Messor arenarius

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Messor arenarius
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. arenarius
Binomial name
Messor arenarius
(Fabricius, 1787)

Messor arenarius casent0217866 p 1 high.jpg

Messor arenarius casent0217866 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 3.4-4.5; EL/HW 0.165. This is by far the largest Messor species in the Middle East. The subcephalic hairs are numerous but do not form a distinct psammophore. All body surfaces are covered with erect hairs. The propodeum is armed with short strong spines. The general body colour is brownish black but the alitrunk is occasionally somewhat reddish and such examples appear little different from Messor regalis of sub-Saharan Africa, sharing the same features: short first funiculus segment, pectinate tibial spurs, thick body pilosity, spined propodeum and rugose body sculpture extending to the first gastral tergite.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia.
Palaearctic Region: Algeria, Israel, Kuwait, Tunisia (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.

  • arenarius. Formica arenaria Fabricius, 1787: 310 (w.) NORTH AFRICA. André, 1883b: 366 (q.); Emery, 1891b: 12 (q.m.); Forel, 1902a: 148 (m.). Combination in Aphaenogaster: Roger, 1863b: 29; in A. (Messor): Forel, 1890a: lxx; in Messor: Forel, 1894d: 45; in Stenamma (Messor): Emery, 1898c: 125; in Messor: Emery, 1908e: 439. Senior synonym of amaurocyclia, scalpturata: Roger, 1862c: 292; of bugnioni: Forel, 1904f: 424; of beduinus: Cagniant, 2006a: 197. Current subspecies: nominal plus alfierii, diabolus, ratus, thebaicus. See also: Emery, 1908e: 439; Santschi, 1938a: 32.
  • beduinus. Messor barbarus st. beduinus Emery, 1922c: 93 (w.) TUNISIA. [First available use of Messor barbarus subsp. striativentris var. beduina Emery, 1908e: 453; unavailable name.] Santschi, 1910a: 45 (q.); Santschi, 1926e: 234 (m.). Raised to species: Santschi, 1923a: 134; Santschi, 1923f: 320. Junior synonym of arenarius: Cagniant, 2006a: 197. See also: Finzi, 1940: 157.
  • amaurocyclia. Myrmica amaurocyclia Foerster, 1850b: 486 (w.) ALGERIA. Junior synonym of arenarius: Roger, 1862c: 292.
  • scalpturata. Myrmica scalpturata Nylander, 1856b: 83 (w.) ALGERIA. Junior synonym of arenarius: Roger, 1862c: 292.
  • bugnioni. Stenamma (Messor) bugnioni Forel, 1904c: 13 (w.) ALGERIA. Junior synonym of arenarius: Forel, 1904f: 424.

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



  • André, E. 1883b. Les fourmis. [concl.]. Pp. 345-404 in: André, Edm. 1881-1886. Species des Hyménoptères d'Europe et d'Algérie. Tome Deuxième. Beaune: Edmond André, 919 + 48 pp. (page 366, queen described)
  • Collingwood, C. A. and D. Agosti. 1996. Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (part 2). Fauna Saudi Arabia. 15:300-385.
  • Emery, C. 1891c. Exploration scientifique de la Tunisie. Zoologie. - Hyménoptères. Révision critique des fourmis de la Tunisie. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, iii + 21 pp. (page 12, queen, male described)
  • Emery, C. 1898c. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der palaearktischen Ameisen. Öfvers. Fin. Vetensk.-Soc. Förh. 20: 124-151 (page 125, Combination in Stenamma (Messor))
  • Emery, C. 1908f. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil III. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 437-465 (page 439, Combination in Messor)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1787. Mantissa insectorum sistens eorum species nuper detectas adiectis characteribus, genericis, differentiis, specificis, emendationibus, observationibus. Tome I. Hafniae [= Copenhagen]: C. G. Proft, 348 pp. (page 310, worker described)
  • Forel, A. 1890b. Fourmis de Tunisie et de l'Algérie orientale. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 34:lxi-lxxvi. (page lxx, Combination in A. (Messor))
  • Forel, A. 1894d. Les Formicides de la Province d'Oran (Algérie). Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 30: 1-45 (page 45, Combination in Messor)
  • Forel, A. 1902a. Les fourmis du Sahara algérien récoltées par M. le Professeur A. Lameere et le Dr. A. Diehl. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 46: 147-158 (page 148, male described)
  • Forel, A. 1904g. Dimorphisme du mâle chez les fourmis et quelques autres notices myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 48: 421-425 (page 424, Senior synonym of bugnioni)
  • Roger, J. 1862c. Synonymische Bemerkungen. 1. Ueber Formiciden. Berl. Entomol. Z. 6: 283-297 (page 292, Senior synonym of amaurocyclia and scalpturata)
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 29, Combination in Aphaenogaster)
  • Santschi, F. 1938a [1937]. Quelques nouvelles fourmis d'Egypte. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Egypte 21: 28-44 (page 32, see also)