Anochetus madagascarensis

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Anochetus madagascarensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Anochetus
Species: A. madagascarensis
Binomial name
Anochetus madagascarensis
Forel, 1887

Anochetus madagascarensis casent0005966 profile 1.jpg

Anochetus madagascarensis casent0005966 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Widespread throughout Madagascar in forest or shrubland habitats below 1100 m elevation. It has been collected in gallery, dry, littoral, lowland, and montane forests, and in desert spiny bush thicket in the southwest of Madagascar.


The species is most similar to Anochetus grandidieri but can be easily distinguished by its large eyes (0.24–0.26 mm), and scapes that surpass occipital lobes (Fisher and Smith 2008).

Keys including this Species


Comores and Madagascar.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Comoros.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality), Mayotte.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Fisher and Smith (2008) - The longer scapes and larger eyes of A. madagascarensis compared to A. grandidieri, correlate with nesting and foraging above the soil layer. The species was most often recorded nesting in rotten logs (99 collection records) followed by sifted litter (41). In addition, it was collected from dead twigs above ground (1), rot pockets (2), ground foragers (20), ground nests (6), Malaise trap (14), on low vegetation (2), and pitfall traps (4).

Males have been collected in Malaise traps in every month of the year and males have been noted to swarm and fly at dusk and early evening.






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

  • madagascarensis. Anochetus africanus var. madagascarensis Forel, 1887: 382 (w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12).
    • Type-locality: Madagascar: Tamatave Prov. (“Nossi-bé et environs de Tamatavé”), Ivondro (C. Keller).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [Misspelled as madagascariensis by Forel, 1891b: 107, and others.]
    • Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12 (q.m.).
    • Subspecies of africanus: Forel, 1891b: 107; Dalla Torre, 1893: 47; Mayr, 1897: 426 (footnote); Forel, 1904b: 369; Forel, 1907g: 75; Emery, 1911d: 108; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 1012.
    • Status as species: Brown, 1978c: 557, 602; Bolton, 1995b: 64; Dorow, 1996a: 75; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12 (redescription); Vankerhoven, et al. 2010: 216 (in copal).
    • Senior synonym of friederichsi: Brown, 1978c: 557; Bolton, 1995b: 64; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12.
    • Distribution: Comoros, Madagascar.
  • friederichsi. Anochetus africanus var. friederichsi Forel, 1918b: 155 (w.) MADAGASCAR.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12).
    • Type-locality: Madagascar: Tamatave Prov., Prune I. (= Nosy Alanana) (Friedrichs).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Junior synonym of madagascarensis: Brown, 1978c: 557; Bolton, 1995b: 64; Fisher & Smith, 2008: 12.

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



Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 20. HL 1.35–1.68, HW 1.19–1.53, CI 87–94, EL 0.23–0.28, ML 0.73–0.93, MI 53–57, SL 1.11–1.41, SI 89–95, WL 1.60–2.02, FL 1.13–1.54, PW 0.63–0.80.

Inner blade of mandible without teeth and denticles; apical end of inner blade with notched semicircular concavity. Eyes large (0.24–0.26 mm), projecting dorsally. In full face view, antennal scape extends beyond posterior margin of occipital lobe. Dorsal surface of head asetose.


Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 5. HL 1.52–1.66, HW 1.48–1.55, CI 92–97, EL 0.32–0.36, ML 0.81–0.89, MI 53–55, SL 1.26–1.39, SI 85–91, WL 1.99–2.22. FL 1.35–1.49, PW 0.84–0.92.

Very similar to worker and only slightly larger. Queens of only one size. Ergatoid queens not recorded.


Fisher and Smith (2008) - Measurements: maximum and minimum based on n = 5 from Madagascar: HL 0.85–1.89, HW 1.07–1.20, CI 122–135, EL 0.63–0.69, SL 0.20–0.22, SI 18–21, WL 1.90–1.98, FL 1.35–1.47

Males light yellowish brown in color and with large projecting ocelli on vertex.

Type Material

Fisher and Smith (2008) - Lectotype: worker, Madagascar, Tamatave Province, Ivondro, (Dr. Conrad Keller) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) present designation [examined] AntWeb CASENT0101574.

Anochetus africanus friederichsi Lectotype: worker, Madagascar, Tamatave Province, Prune Island (Nosy Alanana) (Friederichs) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève), present designation [examined] AntWeb CASENT010165.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brown Jr., W.L. 1978. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, Tribe Ponerini, Subtribe Odontomachiti, Section B. Genus Anochetus and Bibliography. Studia Entomologia 20(1-4): 549-XXX
  • Dorow, Wolfgang H. O. 1995. Review and Bibliography of the ants of the Seychelles (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Afr. Zool. 110:73-96
  • Dorow, Wolfgang H.O. 1996. Review and bibliography of the ants of the Seychelles. Journal of African Zoology 110(2): 73-95.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Fisher B. L. 1997. Biogeography and ecology of the ant fauna of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 31: 269-302.
  • Fisher B. L. 2003. Formicidae, ants. Pp. 811-819 in: Goodman, S. M.; Benstead, J. P. (eds.) 2003. The natural history of Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, xxi + 1709 pp.
  • Fisher B. L., and M. A. Smith. 2008. A revision of Malagasy species of Anochetus Mayr and Odontomachus Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). PLoS ONE 3(5): e1787. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001787
  • Forel A. 1887. Fourmis récoltées à Madagascar par le Dr. Conrad Keller. Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft 7: 381-389.
  • Forel A. 1897. Ameisen aus Nossi-Bé, Majunga, Juan de Nova (Madagaskar), den Aldabra-Inseln und Sansibar, gesammelt von Herrn Dr. A. Voeltzkow aus Berlin. Mit einem Anhang über die von Herrn Privatdocenten Dr. A. Brauer in Marburg auf den Seychellen und von Herrn Perrot auf Ste. Marie (Madagaskar) gesammelten Ameisen. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 21: 185-208.
  • Forel A. 1918. Quelques fourmis de Madagascar récoltées par le Dr. Friederichs et quelques remarques sur d'autres fourmis. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles. 52: 151-156.
  • Goodman S., Y. Anbdou, Y. Andriamiarantsoa, B. L. Fisher, O. Griffiths, B. Keitt, J. J. Rafanomezantsoa, E. Rajoelison, J. C. Rakotonirina, L. Ranaivoarisoa et al. 2017. Results of a biological inventory of the Nosy Ankao island group, Parc National de Loky-Manambato, northeastern Madagascar. Malagasy Nature, Association Vahatra, 2017, 11, <>
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 1005-1055