Solenopsis gayi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Solenopsis gayi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species group: geminata
Species: S. gayi
Binomial name
Solenopsis gayi
(Spinola, 1851)

Solenopsis gayi casent0913892 p 1 high.jpg

Solenopsis gayi casent0913892 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


In Chile Solenopsis gayi can be found living in mixed nests with the ant Camponotus morosus. Believed to be a parabiotic association, the relationship between these two ants was studied and it was found S. gayi workers were tolerant of all C. morosus workers. C. morosus workers were aggressive to most other ants except their own nestmates and the S. gayi workers they lived with. (Errard et al. 2003)


A member of the Solenopsis geminata species-group.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -10.15111111° to -38.72703°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Chile (type locality), Colombia, Peru.

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.


This species is polygynous (Errard et al. 2003).

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Pseudacteon obtusus (a parasite) in Chile (Sanchez-Restrepo et al., 2020).



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

  • gayi. Myrmica gayi Spinola, 1851a: 242 (w.q.m.) CHILE.
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens, syntype males (numbers not stated).
    • Type-localities: Chile: Santa Rosa (C. Gay), Chile: Coquimbo (C. Gay).
    • [Note: Trager, 1991: 170, incorrectly gives Santiago as the type-locality.]
    • Type-depository: MRSN.
    • Combination in Solenopsis: Mayr, 1886c: 365.
    • Junior synonym of geminata: Mayr, 1886d: 460; Dalla Torre, 1893: 76; Emery, 1893h: 2; Pergande, 1893: 35; Forel, 1895b: 130; Zhou, 2001b: 88 (error).
    • Subspecies of geminata: Emery, 1895i: 11; Emery, 1906c: 121.
    • Status as species: Smith, F. 1858b: 132; Mayr, 1862: 742; Roger, 1863b: 29; Mayr, 1863: 432; Forel, 1909a: 269; Wheeler, W.M. 1915b: 397; Emery, 1922e: 197; Santschi, 1923c: 261; Wheeler, W.M. 1925a: 35; Creighton, 1930b: 48 (redescription); Goetsch, 1933: 29; Goetsch & Menozzi, 1935: 96; Menozzi, 1935c: 320; Brown, 1950e: 248; Ettershank, 1966: 141; Kempf, 1970a: 24; Kempf, 1972a: 235; Snelling, R.R. & Hunt, 1976: 84; Trager, 1991: 170 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 387; Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 121; Fernández & Serna, 2019: 816.
    • Senior synonym of fazi: Brown, 1950e: 248; Kempf, 1970a: 24; Kempf, 1972a: 235; Snelling, R.R. & Hunt, 1976: 84; Trager, 1991: 170; Bolton, 1995b: 387.
    • Distribution: Chile, Colombia, Peru.
  • fazi. Solenopsis gayi var. fazi Santschi, 1923c: 261 (w.) CHILE.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Chile: Santiago (Faz).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • Creighton, 1930b: 51 (q.).
    • Subpecies of gayi: Creighton, 1930b: 51; Goetsch & Menozzi, 1935: 96.
    • Junior synonym of gayi: Brown, 1950e: 248; Kempf, 1970a: 24; Kempf, 1972a: 235; Snelling, R.R. & Hunt, 1976: 84; Trager, 1991: 170; Bolton, 1995b: 387.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cepeda-Pizarro J., J. Pizarro-Araya, and C. Bravo-Naranjo. 2018. The assemblage of epigean ants (Formicidae) inhabiting altered patches found in a latitudinal transect of coastal matorral of semiarid Chile. IDESIA (Chile) 36(2): 193-201.
  • 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.
  • Emery C. 1906. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 37: 107-194.
  • Ettershank G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171.
  • Fernández F., E. E. Palacio, W. P. Mackay, and E. S. MacKay. 1996. Introducción al estudio de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Colombia. Pp. 349-412 in: Andrade M. G., G. Amat García, and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1996. Insectos de Colombia. Estudios escogidos. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 541 pp
  • Goetsch W. and C. Menozzi. 1935. Die Ameisen Chiles. Konowia 14: 94-102
  • Goetsch, W., and C. Menozzi. "Die Ameisen Chiles." Konowia 14 (1935): 94-102.
  • Heatwole H. 1996. Ant assemblages at their dry limits: the northern Atacama Desert, Peru, and the Chott El Djerid, Tunisia. Journal of Arid Environments 33: 449–456.
  • Ipinza-Regla J. I., J. García, and J. E. Araya. 2015. Distribution of Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nests in the Santiago Forest, Metropolitan Region, Chile. Entomol Ornithol Herpetol 4: 137. doi:10.4172/2161-0983.1000137
  • Ipinza-Regla J., L. Castro, R. Eissemann, and M. A. Morales. 2010. Factors Influencing the Distribution of Nests of the Argentine Ant Linepithema humile Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in a Foothills Ecosystem of the Central Zone of Chile. Neotropical Entomology 39(5):686-690.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Kempf W. W. 1970. Catálogo das formigas do Chile. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia (São Paulo) 23: 17-43.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Medel R. G., and R. A. Vasquez. 1994. Comparative analysis of harvester ant assemblages of Argentinian and Chilean arid zones. Journal of Arid Anvironments 26: 363-371
  • Menozzi C. 1935. Fauna Chilensis. II. (Nach Sammlungen von W. Goetsch). Le formiche del Cile. Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Ökologie und Geographie der Tiere. 67: 319-336.
  • Snelling R. R., and J. H. Hunt. 1975. The ants of Chile (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Revista Chilena de Entomología 9: 63-129.
  • 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