Acromyrmex octospinosus

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Acromyrmex octospinosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Acromyrmex
Species: A. octospinosus
Binomial name
Acromyrmex octospinosus
(Reich, 1793)

Acromyrmex octospinosus psw7796-21 profile 1.jpg

Acromyrmex octospinosus psw7796-21 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Acromyrmex octospinosus is a host species of the social parasite Acromyrmex insinuator.


Median pronotal spines usually present and distinct, occasionally reduced or absent; head tapering behind eyes; head width less than or equal to 1.7 mm.


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana (type locality), Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Boulogne et al. (2018) - Acromyrmex octospinosus causes serious damage to fields crops, pastures and plantations due to their foraging activities for its symbiotic fungus cultivation (Pérez et al 2011). Estimated damage was, for example, several million dollars per year in USA and Brazil (Cameron & Riggs 1985). A. octospinosus is native to South and Central America and exotic to Guadeloupe. This species was introduced in Guadeloupe in 1954 and progressively colonized the entire territory (Boulogne et al 2014), causing ongoing damage in both agricultural and protected areas. The 1995 cyclone favored ant invasion in natural areas where some plant species, such as the endemic arborescent ferns of the genus Cyathea, are now threatened and might completely disappear (Boulogne et al 2014). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) classifies this ant among the most serious pests of tropical and subtropical America (Pollard 1982).

Fernandez- Marin et al. (2003) - Incipient nests of Acromyrmex octospinosus have only 3-7 workers.

Nehring et al. (2015) - While this species is parastized by queens of Acromyrmex insinuator, this social parasite is not able to reproduce in Acromyrmex octospinosus colonies. The sympatric Acromyrmex echinatior is also parasitized by A. insinuator and is able to reproduce within colonies of this other host.

Weber (1958) - The springtail species Cyphoderus inaequalis Folsom (Lepidocyrtidae: Cyphoderinae) is known from nests of this ant.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 50,000 (Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: mass recruiter (Beckers et al., 1989)



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • octospinosus. Formica octospinosa Reich, 1793: 132 (w.) FRENCH GUIANA. Forel, 1893e: 590 (s.q.m.); Wheeler, G.C. 1949: 674 (l.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986d: 496 (l.). Combination in Atta: Emery, 1892b: 163; in Atta (Acromyrmex): Forel, 1893e: 590; in Acromyrmex: Mann, 1916: 454. Senior synonym of guentheri: Emery, 1894c: 220; of pallida Crawley: Wheeler, W.M. 1937c: 70. See also: Gonçalves, 1961: 157. Current subspecies: nominal plus cubanus, ekchuah, inti.
  • guentheri. Atta (Acromyrmex) guentheri Forel, 1893e: 594 (s.w.q.m.) TRINIDAD. Junior synonym of octospinosus: Emery, 1894c: 220.
  • pallida. Acromyrmex octospinosa var. pallida Crawley, 1921: 92 (s.w.) GUYANA. [Unresolved junior secondary homonym of Oecodoma pallida Smith, above.] Junior synonym of octospinosus: Wheeler, W.M. 1937c: 70.



  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
  • Boulogne, I., L. Desfontaines, H. Ozier-Lafontaine, and G. Loranger-Merciris. 2018. Sustainable Management of Acromyrmex octospinosus (Reich): How Botanical Extracts Should Promote an Ecofriendly Control Strategy. Sociobiology. 65:348-357. doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v65i3.1640
  • Emery, C. 1892c [1891]. Note sinonimiche sulle formiche. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 23: 159-167 (page 163, Combination in Atta)
  • Emery, C. 1894d. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 26: 137-241 (page 220, senior synonym of guentheri)
  • Forel, A. 1893h. Note sur les Attini. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 37: 586-607 (page 590, soldier, queen, male described, Combination in Atta (Acromyrmex))
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1961. O genero Acromyrmex no Brasil (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4: 113-180 (page 157, see also)
  • Mann, W. M. 1916. The Stanford Expedition to Brazil, 1911, John C. Branner, Director. The ants of Brazil. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 60: 399-490 (page 454, Combination in Acromyrmex)
  • Nehring, V., F. R. Dani, S. Turillazzi, J. J. Boomsma, and P. d'Ettorre. 2015. Integration strategies of a leaf-cutting ant social parasite. Animal Behaviour. 108:55-65. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.07.009
  • Reich, G. C. 1793. Kurze Beschreibung neuen, oder noch wenig bekkanten Thiere, welche Herr Le Blond der naturforschenden Gesellschaft zu Paris aus Cayenne als Geschenk überschikt hat. Mag. Thierreichs 1: 128-134 (page 132, worker described)
  • Wheeler, G. C. 1949 [1948]. The larvae of the fungus-growing ants. Am. Midl. Nat. 40: 664-689 (page 674, larva described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1986f. Supplementary studies on ant larvae: Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 94: 489-499 (page 496, larva described)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1937c. Mosaics and other anomalies among ants. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 95 pp. (page 70, senior synonym of pallida)