Acromyrmex octospinosus

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Acromyrmex octospinosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Acromyrmex
Species: A. octospinosus
Binomial name
Acromyrmex octospinosus
(Reich, 1793)

Acromyrmex octospinosus psw7796-21 profile 1.jpg

Acromyrmex octospinosus psw7796-21 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Acromyrmex octospinosus is a host species of the social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator.


Median pronotal spines usually present and distinct, occasionally reduced or absent; head tapering behind eyes; head width less than or equal to 1.7 mm.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana (type locality), Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Boulogne et al. (2018) - Acromyrmex octospinosus causes serious damage to fields crops, pastures and plantations due to their foraging activities for its symbiotic fungus cultivation (Pérez et al 2011). Estimated damage was, for example, several million dollars per year in USA and Brazil (Cameron & Riggs 1985). A. octospinosus is native to South and Central America and exotic to Guadeloupe. This species was introduced in Guadeloupe in 1954 and progressively colonized the entire territory (Boulogne et al 2014), causing ongoing damage in both agricultural and protected areas. The 1995 cyclone favored ant invasion in natural areas where some plant species, such as the endemic arborescent ferns of the genus Cyathea, are now threatened and might completely disappear (Boulogne et al 2014). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies this ant among the most serious pests of tropical and subtropical America (Pollard 1982).

Fernandez- Marin et al. (2003) - Incipient nests of Acromyrmex octospinosus have only 3-7 workers.

Nehring et al. (2015) - While this species is parastized by queens of Acromyrmex insinuator, this social parasite is not able to reproduce in Acromyrmex octospinosus colonies. The sympatric Acromyrmex echinatior is also parasitized by A. insinuator and is able to reproduce within colonies of this other host.

Weber (1958) - The springtail species Cyphoderus inaequalis Folsom (Lepidocyrtidae: Cyphoderinae) is known from nests of this ant.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 50,000 (Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: mass recruiter (Beckers et al., 1989)



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

  • octospinosus. Formica octospinosa Reich, 1793: 132 (w.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Forel, 1893e: 590 (s.q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. 1949: 674 (l.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986d: 496 (l.).
    • Combination in Atta: Emery, 1892b: 163;
    • combination in Atta (Acromyrmex): Forel, 1893e: 590;
    • combination in Acromyrmex: Mann, 1916: 454.
    • Status as species: Forel, 1893e: 590 (redescription); André, 1893b: 152; Dalla Torre, 1893: 153; Emery, 1894c: 220; Forel, 1895b: 139; Forel, 1899c: 34; Forel, 1905b: 157; Emery, 1905c: 44; Wheeler, W.M. 1905b: 130; Forel, 1907e: 2; Forel, 1908b: 42; Forel, 1908e: 69; Forel, 1912e: 181; Wheeler, W.M. 1913b: 495; Santschi, 1913h: 41; Mann, 1916: 454; Wheeler, W.M. 1916d: 326; Crawley, 1916b: 373; Wheeler, W.M. 1922c: 13; Emery, 1924d: 350; Santschi, 1925a: 391 (in key); Borgmeier, 1927c: 134; Wheeler, W.M. 1933a: 63; Wheeler, W.M. 1937c: 15, 69; Santschi, 1939e: 319 (in key); Santschi, 1939f: 166; Weber, 1941b: 125; Weber, 1945: 62; Weber, 1946b: 154; Brown, 1957e: 236; Gonçalves, 1961: 157; Kempf, 1972a: 14; Alayo, 1974: 42; Cherrett & Cherrett, 1989: 51; Bolton, 1995b: 56; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 257; Fernández, et al. 2015: 70 (redescription); Fernández & Serna, 2019: 834.
    • Senior synonym of guentheri: Emery, 1894c: 220; Forel, 1899c: 34, Santschi, 1913h: 41; Emery, 1924d: 350; Borgmeier, 1927c: 134; Gonçalves, 1961: 157; Kempf, 1972a: 14; Bolton, 1995b: 56; Fernández, et al. 2015: 71.
    • Senior synonym of pallida Crawley: Wheeler, W.M. 1937c: 70; Gonçalves, 1961: 157; Kempf, 1972a: 14; Bolton, 1995b: 56; Fernández, et al. 2015: 71.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus cubanus, ekchuah, inti.
  • guentheri. Atta (Acromyrmex) guentheri Forel, 1893e: 594 (s.w.q.m.) TRINIDAD, VENEZUELA.
    • Junior synonym of octospinosus: Emery, 1894c: 220; Forel, 1899c: 34; Santschi, 1913h: 41; Emery, 1924d: 350; Borgmeier, 1927c: 134; Gonçalves, 1961: 157; Kempf, 1972a: 14; Bolton, 1995b: 55; Fernández, et al. 2015: 71.
  • pallida. Acromyrmex octospinosa var. pallida Crawley, 1921: 92 (s.w.) GUYANA.
    • [Unresolved junior secondary homonym of Oecodoma pallida Smith, F. 1858b: 187 (Bolton, 1995b: 56).]
    • Subspecies of octospinosus: Santschi, 1925a: 359; Santschi, 1939e: 319 (in key); Santschi, 1939f: 166 (in key).
    • Junior synonym of octospinosus: Wheeler, W.M. 1937c: 70; Gonçalves, 1961: 157; Kempf, 1972a: 14; Bolton, 1995b: 56; Fernández, et al. 2015: 71.
  • pampanus. Acromyrmex (Moellerius) balzani subsp. pampanus Weber, 1938b: 200 (w.q.m.) BOLIVIA.
    • Subspecies of balzani: Weber, 1958d: 264; Brandão, 1991: 323.
    • Subspecies of landolti: Kempf, 1972a: 16.
    • Synonym of multituber: Fowler, 1988: 284; Brandão, 1991: 323.
    • [Note: Fowler and Brandão give pampanus as senior synonym, but multituber has priority (Bolton, 1995b: 56).]



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