Aphaenogaster spinosa

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Revision as of 08:36, 31 August 2019 by SShattuck (talk | contribs) (Text replacement - "(DOI: " to "(doi:")
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Aphaenogaster spinosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Stenammini
Genus: Aphaenogaster
Species: A. spinosa
Binomial name
Aphaenogaster spinosa
Emery, 1878

Aphaenogaster spinosa casent0280970 p 1 high.jpg

Aphaenogaster spinosa casent0280970 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Casevitz-Weulersse (1990a) calculated after an ecological survey from 234 samples in 189 localities, that A. spinosa is one of the most common epigeic ant species on the island of Corsica (France). The species is dominant in nearly every habitat, especially at altitudes below 400 m, but is also present above 1200 m. (Boer, 2013)


A member of the A. testaceopilosa group. Boer (2013) - The worker of Aphaenogaster semipolita resemble A. spinosa because of their body shine, but the two can easily be separated by the characters given in the key. These species are allopatric. Aphaenogaster spinosa most resembles Aphaenogaster iberica, especially because of the sturdy propodeal spines. Both species differ in the ratio between the SI and the CI. In both species, the degree of shiny parts varies greatly. For gynes and males see A. iberica.

Keys including this Species


Although this species is commonly collected, its distribution area is restricted to central Italy, along the Tyrrhenian Sea, Sardinia and Corsica (Rigato & Toni, 2011).

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: France (type locality), Italy (type locality), Switzerland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • spinosa. Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa var. spinosa Emery, 1878b: 54, fig. (w.) ITALY. Emery, 1908c: 320 (q.m.). Raised to species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 105. Subspecies of testaceopilosa: Emery, 1908c: 320; Emery, 1916b: 131; Emery, 1921f: 63. Revived status as species: Bondroit, 1918: 162; Santschi, 1933c: 390; Bernard, 1967: 133; Baroni Urbani, 1969a: 326. Senior synonym of nitida, romana and material of the unavailable name corsica referred here: Baroni Urbani, 1971d: 1039; of corsica, etrusca: Boer, 2013: 65. See also: Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990a: 152.
  • corsica. Aphaenogaster corsica Casevitz-Weulersse, 2010: 5, pl. 1, figs. A,C,E (w.m.) FRANCE (Corsica). Junior synonym of spinosa: Boer, 2013: 65.
  • etrusca. Aphaenogaster spinosa subsp. etrusca Baroni Urbani, 1969a: 328, fig. 1 (w.) ITALY. Junior synonym of spinosa: Boer, 2013: 65.
  • nitida. Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa var. nitida Krausse, 1912b: 163 (w.) ITALY. [First available use of Stenamma (Aphaenogaster) testaceopilosum subsp. spinosum var. nitidum Emery, 1895b: 70; unavailable name.] Subspecies of testaceopilosa: Finzi, 1924a: 13; of spinosa: Bondroit, 1918: 162; Santschi, 1933c: 390. Junior synonym of spinosa: Baroni Urbani, 1971d: 1039; Casevitz-Weulersse, 1990a: 152.
  • romana. Aphaenogaster spinosa var. romana Santschi, 1933c: 390 (w.) ITALY. [First available use of Stenamma (Aphaenogaster) testaceopilosum subsp. spinosum var. romanum Emery, 1895b: 70; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of spinosa: Baroni Urbani, 1971d: 1039.

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


Boer (2013) :


Lateral sides of mesosoma with longitudinal rugulae. Rugulae on dorsum of pronotum and propodeum fine or absent. Head with longitudinal rugulae with some cross-connections, rugulae sometimes almost lacking especially on occiput and temples. Punctation on head (often absent on occiput and temples) and mesosoma. Occiput, temples, legs and lateral sides of petioles microreticulated. Terminal side of propodeum, beneath the propodeal spines smooth and shiny, sometimes transversely costulate. Dorsum of petioles smooth to weak rugulose and punctate. Dorsal side of postpetiole with longitudinal costulae which continue on first gastral tergite as microstriae; first gastral tergite may be smooth. Lateral side of temples, underside of head, terminal side of propodeum, beneath the propodeal spines, lateral sides of gaster and lateral sides of petioles shiny. Dorsal side of first gastral tergite matt to shiny. Ventral part of petioles wax gloss to shiny. Antennal club 4-segmented. Lateral shape of petiole with narrow, round top. Petiole equal in height as postpetiole or somewhat higher.

Measurements (n = 46). CI 74–84 (79); CL 1.27–1.59 (1.47) mm; CW 0.95–1.33 (1.14) mm; PHI 30–34 (31); PI 71–87 (79); PPPI 46–60 (52); PSI 177–267 (221); PSLWI 115–183 (141); PWI 22–25 (23); RPH 113–156 (132); RPSI 59–100 (77); SI 123–151 (138); SI/CI 146–201 (176); SL 1.36–1.75 (1.58) mm; SPD 1–3 (1.7); SPL 1–5 (2.3).


According to Emery (1908): Lateral sides of head shiny. Space between the rugulae on the thorax smooth and rather shiny.


Rugulae are absent on the whole body. Partly striated on mesosomal dorsum. Head punctate, rest of body smooth or at least weakly punctate. Dorsum of gaster weakly microreticulate. Head glossy. Mesosoma and lateral sides of gaster shiny. Dorsum of gaster glossy. Antennal club 5-segmented. Pubescence on hind tibia and scape appressed to decumbent, their length about equal to diameter of tibia/scape. Scutellum erect above mesoscutum. Mandibles with one large apical tooth, 2 or 3 smaller teeth, and 2–3 denticles. Anterior and posterior half of propodeum makes a nearly right angle. A weak longitudinal groove between the two knobs at the terminal side of the propodeum.

Measurements (n = 6). CI 92–95 (93); CL 0.76–0.81(0.80) mm; CW: 0.72–0.78 (0.74) mm; EYI 39–43 (41); OCI 45–53 (50); SL/CL 48–52 (50); SL 0.41 mm.

Type Material

Holotype: France, Corsica: Region Belgodère, 27.ix.1973 (Casevitz-Weulersse), 1 worker holotype of A. corsica Casevitz-Weulersse and paratypes of the same date and location, 7 workers, 5 males. Syntypes: Italy, Sardinia: 1872, 5 workers (Vito & Gestro, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa); syntypes of A. spinosa etrusca: Italy, Volterra (Pisa), iv.1963, 8 workers and 30.v.1962, 2 workers (Baroni Urbani, BUMW).


  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1969e [1968]. Studi sulla mirmecofauna d'Italia. VIII. L'Isola di Giannutri ed alcuni scogli minori dell'arcipelago Toscano. Atti Soc. Toscana Sci. Nat. Mem. Ser. B 75: 325-338 (page 326, revived status as species)
  • Baroni Urbani, C. 1971d. Studien zur Ameisenfauna Italiens XI. Die Ameisen des Toskanischen Archipels. Betrachtungen zur Herkunft der Inselfaunen. Rev. Suisse Zool. 7 78: 1037-1067 (page 1039, senior synonym of nitida and romana, and material of the unavailable name corsica referred here.)
  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 133, revived status as species)
  • Boer, P. 2013. Revision of the European ants of the Aphaenogaster testaceopilosa-group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 156, 57–93.
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 162, revived status as species)
  • Casevitz-Weulersse, J. 1990b. Étude systématique de la myrmécofaune corse (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) (Première partie). Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Sect. A Zool. Biol. Écol. Anim. (4) 12: 135-163 (page 152, see also)
  • Dalla Torre, K. W. von. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. (page 105, raised to species)
  • Emery, C. 1878c. Catalogo delle formiche esistenti nelle collezioni del Museo Civico di Genova. Parte seconda. Formiche dell'Europa e delle regioni limitrofe in Africa e in Asia. [concl.]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. 12: 49-59 (page 54, fig. worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1908d. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) (Fortsetzung.) III. Die mit Aphaenogaster verwandte Gattungengruppe. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 305-338 (page 320, queen, male described, subspecies of testaceopilosa)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 131, subspecies of testaceopilosa)
  • Emery, C. 1921c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174A:1-94 94: 1-94 + 7 (page 63, subspecies of testaceopilosa)
  • Gomez, K., Martinez, D., Espadaler, X. 2018. Phylogeny of the ant genus Aphaenogaster (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Iberian Peninsula, with the description of a new species. Sociobiology 65(2): 215-224 (doi:10.13102/sociobiology.v65i2.2099).
  • Rigato, F.; Toni, I. 2011. Short notes 21. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Pp. 873-882 in: Nardi, G.; Whitmore, D.; Bardiani, M.; Birtele, D.; Mason, F.; Spada, L.; Cerretti, P. (eds.) 2011. Biodiversity of Marganai and Montimannu (Sardinia). Research in the framework of the ICP Forests network. Conservazione Habitat Invertebrati, 5. Sommacampagna, Verona: Cierre Edizioni, 896 pp.
  • Santschi, F. 1933d. Étude sur le sous-genre Aphaenogaster Mayr. Rev. Suisse Zool. 40: 389-408 (page 390, revived status as species)