petiolata

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Strumigenys petiolata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. petiolata
Binomial name
Strumigenys petiolata
Bernard, 1953

Strumigenys petiolata casent0102584 profile 1.jpg

Strumigenys petiolata casent0102584 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

One of the most successful and widely distributed Strumigenys of the Afrotropical region, petiolata nests in rotten wood, under the bark of more recently fallen timber, in log mould, or sometimes directly into the soil. The workers forage singly in the topsoil, leaf litter or in rot tunnels in wood.


A member of the rufobrunea complex in the Strumigenys arnoldi-group.

Bolton (1983) - As I have not been able to find the types of petiolata my interpretation of this name and its application to this common species must remain somewhat shadowed with doubt. The interpretation is based on Bernard's insufficient original description and figure and supplemented by the notes in Brown's (1954) revision.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea (type locality), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • petiolata. Strumigenys petiolata Bernard, 1953b: 254, fig. 14 (w.) GUINEA. Junior synonym of rufobrunea: Brown, 1954k: 17. Revived from synonymy: Bolton, 1983: 384. See also: Bolton, 2000: 603.

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



Bolton (1983) - TL 2.0-2.5, HL 0.54-0.68, HW 0.40-0.53, CI 75-83, ML 0.24-0.32, MI 44-50, SL 0.28-0.36, SI 64-72, PW 0.25-0.32, AL 0.50-0.64 (38 measured).

Mandibles in full-face view with the outer margins shallowly convex, the blades feebly bowed outwards. Apical fork of each mandible consisting of a pair of spiniform teeth, without intercalary teeth or denticles. Preapical armament of each mandibular blade of 2 teeth, the proximal spiniform and the longest in each case. Right distal preapical tooth usually larger than the left. Upper scrobe margins shallowly sinuate in full-face view and bordered by a narrow rim or flange throughout their length. Eyes visible in full-face view, their maximum diameter equal to or greater than the maximum width of the scape. Preocular notch present and strongly developed, the anterior portion of the eye detached from the side of the head. Preocular notch continued onto ventral surface of head as a transverse groove which is narrower than the maximum diameter of the eye and which usually has quite sharply defined margins. Antennal scapes not or only extremely shallowly bent basally, broadest at about the midlength and their leading edges equipped with a row of apically curved narrowly spoon-shaped hairs which are slightly smaller than those on the upper scrobe margins. Cephalic ground-pilosity of minute inconspicuous spatulate to spoon-shaped hairs which are closely applied to the surface. Upper scrobe margins with a row of anteriorly curved large spoon-shaped hairs. Dorsum of head with 6 standing hairs which are arranged in a transverse posterior row of 4 close to the occipital margin and a more anteriorly situated pair. Head finely and usually very sharply reticulate-punctate but in some samples the sculpture is less intensely developed, the punctures not so sharply incised. Pronotal humeri lacking flagellate or any other kind of outstanding hair. Mesonotum with a single pair of stout standing hairs. Ground-pilosity of alitrunk of minute hairs similar to those on the cephalic dorsum. Posterior half of mesonotum sharply depressed behind the level of the standing hairs. Metanotal groove represented by a line across the dorsum but not or only very feebly impressed. Propodeal teeth triangular and subtended by an infradental lamella on each side. Sides of alitrunk with the pleurae smooth except for peripheral punctulae which are best developed dorsolaterally. Sides of propodeum above and behind the spiracle punctulate. Sides of pronotum varying from smooth to very weakly striolate, sometimes also with vestigial punctures. Pronotal dorsum usually finely longitudinally striolate or costulate, often with fine superficial punctures between the longitudinal sculpture. Frequently the costulae or striae are poorly defined and the punctures more conspicuous, and in some samples dense punctures constitute the principal component. Dorsal alitrunk behind pronotum densely reticulate-punctate. Petiole node punctate dorsally, the postpetiole often with some fine longitudinal striolae but these are very variable in development and frequently are absent. Petiole with a narrow ventral spongiform strip whose depth is less than half the depth of the peduncle at its midlength. Sides of petiole node with a small triangular appendage. Ventral spongiform lobe of postpetiole usually marginally larger than the lateral lobe in profile. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster with standing hairs. Colour often uniform, varying in shade from yellow to dark brown or even blackish brown; sometimes with the gaster considerably darker in colour than the head and alitrunk.

Type Material

Syntype workers, GUINEA: Mt Nimba, 700 m, in termitary in forest (Villiers) (not found in Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle; presumed lost).


  • Bernard, F. 1953b [1952]. La réserve naturelle intégrale du Mt Nimba. XI. Hyménoptères Formicidae. Mém. Inst. Fr. Afr. Noire 19: 165-270 (page 254, fig. 14 H-J worker described)
  • Bolton, B. 1983. The Afrotropical dacetine ants (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology. 46:267-416. (page 384, revived from synonymy, and redescription of worker)
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 603, redescription of worker)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1954k. The ant genus Strumigenys Fred. Smith in the Ethiopian and Malagasy regions. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 112: 1-34 (page 17, junior synonym of rufobrunea)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Belshaw R., and B. Bolton. 1994. A survey of the leaf litter ant fauna in Ghana, West Africa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 3: 5-16.
  • Bolton B. 1983. The Afrotropical dacetine ants (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 46: 267-416.
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The Ant Tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65
  • Davis L. R., and L. E. Alonso. 2007. Ant species collected from the Atewa Range Forest Reserve during the 2006 RAP survey. Pp 171-172. McCullough, J., L.E. Alonso, P. Naskrecki, H.E. Wright and Y. Osei-Owusu (eds.). 2007. A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Atewa Range Forest Reserve, Eastern Ghana. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 47. Conservation International, Arlington, VA.
  • Fisher B. L. 2004. Diversity patterns of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along an elevational gradient on Monts Doudou in southwestern Gabon. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 28: 269-286.
  • Garcia F.H., Wiesel E. and Fischer G. 2013.The Ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—Faunal Overview, First Species Checklist, Bibliography, Accounts for All Genera, and Discussion on Taxonomy and Zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History, 101(2): 127-222
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Stephens S. S., P. B. Bosu, and M. R. Wager. 2016. Effect of overstory tree species diversity and composition on ground foraging ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in timber plantations in Ghana. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & management 12(1-2): 96-107.
  • Yeo K., T. Delsinne, S. Komate, L. L. Alonso, D. Aidara, and C. Peeters. 2016. Diversity and distribution of ant assemblages above and below ground in a West African forest–savannah mosaic (Lamto, Cote d’Ivoire). Insectes Sociaux DOI 10.1007/s00040-016-0527-6
  • Yeo K., and A. Hormenyo. 2007. A Rapid Survey of Ants in Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves, Eastern Region of Ghana. Pp 27-29. In McCullough, J., P. Hoke, P. Naskrecki, and Y. Osei-Owusu (eds.). 2008. A Rapid Biological Assessment of the Ajenjua Bepo and Mamang River Forest Reserves, Ghana. RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 50. Conservation International, Arlington, VA, USA.