Dorymyrmex elegans

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Dorymyrmex elegans
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Tribe: Leptomyrmecini
Genus: Dorymyrmex
Species: D. elegans
Binomial name
Dorymyrmex elegans
(Trager, 1988)

Dorymyrmex elegans casent0003314 profile 1.jpg

Dorymyrmex elegans casent0003314 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Dorymyrmex elegans is a crepuscular-nocturnal species which also emerges on cool or overcast days. It nests in xeric woodlands and later post-fire successional stages of scrub vegetation. Nests are often located near clumps of the scrub hickory, Carya floridana Sargent. The nest entrance is usually surrounded by a small crater of subsoil of strikingly yellower color than the whitish sand of the surface. Workers have a peculiar slow, jerky gait, quite unexpected considering the length of their legs, but they run in unbroken dashes when threatened. This species has low tolerance for disturbance of its habitat, though it sometimes nests in footpaths. Males were aspirated from the nest entrance in early October, but flight habits are unknown (Trager, 1988).


Trager (1988) - Worker clear yellow, slender, elongate, with proportionally small, narrow head and long, slender appendages; trunk narrow flattened, mesonotum flat or weakly concave in profile.

It seems unlikely at first glance that this species is closely related to any sympatric forms, and the only species similar to it in proportions and thoracic profile known to me is Dorymyrmex goeldii (Forel), a Brazilian species. Based on biogeographic and other considerations, the two species are probably independent derivations of the slender, elongate form. Occasional flattened, elongate, and lightly infuscated and sculptured series of Dorymyrmex bureni can be difficult to distinguish from D. elegans until one examines the scapes, and it may be significant that such samples of D. bureni are often found near the range inhabited by D. elegans. Comparative studies of allozyme, nucleic acid, or secondary products chemistry, or cytotaxonomy of Florida Dorymyrmex could be interesting and illuminating.

Keys including this Species


This species is endemic to the scrubland of south-central Florida, exemplifying (in perhaps its most restricted form in animals) a distributional pattern well known in plants, but also seen in reptiles, and even in some other insects (Trager, 1988; Deyrup & Trager 1986). Though the known range is of D. elegans is restricted to a few square miles, it is abundant within this area. Since much of the area will be preserved indefinitely in its pristine state at Archbold Biological Station, the species does not seem to be in danger of extinction, though virtually the entire surrounding area is being converted to citrus groves, cattle pastures, or housing projects (Trager, 1988).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 29.252197° to 27.13657°.

Tropical South

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

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.

  • elegans. Conomyrma elegans Trager, 1988: 21, figs. 3, 10 (w.q.) U.S.A. Combination in Dorymyrmex: Shattuck, 1992c: 85. See also: Johnson, C. 1989b: 191.

Type Material



HL 0.79-0.95 (0.88), HW 0.61-0.80 (0.70), SL 1.10-1.30 (1.20), EL 0.19-0.23 (0.21), FL 0.95-1.17 (1.05), WL 1.23-1.50 (1.36), HTL 2.02-2.45 (2.24), CI 77.2-84.2 (79.5), SI 162.5-180.3 (171.4), OI 22.7-25.3 (23.9), FI 115.8-123.5 (119.3), TI 131.0-158.0 (154.5). N =22.

Head broadest across upper 1/3 to 1/2 of eyes, straight-sided to weakly convex-sided both above and below eyes but a little more strongly convergent toward occiput; posterior dorsum of pronotum weakly convex and at low angle to mesonotal dorsum, or flatter and forming nearly flat plane with latter in profile; propodeum, except for cone, always low and at most weakly sloped upward from metanotal impression; gaster relatively small and compressed; head and trunk flattened and compressed relative to other species, and scapes and legs very long and slender, yielding a generally elongate, delicate appearance.

Sculpture as in Dorymyrmex bureni but pubescence shorter and more widely spaced; thus a little shinier than most D. bureni. Color without exception in several hundred live or pinned workers studied, clear yellow with last two gastric tergites weakly infuscated; head never infuscated.


HL 1.20, HW 1.13, SL 1.34, EL 0.39, FL 1.13, TW 2.63, HTL 3.83, CI 94.2, SI 118.6, OI 32.5, TWI 100.0, TI 219.2. N = 1.

Slender and long-limbed as in workers; head notably longer than broad; sides nearly evenly convex; outer margin of eyes protruding well beyond sides of head; occipital border clearly narrower than clypeus, weakly convex; thorax as wide as head.

Sculpture coarser and pubescence longer than in worker, thus queen notably less shiny; color clear yellow as in worker.


D. elegans (Latin for exquisite or graceful) was the name originally selected for this by Buren (personal communication), referring to the elegant appearance of this gracile, yellow ant, especially when alive.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Alatorre-Bracamontes, C.E. and M Vasquez-Bolanos. 2010. Lista comentada de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del norte de México. Dugesiana 17(1):9-36
  • Deyrup M., L. Deyrup, and J. Carrel. 2013. Ant Species in the Diet of a Florida Population of Eastern Narrow-Mouthed Toads, Gastrophryne carolinensis. Southeastern Naturalist 12(2): 367-378.
  • 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.
  • Spiesman B. 2006. On the community of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the sandhills of Florida. . Master of Science, University of Florida. 82 pages.
  • Trager J. C. 1988. A revision of Conomyrma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the southeastern United States, especially Florida, with keys to the species. Florida Entomologist 71: 11-29
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wiescher P. T., J. M. Pearce-Duvet and D. H. Feener. 2012. Assembling an ant community: species functional traits reflect environmental filtering. Oecologia 169: 1063-1074