The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY FORMICINAE - Genus Oecophylla
Contents - Formicinae - FORMICINAE Introduction

Genus Oecophylla F.Smith (1860b: 101)

A monogeneric tribe OECOPHYLLINI.

The genus definition by F Smith (1860b) is at {original description}. Note that Smith notes F. virescens as found in "Australia and South Africa".


What one might call the traditional view of the genus is as follows -

Colloquially known as weaver ants. There is only one species in Africa, another, Oecophylla smaragdina Fabricius (1775: 828), is found in Asia and Australasia. Wheeler (1922: 227) gave simple criteria for separating the two species as -

{Oecophylla smaragdina pedicel} Oecophylla smaragdina with the petiole very slender, its stigmata seen from above very prominent, its ventral surface nearly straight or very feebly convex in profile.

{Oecophylla longinoda pedicel} Oecophylla longinoda s.s. has a stouter and higher petiole, with the stigmata not prominent from above, and the ventral surface strongly convex in profile.

{Oecophylla smaragdina} The petiole differences are clear and the alitrunk is more domed in smaragdina (compare also the drawing from Emery, 1925b).


The reality is that both the Asian-Australasian and African populations of Oecophylla genus members appear to be made up of more than one and possibly several species. My concern here, however, is with the African species and it is for someone else to tackle the Asian-Australasian members.

The African situation, therefore is set out on the "Oecophylla longinoda" variability page

Contents Subfamily Formicinae
2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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