Dolichoderus maschwitzi

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Dolichoderus maschwitzi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Dolichoderini
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species: D. maschwitzi
Binomial name
Dolichoderus maschwitzi
Dill, 2002

Dolichoderus maschwitzi casent0902964 p 1 high.jpg

Dolichoderus maschwitzi casent0902964 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

D. maschwitzi has all biological characteristics typical for migrating herdsmen. It prefers to install the bivouac nests on the ground within the leaf litter. A population from Poring is associated with the species of Allomyrmococcini, Promyrmococcus dilli, material from Quoin was collected with Promyrmococcus wayi. (Dill 2002)


Dill (2002) - A member of the Dolichoderus cuspidatus species group. Regarding the shape of the mesonotal hump and the distinctly and deeply developed superoccipital pit, maschwitzi very much resembles Dolichoderus tuberifer and Dolichoderus magnipastor. However, maschwitzi clearly differs from these species by lacking the coarse, reticulate or areolate-rugose sculpturing of the head and by the shape of the propodeum (anterior margin less distinctly edged in tuberifer, a pair of long propodeal spines in magnipastor). Like most other species of the species group, maschwitzi shows considerable intraspecific variation, particularly of coloration and body size, even within a single nest series. Other rather variable characters are the degree of the median depression and of the lateral expansion of the anterior propodeal edge. Anyway, it has to be considered that only material from two collection localities were available for examination. Thus, the possible geographical variability is obviously hardly covered. In comparison to the other species of the Dolichoderus cuspidatus group, the males of maschwitzi are characterized by their relatively small eyes. In this character they rather resemble the males of the other Oriental species group (e. g. Dolichoderus thoracicus group), although they have the very long mandibles, typical for the cuspidatus group males.

Keys including this Species


Known from two localities in Sabah, northeastern Borneo.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.066666667° to 4.966666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo (type locality), Indonesia, Malaysia.

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.

  • maschwitzi. Dolichoderus maschwitzi Dill, 2002: 52, figs. III-15, III-23, III-29, III-64 (w.q.m.) BORNEO.

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



(Holotype in brackets): HL 1.25-1.56 [1.48]; HW 1.20-1.59 [1.46]; EL 0.28-0.36 [0.33]; SL 1.12-1.37 [1.29]; AL 1.75-2.20 [2.09]; PnW 0.80-1.04 [0.97]; ML 0.50-0.69 [0.60]; MW 0.32-0.46 [0.40]; PpL 0.75-0.94 [0.92]; PpW 0.61-0.80 [0.73]; PpH 0.54-0.81 [0.72]; PpSW 0.37-0.58 [0.49]; PtL 0.39-0.53 [0.49]; PtW 0.43-0.56 [0.49]; TL 4.83-6.04 [5.79]. Indices: CI 95-103 [99]; OI 23-25 [23]; SI 86-93 [89]; MI 140-156 [149]; PpSPpI 59-73 [67]; (n = 40).

Head: From yellow to reddish- or dark-brown. Entire head densely and finely reticulate-punctate (= micro-imbricate, fig. III-64a); except for occasional additional wrinkles around the eyes, no coarser sculpturing; densely, light-greyish pubescent; void of erect hairs. Frontal furrow distinct, often with a pinprick- like impression at its end (position of anterior ocellus). Head about as wide as long, suboval, occipital margin emarginate; median superoccipital pit mostly well developed.

Alitrunk: Coloration as in head. Entire alitrunk densely reticulate-punctate (= micro-imbricate), partly (mesopleuron, dorsal face of mesonotum and propodeum) with additional coarser sculpturing, which, at the mesopleuron, is irregularly reticulate (areolate-rugose, fig. 64b); finely pubescent, erect hairs sparse and restricted to ventral face and coxae. Dorsal face of pronotum ± flat and without distinct lateral edges; shoulder-corners rounded and indistinct. Anterior portion of mesonotum, in profile, forming a bluntly coniform hump, its posterior portion flattened; anterior ascending face of mesonotal hump, in profile, ascending distinctly steeper than dorsal face of pronotum (fig. III-15b); mesonotal hump, in frontal view, medially somewhat depressed (fig. III- 15d). Dorsal face of propodeum, in profile, moderately ascending, the transition between the ascending face and the declivity sharp-edged, moderately or distinctly medially depressed, and usually somewhat overhanging the slightly concavely curved declivitous face; lateral corners of this posterior edge of propodeum usually rounded and slightly expanded laterally (figs. III-15b, e).

Petiole: Yellowish-brown to reddish-brown; finely and sparsely pubescent. Upper margin of scale flat and ± straight, not concavely emarginate.

Gaster: From yellow to reddish-brown or black; finely reticulate-punctate (= micro-imbricate); bearing very fine pubescence, the hairs of which on the tergites merging in a median line; erect hairs sparse and restricted to ventral face and gaster tip.


HL 1.47-1.49; HW 1.49-1.53; EL 0.32-0.35; SL 1.1 6-1.24; AL 2.31-2.44; PnW 1.14-1.17; ML 0.90-0.98; ScL 1.39-1.47; MW 0.85-0.92; MH 0.35-0.43; PpL 0.75-0.84; PpW 0.94-0.98; PpH 0.84-0.88; PpSW 0.73-0.75; PtW 0.84-0.88; TL 7.50-7.85. Indices: CI 101-103; OI 21-24; SI 76-83; MI 104- 111; ScI 28-33; PpSPpI 76-79; (n = 3).

Coloration and fine sculpturing as in workers, but less coarsely wrinkled and pubescence denser; head and dorsal face of alitrunk, petiole and gaster entirely lacking erect hairs. Degree of reduction of ocelli vary variable; superoccipital pit, as in workers, broadly and distinctly developed. Anterior margin of dorsal face of pronotum not edged; entire mesonotum fused and strongly vaulted, medially depressed, forming a pair of humps in the “scutum”-region; no traces of vestigial night sclerites or wing buds in the examined specimens; dorsal face of propodeum flat and ± straight, distinctly lower than mesonotum; its corners less prominent than in workers. Scale of petiole ± as wide and high as propodeum, its upper margin not or only weakly emarginate.


HL 0.98-1.02; HW 1.15-1.20; EL 0.51-0.54; EW 0.37-0.41; SL 0.39-0.41; CpL 0.26-0.31; MdL 0.44-0.49; AL 2.09-2.22; PnW 1.28-1.34; ML 1.35-1.45; ScW 1.18-1.24; PpH 0.76-0.78; PtW 0.39-0.45; TL 5.03-5.53. Indices: CI 115-118; OI 44-46; OI2 52-54; OI3 32-35; OI4 38-40; MdI 43-49; MdCpI 145- 170; SI 34-36; (n = 10).

With the typical characters of the species group. Head brownish-black, alitrunk yellowish-, reddish-, medium-brown or black; fine sculpturing as in workers; densely pubescent; relatively long mandibles; eyes, compared to males of other species or the cuspidatus group, distinctly smaller (see OI); median superoccipital pit present but very shallow; scutum about as wide as head.

Type Material

Holotype worker (The Natural History Museum), 2 paratype workers (BMNH), 3 paratypc workers (Museum of Comparative Zoology) from same nest series: Borneo, Sabah, Poring Hot Springs, Kinabalu NP, 6°04'N, 116°42'E, 27.v.1991 (M. Dill); 3 paratype workers (BMNH), 3 paratype workers (MCZ), 3 paratype workers (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel), 6 paratype workers (FNMS): same collection site, (M. Dill); 1 paratype female (BMNH): same collection site, 2.vii.1991 (M. Dill); 1 paratype female (MCZ): same collection site, 17.vii.1991 (M. Dill); 1 paratype female (FNMS): same collection site, (M. Dill); 3 paratype males (BMNH), 1 paratype male (MCZ), 1 paratype male (FNMS): same collection site, (M. Dill); 2 paratype males (FNMS): same collection site, (M. Dill).


Named after my mentor, Prof. Dr. U. Maschwitz, who for the first time discovered and described the herdsmen lifestyle as a completely new life form of ants.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bluthgen N., D. Mezger, and K.E. Linsenmair. 2006. Ant-hemipteran trophobioses in a Bornean rainforest- diversity, specificity and monopolisation. Insectes Sociaux 53: 194-203.
  • Dill M. 2002. Taxonomy of the migrating herdsmen species of the genus Dolichoderus Lund, 1831, with remarks on the systematics of other southeast-Asian Dolichoderus. Pp. 17-113 in: Dill, M.; Williams, D. J.; Maschwitz, U. 2002. Herdsmen ants and their mealybug partners. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft 557: 1-373.
  • Dill M., D.J. Williams, and U. Maschwitz. 2002. Herdsmen ants and their mealybug partners. Abh. senckenberg. naturforsch. Ges. 557: 1-373.
  • Mezger D., and N. Bluthgen. 2007. Trophobioses on Borneo climbing bamboo - diversity and ecology of ant-hemipteran associations on Dinochloa trichogona (Poaceae). Asian Myrmecology 1: 59-68.
  • Pfeiffer M.; Mezger, D.; Hosoishi, S.; Bakhtiar, E. Y.; Kohout, R. J. 2011. The Formicidae of Borneo (Insecta: Hymenoptera): a preliminary species list. Asian Myrmecology 4:9-58