Strumigenys serrula

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Strumigenys serrula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. serrula
Binomial name
Strumigenys serrula
Santschi, 1910

Pyramica serrula casent0178318 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica serrula casent0178318 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Bolton (1983) - S. serrula nests in pieces of rotting wood embedded in the leaf litter and topsoil layers, and preys on the isotomid collembolan Folsomia candida Willem. Its predatory behaviour has been investigated in some detail by Dejean (1980a; 1980b).


Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys lujae-group. Apicoscrobal hair present, flagellate; pronotal humeral hair flagellate. Pronotal dorsum strongly reticulate-punctate, the surface sometimes also with very feeble striae also present. Mesonotum with 3-4 pairs of standing hairs, the posteriormost pair situated at or very close to the metanotal groove and curved posteriorly. Ground-pilosity on head and promesonotum spatulate, conspicuous and quite dense, elevated rather than appressed. Standing hairs on head consisting of a transverse row of 4 close to the occipital margin and sometimes also a more anteriorly situated pair; these hairs only slightly longer and stouter than the ground-pilosity. Bullae of femoral glands small and ovate on all legs, somewhat variable in size and position but usually about two-thirds to three-quarters the way along the femoral dorsum.

Bolton (1983) - This widespread persistently small species is related to Strumigenys concolor and Strumigenys lujae. Together the three are characterized by their lack of an enlarged basal series of mandibular denticles, presence of cephalic flagellate hairs and dense reticulate-punctate pronotal sculpture. The differences separating serrula and Strumigenys concolor are tabulated under the latter name. S. serrula is separated from lujae by its size and pilosity. The largest specimens of serrula only overlap the very smallest individuals of lujae (serrula HW 0.34-0.44, SL 0.26-0.33; lujae HW 0.42-0.62, SL 0.32-0.58). Ground-pilosity everywhere on the head and promesonotum is relatively short, inconspicuous and closely applied to the surface in lujae. This gives the ant a rather smooth appearance and emphasises the long specialized hairs which stand out very conspicuously. In serrula the ground-pilosity is quite long and very distinctive, being markedly elevated from the surface so that the long specialized hairs which project from the ground pilosity are by no means as distinctive in appearance. On the mesonotum long hairs are restricted to a single anteriorly placed pair in lujae (or very exceptionally a second pair may be present, sited very close to the first) whereas in serrula three pairs are generally present distributed along the length of the mesonotum and with the posteriormost pair at or very close to the metanotal groove. Finally the reticulate-punctate pronotal sculpture is usually more strongly developed and more sharply defined in serrula than in lujae and serrula frequently has superimposed fine longitudinal striae or rugulae on the punctate surface.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.5° to -6.89388°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Burundi, Cameroun, Chad, Congo (type locality), Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Sudan, São Tomé & Principe, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.

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 is a widespread species that has been collected across a range of wet forest habitats. It nests in dead wood and is typically found in litter samples.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 78 (Dejean, 1982; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: solitary forager (Dejean, 1982; Beckers et al., 1989)



Images from AntWeb

Pyramica serrula casent0178319 head 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178319 profile 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178319 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178319 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0178319. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Pyramica serrula casent0178320 head 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178320 profile 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178320 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178320 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178320. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Pyramica serrula casent0178316 head 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178316 profile 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178316 profile 2.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178316 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178316 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178316. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Pyramica serrula casent0178317 head 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178317 profile 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178317 profile 2.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178317 profile 3.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178317 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica serrula casent0178317 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178317. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


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

  • serrula. Strumigenys lujae var. serrula Santschi, 1910c: 390 (w.) CONGO. Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Santschi, 1913b: 258 (in key); in S. (Cephaloxys): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 920; Emery, 1924d: 324; in Serrastruma: Brown, 1952e: 81; in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 127. Raised to species: Santschi, 1911c: 361. Senior synonym of uelensis: Brown, 1952e: 81. See also: Bolton, 1983: 349; Bolton, 2000: 317.
  • uelensis. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) uelensis Santschi, 1923e: 289, fig. 4 (w.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. Junior synonym of serrula: Brown, 1952e: 81.

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



TL 1.9-2.3, HL 0.44-0.54, HW 0.34-0.44, CI 75-88, ML 0.15-0.18, MI 32-37, SL 0.26-0.33, SI 65-82, PW 0.24-0.30, AL 0.48-0.56 (50 measured).

Mandibular denticles evenly sized to the base or minutely and very gradually increasing in size basally, the basalmost denticle usually enlarged but never with a series of 4-8 obviously enlarged basal denticles. Upper scrobe margins regular or with a shallow impression at the site of the flagellate hair. Ground-pilosity of head narrowly spatulate, quite dense and very conspicuous, curved anteriorly and elevated, not closely applied to the surface. Dorsum of head with an occipital transverse row of 4 standing longer hairs which are usually cylindrical and tapered apically, only very rarely with their apices slightly swollen. Commonly a more anteriorly situated pair of similar hairs is present, just in front of the highest point of the vertex. All of these standing hairs are only slightly longer and stouter than the curved hairs of the ground-pilosity. Entire dorsum of head sharply and strongly reticulate-punctate. Dorsal alitrunk with the convex promesonotum sloping posteriorly to the impressed metanotal groove. Propodeal dorsum convex and sloping down to the teeth, the latter usually acutely triangular but variable in size; infradental lamellae present down the sides of the propodeal declivity. Sides of pronotum and the pleurae punctate, the punctures on the mesopleuron often more superficial and more widely spaced than elsewhere; infrequently the punctures superficial everywhere on the sides. Dorsal alitrunk strongly reticulate-punctate everywhere, the punctures sharply defined and the pronotum often with feeble longitudinal rugulae or striae which when present are very obviously secondary to the punctate component. Pronotum with elongate flagellate hairs at the humeri. Mesonotum with 3 (rarely 4) pairs of standing hairs; these are relatively slender, at most only feebly expanded apically. The posteriormost of these hairs is situated at or very close to the metanotal groove and is very variable in size. In some samples it is almost as long as the preceding mesonotal hairs but frequently is only as long as the ground-pilosity; whatever its length it is always directed posteriorly. Ground-pilosity on promesonotum quite long and conspicuous, dense and elevated, not closely applied to the surface. In profile the spongiform appendages of the pedicel segments moderately developed, the ventral appendage of the petiole may be reduced to a narrow ridge but is usually spongiform. Lateral and ventral spongiform lobes of postpetiole present. In dorsal view the surfaces of both the petiole and postpetiole reticulate to reticulate-punctate, sometimes the sculpture superficial and faint. Posterior spongiform strips of both segments narrow as is the basal strip on the first gastral tergite. Basigastral costulae present but frequently short and widely spaced, the gaster otherwise unsculptured. Petiole and postpetiole always with more than one pair of standing hairs, the gaster with numerous hairs. These vary from almost cylindrical to very weakly expanded apically, not strongly clavate. Colour dull yellow to yellowish brown.

Type Material

Bolton (1983) - Holotype worker, CONGO: Brazzaville (A. Weiss) Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel [examined].


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.
  • 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
  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1952. Revision of the ant genus Serrastruma. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 107: 67-86.
  • 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.
  • Hita Garcia, F., G. Fischer, M.K. Peters, R.R. Snelling and H.W. Wagele. 2009. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Kakamega Forest (Kenya). Journal of East African Natural HIstory 98(2): 147-165.
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Lévieux J. 1972. Les fourmis de la savane de Lamto (Côte d'Ivoire): éléments de taxonomie. Bulletin de l'Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire. Série A. Sciences Naturelles 34: 611-654.
  • Ross S. R. P. J., F. Hita Garcia, G. Fischer, and M. K. Peters. 2018. Selective logging intensity in an East African rain forest predicts reductions in ant diversity. Biotropica 1-11.
  • Santschi F. 1910. Formicides nouveaux ou peu connus du Congo français. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 78: 349-400.
  • Weber N. A. 1952. Biological notes on Dacetini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). American Museum Novitates 1554: 1-7.
  • Weber N. A. 1952. Biological notes on Dacetini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). American Museum Novitates 1554: 1-7.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004
  • 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.