Polyergus sanwaldi

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Polyergus sanwaldi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Polyergus
Species group: lucidus
Species: P. sanwaldi
Binomial name
Polyergus sanwaldi
Trager, 2013


Polyergus sanwaldi closely resembles Polyergus longicornis, but has consistently shorter appendages and more northern (and apparently allopatric) distribution.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Check distribution from AntMaps.

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Check specimen data from AntWeb


I have studied samples of this ant originating from Massachusetts to northwestern Indiana and southern North Dakota. All samples originated from localities with deep, sandy soil. It seems likely it could be found in intervening sandy soil locations, such as the Oak Openings of Ohio or black oak savannas of northern Illinois, Wisconsin and southern Minnesota.

Goodloe and Sanwald (1985) and Goodloe, Sanwald and Topoff (1987) studied this ant in their work on host specificity of “lucidus.” The host of this species is exclusively Formica dolosa (reported as F. schaufussi). These authors determined experimentally that mated gynes from colonies of sanwaldi were not accepted into groups of F. incerta workers, and likewise that gynes of lucidus were not accepted into groups of F. dolosa, while gynes introduced to groups of workers of the species of Formica in their home-nest most often were accepted. In the field, raids of the two species, again, were conducted only on the respective host species in the Polyergus home nest. Their papers were my first clue that lucidus, sensu lato might in fact be more than one species. The habitat of this species is sandy or sandy loam prairies and old fields, and sandy oak and pine savannas.



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

  • sanwaldi. Polyergus sanwaldi Trager, 2013: 530, figs 42-44 (w.q.m.) U.S.A.

Type Material


Holotype measurements HL 1.80, HW 1.67, SL 1.60, ½ VeM 15, ½ PnM 4, WL 2.76, GL 2.68, HFL 2.24, CI 93, SI 96, HFI 134, FSI 134, LI 4.56, TL 7.24.

Paratype worker measurements (N=5) HL 1.72–1.80 (1.76), HW 1.63–1.74 (1.70), SL 1.62–1.64 (1.63), ½ VeM 11–15 (12.75), ½ PnM 2–4 (3), WL 2.68–2.83 (2.75), GL 2.12–2.24 (2.19), HFL 2.20–2.32, CI 95–99 (96), SI 93–101 (96), HFI 126–135 (132), FSI 134–143 (137), LI 4.44–4.60 (4.51), TL 6.67–6.76 (6.70).

Measurements (N=31) HL 1.52–1.90 (1.65), HW 1.42–1.80 (1.56), SL 1.50–1.79 (1.60), ½ VeM 3–12 (7.03), ½ PnM 0–4 (1.19), WL 2.36–2.86 (2.55), GL 1.69–2.60 (2.23), HFL 2.08–2.44 (2.20), CI 92–97 (95), SI 97–113 (103), HFI 134–150 (1.41), FSI 124–145 (138), LI 3.88–4.76 (4.20), TL 5.96–7.36 (6.43).

Worker description. Head rounded hexagonal, its length greater than breadth; with conspicuous vertex pilosity, about 20–30 setae; scapes falling slightly short of, to slightly surpassing vertex corners, faintly clavate in the apical third or gradually thickening apically; pronotum with 3–10 dorsal erect setae; mesonotal profile flat; propodeal profile subquadrate; petiole straight- to slightly convex-sided, petiolar dorsum evenly convex; first tergite lacking pubescence; first tergite pilosity sparse (usually < 10 macrosetae), straight, suberect, often deciduous (indicated only by macrosetal sockets in many specimens).

Head matte; mesonotum matte with only slightly smoother pronotal sides; gaster weakly shining.

Color mostly red with darker, brown appendages, and similarly dark lower lateral mesosoma, and posterior portions of tergites.


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