The Ants of Africa
Genus Messor
Messor galla (Mayr)

Messor galla (Mayr)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Ethiopia (Stenamma (Messor) barbarum, L. ssp caduca Motsch., var galla n. var., Emery, 1895a: 179 [Messor caducus (Formica caduca, Victor, 1839: 47) has the type location Russia]; Stenamma barbarum var. galla, Mayr, 1904b: 5, worker; Finzi, 1939a: 155, queen & male) - see below
subspecies obscurus (Menozzi, 1939c: 101, nomen nudum; Messor galla var. obscurus Sants. in litt., Menozzi & Consani, 1952: 61, worker; Menozzi, 1939c refers to Emery 1921f: 73 but Messor barbarus ssp galla is listed on page 70 and the name obscurus does not appear at all) from Ethiopia - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0913183
junior synonyms
airensis (M. galla, variety airensis, n. var., Bernard, 1950b: 286, worker & queen) from Niger - no images on Antweb (January 2015)
latinoda (Messor barbarus L. stirps latinoda n. st., Santschi, 1917e: 93, illustrated, soldier & worker) from East Africa - http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?code=casent0913179
nobilis (Messor galla Em. stirps nobilis n. st., Santschi, 1928f: 201, worker & queen) from Ethiopia
rufula (M. barbarus race semirufus var rufa, Forel, 1910c: 250, worker; renamed M. barbarus race semirufus var rufula, Forel, 1918b: 156; Finzi, 1939a: 162, worker) from Ethiopia - light orange-red form - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?name=casent0907718
unavailable names
armata (Messor barbarus galla Emery var. armata n., Emery, 1922c: 98, worker) from Ghana, no location - see below
triempressa (Messor barbarus L., stirps galla Em. var. triempressa n. var., Santschi, 1917e: 92, worker; as triimpressa, Santschi, 1930a: 58, queen and male, from Mali) from Chad and Senegal, at Casamance, collector Clavaux - near black form - see http://www.antweb.org/specimenImages.do?name=casent0913182

(see Bolton, 1982; 1995) .


{Messor galla}Emery's (1895a) brief description is at {original description}. Mayr's (1904b) description is at {original description}. Forel's (1910c) description of rufa (renamed rufula, Forel 1918b) is at {original description}. Santschi's (1917e) illustrated description of latinoda and triimpressa is at {original description}. Emery (1922c) reviewed the species and described armata; this is at {original description}. Santschi's (1928f) description of nobilis is at {original description}. Santschi's (1930a: 58) description of the male and queen of triimpressa is at {original description}. Bernard's (1950b) description of airensis is at {original description}. Menozzi & Consani's (1952) note and description of obscurus is at {original description} - Consani added a footnote that he felt it was synonymous with the type. Bolton's modern description (1982) is at {original description}.

WORKER - HW 2.4 (medium worker) to >3.70 (large) (Bolton, 1982: 349, not illustrated). TL ca 4-12 mm (J-m K). Dorsum of propodeum with one or more pairs of standing hairs; dorsum of head smooth except for rugulose mid-dorsal strip. A large red-headed (wine red or brownish red) species, alitrunk often darker (Collingwood, 1985).

Note Messor collingwoodi from Niger and Mali is similar but with the head coarsely and densely reticulate-punctate.

Mayr (1904b) reported it from Khartoum and White Nile, Sudan, collected by Trägårdh, with notes on the habits.

Collections reported by Bolton (1982) include:- Senegal, at Dakar (W.L. Brown; N.H.L. Krauss); Ivory Coast, at Korhogo (R. Lucius) and Ferkéssédougou (J. Lévieux); Ghana, at Lara (W. Cook), Bolgatanga and Tumu (P. M. Room), Tamale (Anipare), Navrongo (C.A. Collingwood), Dawhwenya (C.A. Collingwood; D. Leston), Nyankpala, Prampram, Achimota, Nungua (all by W. Belfield), and Accra (C.A. Buckman); Nigeria, at Kalkala (F.D. Golding), Illela (Lelean), Katsina (J.T. Medler), Zaria (A.S. Ahman) and Maiduguri (E.R. Ross & K. Lorenzen).

Wheeler (1922) listed other collections at Senegal (Dakar and Thiès, by F. Silvestri, and Longa (or Louga)).

Lévieux & Diomande (1978) reported findings on its food sources in Ivory Coast, where it is a species of the Sudan savannah in the north of the country. Although it appears to compete with Messor regalis their work showed that galla is strictly nocturnal, and mostly feeds on the seeds of short or medium grasses, with an area of some 1000 m² from the nest and prefers open ground. M. regalis is diurnal and mostly utilises a tall grass species. Thus, the species are able to live alongside each other but separated by time and food resources, between them utilising the three most common grass species. M. galla forages over an area of some 1000m².


{Messor galla type}The photomontage of the type major worker is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent0904127.

Bolton (1982) noted the range of colouration and this is shown in the various specimens; this, the armata (below), and, those in the fresh collections, listed and on the linked pages.


{Messor galla armata}The photomontage of the type major worker of armata is collated from http://www.antweb.org/specimen.do?name=casent09041280.


Oxford University Museum specimens

Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
72
2012
Thiés
14°45'N
17°03'W
Sindia
Ensa (S. saiche) tube 01
Range of workers + 1 male
7 + 2 unmounted
7
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
73
21.vi.2012
Doyene-KS
14°46'N
17°07'W
Sébikotane
S. saiche
tube 02 Range of workers
7 + 4 unmounted
7
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Senegal
Lamine Diamé
74
2012
Thiés
14°45'N
17°03'W
Sindia
Ensa (S. saiche) tube 01
Range of workers

3
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.

Burkina Faso
David King
King 92
8.ii.2009
Bazoule
12.19.30° N
001.42.55° W
elev 331 m; scrub savanna, sandy soil, near a lake; crater nest in ground
1
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Chad
David King
King 01-05

12.ix.2006
N'Djamena
12°07'12" N
15°01'25"E
elev 307 m; large crater like nest with columns foraging area about 10 m away;
foraging mid-morning; later in day there was little foraging
6
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Chad
Yves Braet

1-20.iii.2012
Zakouma N.P.
10°53′36″ N
19°49′19″ E
421 m
major and minors

3
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Mali
David King
King 35

25.viii.2007
Bamako
12°34.51' N
7°56.39' W
363 m asl; nest in soil; active in early and middle of the day; retreated to nest in afternoon thunderstorm
11
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Togo
Aïkpé Mensah

26.vii.2010
10°44.37 N
000°18.49 E
Savane à Dapaong
3
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Benin
J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2995
7.xi.2012
Parakou
9°20'47'' N
02°38'31'' E
walking on trails on the ground (in glade among mango trees)
Polymorphic, range of workers

6
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.01

2009
Nyala
12°2'11" N
24°52'37"E
South Darfour, West Sudan
1
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.03

2009
Nyala
12°2'11" N
24°52'37"E
South Darfour, West Sudan
1
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.04

2009
Nyala
12°2'11" N
24°52'37"E
South Darfour, West Sudan
3
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.05

2009
Al Fasher
13°37'50" N
25°21'0" E
Darfour, West Sudan
2

Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.07

2009
Sennar
13°33' N
33°37' E
Haeva Field School; elev -125 m bsl
2

Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
2009.08

2009
Arkaweit
18°41'60" N
37°0'0" E
East Sudan
3
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
A Omer
S 1-19
2005-6
El Obeid
13.1833333 N
30.2166667 E

2
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
Awatif Omer
2013.02.35
2013
Abu Hijar
12˚52' N
34˚0' E
media & minor workers
4
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
Awatif Omer
2013.02.38
Damazeen
11˚47'09" N
34˚20'12" E
major workers
2
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Sudan
Z Mahmoud
2009-67
14.iii.2009
Al Gedarf
14°66'37.54" N
35°34'36.65" E
Hand collected
2
{album}
Messor galla
B Taylor det.
Ethiopia
A Pauly

1-10.x.2012
Abijata N.P.
7°30' N
38°30' E
1635 m
Yellow pan trap
Media 3 & 4 workers

2
{album}

{Messor galla polymorphism}Photomontages of polymorphism from N'Djamena, Chad, 12°07'12"N 15°01'25"E, elev 307 m; 12.ix.2006; collector David King.

Polymorphism of western specimens, from Chad, Mali, Niger and Togo and Polymorphism of specimens from Sudan Note the eastern forms appear to be consistently darker.

Contents
© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.

href="messor_galla.htm"