Dolichoderus plagiatus

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dolichoderus plagiatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Dolichoderini
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species: D. plagiatus
Binomial name
Dolichoderus plagiatus
(Mayr, 1870)

Dolichoderus plagiatus casent0104779 profile 1.jpg

Dolichoderus plagiatus casent0104779 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


These ants form relatively small soil-based nests. While foraging workers are often seen on low vegetation, their nests are cryptic and can be challenging to locate.

Photo Gallery

  • Foraging worker on low vegetation. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Worker. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Dealate queen. Photo by Tom Murray.


Identification Keys including this Taxon


New Brunswick, Canada westward through Ontario, Manitoba, and North Dakota. Southward in the eastern U.S., the species reaches North and South Carolina and Georgia (Smith, 1979).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The Southern records show a preference for upland habitats and the species has not been documented in the southern Coastal Plain.





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

  • plagiatus. Hypoclinea plagiata Mayr, 1870b: 960 (w.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 311 (q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1951: 175 (l.). Combination in Dolichoderus: Mayr, 1886d: 436; in D. (Hypoclinea): Emery, 1894c: 229. Senior synonym of borealis: Emery, 1895c: 330; of inornatus: Creighton, 1950a: 335. See also: Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1966: 727; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1416; Johnson, C. 1989a: 3; Mackay, 1993b: 81; Shattuck, 1994: 61.
  • borealis. Dolichoderus borealis Provancher, 1888: 408 (w.) CANADA. Junior synonym of plagiatus: Emery, 1895c: 330.
  • inornatus. Dolichoderus plagiatus var. inornatus Wheeler, W.M. 1905d: 313 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of plagiatus: Creighton, 1950a: 335.

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



Johnson (1989) - This ant has a mottled color pattern compared to the other species. The mandibles and head are dark brown to near-black, paler in callow specimens. The antennae, alitrunk; legs and petiole are brown-orange; dorsum of the alitrunk becoming dark brown in older specimens. There are laterally-spaced spots of pale brownish-orange on the first and second segments of gaster; the remainder of gaster is dark brown.

Structurally, head and complete dorsum of alitrunk are sculptured with well-defined depressions or foveolae. The pronotum is sculptured as strongly as the mesonotum, a definitive feature for this species. Granulation of the alitrunk occurs within the depressions and the surface is essentially opaque; the reflectivity of cuticle broken into small, disjunct regions. A fine granulation occurs on the petiole, and the integument of the gaster is smooth and shining. Erect hairs are numerous on head and alitrunk; a few scattered erect hairs occur on gaster, and there are short, fine erect hairs on scapes. In dorsal view, length of propodeum exceeds its width. Integument within concavity of the declivous face of propodeum is smooth and highly reflective.

Type Material

Type locality - Illinois.


  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 335, senior synonym of inornatus)
  • Dubovikoff, D.A., Cornado-Blanco, J.M. 2017. A review of the ant genus Dolichoderus Lund, 1831 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae: Dolichoderinae) of Mexico. Entomological Review 97: 1321-1331.
  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 229, Combination in D. (Hypoclinea))
  • Emery, C. 1895d. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 8: 257-360 (page 330, senior synonym of borealis)
  • Johnson, C. 1989a. Identification and nesting sites of North American species of Dolichoderus Lund (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insecta Mundi 3: 1-9 (page 3, see also)
  • MacKay, W. P. 1993b. A review of the New World ants of the genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 22: 1-148 (page 81, see also)
  • Mayr, G. 1870b. Neue Formiciden. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 20: 939-996 (page 960, worker described)
  • Mayr, G. 1886d. Die Formiciden der Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika. Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 36: 419-464 (page 436, Combination in Dolichoderus)
  • Ortius, D. 1998 ("1995"). A Dolichoderus taschenbergi queen found in a polygynous colony of D. plagiatus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 102:147-150.
  • Shattuck, S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Univ. Calif. Publ. Entomol. 112:i-xix, 1-241. (page 61, see also)
  • 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 1416, see also)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1951. The ant larvae of the subfamily Dolichoderinae. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 53: 169-210 (page 175, larva described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1966. Ant larva of the subfamily Dolichoderinae: supplement. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 59: 726-732 (page 727, see also)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1905g. The North American ants of the genus Dolichoderus. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 21: 305-319 (page 311, queen, male described)