The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY DORYLINAE - Genus Dorylus Subgenus Dorylus
Genus Dorylus and Key

Subgenus Dorylus sensu stricto Fabricius (1793: 365)

Diagnostic Features - Antennae 11-jointed, funiculi short and all joints thick; except apical segment, which is longer than wide. Pygidium impressed with sharp margins.

Having perused the several descriptions given or translated by Arnold (1915), it seems to me that the number of species would be reduced somewhat if a modern revision was made.

Santschi's (1910g) gave a collection of drawings of male heads, this is at {original description}. * = type images available

Male only - TL 23-24 mm; short mandibles; dark red-black *
Uganda/Zare - alluaudi
Male only - my photos of possible males- transferred here from Anomma West Africa & Congo Basin - atratus
Male only - TL 25 mm; submatt, finely & densely puncturate; unicolourous clear red *
Zare - gaudens
Male only - TL 22-24; mandible apparently quite long and sharp *. Schoning (2008) have recognised this as the male (senior synonym) of D. (Anomma) gerstaeckeri and D. (Anomma) lamottei Western Africa - gribodoi
Male only - TL 21 mm; head, pedicel and gaster dark brown, alitrunk and appendages lighter red-brown to yellowish *
West Africa - mandibularis
Male only - TL 20-22 mm; dark brown *
Western Africa - moestus

Male only - TL 20 mm; yellowish-brown *
Congo, Uganda - morio
Male only - TL 25-27 mm; shiny dorsally, sides of alitrunk matt; rust, gaster darker *
Zare - schoutedeni
Male only - TL not given; mandible shorter; dark brown, head more red-brown *
Zare - stadelmanni
Male only - TL 27 mm; dark brown-yellow *
Zare - staudingeri
Male only - TL 27 mm; dull orange-brown *
Sahel (Congo, Mali) - sudanicus
Queen only - TL 32 mm; highly polished; ferruginous yellow South Africa - faurei
Queen only - TL 34 mm; finely puncturate and somewhat dull; light rust-red South Africa - furcatus
Queen only - TL 30 mm; (brevipennis TL 41; affinis TL 42.5) Ghana - ghanensis

Subgenus Dorylus key to males.


Note - Kronauer et al. (2007: 4) claim that "the workers of Dorylus spininodis (along with those of D. politus, which could not be included in this study) were recognized as clearly distinct from the Dorylus s.s species of the "D. affinis species group" because they lack caudally projecting spines at the frontal carinae". The D. spininodis specimens I have from Gabon (the Yves Braet collection) display the characters in Emery's brief description and drawings (Emery 1910c) and have the, albeit fairly blunt, "spines".


Provisional key to major workers based mainly on original descriptions

See also the Subgenus Dorylus comparison of the gastral apices.

1 TL major 10-11 mm 2
-- TL major < 9 mm 3
2 {Dorylus affinis}TL major 10-11 mm; HL one-third greater than HW; petiole longer than wide, trapezoidal in dorsal view with posterior wider; colour chestnut (castaneous) .
. Dorylus brevinodosus worker. Pan-African - affinis
-- {Dorylus aegyptiacus} Senegal west across Sahel to Middle East - aegyptiacus
-- {Dorylus aggressor major}TL major ca 11 mm; head rectangular, one-third longer than wide, sides parallel and wide with posterior angles lobate; gaster and legs with short but distinct pubescence; head polished and shiny, propodeum and petiole densely puncturate and matt; colour black, although much of head and appendages dark red Zare - aggressor
-- {Dorylus depilis possible media}Poorly described with no size given but apparently similar to affinis but petiole more curved and wider than long; specimen shown as a likely candidate for the species Pan-African - depilis
. TL major < 9 mm .
3 TL major < 6 mm 4
-- TL major 7-9 mm 5
4 {Dorylus bequaerti major}TL major ca 5 mm; petiole broader than long; whole body sharply and evenly puncturate; colour rich ferruginous red, gaster somewhat paler; petiole ventrally only slightly convex with no process of any shape Zare - bequaerti
-- {Dorylus (D.) striatidens casamance}TL 3.5-6.6 mm (Casamance, Senegal); head elongated, mandibles short, slightly arcuate, shiny and striated, basally finely reticulate (minors with more strongly striate mandibles); petiole longer than wide; colour close to affinis but sculpturation feebler (more like politus) .
. {short description of image} Senegal - striatidens
. TL major 7-9 mm .
5 {Dorylus braunsi head}Head distinctly narrowest posteriorly; frontal carinae with distinct spines at level of antennal insertions
TL major ca 8 mm; sides of head strongly curved into posterior points; vertex of head weakly puncturate; colour darker chestnut than helvolus
.
. {short description of image} Western Africa - braunsi
-- Head not significantly narrowing posteriorly; frontal carinae with distinct spines at level of antennal insertions not always present 6
6 Petiole with ventral process an elongated anterior spine 7
-- Petiole with ventral process an elongated lamina, may be angular posteriorly 8
7 {Dorylus (D) sp B}TL major ca 7 mm; head with very distinctly parallel sides; sub-petiolar process long rearward pointed; colour red-brown West Africa - ?spininodis punctus / species B
-- {Dorylus spininodis major}TL major 6.5 mm; elongated head; subpetiolar process spiniform (but reduced in var. punctus); strong dense puncturation (close to politus) .
. {short description of image} Pan-African - spininodis
8 {Dorylus helvolus pedicel}TL major ca 8 mm; smaller and more strongly punctured on head than affinis; petiole node quadrate-globose, with ventral process a wide angle, truncate posteriorly; colour chestnut (castaneous); whole body shiny, evenly and distinctly punctured, punctures largest on head .
. {short description of image} Southern Africa (dubiously West Africa, may be striatidens) - helvolus
-- Petiole node widest posteriorly 9
9 {Dorylus (D.) politus}Petiole node distinctly longer than wide; TL major 7 mm, HL 2.1 X HW, elongated head, with slightly arcuate sides; petiole with an elongated ventral lamina .
. Dorylus politus Cameroun & Zare - politus
-- {Dorylus brevipennis}Petiole node shorter than wide; TL major 8.5 mm; head about one-fifth longer than wide; petiole with ventral process posteriorly produced into a short spine; petiole quite shiny; colour chestnut (castaneous) as helvolus .
. {Dorylus brtevipennis} Pan-African - brevipennis
Contents Genus Dorylus and Key
2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

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