Dolichoderus reflexus

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Dolichoderus reflexus
Dolichoderus reflexus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Dolichoderini
Genus: Dolichoderus
Species group: scrobiculatus
Species: D. reflexus
Binomial name
Dolichoderus reflexus
Clark, 1930

Dolichoderus armstrongi holotype ANIC32-007964 side 32-Antwiki.jpg

Dolichoderus armstrongi holotype ANIC32-007964 top 32-Antwiki.jpg

Specimen labels


Dolichoderus reflexus is a mallee woodland species that nests in soil with craters at their entrances. It is widespread across much of southern Australia but is nowhere common. Workers forage on low vegetation. While most records are from western localities, there are two records, collected a year apart, from south-eastern Queensland, some 850kms from the next closest record.


Pale markings absent from lower margin of the eyes; pronotum and propodeum lacking spines; in dorsal view the pronotum with strongly developed shoulders, with the area between the shoulders weakly convex to weakly concave; dorsum of propodeum highly arched and often with flat or even weakly concave sections; posterior face of propodeum, deeply concave often nearly semicircular; separated from the dorsal face by a distinct carina; gaster with sparse pubescence on the first gastral tergite and hairs generally not overlapping or entirely absent; tibiae with erect or suberect hairs.

This species is morphologically similar to Dolichoderus nigricornis and some individual can be difficult to separate. This is especially the case where the dorsal face of the propodeum is relatively low and the posterior face relatively shallow. However, in these cases, especially for specimens from South Australia, the humeral angles are much stronger in this species while they are more rounded and less angular in D. nigricornis.

Identification Keys including this Taxon


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -20.8° to -36.43333333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Australasian Region: Australia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb





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

  • reflexus. Dolichoderus (Hypoclinea) reflexus Clark, 1930b: 261, fig. 13 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Senior synonym of armstrongi: Shattuck & Marsden, 2013: 130.
  • armstrongi. Dolichoderus (Hypoclinea) armstrongi McAreavey, 1949: 17, figs. 48, 49 (w.) AUSTRALIA. Junior synonym of reflexus: Shattuck & Marsden, 2013: 130.

Type Material



Red. Mandibles, antennae, legs and gaster testaceous; on some examples there are two dark bands on the gaster. Eyes black, funiculus brown.

Shining. Head, thorax and node coarsely punctate, with a fine reticulation between the punctures. Gaster microscopically punctate.

Hair yellow, long and erect, abundant throughout, shorter on the antennae and legs. No pubescence apparent.

Head slightly longer than broad, strongly convex behind and on the sides. Frontal carinae diverging behind, slightly longer than their distance apart. Clypeus convex above, the anterior border convex, with a distinct concave excision in the middle. Eyes globular, placed at the middle of the sides. Scapes extending beyond the occipital border by one-fourth of their length; first segment of the funiculus one-fifth longer than the second, third slightly shorter than the second. Thorax one and two-thirds times longer than broad. Pronotum twice as broad as long, convex in front, the anterior angles bluntly produced, the dorsum feebly concave in the middle. Mesonotum convex above. Epinotum one and a third times longer than broad, convex laterally, the posterior border short and excised in the middle, appearing slightly bilobed; in profile very strongly convex above, dome-shaped, overhanging the declivity by half its length, the declivity short, strongly concave, the superior border margined, the sides submargined. Node fully twice as broad as long, in front it is feebly, behind strongly, convex, the dorsum convex laterally. Gaster longer than broad, concave in front below. Legs robust.

Shattuck and Marsden (2013) - Humeral angles more pronounced in eastern material, less so in Western Australian material. Dorsal propodeal surface varying from angular with flat anterior and flat to weakly concave posterior sections to evenly convex. Petiolar node varying from relatively thin with a distinctly angular dorsum and weakly sculptured to relatively thick with a broadly rounded dorsum and heavily sculptured. Head always dark, body generally yellow-red, but sometimes dark red-brown and similar in colour to head. Gaster ranging from yellowish-red to red-black.

Measurements (n=5). CI 84–91; EI 27–32; EL 0.23–0.27; HL 0.85–1.02; HW 0.71–0.91; ML 1.08–1.43; MTL 0.56–0.68; PronI 76.66–81.26; PronW 0.56–0.74; SI 103–113; SL 0.80–0.94.

This widespread species shows variation in a number of characters. The humeral angles are more pronounced in eastern material and less so in Western Australian material. The curvature of the dorsal propodeal surface varies from angular with flat anterior and flat to weakly concave posterior sections to evenly convex. However no obvious geographic pattern was detected for this variation and it appears to be intraspecific.

Based on gaster colour specimens can largely be divided into pale forms and dark forms. However, while dark forms are always distinct, the pale forms show considerable variation and some individuals approach the colour found in dark forms; no geographic pattern was found with all colour forms found in all areas. Additionally, the size and sculpturing pattern of the petiolar node varies considerably. In some specimens the node is relatively thin, with a distinctly angular dorsum and weak sculpturing. In other individuals the node is relatively thick with a broadly rounded dorsum and heavy sculpturing. As with the last character, no geographic pattern was noted and all forms occur in all regions. Even the type series of D. armstrongi has workers with both types of petiole, strongly suggesting that this variation is intraspecific rather than interspecific. Taken together, the variation in these characters is interpreted as supporting a single widespread and slightly variable species. However, it should be noted that there are relatively few specimens available for study, especially given the broad geographic range of this taxon, and this conclusions drawn here should be re-examined as additional material becomes available.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • CSIRO Collection
  • Heterick B. E. 2009. A guide to the ants of south-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 76: 1-206. 
  • Shattuck S. O. 1994. Taxonomic catalog of the ant subfamilies Aneuretinae and Dolichoderinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). University of California Publications in Entomology 112: i-xix, 1-241.
  • Shattuck S. O., and S. Marsden. 2013. Australian species of the ant genus Dolichoderus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 3716(2): 101-143.
  • Taylor R. W., and D. R. Brown. 1985. Formicoidea. Zoological Catalogue of Australia 2: 1-149.