Aphaenogaster barbigula

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Aphaenogaster barbigula
Aphaenogaster barbigula
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species: A. barbigula
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster barbigula
Wheeler, W.M., 1916

Aphaenogaster barbigula side view

Aphaenogaster barbigula top view

Specimen labels

This species occurs in semi-arid areas of eastern South Australia, south-central Queensland, western New South Wales and north-western Victoria. It is generally found in forested habitats including Callitris and mulga (Acacia sp.) woodlands (including on red soils), mallee (with and without spinifex grass (Triodia)) and in savannah woodlands, but is occasionally found in grasslands, especially with scattered trees. It is most often found on sandy soils. Nests are always in soil and almost always have large, deep craters around the entrance (Shattuck, 2008). The biology of this species was discussed by Crawley (1922:122).


Majority of hairs on underside of head located laterally and forming a distinct psammophore; eye relatively small (EI less than 21); scape relatively short (SI less than 106); mandibular sculpture composed of regularly sized striations; petiolar node (in dorsal view) approximately square. The presence of a psammophore will separate this species from all others except A. mediterrae and A. poultoni. It can be separated from these species as outlined in the key to Australian species.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

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.

  • barbigula. Aphaenogaster (Nystalomyrma) barbigula Wheeler, W.M. 1916j: 221, pl. 21, figs. 7-9, pl. 22, fig. 9 (w.q.) AUSTRALIA (New South Wales).
    • Forel, 1918a: 720 (m.).
    • Combination in A. (Deromyrma): Forel, 1918a: 720;
    • combination in A. (Nystalomyrma): Emery, 1921f: 61.
    • Status as species: Forel, 1918a: 720; Emery, 1921f: 61; Crawley, 1922c: 21; Taylor & Brown, 1985: 54; Taylor, 1987a: 8; Bolton, 1995b: 68; Shattuck, 2008a: 30 (redescription).

Type Material


Posterior margin of head nearly flat in full face view, extending laterally of the occipital collar before passing through a distinct posterolateral corner into the lateral margin of the head. Majority of hairs on venter of head located laterally and forming a distinct psammophore, only scattered hairs on central portion. Mandibular sculpture composed of regularly sized striations. Erect hairs on mesosomal dorsum tapering to sharp points. Propodeal spines reduced to small denticles, or sometimes essentially absent. Petiolar node (in dorsal view) approximately square.


Worker (n = 8, units = mm). CI 84-92; EI 22-27; EL 0.23-0.27; HL 1.12-1.26; HW 0.97-1.16; ML 1.58-1.84; MTL 0.96-1.08; SI 104-115; SL 1.11-1.25.

  • CI: Cephalic index: HW/HL x 100.
  • EI: Eye index: EL/HW x 100.
  • EL: Maximum eye length with eye in full face view.
  • HL: Maximum head length in full face (dorsal) view, measured from the anterior-most point of the clypeal margin to the posterior-most point of the head proper (excluding the occipital collar).
  • HW: Maximum head width in full face (dorsal) view excluding the eyes.
  • ML: Mesosomal length measured from the anterior surface of the pronotum proper (excluding the collar) to the posterior extension of the propodeal lobes.
  • MTL: Maximum length of mid tibia, excluding the proximal part of the articulation which is received into the distal end of the femur.
  • SI: Scape index: SL/HW x 100.
  • SL: Length of the scape (first antennal segment) excluding the basal neck and condyle.



  • Crawley, W.C. (1922). Notes on some Australian ants. Biological notes by E. B. Poulton, D.Sc., M.A., F.R.S., and notes and descriptions of new forms by W. C. Crawley, B.A., F.E.S., F.R.M.S. (concl.). Entomologist's Monthly Magazine. 58 : 121–126 (taxonomy)
  • Eldridge, D. J., Myers, C. A. (1998). Enhancement of soil nutrients around nest entrances of the funnel ant Aphaenogaster barbigula (Myrmicinae) in semi-arid eastern Australia . Australian Journal of Soil Research. 36 : 1009–1017 (biology, soil biology)
  • Forel, A. (1918). Etudes myrmécologiques en 1917. Bulletin de la Société Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles. (5) 51 : 717–727 (taxonomy, p. 720, male description)
  • Shattuck,S.O. (2008). Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) . Zootaxa. 1677 : 25–45 (taxonomy, revision)
  • Wheeler, W. M. (1916). The Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster Mayr. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 40 : 213–223 (p. 221)(page 221, pl. 21, figs. 7-9 worker, queen described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Shattuck S. O. 2008. Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1677: 25-45.
  • Shattuck, S. O. "Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1677 (2007): 25-45.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1916. The Australian ants of the genus Aphaenogaster Mayr. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 40: 213-223.