Solenopsis gensterblumi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Solenopsis gensterblumi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: nigella
Species: S. gensterblumi
Binomial name
Solenopsis gensterblumi
Forel, 1901

Solenopsis gensterblumi casent0908809 p 1 high.jpg

Solenopsis gensterblumi casent0908809 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Nothing is known about the biology of Solenopsis gensterblumi.


A New World thief ant that is a member of the nigella species complex.

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - The worker ranges in color from concolorous golden yellow to brown. What is striking about this species are the large eyes (20-25 ommatidia). It is nearly devoid of pilosity and sculpturing and is smooth and shiny on all body surfaces. The petiolar peduncle has a well-developed ventral tooth.

Apparently S. gensterblumi is a minor worker and Solenopsis nigella is the major of the same species-level taxon. It appears that S. nigella is dimorphic, but with the little evidence (no complete series), we will recognize S. gensterblumi as a valid species. However, if and when a complete series is collected, S. gensterblumi will probably be synonymized with S. nigella.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -31.771° to -31.771°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality), Brazil (type locality).

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.



Images from AntWeb

Solenopsis gensterblumi casent0908845 d 1 high.jpgSolenopsis gensterblumi casent0908845 h 1 high.jpgSolenopsis gensterblumi casent0908845 p 1 high.jpgSolenopsis gensterblumi casent0908845 l 1 high.jpg
Lectotype of Solenopsis picta gensterblumiWorker. Specimen code casent0908845. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.

Queens have yet to be collected.


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

  • gensterblumi. Solenopsis picta r. gensterblumi Forel, 1901d: 298 (w.) BRAZIL (Rio Grande do Sul).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (numbers not stated).
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Pelotas (Gensterblum).
    • [Note: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 159, mistakenly give the type-locality as Argentina: Bueos Aires, Serra de la Ventana (Bruch), and incorrectly designate a lectotype + paralectotypes from this series; the designation is redundant.]
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • [Misspelled as gerstenblumi by Emery, 1922e: 200, Borgmeier, 1927c: 106.]
    • Subspecies of picta: Forel, 1908c: 364; Forel, 1911c: 298; Luederwaldt, 1918: 43; Emery, 1922e: 200; Borgmeier, 1927c: 106; Ettershank, 1966: 141.
    • Subspecies of nigella: Creighton, 1930b: 132; Kempf, 1972a: 238; Bolton, 1995b: 388.
    • Status as species: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 158 (redescription).
    • Senior synonym of carettei: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 158.
    • Senior synonym of prevalens: Creighton, 1930b: 132; Kempf, 1972a: 238; Bolton, 1995b: 388; Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 158.
    • Distribution: Argentina, Brazil.
  • carettei. Solenopsis angulata r. carettei Forel, 1913l: 223 (w.) ARGENTINA (Mendoza).
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 159), 4 paralectotype workers.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Argentina: Mendoza (C. Bruch); paralectotypes with same data.
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Subspecies of angulata: Forel, 1914d: 278; Bruch, 1914: 222; Bruch, 1915: 531; Bruch, 1916: 319; Santschi, 1916b: 510; Santschi, 1916e: 378; Gallardo, 1919b: 245; Emery, 1922e: 199; Santschi, 1929d: 298; Creighton, 1930b: 149; Ettershank, 1966: 140; Kempf, 1972a: 233; Bolton, 1995b: 386.
    • Junior synonym of gensterblumi: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 158.
  • prevalens. Solenopsis nigella st. prevalens Santschi, 1923c: 257 (s.w.) ARGENTINA (Buenos Aires).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Argentina: La Plata (C. Bruch).
    • [Note: Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 159, record 5 “cotype” (= syntype) workers from Argentina: Alta Gracia, in MCZC, but this locality is not mentioned in the original description.]
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • Santschi, 1929d: 297 (m.).
    • Subspecies of nigella: Santschi, 1929d: 297.
    • Junior synonym of gensterblumi: Creighton, 1930b: 132; Kempf, 1972a: 238; Bolton, 1995b: 390; Pacheco & Mackay, 2013: 158.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=14). TL 1.37-1.62 (1.53); HL 0.408-0.528 (0.483); HW 0.300-0.468 (0.410); EL 0.042-0.090 (0.079); ED 0.030-0.060 (0.053); SL 0.282-0.360 (0.308); FSL 0.090-0.144 (0.126); CI 71.4-92.6 (85.0); SI 58.1-72.3 (64.0); PL 0.066-0.078 (0.073); PW 0.078-0.102 (0.091); PI 70.6-92.3 (80.2); PPL 0.090-0.120 (0.102); PPW 0.120-0.138 (0.128); PPI 68.2-95.2 (79.6); WL 0.300-0.360 (0.309); PSL 0.024; PSW 0.018-0.024 (0.020).

Small, concolorous golden yellow to dark brown; head quadrate, longer than wide, with posterior border slightly concave; lateral clypeal teeth angulate; extralateral teeth absent; clypeal carinae well defined; scape does not reach posterior border of head; eyes large, oval shaped, approximately 20-25 ommatidia; pronotum and mesopleuron smooth and shiny; notopropodeal suture weakly depressed, groove breaks sculpture of mesosoma; metapleuron horizontally striated; posterior propodeal edge angulate, with ridge; petiolar node wider than postpetiole viewed laterally, petiole triangular shaped with sharp anterior and posterior faces; well defined tooth present ventrally on subpeduncular process.

Not very pilose; few hairs present on all body surfaces; neither head nor scape heavily pilose, with only small suberect hairs present that are roughly 0.018 mm in length; mesosoma, petiole, postpetiole and gaster have very few hairs that range from 0.018 to 0.024 mm in length.

Type Material

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Argentina, Buenos Aires, Serra de la Ventana, Sierra Ventana, (460, Bruch) Forel Coll. (lectotype worker [here designated] and 4 paralectotype workers Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève). Solenopsis nigella prevalens, Argentina, Alta Gracia, (Bruch) M.C.Z.C. 1-5, 20931 (5 worker cotypes Museum of Comparative Zoology). Solenopsis angulata carettei, (1 lectotype worker [here designated] and 4 paralectotype workers MHNG).


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.
  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Forel A. 1908. Ameisen aus Sao Paulo (Brasilien), Paraguay etc. gesammelt von Prof. Herm. v. Ihering, Dr. Lutz, Dr. Fiebrig, etc. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 58: 340-418.
  • Forel A. 1911. Ameisen des Herrn Prof. v. Ihering aus Brasilien (Sao Paulo usw.) nebst einigen anderen aus Südamerika und Afrika (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1911: 285-312.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Luederwaldt H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64.
  • Pacheco J. A., and W. P. Mackay. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 501 pp.