Aenictus popeyei

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Aenictus popeyei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Aenictus
Species group: popeyei
Species: A. popeyei
Binomial name
Aenictus popeyei
Gómez, 2022

Popeyei casent0810234 p 1 high.jpg

Poepeyei casent0810234 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Label


Aenictus popeyei is unmistakable with its globose, expanded mandibles and wide heads (CI~110, the widest in the Afrotropical region).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 9° to 7°.

Tropical South
  • Source: Gomez, 2022

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun, Nigeria.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • popeyei. Aenictus popeyei Gómez, 2022: 43, figs. 1E, 26A-E, 27 (w.) CAMEROON.

Type Material

  • Holotype worker, CAMEROON: • Subdiv. de Betare-Oya, Garoua-Boulayi VII.19-22.49 (Borys Malkin) (1w) [CASENT0810234] California Academy of Sciences.
  • Paratype workers: • same series (5 pins, 1w each) [CASENT0810235, CASENT0840000 to CASENT0840003].


WORKER HL: 0.75 [0.72-0.79]; HW: 0.84 [0.78-0.89]; SL: 0.57 [0.53-0.59]; WL: 1.26 [1.2-1.35]; PL: 0.29 [0.25-0.31]; PH: 0.23 [0.20-0.25]; PPL: 0.22 [0.20-0.25]; PPH: 0.20 [0.18-0.22]; CS: 0.8 [0.75-0.84]; CI: 111 [108-115]; SIL: 75 [72-78]; SIW: 67 [64-72]; WL/HW: 150 [144-156]; PI: 123 [113-133]; PPI: 108 [100-119]; CSR: 112; (n=15).

With the characters defined for the popeyei group and: scape moderately long, reaching the three quarters of the head when laid back (SIL~75). All funicular segments longer than wide, the apical more than twice longer than wide; the last four widening to the apical. Head wider than long (CI~110), widest at mandibular insertions or slightly above and narrowing to the occipital line, this apical vertex a straight line, clearly shorter than the line at mandible insertions. Ventrolateral margin developed, extending ventrally to its medial line.

Mandibles very characteristic, massive, almost as big as the rest of the head; armed with one long sharp apical tooth followed by a subapical tooth; the medial section clearly concave, followed by a thickened basal half, circular in shape surrounded by a thin, sharp cutting edge that continues basally. In lateral view, this basal half clearly protrudes the apical half. Petiole subsessile with anterolateral and anterodorsal carina present, dorsolateral carina absent; propodeal dome elliptical in lateral view, the anterior face straight sloping 45 degrees aprox. Posterior face vertical. Postpetiole subrectangular with near vertical anterior and posterior face, forming both a square rounded angle with the dorsal surface. Subpetiolar process developed, elliptical to triangular, rounded and oriented downwards or slightly backwards; lamella present, variable but usually developed.

Mandibles rugulose with smooth patches in some individuals, especially in the distal rounded half; scapes, head, pronotum mesonotum, gaster, dorsal surfaces of petiole and postpetiole and legs glassy smooth. Mesopleurae and pronotum strongly reticulated; metapleurae irregularly and horizontally rugulose; remainder of petiole and posteptiole reticulated to alutaceus. Head and mesosoma dark reddish brown. Antennae, gaster, coxae and legs yellow to yellowish brown. Whole body covered with white setae unequal in length, from short to very long, these clearly longer than petiole height; erect to semierect in scape, funiculus, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole; decumbent to semierect on abdomen. No pubescence noted.


The species name popeyei is Latinized noun in the genitive case, named after the cartoon character Popeye. It can’t be denied that mandibles do look alike.