Messor instabilis

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Messor instabilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. instabilis
Binomial name
Messor instabilis
(Smith, F., 1858)

Messor instabilis casent0900485 p 1 high.jpg

Messor instabilis casent0900485 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels




Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 35.6098° to 31.4087°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India (type locality), Pakistan.
Palaearctic Region: Israel.

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.

  • instabilis. Atta instabilis Smith, F. 1858b: 163 (w.m.) INDIA (no state data, “Northern India”).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype males (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: India: northern India (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • Bingham, 1903: 279 (s.q.).
    • Combination in Messor: Bingham, 1903: 278.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1921f: 71.
    • Junior synonym of barbarus: Tiwari, 1999: 38 (error).
    • Subspecies of capitatus: Emery, in Dalla Torre, 1893: 101.
    • Subspecies of barbarus: Forel, 1903a: 694; Bingham, 1903: 278; Forel, 1906b: 86; Emery, 1922c: 94; Emery, 1924a: 8; Wheeler, W.M. 1926: 3; Karavaiev, 1926b: 100; Karavaiev, 1927a: 287; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 137.
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1863: 396; Smith, F. 1871a: 333; Santschi, 1923f: 325; Santschi, 1927c: 247 (in key); Wheeler, W.M. 1927g: 103; Santschi, 1931a: 4; Santschi, 1936c: 200; Menozzi, 1939a: 297; Eidmann, 1942: 246; Cagniant, 1964: 87; Pisarski, 1967: 383; Pisarski, 1970: 306; Bolton, 1995b: 254; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 42; Borowiec, L. 2014: 107; Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 38; Rasheed, et al. 2019: 432.
    • Senior synonym of punctata: Bingham, 1903: 279; Pisarski, 1967: 383; Pisarski, 1970: 306; Bolton, 1995b: 254.
    • Distribution: Afghanistan, India, Israel, Pakistan.
  • punctata. Aphaenogaster barbara var. punctata Forel, 1886d: 248 (w.) INDIA (Jammu & Kashmir).
    • Type-material: holotype (?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: India: Kashmir (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1891b: 12.
    • Subspecies of capitatus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 101.
    • Subspecies of barbarus: Forel, 1894b: 89; Forel, 1903a: 694; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 803.
    • Junior synonym of barbarus: Tiwari, 1999: 38 (error).
    • Junior synonym of instabilis: Bingham, 1903: 279; Pisarski, 1967: 383; Pisarski, 1970: 306; Bolton, 1995b: 256.



(page 163, worker, male described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1927h. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in Indochina. Boll. Lab. Zool. Gen. Agrar. R. Sc. Super. Agric. 20: 83-106 (page 103, Status as species)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bharti H., Y. P. Sharma, M. Bharti, and M. Pfeiffer. 2013. Ant species richness, endemicity and functional groups, along an elevational gradient in the Himalayas. Asian Myrmecology 5: 79-101.
  • Bharti H., Y. P. Sharma, and A. Kaur. 2009. Seasonal patterns of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Punjab Shivalik. Halteres 1(1): 36-47.
  • Bodlah I., M. T. Rasheed, X. Huang, A. Gull-E-Fareen, J. A. Siddiqui, and M. A. Bodlah. 2019. First records of two species of genus Messor Forel, 1890 (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) along with trophic associations with aphids from Pothwar Region, Pakistan. The J. Anim. Plant Sci. 29(4): 7 pages.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Cagniant, H. 1964. "Étude de quelques fourmis marocaines. Statistique provisoire des Formicidae du Maroc." Bulletin de la Société d' Histoire naturelle de l' Afrique du Nord 53 (1964): 83-118.
  • Forel A. 1903. Les Formicides de l'Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part X. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 14: 679-715.
  • Menozzi C. 1939. Formiche dell'Himalaya e del Karakorum raccolte dalla Spedizione italiana comandata da S. A. R. il Duca di Spoleto (1929). Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. 78: 285-345.
  • Pajni H. R., and R. K. Suri. 1978. First report on the Formicid fauna (Hymenoptera) of Chandigarh. Res. Bull. (Science) Punjab University 29: 5-12.
  • Raci N., C. Sravanthy, C. Sammaiah, and M. Thirupahaiah. 2015. Biodiversity of ants (Insecta-Hymenoptera) in agroecosystem and grass land in Jammikunta, Karimnagar District, Telangana, India. Journal ofEnvironment 4(1): 11-16.
  • Rasheed M. T., I. Bodlah, A. G. Fareen, A. A. Wachkoo, X. Huang, and S. A. Akbar. 2019. A checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Pakistan. Sociobiology 66(3): 426-439.
  • Vonshak M., and A. Ionescu-Hirsch. 2009. A checklist of the ants of Israel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Israel Journal of Entomology 39: 33-55.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VIII. A synonymic list of the ants of the Ethiopian region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45: 711-1004