The Ants of Africa
Genus Dorylus - Subgenus Anomma
Dorylus (Anomma) rubellus (Savage)


Dorylus (Anomma) rubellus (Savage)

return to key {link to the Hymenoptera Name Server} Type locality Gabon (Anomma rubella, Savage, 1849: 196, worker; "West Africa" in Bolton, 1995: 180), Mpongive District, west bank of Gaboon River, 15' north of Equator .

{Dorylus rubellus}Savage's (1849) description is at {original description} and {original description} - "Workers, TL 1.75 to 4 lines - 3.80 mm - 8.47 mm; red, subnitida; antennae, coxae, femora and tarsi reddish, towards the margins diaphonous; mandibles less falcate and pointed than arcens". See also {original description}. Emery (1899e: 461) noted receipt of rubellus specimens from Cameroun with sizes ranging from TL 3 mm to giants of 12.5 mm, with HW 3.6 mm; see also {original description}

{Dorylus (Anomma) rubellus} Raignier & van Boven (1955) cited Savage's (1850) description of rubellus, as Anomma rubella, - "Rubra, subnitida; antennis, coxi, geniculis tarsisque rubris, versus marginem diaphanis". Roger (1861) and Emery (1892d: 554) found no morphological characters to separate rubellus from the type burmeisteri, although Emery thought that rubellus might be more svelte in the body and have a relatively long scape. Santschi (1930) regarded rubellus as a subspecies of nigricans.

The defining separation from Dorylus burmeisteri seems that burmeisteri is much darker. Raignier & van Boven may have been correct to emphasise that simple colour difference is insufficient to justify denotation of a new species, and rubellus may be no more than pale specimens of burmeisteri [see my illustration]. Wheeler (1922) gave locations for variety rubellus which are all within the very wide range of burmeisteri.

{Dorylus rubellus major}The photomontage is of a specimen from Nigeria, collated from

To date, no explanation of this designation has been published.

2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 - Brian Taylor CBiol FSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.