Dolichoderus pustulatus

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Dolichoderus pustulatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Dolichoderini
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species: D. pustulatus
Binomial name
Dolichoderus pustulatus
Mayr, 1886

Dolichoderus pustulatus casent0103855 profile 1.jpg

Dolichoderus pustulatus casent0103855 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


These ants form relatively small soil-based nests. While foraging workers are often seen on low vegetation, their nests are cryptic and can be challenging to locate.

Photo Gallery

  • Dolichoderus pustulatus tending aphids on a willow shrub, Door Co. Wisconsin. Photo by James Trager.


Keys including this Species


Nova Scotia, Canada westward to Illinois and Oklahoma; southward the distribution reaches Florida and Mississippi.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

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.

  • pustulatus. Dolichoderus pustulatus Mayr, 1886d: 436 (w.q.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1966: 727 (l.); Mackay, 1993b: 85 (m.). Combination in D. (Hypoclinea): Emery, 1894c: 229. Subspecies of plagiatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 313. Revived status as species and senior synonym of beutenmuelleri: Creighton, 1950a: 335. See also: Smith, D.R. 1979: 1416; Johnson, C. 1989a: 3; Mackay, 1993b: 84.
  • beutenmuelleri. Dolichoderus plagiatus var. beutenmuelleri Wheeler, W.M. 1904e: 304 (w.) U.S.A. Subspecies of pustulatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1913c: 116. Junior synonym of pustulatus: Creighton, 1950a: 335.

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



Johnson Dolichoderus Fig 3.jpg

Johnson (1989) - This species is bicolored in the South, a feature enhancing its similarity to D. mariae in that region. Specifically, southern specimens have brownish-orange mandibles, head, antennae, legs, alitrunk, and petiole; antennae and legs becoming darker with age. The gaster is dark brown to black and occasionally with small, laterally-spaced, light colored spots on the first and second segments. In the North, mature specimens are often concolored with dark brown, near black or pale orange bodies. Distinctly bicolored specimens from the North appear to be young specimens.

Structurally, a fine granulation sculptures the head behind the eyes and faint indications of shallow foveolae exist. The surface of the pronotum is impressed with a delicate punctation, though both head and pronotum typically reflect light. Dorsum of the mesonotum with distinct depressions, its surface remaining reflective. Depressions of the propodeum are deeper and associated with stronger granulation, its surface becoming opaque The sculpture described above is weakly developed in southern specimens, a condition again similar to D. mariae. The integument of both petiole and gaster is smooth and shining in strong light, though the petiole is partially granulate in northern specimens Erect hairs are present on the head, alitrunk, and gaster. This body pilosity consists of fewer hairs in southern specimens, another variation in the direction of D. mariae where such hairs are absent. There are no erect hairs on the scapes. In dorsal view, the length of propodeum exceeds its width. The integument within concavity of the declivous face of the propodeum is smooth and shining, though faintly granulate in northern specimens. The scapes, lying in natural repose above the head, surpass the occipital border in northern specimens by a smaller fraction of their length than observed in southern specimens. In lateral view, the petiole of northern specimens is more robust. These differences may only reflect geographic variability; however, differences also exist in nest behavior as discussed below and these ants deserve closer study.

Type Material

Type Locality - New Jersey.


  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 335, revived status as species, and senior synonym of beutenmuelleri)
  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 229, Combination in D. (Hypoclinea))
  • Johnson, C. 1989a. Identification and nesting sites of North American species of Dolichoderus Lund (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 3:1-9. (page 3, see also)
  • MacKay, W. P. 1993b. A review of the New World ants of the genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 22: 1-148 (page 85, male described)
  • MacKay, W. P. 1993b. A review of the New World ants of the genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 22: 1-148 (page 84, see also)
  • Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 436, worker, queen described)
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1416, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1966. Ant larva of the subfamily Dolichoderinae: supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 59: 726-732 (page 727, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1905g. The North American ants of the genus Dolichoderus. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 21: 305-319 (page 313, subspecies of plagiatus)