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Veromessor andrei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Veromessor
Forel, 1917
Type species
Aphaenogaster andrei, now Veromessor andrei
10 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Messor andrei casent0005728 profile 1.jpg

Messor andrei casent0005728 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Evolutionary Relationships

  (2 genera)

  (3 genera)


  (85 species)

  (3 species)

  (10 species)

  (224 species)

  (224 species)

  (165 species)

  (10 species)

  (12 species)

  (22 genera)

  (49 genera)

  (65 genera)

Based on Ward et al., 2014

Veromessor consists of 10 species that are restricted to arid and semiarid habitats in the western United States and northwestern Mexico, with the exception of one species (V. lobognathus) that extends into the northcentral United States (Bennett, 2000; Bolton, 2020; Johnson, 2000b). All species are granivorous such that they collect a large variety and number of seeds and impact plant communities (Brown & Human, 1997; Davidson, 1977, 1978; Gordon, 1978; Rissing, 1988). Species of Veromessor have received considerable attention from ecologists and behaviorists because of their seed gathering activities combined with the fact that workers are docile and unable to sting. These studies mostly have focused on V. andrei and especially V. pergandei (Brown, 1999a, 1999b; Johnson, 1992, 2021; Muscedere, Helms Cahan, Helms, & Traniello, 2016; Rissing, 1987; Rissing & Pollock, 1987; Ryti & Case, 1988a), while biology is poorly known for other congeners, especially those with small colonies. (Johnson et al., 2022)


Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 9 4 0 0
Total Species 2837 1734 3036 929 832 4375 1686 2823


Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

Explore Associate Data: All, Drilldown
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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Veromessor andrei host cricket Myrmecophilus orgeonensis myrmecophile Canada, United States

Flight Period

All Flight Records for Genus

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Taxon Month Source Notes
Veromessor andrei Jun Jul; Johnson et al., 2022
Veromessor julianus Feb Mar Johnson et al., 2022
Veromessor pergandei Feb Mar Apr

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 275 to >1000 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: herbivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: cooperative (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

 • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: dentiform; present • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: polymorphic • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent


All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Veromessor andrei 40 USA Taber & Cokendolpher, 1988


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

  • VEROMESSOR [junior synonym of Messor]
    • Veromessor Forel, 1917: 235 [as subgenus of Novomessor]. Type-species: Aphaenogaster andrei, by subsequent designation of Emery, 1921f: 67.
    • Veromessor raised to genus: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 661.
    • Veromessor senior synonym of Lobognathus: Brown, 1949a: 49.
    • Veromessor junior synonym of Messor: Bolton, 1982: 338.
    • Veromessor revived status as genus: Ward et al., 2014: 13.