Atta mexicana

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Atta mexicana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Atta
Species: A. mexicana
Binomial name
Atta mexicana
(Smith, F., 1858)

Atta mexicana casent0421379 profile 1.jpg

Atta mexicana casent0421379 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Photo Gallery

  • Major worker.


Identification Keys including this Taxon

Key to US Atta species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


This species is a host for the pteromalid wasp Spalangia attae (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec





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

  • mexicana. Oecodoma mexicana Smith, F. 1858b: 185, pl. 10, fig. 20 (q.m.) MEXICO (no state data).
    • Norton, 1868c: 9 (s.w.).
    • Combination in Atta: Roger, 1863b: 35;
    • combination in Atta (Archeatta): Gonçalves, 1942: 343.
    • Junior synonym of fervens: Roger, 1863b: 35; Mayr, 1865: 81; Forel, 1885a: 362; Mayr, 1886d: 442; Dalla Torre, 1893: 152; Forel, 1899c: 33.
    • Subspecies of insularis: Emery, 1913b: 259; Emery, 1924d: 354.
    • Status as species: Mayr, 1863: 438; Norton, 1868a: 66; Norton, 1868c: 9; Wheeler, W.M. 1907c: 703; Wheeler, W.M. 1934f: 140; Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 34; Gonçalves, 1942: 343; Borgmeier, 1950d: 261; Smith, M.R. 1951a: 832; Smith, M.R. 1958c: 138; Borgmeier, 1959b: 351 (redescription); Smith, M.R. 1967: 363; Kempf, 1972a: 27; Hunt & Snelling, 1975: 22; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1413; Cherrett & Cherrett, 1989: 53; Bolton, 1995b: 76; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 257.


Female. Length 8-9 lines. Obscurely ferruginous, nearly black;closely resembling Atta cephalotes, but the thorax is more elongate; the second node of the abdomen wider, with the lateral angels produced and acute; the base of the abdomen truncated, the first segment longer than broad; in other respects resembling Atta cephalotes, but more hairy or downy.

Male. In size and form resembling the male of Atta cephalotes but of a uniform pale reddish yellow; the second abdominal node much wider.

The insect described as Atta laevigata is probably the worker of this species; in the Museum are several specimens from Mexico.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Alatorre-Bracamontes, C.E. and M Vasquez-Bolanos. 2010. Lista comentada de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) del norte de México. Dugesiana 17(1):9-36
  • Author Unknown. 2004. Mirmecofauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) comu?n del estero “El Salado” y Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Me?xico. Dugesiana 11(1):13-20.
  • Cancino, E.R., D.R. Kasparan, J.M.A. Coronado Blanco, S.N. Myartseva, V.A. Trjapitzin, S.G. Hernandez Aguilar and J. Garcia Jimenez. 2010. Himenópteros de la Reserva “El Cielo”, Tamaulipas, México. Dugesiana 17(1):53-71
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  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
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  • Fortanelli Martinez, J., and M. E. Servin Montoya. 2002. Desechos de hormiga arriera (Atta mexicana Smith), un abono organico para la produccion horticola. Terra Latinoamericana 20: 153-160.
  • Gonçalves C. R. 1942. Contribuiça~o para o conhecimento do gênero Atta Fabr., das formigas saúvas. Bol. Soc. Bras. Agron. 5: 333-358.
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  • Mico, E., A.B.T. Smith, and M.A. Moron. 2000. New Larval Descriptions for Two Species of Euphoria Burmeister (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae: Cetoniini: Euphoriina) with a Key to the Known Larvae and a Review of the Larval Biology. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93:795-802
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  • Murguia-Gonzalez J., O. R Leyva-Ovalle, M. E. Galindo-Tovar, I. Landero-Torres, R. C. Llarena-Hernandez, M. A. Garcia-Martinez. 2018. New records of ants for Oaxaca, Mexico: Their agricultural importance in sugarcane crops. Agrociencia 52: 379-391.
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