Atta rufa

Jerdon, T. C., 1851, A catalogue of the species of ants found in southern India., Madras Journal of Literature and Science 17, pp. 103-127: 106

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Atta rufa

N. S.

4. Atta rufa   HNS   , N. S.

Worker l- 8 th to l- 6 th of an inch long, head short, oblong, eyes rather small, medial, antennae rather short, with the two last joints much enlarged; jaws linear oblong, strongly toothed; thorax slightly grooved, first abdominal pedicle lengthened, narrow in point, wide behind and much raised, second broader, not so high - of an uniform glossy rufous colour, with the end of the abdomen somewhat darker.

Warrior variable, about 1 / 4 th inch long, head large, very square, slightly notched behind, smooth; eyes advanced, lateral; jaws oblong, quite entire, blunt; antennae short, otherwise as in the ordinary Worker. Female about 7 - 24 th of an inch long, head small, diamond shaped, eyes, very large, 3 large ocelli on the top of the head, antennae not geniculate, short; all the joints nearly equal; thorax thick in front, depressed behind, abdomen long; oval wings reach beyond abdomen.

This Ant is the only one of the true Atta   HNS   that has two kinds of neuter individuals, and in its form and general habits it approaches much to the next genus, Ocodoma   HNS   ; but as it wants the spines on the thorax I have referred it to Atta   HNS   . It is very common in Mala-bar, but is also found in the Carnatic: it is found in holes under ground, about gravel walks, mud walls, and often appears in houses, coming through a hole or crevice in the floor, or wall There is a colony of them in my bathing room, and every now and then vast numbers of the winged females (and males) issue forth just before sunset attended as far as the window by swarms of the neuters of both kinds. Its favorite food is dead insects and other matter, but it also carries off seeds like the Ocodoma   HNS   , as I know to my cost, chaff, & c. & c. It stings very severely, leaving a burning pain that lasts for several minutes.