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Species: Paratrechina longicornis   (Latreille, 1802) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Formica longicornis Latreille, 1802a: 113 (w.) SENEGAL. Afrotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Prenolepis: Roger, 1863b PDF: 10; in Paratrechina (Nylanderia): Emery, 1910a PDF: 129; in Paratrechina: Wheeler, 1921e PDF: 112.

Taxon Page Images:


   (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists) Species is native to: Afrotropical bioregion (based on species list records).

Afrotropical Region: Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Australasia Region: Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu
Indomalaya Region: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Malagasy Region: Comoros, Europa Island, Grande Glorieuse, Ile du Lys, Juan de Nova Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, Seychelles
Nearctic Region: United States
Neotropical Region: Barbados, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
Oceania Region: Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hawaii, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga
Palearctic Region: Belgium, France, Iran, Japan, Macaronesia, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

Distribution Notes:

Reference for Kenya if not type: Arabuko Sukoke


Natural History:

This species is a pantropical tramp that is easily dispersed by human activity. They are a common pest ant in houses and seem peculiarly adapted to the interior and immediate vicinity of human habitations (Fig. 1). In Costa Rica I have collected them in the town squares of Liberia and Sierpe, city parks in San JosŽ, around the buildings at Finca La Pacifica, beach margins of Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and in the dining hall of La Selva Biological Station. At La Selva, where intensive surveys of the ant fauna have been carried out, I have never collected P. longicornis beyond the confines of the dining hall.

The workers are very generalized scavengers, very quickly recruiting to food scraps in houses.

On two occasions, once at Discovery Bay Marine Lab in Jamaica and once on the steps of the La Selva dining hall, I have seen massive emergences of P. longicornis colonies (Fig. 2). I do not know what caused these evacuations, but the visual effect was stunning. In each case many square meters were covered with a coruscating layer of workers. The workers formed a closely spaced monolayer. Many of the workers were carrying brood, and many dealate queens were scattered amongst the workers. When undisturbed the ants were more or less stationary, but shining a light on them or blowing on them caused ripples and waves of movement.

There is a large literature on the biology of P. longicornis. A search for "Paratrechina longicornis" in the 2001 version of Formis, a database of ant literature, yielded 271 references.


Introduced species


(Dutch vernacular name: superlangsprietmier)

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Paratrechina longicornis   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 29, (download) 29 21367
Paratrechina longicornis   Paknia, O., Radchenko, A. & Alipanah, H., 2008, A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Iran., Myrmecologische Nachrichten 11, pp. 151-159: 155, (download) 155 21820
Paratrechina longicornis   Espadaler, X., 2007, The ants of El Hierro (Canary Islands)., Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions., Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, 80, pp. 113-127: 121, (download) 121 21278
Paratrechina longicornis   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: -1, (download) -1 21008

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 99 times found in urban/garden, 36 times found in coastal scrub, 24 times found in urban garden, 21 times found in dry forest, 25 times found in open secondary vegetation, 14 times found in degraded dry forest, 17 times found in rainforest, 17 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 15 times found in Degraded dry forest on tsingy, 4 times found in savannah shrubland, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 111 times on low vegetation, 86 times ground forager(s), 26 times under stone, 41 times ex soil, 21 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 27 times ground forager, 19 times ex rotten log, 18 times ex sifted leaf litter, 16 times at bait, 1 times ex rot pokcet above ground, 12 times ground nest, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 37 times Hand, 30 times search, 27 times hand collection, 15 times Beating, 16 times hand collecting, 24 times beatting, 5 times water traps, 20 times malaise, 13 times hand collected|aspirator>bait trap|peanut butter, 16 times Baiting, 13 times hand collected|aspirator>bait trap|peanut butter, maple syrup, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 1850 meters, 157 meters average

Type specimens:

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