Subfamily PONERINAE
Tribe PONERINI

Pachycondyla stigma (Fabricius)

Pachycondyla stigma, full face view of worker (click photo to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/
Pachycondyla stigma, profile view of worker (click photo to enlarge).
Photo courtesy of http://www.antweb.org/

Of the 200 or so Pachycondyla species known worldwide (Bolton, 1995), only four, which are all introduced, have been reported from the U.S. The origin of P. stigma is uncertain, but Deyrup et al (2000) suggested that it may be of Old World origin due to its wide distribution in that region.

Pachycondyla stigma is a somewhat small species with workers usually less than 5 mm in total length and queens only up to 6.5 mm in total length. The body color of both workers and queens is redish-to dark brown, with the legs, mandibles, and outer antennal segments being a slightly lighter orangish-brown. Workers of this species can be distinguished by their finely punctulate mesopleural region; the propodeum being only slightly depressed; and the small eyes, with only a few facets. The only similar sized species in the U.S., P. chinensis, differs in that the mesopleura is smooth and shiny; the propodeum is strongly depressed below the mesonotum; and the eyes are much larger and have many facets.

This species is known to nest under rotting wood or under bark of dead trees. Similar to some other Pachycondyla species, P. stigma appears to have a preference for termites, and nests have been found with small "stockpiles" of termites (Deyrup et al (2000).