The Ants of Africa
Genus Messor
Messor cephalotes (Emery)

Messor cephalotes (Emery)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ethiopia (Stenamma (Messor) barbarum, L. subsp. cephalotes n. subsp., Emery, 1895a: 179, worker; Menozzi, 1939c: 102, queen & male) Arussi Galla - see below
junior synonym plinii (Messor Plinii n. sp., Santschi, 1912b: 165, soldier & worker) from Kenya, Nakuru, Ch. Alluaud, 1904 -
see Bolton (1982: 346, not illustrated) .

{Messor cephalotes}Emery's (1895a) description is at {original description}. Menozzi's (1939c) description of the queen and male is at {original description}. Santschi's (1912b) description of plinii is at {original description}. Bolton's modern description (1982: 346, not illustrated) is at {original description}.

Note: Bolton stated that "cephalotes is one of the only two known African forms in which the gaster is strongly sculptured". The images below do not support that statement, the sculpture at the base of the gaster is of short fine striations. Santschi (1912b) wrote "the gaster is smooth and shiny save towards the base which is finely reticulate and submatt".

{Messor cephalotes}The photomontage of the type major worker is collated from

Messor cepahalotes major}I originally had the top photograph as taken in Kenya by Jean-michel Kersaudy of Nice, France". I was in error as Jean-michel has written (October 2007) - "You said on your website that the picture of Messor cephalotes I sent you by e-mail some years ago was taken by me in Kenya, no the picture was taken by Jane BURTON near Lake Nakuru (and as I said to you this photo is copyright Bruce Coleman Agency). The total length of Messor cephalotes is 5 to 18 mm (HW = 5.6 mm), 13 mm is the length of the first major workers, it's a very polymorphic ant I have observed during two travels in Kenya near Lake Naivasha. I send to you two pictures of a specimen of 15 mm (found alive in April 2002 without antenna) [below]." The latter (shown in my photomontage) was taken by Jean-michel, in April 2002; as was his photograph, below, of a nest of Messor cephalotes at Marula Farm near Lake Naivasha.

{Messor cephalotes nest}

{Messor cephalotes}The photomontage of a worker (probably a media) from Kenya (not listed by Bolton, 1982: 345) is collated from

2007, 2008, 2013, 2015 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.