Messor minor

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Messor minor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. minor
Binomial name
Messor minor
(André, 1883)

Messor minor casent0281604 p 1 high.jpg

Messor minor casent0281604 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


A west-Mediterranean taxon, whose variability and taxonomy of which are still poorly known. In Italy it is common especially along the Tyrrhenian Sea (Rigato & Toni, 2011).

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 1.8-2.4; EL/HW 0.18-0.22. This red-headed species occurs in South Italy and Tunisia and seems to be indistinguishable from Messor minor maurus from Tenerife and Lanzarote. It is known in Arabia only from a restricted area of the Asir highlands.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 44.48606407° to 20.25°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia.
Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: Azerbaijan, Canary Islands, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy (type locality), Kuwait, Montenegro, Morocco.

It occurs in North Africa (Abdul-Rassoul et al. 2013).

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.

  • minor. Aphaenogaster barbara var. minor André, 1883b: 355 (w.q.) ITALY (mainland, Sardinia, Sicily), FRANCE (Corsica).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated).
    • Type-localities: Italy (+ Sardinia, Sicily), France: Corsica (no further data).
    • Type-depository: MNHN.
    • Emery, 1908e: 451 (m.).
    • Combination in Messor: Emery, 1908e: 451.
    • As unavailable (infrasubspecific) name: Emery, 1891b: 12; Emery, 1893c: 84; Forel, 1905b: 176; Santschi, 1908: 517; Forel, 1909e: 379; Emery, 1922c: 94.
    • Subspecies of capitatus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 101.
    • Subspecies of barbarus: Emery, 1887b: 457; Forel, 1890a: lxx; Emery, 1908e: 451; Forel, 1910a: 9; Karavaiev, 1912a: 9; Krausse, 1912b: 164; Emery, 1912f: 97; Santschi, 1914d: 335; Emery, 1916b: 143; Stitz, 1917: 343; Santschi, 1921d: 69; Emery, 1921f: 71; Finzi, 1924a: 13; Chapman & Capco, 1951: 137.
    • Subspecies of instabilis: Santschi, 1923f: 325 (in text); Wheeler, W.M. 1927g: 103; Bernard, 1948: 138.
    • Status as species: Bondroit, 1918: 155; Santschi, 1927c: 232 (redescription); Kutter, 1927: 99; Finzi, 1929: 84; Santschi, 1934d: 273; Grandi, 1935: 100; Finzi, 1936: 159; Finzi, 1940: 158; Baroni Urbani, 1964c: 151; Cagniant, 1964: 87; Bernard, 1967: 149 (redescription); Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 61; Bernard, 1971: 7; Arnol'di, 1977b: 1640; Bernard, 1980: 266; Collingwood, 1985: 251; Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b: 271 (in key); Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990b: 156 (in key); Bolton, 1995b: 255; Poldi, et al. 1995: 3; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 319; Cagniant & Espadaler, 1998: 424; Cagniant, 2006a: 197; Petrov, 2006: 92 (in key); Paknia, et al. 2008: 152; Casevitz-Weulersse & Galkowski, 2009: 489; Lush, 2009: 116; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 42; Karaman, M.G. 2011b: 37; Borowiec, L. 2014: 109 (see note in bibliography); Bharti, Guénard, et al. 2016: 38; Lebas, et al. 2016: 296; Barech, et al. 2020: 16.
    • Senior synonym of pompeianus: Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 61; Bolton, 1995b: 255.
    • Distribution: Algeria, France (Corsica), India, Iran, Israel, Italy (+ Sardinia, Sicily), Kuwait, Montenegro, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia.
    • Current subspecies: nominal plus calabricus, capreensis, hesperius, maurus Barquin Diez (unresolved junior homonym).
  • pompeianus. Messor minor var. pompeianus Santschi, 1927c: 233 (w.) ITALY.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Italy: Pompeii, 10.vii.1924 (F. Santschi).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • [Misspelled as pompejana by Grandi, 1935: 100, and others.]
    • Finzi, 1929: 86 (q.).
    • Subspecies of minor: Finzi, 1929: 86; Santschi, 1934d: 273; Grandi, 1935: 100.
    • Junior synonym of minor: Baroni Urbani, 1971c: 61; Bolton, 1995b: 256.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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