Solenopsis electra

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Solenopsis electra
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species group: saevissima
Species: S. electra
Binomial name
Solenopsis electra
Forel, 1914

Solenopsis electra casent0908803 p 1 high.jpg

Solenopsis electra casent0908803 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Little is known about the biology of Solenopsis electra.


Pitts et. al. (2018) - A member of the Solenopsis saevissima species-group. The gyne of S. electra is similar to Solenopsis pusillignis, Solenopsis saevissima, and Solenopsis macdonaghi in coloration and in the lack of mesonotal maculae. The gyne of this species has a thinner petiolar node, a smaller OOI, and a smaller body size than those of S. saevissima and S. macdonaghi. The gynes of S. electra differ from the gynes of the sister species, S. pusillignis, by having a smaller OI, a more developed median clypeal tooth, and a darker coloration of the gaster.

The northern populations of S. electra have much larger workers than the southern populations, but the gynes of these populations remain unchanged in size. Males were not available for examination for this study, but Trager (1991) describes them as being relatively small compared to males of the rest of the species-group.

Keys including this Species


Pitts et. al. (2018) - The currently known range of S. electra extends northward from Santiago del Estero Province of Argentina to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Trager (1991) lists a sample examined from Asuncion, Paraguay. Sampling efforts between the known range and Asuncion, Paraguay have not produced any specimens of S. electra, so this record may represent an introduction.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -24.356° to -24.356°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Bolivia, Paraguay.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Pseudacteon andinus (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).



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

  • electra. Solenopsis pylades r. electra Forel, 1914d: 275 (w.) ARGENTINA (Jujuy, Tucumán).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-localities: Argentina: Jujuy (Schuer), Argentina: Tucumán (Shipton).
    • [Note: both Trager, 1991: 192, and Pitts, et al. 2018: 339, include the Argentine province of Salta as a type-locality, but Salta is not mentioned in the original description.]
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Creighton, 1930b: 93 (q.).
    • Subspecies of pylades: Forel, 1915c: 354; Bruch, 1915: 532.
    • Subspecies of geminata: Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 397; Santschi, 1916b: 510.
    • Subspecies of saevissima: Emery, 1922e: 198; Santschi, 1923c: 266; Santschi, 1929d: 299; Creighton, 1930b: 92; Santschi, 1933e: 114.
    • Junior synonym of saevissima: Wilson, 1952b: 55; Kempf, 1972a: 239.
    • Status as species: Trager, 1991: 192 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 387; Pitts, et al. 2018: 339 (redescription).
    • Distribution: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay.

Pitts et. al. (2018):


Head subovate. Head sculpture with small piligerous foveolae, <0.01 mm in diameter. Median frontal streak absent. Median ocellus in largest major workers present. Mandibular costulae well developed throughout entire length. In lateral view, pronotum low and nearly flat to weakly convex. Mesonotum with 20–25 setae. Promesonotal suture in largest major workers gently curved medially, never projecting upward. Mesonotum weakly convex in lateral view. Propodeum sculpture granulate posteroventral to spiracle. Postpetiole shape as high as or higher than broad. Postpetiole sculpture in posterior view with lower 0.66 transversely rugose, granulate, upper surface glabrous and shiny. Color of head, legs, antennae generally red yellow. Mesosoma and gaster dark brown. T1 yellow anteriorly. Mandibles brown. Some specimens darker brown black, with appendages slightly lighter.


Head. Slightly broader to as broad as long, quadrate, sides of head convex from eyes to occipital angles, straight anterior to eyes. Eye sometimes with 2–4 long setae protruding from between ommatidia, setal length >4X width of ommatidium. Ocelli large, prominent. Median ocellus circular, lateral ocelli slightly ovate. Ocelli in more anterior position on head. Clypeus projecting, carinal teeth stout and sharp, carinae well defined, prominent between antennal scrobes, slightly divergent ventrally. Paracarinal teeth small, indistinct to absent. Median clypeal tooth well developed. Approximately 0.50 of eye basal to midlength of head.

Mesosoma. Parapsidal lines present on posterior half of disk. Mesonotum without posteromedian furrow. Metasternum with bidentate median process. Wing venation as in Figure.

Metasoma. Lateral faces of postpetiole weakly concave. Petiolar spiracle normally not tuberculate. Postpetiolar spiracles normally tuberculate. Coloration, Sculpturing, and Pilosity. Piligerous foveolae small, sparse, width <0.01 mm in diameter, larger on head than on thorax and abdomen. Pubescence simple, golden and erect, longer and denser on head than elsewhere, longest on anterior edge of clypeus. Mesonotum pubescence 0.16–0.25 mm, longest pubescence on mesonotum 2X longer than shortest pubescence. Mandible with 5–8 coarse, distinct costulae present throughout entire length. Propodeum with fine striae throughout. Petiolar node basal 0.75 with striate, dorsum polished. Postpetiolar node basal 0.50 with fine striae, dorsum polished. Remaining integument smooth and polished. Color yellow with gaster red brown. T1 with basal 0.50 yellow, remaining segments yellow anterolaterally. Internal margins of ocelli dark brown.

L ~6.2–6.5, HW 1.15–1.28, VW 1.09–1.15, HL 1.20–1.30, EL 0.36–0.44, OD 0.15–0.21, OOD 0.09–0.12, LOW 0.10–0.15, MOW 0.10–0.16, CD 0.15–0.19, MFC 0.18–0.21, EW 0.25–0.34, SL 0.78–0.91, PDL 0.14–0.19, LF1 0.07–0.11, LF2 0.05–0.10, LF3 0.07–0.10, WF1 0.04–0.07, FL 0.92–1.05, FW 0.21–0.29, MW 1.21–1.33, DLM 2.15–2.31, PRH 0.88–1.04, PL 0.56–0.68, PND 0.45–0.56, PH 0.55–0.64, PPL 0.31–0.36, DPW 0.50–0.68, PPW 0.56–0.64, PHB 0.32–0.45, N=2.

Type Material

Syntype workers. Argentina. Salta. Jujuy. XI-913 (=1913). Schuer. #129. Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève.


  • Creighton, W. S. 1930b. The New World species of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenop. Formicidae). Proc. Am. Acad. Arts Sci. 66: 39-151 (page 93, queen described; page 92, Subspecies/stirps of saevissima)
  • Forel, A. 1914d. Formicides d'Afrique et d'Amérique nouveaux ou peu connus. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 50: 211-288 (page 275, worker described)
  • Pitts, J.P., Camacho, G.P., Gotzek, D., McHugh, J.V., Ross, K.G. 2018. Revision of the fire ants of the Solenopisis saevissima species group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 120: 308–411.
  • Santschi, F. 1923c. Solenopsis et autres fourmis néotropicales. Rev. Suisse Zool. 30: 245-273 (page 266, Subspecies/stirps of saevissima)
  • Santschi, F. 1929d. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. An. Soc. Cient. Argent. 107: 273-316 (page 299, Subspecies/stirps of saevissima)
  • Trager, J. C. 1991. A revision of the fire ants, Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 99: 141-198 (page 192, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1915b. Some additions to the North American ant-fauna. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 34: 389-421 (page 397, Subspecies/stirps of geminata)
  • Wilson, E. O. 1952b. O complexo Solenopsis saevissima na America do Sul (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz Rio J. 50: 49-59 (page 55, Junior synonym of saevissima)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Creighton W. S. 1930. The New World species of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenop. Formicidae). Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 66: 39-151.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Santschi F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 107: 273-316.
  • Trager J. C. 1991. A revision of the fire ants, Solenopsis geminata group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Journal of the New York Entomological Society 99: 141-198