Atta texana

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Atta texana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Atta
Species: A. texana
Binomial name
Atta texana
(Buckley, 1860)

Atta texana casent0006045 profile 1.jpg

Atta texana casent0006045 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Photo Gallery

  • A queen leafcutter ant searches for a nesting site after her first and only mating flight. McKinney Roughs Nature Park, Texas. Photo by Alex Wild.


Identification Keys including this Taxon

Key to US Atta species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species is a host for the pteromalid wasp Spalangia attae (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).

Waller and Moser (1990) - The springtail species Pseudosinella violenta (Folsom) (Lepidocyrtidae) is known from nests of this ant.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 10,000,000 (Moser & Blum, 1963; Riley et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: mass recruiter (Moser & Blum, 1963; Riley et al., 1974; Beckers et al., 1989)



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • texana. Myrmica (Atta) texana Buckley, 1860a: 233 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1974d: 79 (l.). Combination in Atta: Roger, 1863b: 35; in Atta (Archeatta): Gonçalves, 1942: 343. Junior synonym of fervens: Forel, 1885a: 362. Revived from synonymy: Wheeler, W.M. 1907c: 700. Subspecies of insularis: Emery, 1913bb: 259; Emery, 1924d: 354; of fervens: Borgmeier, 1939: 423. Revived status as species: Gonçalves, 1942: 335. See also: Borgmeier, 1959b: 356; Smith, D.R., 1979: 1413; Petralia & Vinson, 1980: 386.



  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 77, catalogue)
  • Borgmeier, T. 1939. Nova contribuiça~o para o conhecimento das formigas neotropicas (Hym. Formicidae). Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 10: 403-428 (page 423, Subspecies of fervens)
  • Borgmeier, T. 1959b. Revision der Gattung Atta Fabricius (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 2: 321-390 (page 356, see also)
  • Buckley, S. B. 1860a. The cutting ant of Texas. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila. 12: 233-236 (page 233, worker, queen, male described)
  • Emery, C. 1913b. Über die Abstammung der europäischen arbeiterinnenlosen Ameise Anergates. Biol. Centralbl. 33: 258-260 (page 259, Subspecies of insularis)
  • Emery, C. 1922c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174B: 95-206 (page 354, Subspecies of insularis)
  • Forel, A. 1885a [1884]. Études myrmécologiques en 1884 avec une description des organes sensoriels des antennes. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 20: 316-380 (page 362, Junior synonym of fervens)
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1942. Contribuiça~o para o conhecimento do gênero Atta Fabr., das formigas saúvas. Bol. Soc. Bras. Agron. 5: 333-358 (page 343, Combination in Atta (Archeatta))
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1942. Contribuiça~o para o conhecimento do gênero Atta Fabr., das formigas saúvas. Bol. Soc. Bras. Agron. 5: 333-358 (page 335, Revived status as species)
  • Moser, J. C. 2006. Complete excavation and mapping of a Texas leafcutting ant nest. Ann. Entomol. Soc. America 99(5): 891–897.
  • Petralia, R. S.; Vinson, S. B. 1980 [1979]. Comparative anatomy of the ventral region of ant larvae, and its relation to feeding behavior. Psyche (Camb.) 86: 375-394 (page 386, see also)
  • Roger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berl. Entomol. Z. 7(B Beilage: 1-65 (page 35, Combination in Atta)
  • Schowalter, T.D., Ring, D.R. 2017. Biology and management of the Texas leafcutting ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Integrated Pest Management 8(1): 16; 1–8 (DOI 10.1093/jipm/pmx013).
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1413, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1974d. Ant larvae of the myrmicine tribe Attini: second supplement (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 76: 76-81 (page 79, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1907d. The fungus-growing ants of North America. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 23: 669-807 (page 700, Revived from synonymy)