Aphaenogaster equestris

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Aphaenogaster equestris
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: cecconii
Species: A. equestris
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster equestris
Borowiec & Salata, 2014

Borowiec-&-Salata-2014-8Aphaenogaster equestris hal.jpg

Borowiec-&-Salata-2014-8Aphaenogaster equestris had.jpg

The type nest was located in a rock crevice at a height of about 50 cm, in a deep cave two meters from the entrance. This cave is famous for its ancient equestrian relief and the nest was located under the relief. Workers were active on the wall between the nest entrance and the entrance to cave; three workers were collected on a large limestone rock adjacent to the cave entrance. (Borowiec and Salata 2014)


Borowiec and Salata (2014) - A member of the Aphaenogaster cecconii group. Within this group, Aphaenogaster equestris and Aphaenogaster phillipsi are mostly colored yellow to rusty-yellow, but the latter differs in the head strongly narrowed posteriad with a distinct narrow neck margined by a sharp collar. In addition, A. phillipsi has a head without a dark spot, and microsculpture more diffused and thus surface appearing more shiny. See also Aphaenogaster jolantae.

Keys including this Species


Southwestern Turkey, Antalya Province.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Türkiye (type locality).

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.




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

  • equestris. Aphaenogaster equestris Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2014a: 46, figs. 3, 4, 18, 26 (w.) TURKEY.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 13 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype Turkey: Antalya Prov., ancient Termessos, 1018 m., 36°35’N, 30°27’E, 3.vii.2010 (L Borowiec); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: BMNH (holotype); CASC, DBET, MLBC, SMNG (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Salata & Borowiec, 2016: 197 (in key).
    • Distribution: Turkey.

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



(n=14): HW: 1.43 ± 0.039 (1.500–1.350); TL: 0.688 ± 0.02 (0.659–0.748); GL: 0.535 ± 0.03 (0.48–0.581); HW: 0.934 ± 0.032 (0.894–0.981); CW: 0.167 ± 0.008 (0.161–0.188); FLW: 0.319 ± 0.015 (0.291–0.341); SL: 1.889 ± 0.051 (1.804–1.978); EL: 0.249 ± 0.012 (0.235–0.277); EW: 0.199 ± 0.009 (0.182–0.212); ML: 2.092 ± 0.67 (1.935–2.184); PSL: 0.252 ± 0.022 (0.215–0.285); SDL: 0.189 ± 0.012 (0.168–0.201); HTL: 1.754 ± 0.048 (1.682–1.855); PL: 0.597 ± 0.027 (0.556–0.642); PPL: 0.406 ± 0.018 (0.380–0.447); PH: 0.368 ± 0.014 (0.359–0.391); PPH: 0.302 ± 0.014 (0.279–0.318); PNW: 0.682 ± 0.029 (0.648–0.754) ; DPSB: 0.242 ± 0.033 (0.198–0.307); DPST: 0.253 ± 0.017 (0.240–0.279); PW: 0.236 ± 0.012 (0.212–0.257); PPW: 0.307 ± 0.024 (0.286–0.346); CI: 65.1 ± 1.5 (62.7–67.2); CL: 18.1 ± 1.2 (15.9–20.1); FLI: 52.5 ± 3.6 (45.7–62.3); SI1: 132.2 ± 2.8 (125.8–137.2); SI2: 203 ± 6.6 (193.3–217.9); PI1: 160.2 ± 5.3 (150–170.1); PI2: 64 ± 2.4 (59.8–68.4); PPI1: 137.6 ± 9.4 (122–150); PPI2: 32.1 ± 1.1 (30.8–33.9); SPI1: 27.2 ± 1.7 (24.2–29.7); SPI2: 134.2 ± 4.2 (128–141.8); HTI: 188.7 ± 3.3 (185–195.1); MI: 310.9 ± 6.2 (296.4–320.4); PSI: 122.3 ± 14.1 (89.6–135.4); TGI: 128.9 ± 8.0 (116.5–140.9).

Head rusty yellow, frons with triangular brownish spot of diffused borders. Thorax rusty yellow. Abdomen mostly brown, first tergite in anterior 1/3 length with rusty yellow spot. Legs and antennae rusty yellow.

Head elongate-oval, posterior to eyes moderately narrowed posteriad, at base without narrow neck, base margined by sharp carina, head width/base width ratio 2.2, tempora length/genae length ratio 1.45. Anterior margin of clypeus distinctly emarginate. Eyes small, 0.37 times as long as length of tempora. Scapes elongate and slim, 1.83 times as long as width of head, at base 0.67 times as wide as in apex, gradually widened, straight, only apex slightly bent down with shallow preapical constriction. Funicle elongate and thin, 1.30–1.33 times as long as scape, first segment elongate, 3.1 times as long as wide on apex, 1.25 times as long as second segment, length ratio of segments 100:80:96:96:104:100:104:136:136:128:200, apical segments 1.63 times as wide as basal segments. Surface of scape with fine microsculpture, shiny, covered with moderately long and sparse setae, in basal half of scape adherent and in apical half semierect.

Promesonotum twice as long as wide, gently, regularly convex in profile. Propodeum elongate, 1.26 times as long as wide, propodeal spines short, needle-like, runs obliquely upwards. Petiole elongate with long peduncle, its anterior face deeply concave, node subangulate in profile. Posterior face almost straight. Ventral margin of petiole straight, without spine or distinct angulation. In dorsal view, petiole almost parallel sided anterior to petiolar node, then gently widened. Postpetiole in profile regularly rounded. In dorsal view postpetiole 1.37 times as long as wide, regularly widened from base to apex, apical half with gently rounded sides.

Mandibles elongate, with outer edges straight, dorsal surface with distinct striation and several setose punctures, shiny, inner margin with two larger and 3–4 smaller teeth. Clypeus in the middle with fine longitudinal rugae, interspaces more or less microreticulate but shiny. Frontal carinae short, not extending to the line connecting anterior margin of eyes, subparallel, interantennal area deeply impressed, shiny, without rugae or with short median carina, frontal triangle with thin longitudinal rugae, microreticulate but shiny between rugosities. Frons on sides with thin longitudinal rugae, in central part mostly only microreticulate or with 1–2 thin longitudinal rugae, surface of frons appears slightly opaque. Gena, tempora and base of head with microreticulation gradually diffused from frons to basal carina, basal part of head appears shiny. Pronotum in top shiny with diffused microreticulation and two rows of 4+2 setae, on sides with distinct microreticulation and surface from slightly dull to slightly shiny. Mesonotum on whole surface microreticulate and partly microgranulate, sides with few oblique rugae especially close to posterior corners, propodeum with slightly granulate sculpture, microreticulate, below spiracles with 1–3 longitudinal rugae, top in anterior part with fine transverse wrinkles but surface of both mesonotum and propodeum appears more or less shiny. Top of mesosoma in anterior part with 5–6 setae, in posterior part with only 2 setae, propodeum with a pair of short setae, as long as or slightly shorter than propodeal spines. Base of petiole and postpetiole distinctly microreticulate but without wrinkles, nodes with diffused microreticulation, shiny, covered with several sparse, long setae. Gaster shiny, only close to postpetiole with diffused, indistinct microreticulation, tergites with sparse, long, erect setae from as long as to 1.5 times as long as propodeal spines.

Legs very long, hind femora 1.1 times as long as thorax, hind tibiae 0.8 times as long as hind femora, hind tarsi 1.2 times as long as hind femora. Dorsal surface of femora with short, sparse, adherent pubescence, inner margin with row of sparse, long, setae, tibiae on whole surface covered with short, adherent to semierect pubescence, only inner margins with row of slightly longer and more erect setae.

Type Material

Holotype worker: TURKEY, Antalya Prov., ancient Termessos, 1018 m, 36°58’N/30°27’E, 3 VII 2010, L. Borowiec (The Natural History Museum); 13 paratype workers: the same data as holotype (DBET, SMNG, California Academy of Sciences, MLBC).


Named after the equestrian relief in the cavern of ancient Termessos where the nest of this new species was located.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2014. Review of Mediterranean members of the Aphaenogaster cecconii group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with description of four new species. Zootaxa 3861 (1): 040–060.