Aenictogiton attenuatus

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Aenictogiton attenuatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictogiton
Species: A. attenuatus
Binomial name
Aenictogiton attenuatus
Santschi, 1919

Aenictogiton attenuatus casent0281202 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictogiton attenuatus casent0281202 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Aenictogiton attenuatus is only known from males, as is the case for all its congeners. The biology of this enigmatic genus remains a mystery. Brown (1975) mentioned the possibility that these ants are subterranean or otherwise strongly cryptobiotic; no foraging worker nor any trace of a colony has ever been found. Phylogenetic and morphological affinities to the army ant genus Dorylus suggest an army-ant-like lifestyle, although there is no current evidence for this. Most males were collected from light traps close to forest localities, indicating that Aenictogiton might prefer forested habitats. (Garcia, Wiesel and Fischer 2013)



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Democratic Republic of Congo (type locality), United Republic of Tanzania.

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 males.

Images from AntWeb

Aenictogiton attenuatus casent0281202 p 2 high.jpgAenictogiton attenuatus casent0281202 d 2 high.jpgAenictogiton attenuatus casent0281202 p 3 high.jpg
Holotype of Aenictogiton attenuatusMale (alate). Specimen code casent0281202. Photographer Estella Ortega, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MRAC, Tervuren, Belgium.


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

  • attenuatus. Aenictogiton elongatus var. attenuatus Santschi, 1919c: 247, fig. 2b (m.) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO.
    • Type-material: holotype male.
    • Type-locality: Democratic Republic of Congo (“Congo belge”): 300 km de Kindu, 21.iv.1914 (L. Burgeon).
    • Type-depository: MRAC.
    • Subspecies of elongatus: Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 750; Bolton, 1995b: 58.
    • Status as species: Santschi, 1924b: 199; Brown, 1975: 45.
    • Distribution: Democratic Republic of Congo.



  • Brown, W.L. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search Agriculture Entomology (Ithaca) 5: 1–115.
  • Hita Garcia, F.; Wiesel, E.; Fischer, G. 2013. The ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) - faunal overview, first species checklist, bibliography, accounts for all genera, and discussion on taxonomy and zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History 101:127-222. DOI: 10.2982/028.101.0201
  • Santschi, F. 1919c. Fourmis nouvelles du Congo. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 6: 243-250 (page 247, fig. 2 male described)
  • Santschi, F. 1924b. Descriptions de nouveaux Formicides africains et notes diverses. II. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 12: 195-224 (page 199, raised to species)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Baroni Urbani C. 1977. Katalog der Typen von Formicidae (Hymenoptera) der Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Basel (2. Teil). Mitt. Entomol. Ges. Basel (n.s.) 27: 61-102.
  • Borowiec M. L. 2016. Generic revision of the ant subfamily Dorylinae (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 608: 1–280.
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Santschi F. 1919. Fourmis nouvelles du Congo. Revue Zoologique Africaine (Brussels) 6: 243-250.
  • Santschi F. 1924. Descriptions de nouveaux Formicides africains et notes diverses. II. Revue Zoologique Africaine (Brussels) 12: 195-224.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004