Aphaenogaster simonellii

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Aphaenogaster simonellii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species group: testaceopilosa
Species: A. simonellii
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster simonellii
Emery, 1894

Aphaenogaster simonellii casent0179867 p 1 high.jpg

Aphaenogaster simonellii casent0179867 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

On Crete, a common species in open, sunny locations: open dry forest, wood edges, olive groves, lawns, fields with scattered shrubs, urban areas. Observed up to 800 m altitude. Nest in the soil, mostly sheltered by stones, also in cavities of rocks. Workers are individual foraging on the ground, in herbs and bases of trees and shrubs. Foraging behaviour can be described as precautionary. Feeds on live and dead arthropods, and myrmecochorous seeds. I have seen them carrying petals of olives, which results in crops of hundreds of bare petals. Also other dead vegetable material was collected. Fast-moving after disturbance. I observed several times territorial behavior and evacuation of the nest (in May). (Boer, 2013)


A member of the A. testaceopilosa group. Boer (2013) - Workers. A unique combination of characters is, in lateral view, a slightly angular pronotum and the shiny body. Resembles Aphaenogaster spinosa only because of the shine. Males unknown. It is likely that the males are shiny (as in spinosa).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 37.81666667° to 35.05°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Greece (type locality), Türkiye.

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.

  • simonellii. Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa var. simonellii Emery, 1894j: 8 (w.) GREECE (Crete I.).
    • Emery, 1921b: 208 (m.); Boer, 2013: 85 (q.).
    • Subspecies of testaceopilosa: Forel, 1910a: 23; Emery, 1915a: 257; Emery, 1915h: 1; Emery, 1921b: 208; Emery, 1921f: 63; Menozzi, 1928a: 126.
    • Status as species: Santschi, 1933c: 401; Finzi, 1939c: 153; Schembri & Collingwood, 1981: 54; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987a: 54; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 269 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 73; Petrov, 2006: 90 (in key); Legakis, 2011: 8; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2012: 466; Kiran & Karaman, 2012: 17; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2013: 350; Boer, 2013: 83 (redescription); Borowiec, L. 2014: 18; Lebas, et al. 2016: 250; Salata & Borowiec, 2018c: 42.

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


Boer (2013):


Longitudinal rugulae on the lateral sides of the mesosoma variable: distinct to weak and limited. Dorsal side of pronotum and propodeum finely rugulose or scabriculous, mainly transverse. Head in full-face view with longitudinal rugulae with cross connections, on temples and occiput often absent. Punctation distinct on head, weaker on mesosoma and petioles. Dorsal side of postpetiole punctate to smooth, with longitudinal costulae which are continuing on the first gastral tergite as microstriae. Terminal side of propodeum, beneath the propodeal spines smooth and shiny. Lateral side of temple, underside of head and legs shiny. Head in full-face view and mesosoma glossy. Dorsal side of gaster glossy satin. Lateral sides of gaster shiny. Antennal club 4-segmented. Petiole slightly higher than postpetiole. Lateral shape of petiole with rounded top. Setosity on fore coxa and pronotum higher than on other parts, relatively dense and long. In lateral view, a slightly angular pronotum.

Measurements (n = 36). CI 69–78 (73); CL 1.18–1.82 (1.48) mm; CW 0.89–1.41 (1.08) mm; PHI 27–36 (33); PI 67–125 (81); PPPI 50–62 (54); PSI 136–200 (166); PSLWI 94–154 (124); PWI 21–28 (24); RPH 103–154 (138); RPSI 33–69 (50); SI 135–163 (150); SI/CI: 173–233 (206); SL 1.32–1.91 (1.63) mm; SPD 1–2 (1.1); SPL 1–5 (3.4).


Rugulae on lateral and dorsal parts of mesosoma. Transverse and oblique rugulae on clypeus. Head anterior to occiput with longitudinal rugulae with cross-connections, occiput ruguloreticulated. Ventral portion of the propodeal spines smooth. Transverse rugulae on dorsal pronotum and propodeum. Punctation distinct on head and petioles, weak to very weak on the mesosoma. Dorsal side of first gastral tergite microstriated, base with five circular rugulae. Anterior side of the petiole smooth. Head, mesosoma, petiole and gaster glossy. Antennal club 4-segmented. Scape longitudinally rugulose. Scutellum rises above mesoscutum and does not bend over the metanotum.

Measurements (n = 1). CI 81; CL 1.68 mm; CW 1.37 mm; OCI 34; PHI 44; PI 79; PPPI 78; PSI 217; PSLWI: 100; PWI 34; RPH 129; RPSI 54; SI 130; SI/CI 160; SL 1.78 mm; SPD 1.5; SPL 4.

Type Material

Syntypes: Greece: Crete: Rettina, 1 worker (Cecconi, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa); Almiros, 1 worker (Cecconi, MSNG), Kalives, 2 workers (MSNG).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Agosti, D. and C.A. Collingwood. 1987. A provisional list of the Balkan ants (Hym. Formicidae) and a key to the worker caste. I. Synonymic list. Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Entomologischen Gesellschaft, 60: 51-62
  • Boer P. 2013. Revision of the European ants of the Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 156: 57-93.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2012. Ants of Greece - Checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4): 461-563.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2013. Ants of Greece – additions and corrections (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 24(3-4): 335-401.
  • Cagniant H., and A. Ledoux. 1974. Nouvelle description d'Aphaenogaster senilis sur des exemplaires de la région de Banyuls-sur-Mer (P.-O.), France. Vie et Milieu. Série C. Biologie Terrestre 24: 97-110.
  • Czechowski W., A. Radchenko, W. Czechowska and K. Vepsäläinen. 2012. The ants of Poland with reference to the myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae 4. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 1-496 pp
  • Emery, C. "Alcune formiche dell'isola di Creta." Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. Resoc. Adun. 26 (1894): 7-10.
  • Emery, C. "Escursioni zoologiche del Dr. Enrico Festa nell'Isola di Rodi. XII. Formiche." Bollettino del Museo di Zoologia ed Anatomia Comparatadella Reale Università di Torino 30 (1915): 1-7.
  • Kiran K., and C. Karaman. 2012. First annotated checklist of the ant fauna of Turkey (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3548: 1-38.
  • Legakis Collection Database
  • Menozzi C. 1928. Note sulla mirmecofauna paleartica. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici. 21: 126-129.
  • Menozzi C. 1929. Ricerche faunistiche nelle isole italiane dell'Egeo. Imenotteri (formiche). Archivio Zoologico Italiano. 13: 145-146.
  • Salata S., L. Borowiec, and A.Trichas. 2018. Taxonomic Revision of the Cretan Fauna of the Genus Temnothorax Mayr, 1861 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with Notes on the Endemism of Ant Fauna of Crete. Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 68(4): 769-808.
  • Salata S., and L Borowiec. 2017. Species of Tetramorium semilaeve complex from Balkans and western Turkey, with description of two new species of (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 62:279–313.
  • Salata S., and L. Borowiec. 2018. A new species of the ant genus Lasius Fabricius, 1804 from Crete (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). ZooKeys 789: 139–159.
  • Salata S., and L. Borowiec. 2018. Taxonomic and faunistic notes on Greek ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annals of the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom Entomology 27: 1-51.