Contents Contents The Ants of Egypt
Messor rufotestaceus (Foerster)

Messor rufotestaceus (Foerster)

return to key  Type location Algeria (Formica rufotestacea, Foerster, 1850b: 489, worker; Messor rufotestaceus Foerst., Emery, 1908e: 439, illustrated full description, major & minor workers & queen; Forel, 1910a: male) - no type images on Antweb (March 2019)
junior synonyms
thoracica (Atta thoracica n. sp. Mayr, 1862: 742, illustrated, worker) from Syria - no images on Antweb (March 2019)
gracilinodis (Aphaenogaster gracilinodis n. sp., Emery, 1878b: 55, worker) from Syria - no images on Antweb (March 2019)

Perhaps not a Messor at all but as Emery (1875) had, an Aphaenogaster.

{Messor rufotestaceous} {Messor rufotestaceous antenna}Foerster's (1850b) description is at {original description}. Emery (1908e) gave an illustrated (antenna) full description, this is at {original description}. Mayr's (1862) gave a description of thoracicus is at {original description}. Emery's (1878b) description of gracilinodis is at {original description}. Mohamed et al (2001) noted the underside of the head has only moderately curved and straight hairs.

Mayr's thoracicus illustration shows short sharp propodeal teeth; Emery (1908e) wrote of "stumpfen zahnen" = blunt teeth. Thome & Thome (1981b) showed merely angles at the dorsum and declivity junction.

Cagniant (1996a) in his key leads to two species which are essentially yellow-orange, have slender antennae and smooth gasters. One, Aphaenogaster foreli has propodeal spines, the other, which he gave as A. leveillei has no spines.  He noted the latter also as being synonymous with A. pallida laurenti of Santschi (1939d: 69). Significantly both were described from Algeria and appear to match Foerster's description. The Syria locations were added by Emery (1908) who also gave the dimorphism, something that Cagniant appears not to have seen in North African specimens.

Note: The difference and geographical distance between the Algeria type and the Syria-Iran forms suggests that two distinct species may be involved. In the absence of type images it is impossible to resolve.

{Messor rufotestaceus}{Messor rufotestaceous}Egypt records - Wheeler & Mann (1916: 170) ; illustration in Tohmé & Tohmé (1981b); Wadi Gharandel, Sinai; - record in Mohamed et al (2001, illustrated). Sharaf list - material examined: El-Qosseima (North Sinai), 14.iii.1997 (4) M.R.Sharaf; Wadi Digla (Cairo), 13.iii.1955 (2); Wadi Digla (Cairo), 13.iii.1955 (1); Wadi Digla (Cairo), 13.iii.1955 (2); Wadi El-Arbaein, St. Catherine (South Sinai), 19.ii.1999 (1) M.R.Sharaf; Wadi Digla (Cairo), 13.iii.1955 (1) (ASUC).

{Messor rufotestaceus}From Egypt, what appears to be rufotestaceus was illustrated by Savigny (Audouin, J.-V. 1825-27: Plate 20 Fig 16).

{Messor rufotestaceus major} The photomontage is of a major worker from Iran, Roshanak Torabi (36).

{Messor rufotestaceus minor} The photomontage is of a minor worker from Iran, RoshanakTorabi (36).

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