Messor rufotestaceus

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Messor rufotestaceus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Messor
Species: M. rufotestaceus
Binomial name
Messor rufotestaceus
(Foerster, 1850)

Messor rufotestaceus antweb1008075 p 1 high.jpg

Messor rufotestaceus antweb1008075 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


This is a non-trail forming species living in small communities (Collingwood and Agosti 1996). Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran in garden soil in a low rainfall area.


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - HW 1.7; EL/HW 0.21. This interesting species stands apart from other Middle Eastern Messor species because the antennal segments are exceptionally thin and the nodes are comparatively low.

Keys including this Species


Collingwood and Agosti (1996) - Known from Syria, Palestine and the northern Sahara.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates.
Palaearctic Region: Algeria (type locality), Iran, Israel, Oman, Syrian Arab Republic.

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.

  • rufotestaceus. Myrmica rufotestacea Foerster, 1850b: 489 (w.) ALGERIA.
    • Emery, 1908e: 439 (s.q.); Forel, 1910a: 9 (m.); Athias-Henriot, 1947: 249 (l.).
    • Combination in Atta: Roger, 1859: 255;
    • combination in Aphaenogaster: Roger, 1863b: 30;
    • combination in Messor: Emery, 1908e: 439.
    • Status as species: Roger, 1859: 255; Roger, 1863b: 30; Mayr, 1863: 435; André, 1881b: 75; André, 1883b: 352 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 104; Medina, 1893: 105; Emery, 1908e: 439; Forel, 1910a: 9; Forel, 1913d: 428; Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1916: 169; Emery, 1921f: 74; Finzi, 1930b: 15; Menozzi, 1933b: 56; Finzi, 1936: 159; Santschi, 1938a: 32; Athias-Henriot, 1947: 249; Bernard, 1953a: 146; Ceballos, 1956: 302; Bernard, 1980: 266; Tohmé, G. & Tohmé, H. 1981: 151; Collingwood, 1985: 251; Kugler, J. 1988: 257; Bolton, 1995b: 256; Collingwood & Agosti, 1996: 320; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 52; Paknia, et al. 2008: 155; Vonshak, et al. 2009: 42; Collingwood, et al. 2011: 426; Borowiec, L. 2014: 111; Tohmé, G. & Tohmé, 2014: 135; Borowiec, L. & Salata, 2020: 11; Barech, et al. 2020: 17.
    • Senior synonym of gracilinodis: Dalla Torre, 1893: 104; Emery, 1921f: 74; Menozzi, 1933b: 56; Bolton, 1995b: 256; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 52.
    • Senior synonym of thoracica: Roger, 1863b: 30; Emery, 1921f: 74; Bolton, 1995b: 256.
  • gracilinodis. Aphaenogaster gracilinodis Emery, 1878b: 55 (footnote) (w.) SYRIA.
    • Subspecies of rufotestaceus: Emery, 1880: 395 (footnote).
    • Junior synonym of rufotestaceus: Dalla Torre, 1893: 104; Emery, 1921f: 74; Menozzi, 1933b: 56; Bolton, 1995b: 254; Mohamed, Zalat, et al. 2001: 52.

Taxonomic Notes

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018): It appears there may be a second species M. thoracicus (Mayr, 1862) originally described as Atta thoracica. Type location Syria, again no type images, or of the junior synonym Aphaenogaster gracilinodis Emery 1878. Type location Syria, no type images.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bernard F. 1953. Les fourmis du Tassili des Ajjer. Pp. 121-250 in: Bernard, F. (ed.) 1953. Mission scientifique au Tassili des Ajjer (1949). Volume I. Recherches zoologiques et médicales. Paris: P. Lechevalier, 302 pp.
  • Bernard, F.. "Messor carthaginensis n. sp., de Tunis, et révision des Messor du groupe barbara (Hym. Formicidae)." Bulletin de la Société Entomologique de France 84 (1980): 265-269.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Collingwood C. A., D. Agosti, M. R. Sharaf, A. Van Harten, 2011. Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae. Arthropod Fauna of the UAE 4: 405-474
  • Collingwood C.A., D.Agosti, M.R. Sharaf, and A. van Harten. 2011. Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae. Arthropod fauna of the UAE, 4: 405–474
  • Collingwood, C. A., and Donat Agosti. "Formicidae (Insecta: Hymenoptera) of Saudi Arabia (Part 2)." Fauna of Saudi Arabia 15 (1996): 300-385.
  • Emery, C.. "Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil III. Messor, Goniomma, Oxyopomyrmex." Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1908 (1908): 437-465.
  • Field Museum Collection, Chicago, Illinois (C. Moreau)
  • Finzi, B.. "Risultati scientifici della spedizione di S. A. S. il Principe Alessandro della Torre e Tasso nell'Egitto e peninsola del Sinai. XI. Formiche." Bulletin de la Société Entomologique d'Egypte 20 (1936): 155-210.
  • Forel A. 1910. Glanures myrmécologiques. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 54: 6-32.
  • Kugler J. 1988. The zoogeography of Israel. 9. The zoogeography of social insects of Israel and Sinai. Monographiae biologicae 62: 251-275.
  • Mohamed, S., S. Zalat, H. Fadl, S.Gadalla and M. Sharaf. 2001. Taxonomy of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) collected by pitfall traps from Sinai and Delta region, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Natural History 3:40-61
  • Paknia O., A. Radchenko, H. Alipanah, and M. Pfeiffer. 2008. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Iran. Myrmecological News 11: 151-159.
  • Pashaei Rad S., B. Taylor, R. Torabi, E. Aram, G. Abolfathi, R. Afshari, F. Borjali, M. Ghatei, F. Hediary, F. Jazini, V. Heidary Kiah, Z. Mahmoudi, F. Safariyan, and M. Seiri. 2018. Further records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 64(2): 145-159.
  • Santschi, F. 1938. Quelques nouvelles fourmis d'Egypte. Bulletin de la Société Entomologique d'Egypte 21: 28-44.
  • Sharaf M. R., B. L. Fisher, H. M. Al Dhafer, A. Polaszek, and A. S. Aldawood. 2018. Additions to the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Oman: an updated list, new records and a description of two new species. Asian Myrmecology 10: e010004
  • Tohme G. 1996. Formicidae. Etude de la diversité biologique n° 4 . Ministère de l’Agriculture à Beyrouth (Eds.). P85-87.
  • Tohme G., and H. Tohme. 2014. Nouvelles liste des especes de fourmis du Liban (Hymenoptera, Formicoidea). Lebanese Science Journal 15(1): 133-141.
  • Tohmé, G., and H. Tohmé. "Les fourmis du genre Messor en Syrie. Position systématique. Description de quelques ailés et de formes nouvelles. Répartition géographique." Ecologia Mediterranea 7 (1) (1981): 139-153, fig. 1-22.
  • 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. and W. M. Mann. 1916. The ants of the Phillips Expedition to Palestine during 1914. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 167-174.
  • Wheeler W. M., and W. M. Mann. 1916. The ants of the Phillips Expedition to Palestine during 1914. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 60: 167-174.