Solenopsis photophila has been collected using seed baits in the Monte desert of Mendoza, Argentina, in Prosopis open woodland. It also occurs in fine sandy soils in creosote bush scrub, where it was collected in pitfall traps. (Pacheco and Mackay 2013)
Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - This species is very small and concolorous brown. What is striking about this species is its large kidney-shaped eyes with approximately 30 ommatidia. The mesopleuron, propodeum, petiole and postpetiole are heavily punctate with roughened sculpturing. The petiole has a triangular node and a flange is present ventrally.
This is one of the most unique species in the genus Solenopsis, which is easily recognized by its large kidney-shaped eye. The only species that has a similar eye is Solenopsis macrops. However the eye is smaller in S. photophila and this species has punctate/roughened sculpturing, while S. macrops is more smooth and shiny on the mesopleuron and propodeum.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Known only from the worker caste.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- photophila. Solenopsis (Synsolenopsis) photophila Santschi, 1923c: 250, fig. 1 (s.w.) ARGENTINA. Combination in Synsolenopsis: Kusnezov, 1953c: 347; in Solenopsis: Ettershank, 1966: 142.
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=1). TL 1.44; HL 0.540; HW 0.456; EL 0.120; ED 0.060; SL 0.318; FSL 0.156; CI 84.4; SI 58.9; PL 0.072; PW 0.144; PI 50.0; PPL 0.090; PPW 0.156; PPI 57.7; WL 0.360; PSL 0.030; PSW 0.030.
Small, concolorous brown; head quadrate, posterior border nearly straight, finely punctate; lateral clypeal teeth angulate, extralateral teeth absent; clypeal carinae well defined; frontal lobes vertically striated; eyes large, approximately 30 ommatidia; scape reaching % length of head; pronotum smooth and shiny; mesopleuron and side of propodeum heavily punctate; metapleuron horizontally striated; posterior propodeal margin angulate; petiole and postpetiole heavily punctate; subpeduncular process with flange.
Not very hairy; erect and suberect hairs of various lengths scattered on all body surfaces, most hairs short (0.09 mm); suberect hairs on petiole and postpetiole curve posteriorly.
Nr, 3829 Borgmeier, Argentina, Entre Rios; Villaguay (Bruch) (lectotype worker [here designated] Museum of Comparative Zoology).
- Ettershank, G. 1966. A generic revision of the world Myrmicinae related to Solenopsis and Pheidologeton (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Aust. J. Zool. 14: 73-171 (page 142, Combination in Solenopsis)
- Kusnezov, N. 1953d. El género Synsolenopsis Forel (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Acta Zool. Lilloana 13: 341-348 (page 347, Combination in Synsolenopsis)
- Pacheco, J.A. & Mackay, W.P. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, New York. 501 pp.
- Santschi, F. 1923c. Solenopsis et autres fourmis néotropicales. Rev. Suisse Zool. 30: 245-273 (page 250, fig. 1 soldier, worker described)