Wasmannia affinis Santschi 1929

Myrmicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

holotype worker face view

holotype worker lateral view
holotype worker dorsal view

Images are of holotype worker. Holotype label: click here.


Southeastern Brazil.


Wasmannia affinis and lutzi are two related species from southeastern Brazil. They share a unique development of the antennal scrobe. The scrobe is very broad, forming a flat surface that extends from the frontal carinae to the side of the head. The side of the head is somewhat angular posterior to the eye. The preocular carina is faint and does not form the ventral border of the scrobe. In contrast, all other species of Wasmannia have a more narrow scrobe that does not reach the side of the head in full face view. The ventral margin of the scrobe is limited by the preocular carina or, in cases where the carina is faint or absent, where it would be if it extended posterior to the eye. The side of the head behind the eye is rounded. The expanded scrobe is also present in the queen of lutzi, resulting in a strongly trapezoidal head shape, such that the head is broader behind the eyes than across them. Wasmannia affinis differs from lutzi in (1) the propodeal spines are shorter, and (2) in dorsal view, the postpetiole is elliptical with rounded sides, and the widest point is at or behind the midlength.

Similar species: lutzi.


Mayr described W. sigmoidea in 1884 (in Radoszkowsky 1884), based on specimens from Cayenne. Later (Mayr 1887) he identified a series of specimens from Santa Catarina state in Brazil as W. sigmoidea. One of us (JTL) examined these Santa Catarina specimens (they have a variety of labels, some indicating they are from Santa Catarina and collected by Hechko, some just saying "Brazil 188," and some erroneously labeled as types of sigmoidea). The workers in the series are all very uniform and we suspect they are from a single original collection. These workers are not sigmoidea, but instead match the holotype of Santschi's affinis (Longino and Fernández 2007).

Literature Cited

Longino, J. T., and F. Fernández C. 2007. A taxonomic review of the genus Wasmannia. Pages 271-289 in R. R. Snelling, B. L. Fisher, and P. S. Ward, editors. Advances In Ant Systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage To E. O. Wilson ­ 50 Years Of Contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 80.

Mayr, G. 1887. Südamerikanische Formiciden. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 37:511-632.

Radoszkowsky, O. 1884. Fourmis de Cayenne Française. Trudy Russkago Entomologicheskago Obshchestva 18:30-39.

Santschi, F. 1929. Nouvelles fourmis de la République Argentine et du Brésil. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina 107:273-316.

Page authors:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA. longinoj@evergreen.edu

Fernando Fernández, Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Apartado 7495, Bogotá D.C., COLOMBIA

Date of this version: 26 September 2007.
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