Aenictus hodgsoni

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Aenictus hodgsoni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species: A. hodgsoni
Binomial name
Aenictus hodgsoni
Forel, 1901

Aenictus hodgsoni casent0249281 p 1 high.jpg

Aenictus hodgsoni casent0249281 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A. hodgsoni is dominant in continental Southeast Asia, distributed from lowland to highland in varied forest types (hill evergreen forest, dry evergreen forest, evergreen rainforest, mixed deciduous forest, and savanna). This species is active both day and night. We found it preying on other ant species such as Anoplolepis gracilipes (Thailand), Camponotus rufoglaucus (Thailand), Camponotus sp. (Vietnam), Iridomyrmex anceps (Thailand), Technomyrmex sp. (bicolor group) (Vietnam), and also on cockroaches (Thailand). (Jaitrong and Yamane 2011)


Jaitrong and Yamane (2011) - A member of the laeviceps species group. This species was removed from synonymy with the closely related Aenictus fergusoni based on the following characteristics: propodeum partly smooth and shiny in A. hodgsoni (entirely punctate in A. fergusoni); propodeum in profile almost straight dorsally in A. hodgsoni (slightly convex in A. fergusoni); declivity of propodeum above without transverse carina in A. hodgsoni (with a distinct transverse carina in A. fergusoni). Aenictus brevinodus and Aenictus bodongjaya are also very similar to this species in having sparse standing hairs mixed with sparse short hairs on the head and promesonotum, and the mesopleuron being entirely densely sculptured. A. hodgsoni can be distinguished from A. bodongjaya by the femora being extensively superficially reticulate and shiny, the tibiae very finely reticulate (legs entirely smooth and shiny in A. bodongjaya), and it can be separated from A. brevinodus by having the petiole slightly longer than high (clearly shorter than high in A. brevinodus).

Keys including this Species


South China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsula (S. Thailand), Java (Indonesia), Bali (Indonesia), and Lombok (Indonesia).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 29.08694444° to 21.91927778°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Indonesia.
Oriental Region: Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar (type locality), Thailand, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China.

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.


Staab (2014) observed workers tending Hemiptera (Eutrichosiphum heterotrichum) on fresh shoots of the plant (Lithocarpus glaber) in in Xingangshan, Jiangxi Prov., China. The ants were seen imbibing honeydew droplets extruded by the aphids and "the ants had a well-established foraging trail, with many foragers going back and forth between the site of the trophobiosis and a hole in the soil about 2 m away. The ants defended their mutualistic partners aggressively by stinging and biting the incautious observer." The interactions persisted for hours but was not found again when the site was checked one day later.


Known only from the worker caste.

  • Liu, C. et al. 2020. Ants of the Hengduan Mountains, Figure 3, Aenictus hodgsoni.
MCZ Aenictus hodgsoni hef6 3.jpgMCZ Aenictus hodgsoni hal3 2.jpgMCZ Aenictus hodgsoni had3 2.jpgMCZ Aenictus hodgsoni lbs.jpg
. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Aenictus hodgsoni casent0907000 h 1 high.jpgAenictus hodgsoni casent0907000 d 1 high.jpgAenictus hodgsoni casent0907000 p 1 high.jpgAenictus hodgsoni casent0907000 l 1 high.jpg
Lectotype of Aenictus hodgsoniWorker. Specimen code casent0907000. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.


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

  • hodgsoni. Aenictus fergusoni var. hodgsoni Forel, 1901a: 474 (w.) MYANMAR.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Jaitrong & Yamane, 2011: 35), 5 paralectotype workers.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Myanmar (“Burma”): Moulmain (Hodgson); paralectotypes with same data.
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Combination in A. (Typhlatta): Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199.
    • [Misspelled as hogsoni by Emery, 1910b: 30.]
    • Subspecies of fergusoni: Bingham, 1903: 18; Forel, 1903d: 401; Emery, 1910b: 30; Forel, 1913k: 20; Karavaiev, 1926d: 424; Wheeler, W.M. 1927d: 1; Wheeler, W.M. 1930g: 199 (in key); Chapman & Capco, 1951: 13.
    • Junior synonym of fergusoni: Wilson, 1964a: 462; Bolton, 1995b: 59; Tang, J., Li, et al. 1995: 42.
    • Status as species: Jaitrong, et al. 2011: 321 (redescription); Jaitrong & Yamane, 2011: 35 (redescription); Guénard & Dunn, 2012: 23; Liu, C. Guénard, et al. 2015: 25; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 21; Jaitrong, Guénard, et al. 2016: 24.
    • Distribution: Cambodia, China, India (Andaman Is, Nicobar Is), Indonesia (Bali, Java, Lombok, Panaitan), Laos, Malaysia (Peninsula), Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.

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

Jaitrong and Yamane (2011) - The specimens collected from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand agree well with the type series from Myanmar, but in the single colony from Lombok, Indonesia, the workers have smooth and shiny femora, and the petiole is slightly smaller than in the type series. In the single colony from Bali, Indonesia, the workers have a reticulated petiole (entirely smooth and shiny in the type series). All Thai and Vietnamese specimens cited as A. fergusoni in Yamane et al. (2003), and Eguchi et al. (2005), and Jaitrong and Nabhitabhata (2005) were reidentified as A. hodgsoni in the present study. Aenictus laeviceps recorded from Vietnam by Radchenko (1993) is possibly A. hodgsoni (cf. Yamane et al. 2003).



Jaitrong and Yamane (2011) - Measurements. Worker lectotype and paralectotypes (n = 6): TL 3.50–3.70 mm; HL 0.75–0.78 mm; HW 0.63–0.68 mm; SL 0.60–0.65 mm; ML 1.05–1.13 mm; PL 0.23–0.25 mm; CI 83–87; SI 96–100.

Lectotype and paralectotypes. Head in full-face view slightly longer than broad, with its sides slightly convex and posterior margin almost straight; occipital margin bearing a narrow carina. Antennal scape relatively short, not reaching posterolateral corner of head; antennal segments II–X each longer than broad; II almost as long as each of III–VI. Frontal carina short, not extending beyond the level of posterior margin of torulus. Anterior margin of clypeus bearing several denticles. Masticatory margin of mandible with a large apical tooth followed by a medium-sized subapical tooth, 4–5 denticles, and a medium-sized basal tooth; basal margin lacking denticles. Promesonotum in profile convex dorsally; propodeum in profile with its dorsal outline almost straight; propodeal junction angulate, right-angled; area behind propodeal spiracle and above metapleural gland bulla impressed; declivity not distinctly margined dorsally and laterally, seen from back tapering above. Petiole almost as long as high, in profile its dorsal outline strongly convex; subpetiolar process well developed and triangular, its apex directed downward and backward; postpetiole almost as long as petiole. Head entirely smooth and shiny. Mandible very finely striate except along masticatory margin. Antennal scape entirely microrecticulate. Pronotum smooth and shiny, its anteriormost portion punctate; mesothorax, metapleuron and lateral face of propodeum with dense punctures and several longitudinal rugae; dorsal face of propodeum essentially smooth and shiny. Petiole entirely smooth and shiny except for anteriormost portion punctate; postpetiole entirely smooth and shiny. Femora extensively superficially reticulate and shiny; tibiae very finely reticulate. Head and mesosoma dorsally with relatively sparse standing hairs mixed with sparse short hairs over the surface; longest pronotal hairs 0.30–0.33 mm long. Entire body dark reddish brown. Typhlatta spot located anterior to occipital corner.

Type Material

Aenictus fergusoni var. hodgsoni: Lectotype and five paralectotype workers from Burma [Myanmar], Moulmain (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, examined).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chapman, J. W., and Capco, S. R. 1951. Check list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Asia. Monogr. Inst. Sci. Technol. Manila 1: 1-327
  • Eguchi K., B. T. Viet, and S. Yamane. 2014. Generic Synopsis of the Formicidae of Vietnam (Insecta: Hymenoptera), Part II—Cerapachyinae, Aenictinae, Dorylinae, Leptanillinae, Amblyoponinae, Ponerinae, Ectatomminae and Proceratiinae. Zootaxa 3860: 001-046.
  • Forel A. 1903. Les fourmis des îles Andamans et Nicobares. Rapports de cette faune avec ses voisines. Rev. Suisse Zool. 11: 399-411.
  • Forel A. 1913k. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise nach Ostindien ausgeführt im Auftrage der Kgl. Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin von H. v. Buttel-Reepen. II. Ameisen aus Sumatra, Java, Malacca und Ceylon. Gesammelt von Herrn Prof. Dr. v. Buttel-Reepen in den Jahren 1911-1912. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 36:1-148.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Jaitrong W. 2015. A revision of the Thai species of the ant genus Aenictus Shuckard, 1840 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Dorylinae). The Thailand Natural History Museum Journal 9(1): 1-94.
  • Jaitrong W., B. Guenard, E. P. Economo, N. Buddhakala, and S. Yamane. 2016. A checklist of known ant species of Laos (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Asian Myrmecology 8: 1-32. DOI: 10.20362/am.008019
  • Jaitrong W.; Yamane, S. 2011. Synopsis of Aenictus species groups and revision of the A. currax and A. laeviceps groups in the eastern Oriental, Indo-Australian, and Australasian regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Aenictinae). Zootaxa 3128:1-46.
  • Karavaiev V. 1926. Ameisen aus dem Indo-Australischen Gebiet. Treubia 8: 413-445.
  • Liu C, B. Guénard, F Hita Garcia, S. Yamane, B. Blanchard, and E. Economo. New records of ant species from Yunnan, China. Submitted to Zookeys
  • Staab M., A. Schuldt, T. Assmann, H. Bruelheide, and A.M. Klein. 2014. Ant community structure during forest succession in a subtropical forest in South-East China. Acta Oecologia 61: 32-40.