The Ants of Africa
Genus Dorylus - Subgenus Anomma

Dorylus (Anomma) kohli Wasmann

KOHLI group - key characteristics - head near square, widest at about 1/3 of length, posterior margin a shallow scallop, corners rounded

Dorylus (Anomma) kohli Wasmann

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type location Zaïre (Dorylus (Anomma) kohli n. sp., Wasmann, 1904b: 669, workers; Santschi, 1921c: 114, soldier) St Gabriel, Stanleyville [Kisangani], P Kohl - see below
minor (Dorylus (Anomma) Kohli Wasm. v. minor n. var., Santschi, 1911g: 206, worker) from Angola, collected at Benguela, by J Cruchet - see
chapini (Dorylus (Anomma) kohli variety chapini, new variety, Wheeler, 1922: 45) from Zaïre - see below.
frenisyi (Dorylus (Anomma) Kohli Wasm. v. Frenisyi n. var., Forel, 1916: 402, worker) from Zaïre (Congo), Kohl (Raignier & van Boven, 1955) - see below.
workers and queen known .

Note - the Antweb photographs (released ix.2012) of Dorylus erraticus F Smith, 1865, appear to show that matches the media worker of what I see as kohli from Guinea. If correct erraticus could be argued as the senior synonym.

{Dorylus (Anomma) kohli minor}Wasmann's description (1904b), of worker TL 3-8 mm, is at {original description}. Santschi (1921c) gave a description of the major - {original description}. Santschi's (1911g) description of minor is at {original description}. Boven (1968: 731) described the queen and gave notes; this is at {original description}.

Raignier & van Boven summarized the descriptions as - head practically rectangular, wider and a little more scalloped posteriorly; petiole slightly longer than wide (Santschi). The worker media (Wasmann) head narrowing towards the rear; almost matt dorsally; petiole as wide as long and equally wide at both ends. Worker minima (3 mm) with 11-segmented funiculus, petiole as long as wide at its base but narrowing towards the front. Majors red-brown, red-yellow paling with smaller morphs. Forel (1909b) noted that Dorylus kohli was more robust, shinier and with shorter appendages than emeryi.Wheeler (1922) gave a description of chapini (given below).

Raignier & van Boven (1955) examined the types of frenisyi and considered them probably no more than the minor morphs of kohli s.s. From Forel's (1916) very brief description, with a TL 4-8.5 mm, etc., I agree.

In their own field work, Raignier & van Boven made one collection of kohli s.s., with 5 workers, TL 11-3 mm; major - CI 91, petiole as wide as long, scape width/length = 22 (relatively slender); practically glabrous and red to red-brown; anterior of head matt and blackish, rest shining, mandibles curved, semi-matt and with a basal tooth which lodged into the space below the antennal socket; the occiput was shiny with very sparse puncturation. They felt a key separation from congolensis is the mandible in kohli being longer relative to the head length, index > 160 ; ca 150 in congolensis.

{Dorylus kohli}Also known from Congo (Brazzaville, by A. Weiss), Zaire (Akenge, Niangara and Avakubi by Lang & Chapin; also St. Gabriel by Kohl) and Angola (in Wheeler, 1922). Note the variety congolensis Santschi, listed by Wheeler (1922) was later raised to full species status by Boven & Lévieux (1970), Dorylus (Anomma) congolensis, but has its type location as Congo, see above.

The original discoverer, Father Kohl, described the activities of kohli, noting that it seemed to be primarily hypogaeic, foraging below the soil surface, unlike the more common epigaeic habit of (Anomma) driver ants. The Zaïre findings also were from underneath surface cover. Raignier & van Boven (1955) confirmed the species migrated in a primarily subterranean way but found the nests opened with craters and the foragers dispersed on the surface, using narrow semi-covered trails.

Boven (1968) described the queen found in association with workers from Mayidi, Congo, collector Rev. Fr. A. Raignier, 27.ii.1959. He noted the major worker has a near rectangular head ; the mandibles are curved, semi-matt and with a basal tooth. The colour of kohli is the same as Dorylus (Anomma) congolensis but the sculpture is slightly more matt. The mandible index (MI = head length/mandible length) at 1.67 compares with MI 1.83 with the congolensis major.

{Dorylus kohli Nigeria} Nigeria specimens (Taylor, 1980b: 11). WORKERS. TL 9.75-4.18. At least four morphs; largest HL 2.28, HW 2.34, SL 1.20, PW 1.20, petiole length 0.68
Colour very dark red-brown, lateral alitrunk and legs lighter, anterior of head and almost all of gaster darkest areas. Minor morphs more uniformly coloured, the smaller the morph the lighter the colour, with the smallest more yellow-brown. All over sculpturation of very fine reticulation; on major head extremely faint but enough to make appearance glossy rather than polished. Erect hairs on the posterior margins of gastral segments and subpetiole. Head widest just before anterior margin, and with posterodorsal lateral triangular tubercles. Antennal scapes thickening to a broad apex. Mandible highly polished with a long acute apical tooth and large triangular basal tooth, smooth margin in between, and sparse long setae on the inner margin . Clypeal margin near straight but slightly produced centrally and laterally; with a long medial seta, other hairs short. Promesonotum only slightly convex dorsally. Subpetiolar process broad based and triangular, with a slight rearward curve.
I found it nesting in the ground and foraging widely on the surface at the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Idi Ayunre. Also known from Old Calabar (H W Bates, in Forel, 1911, and Wheeler, 1922).

{Dorylus kohli type major)The photomontage of a type worker is collated from From the head size and mandible form, with hints of a subapical tooth, this probably is a media 1 worker and not the major form.

{Dorylus kohli type minor)The photomontage of the type minima (?) worker is collated from

Oxford University Museum specimens

Dorylus (Anomma) kohli
B Taylor det.

J-F Vayssieres
RVA 2894
09°22'13'' N
02°40'16'' E
Mangifera indica orchard
Quadrat 4, tube 3, variété: Gouverneur; ground nesting
Major workers


{Dorylus kohli major}Major worker. Photomontage of a major worker from Benin, J-F Vayssieres (RVA 2894); exactly matches the Santschi "type" above

Wheeler (1922) had the following description of chapini.

Dorylus (Anomma) kohli variety chapini, new variety.
This is a very distinct form, represented by a series of two dozen workers from Kisangani, Zaïre (Stanleyville; Lang and Chapin), without further data.
TL measure 1.5 to 6 mm. The largest specimens are probably not the maxima forms as they have a preapical mandibular tooth. The body is only slightly shining and very similar in sculpture to the preceding variety except that the punctures are coarser, sharper and piligerous. They are evenly distributed over the dorsal surface of the head and pronotum, similar but smaller and shallower on the propodeum and gaster, and very indistinct or absent on the petiole. Mandibles and legs smooth and shining. The head, pro- and mesonotum, gaster, scapes, and legs are covered with short, subappressed, yellow hairs arising from the punctures and forming a conspicuous, rather abundant, coarse pubescence. The body is brownish ferruginous, the head slightly darker, and appendages paler, the mandibles blackish. The head is scarcely longer than broad in front, the sides very feebly convex and converging to the posterior border, which is only slightly excised and about four-fifths as long as the anterior border. The petiole is as broad as long. The smaller workers closely resemble the larger, except that the head is a little longer and the colour paler.

{Dorylus kohli frenisyi major} The photomontage is of a major worker of frenisyi collated from

{Dorylus kohli chapini polymorphism}This photomontage of chapini cotypes is collated from The Smithsonian Institute images at The main images appear to be of a media 4 specimen and is similar to those shown above.

© 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
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