Contents Contents The Ants of Egypt
Key to workers of subfamilies and genera of ants known from Egypt

Key to workers - with subkey sections to Genera where more than one

1 {short description of image}Body with a single reduced or isolated segment (the petiole) between alitrunk and gaster; first gastral segment either entirely confluent with the second or separated from it only by a narrow girdling constriction, and if the latter then the first gastral segment is not markedly reduced in size. 2
-- {short description of image}Body with 2 reduced or isolated segments (the petiole and postpetiole) between alitrunk and gaster; either both segments are much reduced, or the second is somewhat larger than the first, and if the latter then the postpetiole is distinctly smaller than the first gastral segment and separated from it by an extensive, deep girdling constriction. 6
2 {short description of image}Apex of gaster with a semicircular to circular acidopore formed from the hypopygium, this structure often projecting as a nozzle and fringed with setae; sometimes the acidopore is concealed by a projection of the pygidium, but if so the antennal insertions are located well behind the posterior clypeal margin; sting absent, replaced by an acid-projecting system of which the acidopore is the orifice. FORMICINAE - ten Genera - subkey F
-- Apex of gaster with hypopygium lacking an acidopore; sting present or absent; when present it is usually visible but when reduced or vestigial (or present but completely retracted) the hypopygium forms a smooth posterior margin (not modified as above), and the antennal sockets abut the posterior margin of the clypeus. 3
3 {Stigmatomma normandi}Pedicel with a very broad connection to the gaster, so that petiole is without a distinct posterior face AMBLYOPONINAE - not recorded from Egypt but possibly present - Genus Stigmatomma
-- Pedicel with a narrow connection to the gaster, so that petiole has a distinct posterior face 4
4 Dorylus oraniensis{short description of image}Pygidium armed with a single pair of short, posterolaterally situated or a marginal row of short spines or peg-like; gastral spiracles 3-5 (= abdominal spiracles 5-7) exposed, not overlapped nor concealed by the tergites of the preceding segments; metapleural gland orifice overhung and concealed from above by a cuticular lip or flange, the latter extending obliquely upwards and forwards on the metapleuron as a rim or ridge; helcium sternite convex and bulging ventrally, visible in profile; propodeal spiracle high on side and situated far forward on the sclerite, the spiracular orifice subtended by a longitudinal impression; propodeal lobes absent; armament of pygidium consisting solely of a single pair of posteriorly directed short spines that are situated posterolaterally; promesonotal suture always distinct. DORYLINAE - one Genus Dorylus
-- Pygidium and hypopygium both unarmed; pygidium transversely convex and rounded, lacking either a posterolateral pair of short spines or a marginal row of short spines or peg-like teeth; hypopygium with its lateral margins smooth and without spines. 5
5 {short description of image}Sting vestigial or absent, in any case not visible without dissection. Tergite of helcium with an extensive U- or V-shaped emargination dorsally in its anterior margin (visible if gaster slightly depressed). DOLICHODERINAE - three Genera - subkey D
-- {Pachycondyla sennaarensis}Sting present and functional, often projecting in dead specimens; in many species the sting shaft is visible through the cuticle of the gastral apex ventrally even when fully retracted; tergite of helcium entire, its anterior margin dorsally without a U- or V-shaped emargination; pretarsal claws with a tooth, or sometimes several teeth, on the inner curvature behind the apical point; frontal lobes present and horizontally aligned, partially to completely concealing the antennal sockets; antennal sockets a notable distance behind the anterior margin of the head, the clypeus well developed in front of them; spiracles of gastral segments 4 and 5 concealed PONERINAE - four Genera- subkey P
-- Pedicel of two segments distinctly separated from the gaster --
6 Eyes absent or at most represented by a single ommatidium or small, featureless blister. 7
-- Eyes present and conspicuous, with many distinct ommatidia . 8
7 {short description of image}Promesonotal suture present and very conspicuous in dorsal view; usually deeply impressed and always freely flexible in fresh specimens; pygidium large and conspicuous; spiracles of gastral segments 3 and 4 concealed by preceding tergites; sternite of helcium concealed, not visible in profile; gaster without deep girdling constrictions between the segment. None presently known from Egypt but quite common in Western North Africa and southern Europe LEPTANILLINAE
-- {short description of image}Promesonotal suture vestigial to absent, usually the latter but very rarely a faint transverse line is visible in dorsal view; suture never impressed nor flexible; antenna with 8-10 segments; spiracle of postpetiole behind midlength of tergite; gastral spiracles circular; first- gastral segment with a narrow neck-like constriction behind the articulation with the postpetiole. AENICTINAE - one Genus Aenictus
-- {short description of image}Minute ants, TL 1.3-1.5 mm; antennae 10-segmented, with two-segmented club; clypeus projecting back between frontal carinae; pale yellow MYRMICINAE - one Genus Solenopsis - subkey M
8 {short description of image}Pygidium transversely flattened or impressed and armed laterally, posteriorly, or both, with a row of short spines or peg-like teeth that usually project vertically. CERAPACHYINAE - one Genus Cerapachys
-- Pygidium transversely rounded, may be very small, not armed laterally or posteriorly with a row of short spines or peg-like teeth. 9
9 {short description of image}Frontal lobes present, horizontal to somewhat elevated; the antennal sockets are always partially or completely covered by the frontal lobes in full-face view and are never completely exposed; promesonotal suture usually completely absent; rarely with a vestigial remnant of the suture in the form of a feeble, transversely arched impression in dorsal view, but pronotum and mesonotum always fused and immobile with respect to each other. MYRMICINAE - ten Genera - subkey M
-- {short description of image}Frontal lobes either absent or very reduced and vertical; in either case the antennal sockets are completely exposed in full-face view and are not at all concealed or covered by the frontal lobes.Promesonotal suture present, freely flexible; hind tibia with a conspicuous pectinate apical spur; posterior margin of median portion of clypeus not projecting back between antennal sockets. PSEUDOMYRMECINAE - one Genus Tetraponera
D Subkey to Dolichoderinae .
D1 Petiole squamiform and erect or moderately angled forward D2
-- Petiole a low inclined scale with no node D3
D2 {short description of image}Petiole squamiform; very small eyes, no ocelli; in full face head with strongly convex sides; clypeus not incised medially Bothriomyrmex
-- {short description of image}Petiole a thick scale, angled slightly forward; clypeus impressed medially Dolichoderus
D3 {short description of image}Propodeal spiracles ventral and near hind coxae; in dorsal view, gaster with only four visible segments; the fifth segment facing ventrally; clypeus may be incised medially Tapinoma
-- {short description of image}Propodeal spiracles lateral (but below the dorsum) or ventral, gaster with five visible segments, anal orifice apical Technomyrmex
F Subkey to Formicinae .
F1 Antennae 11-segmented F2
-- Antennae 12-segmented F4
F2 {short description of image}Propodeum armed with a pair of spines, teeth or tubercles Lepisiota
-- Propodeum unarmed, palp formula 6,4 F3
F3 {short description of image}Metanotum distinct Plagiolepis
-- Mandible with 5 teeth, when closed mostly concealed by clypeus; dorsum of head behind clypeus without erect stout setae; eyes set variably around midlength of head; three ocelli distinct; metatibia with a divergent pair of large coarse setae on each side, no median spur; anterior face of gaster with distinct cavity, into which the petiole fits when alitrunk and gaster in horizontal alignmen
F4 Metapleuron with distinct wide orifice for the metapleural gland; antennal sockets close to the posterior margin of the clypeus F5
-- No metapleural gland orifice; antennal sockets well behind the posterior clypeal margin F6
F5 {short description of image}Propodeum with slit-like spiracle, ocelli present; petiole a stout vertical scale or node; maxillary palps elongated Cataglyphis
-- {short description of image}Large conspicuous eyes, dorsal surface with paired coarse setae; petiole a reduced anteriorly inclined scale Paratrechina
F6 {short description of image}Monomorphic; head massive relative to alitrunk; alitrunk not conspicuously contricted; propodeum spiracle round; mesonotum typically convex in profile; petiole scale prominent, erect and with a symmetrical profile Lasius
-- {short description of image}Monomorphic, petiole and propodeum armed Polyrhachis
-- {short description of image}Polymorphic; propodeum unarmed; petiole an unarmed node or scale Camponotus
M Subkey to Myrmicinae .
M1 {short description of image}Antennae 6-segmented; minute TL 1.6-1.7 mm; head distinctively shaped Tramp species not definite from Egypt - Pyramica (Trichoscapa)
-- Antennae with 10-12 segments M2
M2 {short description of image}Antennae 10-segmented with a 2-segmented club; anterior clypeal margin with a single, long, anteriorly projecting median seta at the midpoint of the margin; clypeus strongly longitudinally bicarinate; eyes minute; propodeum always unarmed and rounded; variably polymorphic; small to minute Solenopsis
-- Antennae with 11-12 segments M3
M3 {short description of image}Postpetiole articulated on dorsal surface of first gastral segment; the gaster in dorsal view roughly heart-shaped and capable of reflexion over the alitrunk; petiole dorsoventrally flattened and without a node; antennae 11-segmented. Crematogaster
-- Postpetiole articulated on anterior face of first gastral segment; the gaster in dorsal view not roughly heart-shaped, not capable of reflexion over the alitrunk; petiole not dorsoventrally flattened, with a node of some form. M4
M4 Antennae with apical 4-5 segments elongated and forming no more than a weak club M5
-- Antennae with apical three segments enlarged and forming a distinct club M7
M5 {short description of image}Antennae 11-segmented; eyes set near to mandibles, large and pointed anteroventrally Oxyopomyrmex
-- Antennae 12-segmented; eyes placed medially and not close to mandibles M6
M6 {short description of image}Ventral surface of head with a psammophore; head massive and broad, CI > 90; mandibles massive, their outer margins strongly curved toward the midline; sometimes edentate; antennae 12-segmented; metasternal process large or very large, conspicuous; propodeum without spines; polymorphic (TL 4-12 mm); soil nesting, primarily seed-gathering Messor
-- Aphaenogaster splendidaRelatively large; TL 4-6 mm plus many with bizarre ovoid or elongated necked heads; antennae 12-segmented
Aphaenogaster phillipsi
M7 {short description of image} Median portion of clypeus distinctly longitudinally bicarinate; with a single elongate seta; midpoint of anterior clypeal margin with a single, elongate seta, which projects forward over the mandibles and is usually very conspicuous; median portion of clypeus concave to prominent anteriorly, usually overhanging the mandibles, weakly to acutely bicarinate; lateral portions of clypeus not expanded forward nor fused with the median portion to form a broad, projecting shelf; maxillary palps usually with 1 or 2 segments, rarely more; mandible with 3-5 teeth (usually 4); eyes usually quite small, flat and set forward of midline of face; propodeum usually unarmed, rarely angulate or bidenticulate; small to minute; found in almost all habitats. Monomorium and Trichomyrmex
-- Median portion of clypeus without any carinae or with a distinctive median carina M8
M8 {short description of image} Lateral portions of clypeus flattened and prominent, fused to the raised projecting median portion of the clypeus to form a shelf, which projects forward over the mandibles; frontal lobes separated and median portion of clypeus broadly inserted between them; antennae 12-segmented; scapes short; palp formula 5,3; propodeal lobes low and rounded, not connected to propodeal spines (when present) by broad projecting lamellae; small to minute, largest ca 3 mm. Cardiocondyla
-- Clypeus not projecting forward over the mandibles M9
M9 {short description of image}Dimorphic, with distinctive big-headed soldier morph; antennae 12-segmented with 3-segmented club. Soldiers with mandibles powerfully constructed, armed with 2 large apical teeth followed by a long diastema and then 1 or 2 (rarely 3) basal teeth; 2 to 4 hypostomal teeth usually present on posterior margin of buccal cavity; palp formula 2,2 or 3,2 and clypeus lacking a long, unpaired median seta on the anterior margin. Minors with moderately elongated triangular mandibles, with apical large tooth and a series of small teeth ot denticles. .
. {short description of image} Pheidole
-- Small with near rectangular heads M10
M10 {short description of image}Lateral portions of clypeus raised into a narrow ridge or wall in front of the antennal insertions; median portion of clypeus broad, not bicarinate, broadly inserted between frontal lobes; mandible armed with 2 or 3 enlarged teeth apically, followed by a row of at least 4 smaller denticles, sometimes more; promesonotum in profile without a swollen and dome-like outline. Tetramorium
-- {short description of image}Lateral portions of clypeus not raised; midpoint of anterior clypeal margin without a single, elongate seta; instead usually with a pair of short setae, one on each side of the midpoint; with the alitrunk in profile the mesonotum following the line of the pronotum; dorsum with short stout erect hairs; 12-segmented antennae; arboreal and small. Nesomyrmex
P Subkey to Ponerinae .
P1 Anochetus sedillotiMandible long and linear, in full-face view inserted in the middle of the anterior margin of the head, with an apical armament of 3 teeth arranged in a vertical series not recorded from Egypt but possibly present - Anochetus
-- Mandible linear to triangular, in full-face view inserted at the anterolateral corner of the head and not armed apically with a vertical series of teeth P2
P2 Hypoponera punctatissimaVentral apex of hind tibia, when viewed from in front with the femur at right angle to the body, with a single, large, pectinate spur; without a second, smaller spur in front of the main spur in the direction of observation Hypoponera
-- Ventral apex of hind tibia, when viewed from in front with the femur at right angle to the body, with two spurs, consisting of a large, pectinate spur and a second, smaller spur in front of the main spur in the direction of observation; petiole scale thick and vertical P3
P3 {short description of image}Helcium located very low on the front of the first gastral segment so that the first gastral segment has a long, vertical anterior face in profile; basal portion of mandible with a fovea; palp formula 3,3; relatively large eyes (diameter wider than the scape); and a very deep metanotal suture - subgenus Brachyponera monotypic Brachyponera
-- {short description of image}Helcium located approximately at midheight on the front of the first gastral segment so that the first gastral segment does not have a long, vertical anterior face in profile; sculpture universally of fine, dense shagreening with associated larger punctures not recorded from Egypt but possibly present - Platythyrea
2005, 2006, 2015, 2019 - Brian Taylor CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.