Strumigenys ludovici

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Strumigenys ludovici
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. ludovici
Binomial name
Strumigenys ludovici
Forel, 1904

Pyramica ludovici casent0146806 profile 1.jpg

Pyramica ludovici casent0146806 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


One of the most successful members of the genus and of the Afrotropical dacetines as a whole, ludovici ranges very widely over the whole continent and is also established in Madagascar and Mauritius. (Bolton 1983)

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys lujae-group. The species and its variation is fully described in Bolton (1983) but the characters used here in the key are usually adequate for instant diagnosis. The presence of enlarged denticles basally on the mandible is usually distinctive and is enough on its own to identify ludovici. However, in a few series this may not be immediately obvious and the separation of ludovici from Strumigenys simoni may be problematic. A table of differences between the two is given under simoni. Pronotal sculpture is quite variable in ludovici. In the majority of cases the pronotum is smooth or smooth with superimposed fine oblique to longitudinal costulae. When costulae occur they may be extremely sparse to quite numerous. Some samples have the spaces between the costulae finely punctulate, which is why the species is run out twice in the key.

Bolton (1983) - Closely related to Strumigenys simoni but most ludovici samples are instantly distinguishable by the enlarged basal series of mandibular denticles in the latter. In those few samples where the enlargement of the denticles is not marked the differentiating characters tabulated under simony will separate the two.

Apart from the diagnostic enlarged denticle series ludovici is separated from Strumigenys dotaja by the presence in the latter of flagellate mesonotal hairs and simple gastral hairs; from Strumigenys sulumana and Strumigenys maynei by those species' lack of cephalic flagellate hairs and strongly developed upper scrobe margins. Usually ludovici is distinguished from Strumigenys lujae, Strumigenys serrula and Strumigenys concolor by their blanketing reticulate-punctate pronotal sculpture, which generally is not seen in ludovici, but in the few populations of the latter with a predominantly punctate pronotum the enlarged basal mandibular denticles of ludovici will separate them. Strumigenys miccata shares the character of enlarged basal denticles with ludovici but this minute species is very easily separated by the characters noted in the discussion of the former.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.5° to -29.71667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Angola, Benin, Cameroun, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe.
Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality), Mauritius, Mayotte.

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

Pyramica ludovici casent0006027 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0006027 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0006027 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0006027 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0006027. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MCZ, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0056480 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0056480 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0056480 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0056480 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0056480. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0064818 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0064818 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0064818 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0064818 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0064818. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0146806 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0146806 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0146806 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0146806 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0146806. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0005889 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0005889 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0005889 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0005889 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0005889. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0178310 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0178310 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0178310 dorsal 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0178310. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Pyramica ludovici casent0059539 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0059539 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0059539 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0059539 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0059539. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0178311 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0178311 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0178311 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0178311 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178311. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Pyramica ludovici casent0133292 head 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0133292 profile 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0133292 profile 2.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0133292 dorsal 1.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0133292 dorsal 2.jpgPyramica ludovici casent0133292 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0133292. Photographer Erin Prado, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • ludovici. Strumigenys ludovici Forel, 1904b: 369 (w.) MADAGASCAR. Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Santschi, 1913b: 258; in Serrastruma: Brown, 1952e: 85; in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 123. Senior synonym of alluaudi (and its junior synonym rothkirchi), lotti, nigeriensis: Bolton, 1983: 343. See also: Bolton, 2000: 315.
  • alluaudi. Strumigenys alluaudi Santschi, 1911c: 360 (w.q.) TANZANIA. Combination in S. (Trichoscapa): Santschi, 1913b: 258 (in key); in S. (Cephaloxys): Emery, 1924d: 323; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 918; in Serrastruma: Brown, 1952e: 75. Senior synonym of rothkirchi: Brown, 1952e: 75. Junior synonym of ludovici: Bolton, 1983: 343.
  • nigeriensis. Strumigenys (Trichoscapa) alluaudi st. nigeriensis Santschi, 1914d: 376 (w.) NIGERIA. Combination in S. (Cephaloxys): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 919. Junior synonym of simoni: Brown, 1952e: 83; of ludovici: Bolton, 1983: 343.
  • rothkirchi. Strumigenys rothkirchi Wasmann, 1918b: 142, pl. 2, figs. 9, 10 (w.) CAMEROUN. Combination in S. (Cephaloxys): Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 920. Junior synonym of alluaudi: Brown, 1952e: 75.
  • lotti. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) escherichi subsp. lotti Weber, 1943c: 378, pl. 15, fig. 13 (w.q.) SUDAN. Combination in Serrastruma: Brown, 1952e: 76. Raised to species: Brown, 1952e: 76. Junior synonym of ludovici: Bolton, 1983: 343.

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


Bolton (1983) - TL 1.9-3.0, HL 0.46-0.66, HW 0.36-0.49, CI 71-80, ML 0.17-0.30, MI 35-50, SL 0.32-0.50, SI 86-115, PW 0.26-0.38, AI 0.55-0.80 (85 measured).

Basal 4-8 denticles on mandibular masticatory margin enlarged, usually very conspicuously coarser broader and longer than the preceding denticle row. In a few samples the enlarged denticles not so obvious and sometimes the enlarged series may be better developed on one mandible than on the other. Upper scrobe margins defined by a narrow flange or rim which is broadest just behind the frontal lobes and peters out posteriorly, frequently the rim not even extending to the apex of the scrobe. Upper scrobe margins each with a fine flagellate hair just behind the level of the eye. Clypeus usually finely reticulate to punctate, only rarely the sculpture reduced. Dorsum of head behind clypeus finely and densely reticulate-punctate. Ground-pilosity of cephalic dorsum of short narrow to moderately broad spatulate hairs which are decumbent and directed anteriorly. A row of longer spatulate hairs present on the false margin of the clypeus which project forwards over the bases of the mandibles. Dorsum of head with a single pair of standing stout hairs which are narrowly clavate apically, situated behind the highest point of the vertex. Pronotum narrowly marginate anteriorly, not marginate laterally. Mesonotum in profile sloping posteriorly to the impressed metanotal groove, the propodeal dorsum shallowly convex and sloping posteriorly to the propodeal teeth; these latter variable in size, usually triangular but sometimes reduced to small rounded lobes. Infradental lamella usually narrow and inconspicuous, only rarely moderately broad but sometimes vestigial. Sides of pronotum usually smooth but sometimes with sculpture, especially on the upper portions. Mesopleuron, metapleuron or both punctate, sides of propodeum punctate. Frequently the central area of the mesopleuron with sculpture reduced or absent, more rarely with the central area of the metapleuron smooth. Sculpture of pronotal dorsum very variable, ranging from almost smooth to moderately strongly sculptured. At one end of the range the pronotum is smooth except for a median longitudinal carina, at the other a number of oblique to longitudinal fine striae or costulae are present and the spaces between them may be finely punctulate. All grades between these extremes have been noted, including a few sample where the pronotum is predominantly punctate. Frequently the striate component is reduced leaving weak punctures as the predominant component, but in this case they are by no means as strongly developed nor as conspicuous as the punctures on the mesonotum. Dorsal surface of mesonotum and propodeum reticulate-punctate. Pronotum with humeral flagellate hairs. Mesonotum with a pair of stout curved standing hairs which are clavate apically. Ground-pilosity of dorsal alitrunk of short curved hairs which are sparse and subdecumbent to decumbent. With the pedicel segments in profile the spongiform appendages reduced. Petiole with a narrow ventral strip and small lateral lobe. Postpetiole with a moderately developed ventral lobe which is larger than the lateral spongiform appendage but smaller, and usually obviously smaller, than the exposed area of the postpetiolar disc. In dorsal view the petiole node reticulate to reticulate-punctate, with a narrow posterior spongiform strip. Postpetiole usually reticulate to reticulate-punctate, rarely the sculpture reduced and superficial, bordered posteriorly by a lamellate spongiform strip which abuts a similar narrow strip on the anterior margin of the first gastral tergite. Basigastral costulae present, usually short. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster dorsally with stout standing hairs which are clavate apically. Colour yellow to mid-brown.

Type Material

Bolton (1983) - Syntype workers, MADAGASCAR: 'Madagascar meridional', 1899 (M. Sikora) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [examined].


  • Baroni Urbani, C. & De Andrade, M.L. 2007. The ant tribe Dacetini: limits and constituent genera, with descriptions of new species. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria”. 99:1-191.
  • Bolton, B. 1983. The Afrotropical dacetine ants (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 46:267-416. (page 343, senior synonym of alluaudi (and its junior synonym rothkirchi), lotti and nigeriensis; status as species and redescription of worker)
  • Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History. 33:1639-1689. (page 1673, Combination in Pyramica)
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 315, redescription of worker)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1952h. Revision of the ant genus Serrastruma. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 107:67-86. (page 85, Combination in Serrastruma)
  • Fisher, B. L. 1997a. Biogeography and ecology of the ant fauna of Madagascar (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History. 31:269-302. (see also)
  • Forel, A. 1904c [1903]. Note sur les fourmis du Musée Zoologique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences à St. Pétersbourg. Ezheg. Zool. Muz. 8:368-388. (page 369, worker described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922k. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. IX. A synonymic list of the ants of the Malagasy region. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45:1005-1055. (page 920, see also)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Belshaw R., and B. Bolton. 1994. A survey of the leaf litter ant fauna in Ghana, West Africa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 3: 5-16.
  • Belshaw R., and B. Bolton. 1994. A survey of the leaf litter ant fauna in Ghana, West Africa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 3: 5-16.
  • Bernard F. 1953. La réserve naturelle intégrale du Mt Nimba. XI. Hyménoptères Formicidae. Mémoires de l'Institut Français d'Afrique Noire 19: 165-270.
  • Bolton B. 1983. The Afrotropical dacetine ants (Formicidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 46: 267-416.
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The Ant Tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65
  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1952. Revision of the ant genus Serrastruma. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 107: 67-86.
  • CSIRO Collection
  • Fisher B. L. 2004. Diversity patterns of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along an elevational gradient on Monts Doudou in southwestern Gabon. Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences 28: 269-286.
  • Garcia F.H., Wiesel E. and Fischer G. 2013.The Ants of Kenya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)—Faunal Overview, First Species Checklist, Bibliography, Accounts for All Genera, and Discussion on Taxonomy and Zoogeography. Journal of East African Natural History, 101(2): 127-222
  • IZIKO South Africa Museum Collection
  • Ross S. R. P. J., F. Hita Garcia, G. Fischer, and M. K. Peters. 2018. Selective logging intensity in an East African rain forest predicts reductions in ant diversity. Biotropica 1-11.
  • Taylor B. 1979. Ants of the Nigerian Forest Zone (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). III. Myrmicinae (Cardiocondylini to Meranoplini). Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria Research Bulletin 6: 1-65.
  • Weber N. A. 1943. The ants of the Imatong Mountains, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 93: 263-389.
  • Weber N. A. 1952. Biological notes on Dacetini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). American Museum Novitates 1554: 1-7.
  • Yeo K., T. Delsinne, S. Komate, L. L. Alonso, D. Aidara, and C. Peeters. 2016. Diversity and distribution of ant assemblages above and below ground in a West African forest–savannah mosaic (Lamto, Cote d’Ivoire). Insectes Sociaux DOI 10.1007/s00040-016-0527-6