The Ants of Africa
Genus Oecophylla
Oecophylla rubriceps Forel - new status

fusca-group - two species - fusca & rubriceps

Oecophylla rubriceps Forel - new status

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location - " Belgian Congo" (Oecophylla smaragdina F. r. fusca Em. v rubriceps n.v., Forel, 1913h: 354, worker), collected at Kasai Kondue by Luja, Mondombe, by R Mayné, and at Mayumbé, by De Briey
worker only descibed .

Forel's (1913h) description is at {original description}. In translation - TL 7.8-8.0 mm; smaller than the type (of fusca) and of another colour, partly contrasting, the head being red; thorax black-brown; petiole, gaster and femora dark brown, near black; scapes brown; funiculi, articulations and tarsi yellowish. Head smaller. Forel noted that it formed an intermediate between fusca and longinoda [regarding both as races of smargadina] and went against Emery (1899) who described fusca as a distinct species; writing that he (Forel) believed the variety rubriceps "authorises me" to consider fusca as a race of smaragdina.

Wheeler's description (1922) was -

WORKER - black or dark brown, the head dull, blood red, often darker laterally and posteriorly, tips of antennal funiculi and second to fourth tarsal joints pale brownish yellow. Gaster in specimens from some colonies brown, the posterior margins of the segments paler.
FEMALE - dark brown, almost black, the gaster very little paler, the bands at the bases of the segments velvety black; tarsi and tips of funiculi pale brown. Wings even darker than in the variety annectens.
MALE - black; mandibles, legs, and funiculi piceous; wings paler than in the female but darker than in the male annectens.
Described from many specimens from two colonies taken at Kisangani [Stanleyville] (Lang & Chapin). The workers of one colony agree closely with Forel's description of the types from Zaïre (the Belgian Congo) in having the gaster nearly or quite concolorous with the thorax, and some of the larger specimens are scarcely distinguishable from the variety fusca; the workers of the other colony have the gaster rather pale brown and, therefore, connect the variety with annectens, which seems to be a more stable form than rubriceps.

{Oecophylla rubriceps}The photomontage of the type major worker is collated from

{Oecophylla rubriceps}The photomontage of the same type major worker but colour corrected

Oxford University Museum specimens

Oecophylla rubriceps
B Taylor det.
G Debout & A Dalecky
Cameroon 120

3°55' N
13°45' E
692 m asl
on cocoa tree


{Oecophylla rubriceps major} Montage of major/media size range - the photomontages are of workers from Cameroun, Kouedjina; (McKey Wolbachia project, Cameroon 120), on cocoa tree.

{Oecophylla rubriceps minor}
© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.