ID guide | introduced ants


Development and Support
Antkey was developed and published by the USDA Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) as part of a cooperative agreement with University of Illinois, School of Integrative Biology Department of Animal Biology and Department of Entomology. Additional support was received from the Encyclopedia of Life Rubenstein Fellowship program ( The Kandoorie Farm and Botanical Garden supported  additional development, including Asian language translation.

USDA             Kandoorie Farm and Botanical Garden

Identification keys
Many of the characters used to develop the identification guide were adapted from previously published and unpublished works. These include the following.

Genera-level characters

  • Bolton, B. (1994) Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Used for genera-level characters.
  • Shattuck, S.O. (2000) Australian ants: their biology and identification. Used for genera-level characters.
  • Fisher, B.L. & Cover, S.P. (2007) Ants of North America: a guide to the genera. Used for genera-level characters.

Species-level characters

  • Ants (Formicidae) of the southeastern United States. Website developed by Joe A. MacGown. Used for Pheidole, Nylanderia, Brachymyrmex.
  • Brachymyrmex of the United States. Draft key (unpublished) in development by Christopher M. Wilson (Sam Houston State University).
  • Kallal, R.J. & Lapolla, J.S. (2012) Monograph of Nylanderia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the World, Part II: Nylanderia in the Nearctic.

Ants of Costa Rica. Website developed by John Longino. 

Specimen photographs in the identification key were used from under the Attribution-Share Alike Creative Commons License. 

Specimens used for morpohological analysis for this project were borrowed from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences (CASC), the United States National Museum (USNM), and the personal collections of Phil Ward (PSWC), and Andrew Suarez (AVSC). Data presented in Antkey's specimen database was imported from Antweb.

Technical support
Special thanks to the Vibrant team for their work on the Scratchpads platform and assistance with the website.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith