Acanthostichus emmae

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Acanthostichus emmae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Acanthostichus
Species: A. emmae
Binomial name
Acanthostichus emmae
Mackay, W.P., 1996

Nothing is known about the biology of Acanthostichus emmae. It is only known from the queen holotype.


A member of the texanus species complex. Mackay (1996) - Similar to Acanthostichus texanus and could only be confused with it. This new species differs from A. texanus as the petiole is almost as wide as long (elongate in A. texanus), subpetiolar process is rounded and the ocelli are larger. The worker would be expected to be similar to that of A. texanus, but the petiole should be subquadrate. The eyes should be relatively large as in A. texanus.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Mexico (type locality).

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.



Known only from the queen caste.




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

  • emmae. Acanthostichus emmae Mackay, 1996: 148, figs. 57, 58 (q.) MEXICO (Oaxaca).
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Mexico: Tehmantipca, v.1923 (W.M. Mann).
    • [Note: Mackay, 1996: 150, assumes that Tehmantipca is a misspelling of Tehuantepec.]
    • Type-depository: USNM.
    • Distribution: Mexico.

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



HL 1.10, HW 1.03, SL 0.50, EL 0.28, WL 1.96, PW 0.59, PL 0.61, SI 45, CI 94, PI 103.

Mandible without teeth or denticles; lateral bumps on clypeal border poorly formed; sides of head straight, almost parallel, vertex broadly concave; eyes large, reaching lateral margins of head; 3 large ocelli, diameter of median ocellus (0.08 mm) equal to distance between them; posterior face of propodeum concave, without propodeal spines; petiolar node wider posteriorly, maximal width almost equal to length. Hairs long, scattered over body surface, especially dorsum of head, dorsum of mesosoma. Gaster with abundant long hairs. Anterior edge of scape with long hairs, twice as long as scape width. Sculpture mostly smooth and shining, especially on head, dorsum of mesosoma, dorsum of petiole, gaster. Color ferrugineous, base of first segment of gaster with yellow blotches.

Type Material

Holotype female, MEXICO, Tehmantipca, May, 1923, W. M. Mann (National Museum of Natural History) [seen]. This locality could not be located in any gazetteer or map. I assumed that the locality is misspelled and is actually Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.


This attractive female specimen is named in honor of my wife, Emma Sanchez de MacKay who has collaborated with me on numerous ant projects and who has always been strongly supportive of my work on ants.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133