Messor Forel

Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 33

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.171144

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Messor Forel


Genus Messor Forel  

These are granivorous ants whose nest entrances are usually surrounded by conspicuous piles of seed chaff. The seven California species are found mostly in open, dry habitats. There is some evidence that the Nearctic species of Messor   are more closely related to a group of New World Aphaenogaster   (those belonging to the erstwhile genus Novomessor   ) than to the Old World species of Messor ( Bennett 2000)   . If confirmed this would warrant redefinition of Messor   and resurrection of Veromessor   , the genus name previously applied to the Nearctic species. Unfortunately Aphaenogaster   itself is likely to be paraphyletic and a comprehensive overhaul of the entire tribe Pheidolini   , in which these ants have been placed, is needed.

Species identification: keys in Smith (1956 a) and Wheeler and Wheeler (1986g). Additional references: Bennett (2000), Boulton et al. (2003), Brown (1999 a, 1999 b), Brown and Human (1997), Cahan et al. (1998), Cole (1963 a), Creighton (1953 a), Davidson (1977 a, 1978), Helms Cahan (2001), Hobbs (1985), Johnson (2000 a, 2001), O’Dowd and Hay (1980), Rissing and Wheeler (1976), Ryti and Case (1988), Waser (1998), Went et al. (1972), Wheeler and Rissing (1975 a, 1975 b), Wheeler and Creighton (1934).