Lachnomyrmex mackayi

AntWiki - Where Ant Biologists Share Their Knowledge
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lachnomyrmex mackayi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Lachnomyrmex
Species: L. mackayi
Binomial name
Lachnomyrmex mackayi
Feitosa & Brandão, 2008

Lachnomyrmex mackayi casent0173883 profile 1.jpg

Lachnomyrmex mackayi casent0173883 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

The only two collections of this species were extracted from the leaf litter of wet montane forests of Panama.


Feitosa and Brandão (2008) - Body covered by continuous vermiculate rugae; in lateral view, petiolar node considerably elevated and subtriangular; dorsum of postpetiole with more than 10 long hairs; subpostpetiolar process moderately developed; first tergite of gaster with of long flexuous hairs restricted to the anterior third. The absence of a median prominence on the dorsum of postpetiole and the presence of long flexuous hairs on the first tergite of gaster separate this species from the related Lachnomyrmex haskinsi and Lachnomyrmex regularis. In addition, the cited species bear less than 10 long hairs on the postpetiole dorsum. Lachnomyrmex mackayi is also similar to Lachnomyrmex fernandezi; however, the latter has the petiolar node rounded dorsally and the long flexuous hairs covering the entire surface of the first gastral tergite.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Panama (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Very little is known about the biology of these cryptic ants. Workers are frequently found in leaf litter and soil samples processed in Winklers or Berlese extractors, but these ants are never especially abundant within samples. When a dealate gyne is found associated with workers in 1m2 samples of leaf litter, normally it is found singly, which suggests that colonies are relatively small and apparently monogynic; workers and nests are extremely difficult to spot in the field, because the workers are very slow moving and well camouflaged; if there is any leaf-litter nest structure, it is destroyed during sifting, but our impression is that they do not construct any permanent nidal structure. Species of Lachnomyrmex apparently nest within the leaf litter, inside natural cavities of the superficial soil layers, fallen logs, and rotten wood, as evidenced by the large number of soil-covered individuals collected, from information recorded in specimen label data, and from observations of collectors. Workers forage alone, in the leaf litter and in the low vegetation, occasionally among epiphytes and moss, probably preying on small soft-bodied arthropods and possibly harvesting plant exudates. (Feitosa and Brandao 2008)


Known only from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • mackayi. Lachnomyrmex mackayi Feitosa & Brandão, 2008: 27, figs. 10, 19 (w.) PANAMA.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Holotype HL 0.68; HW 0.65; ML 0.22; SL 0.44; EL 0.17; WL 0.79; PSL 0.18; PL 0.31; PPL 0.17; GL 0.88; TL 3.06; CI 95; SI 68; OI 26. Worker (n=1). HL 0.61; HW 0.60; ML 0.20; SL 0.39; EL 0.14; WL 0.72; PSL 0.16; PL 0.27; PPL 0.14; GL 0.74; TL 2.69; CI 97; SI 66; OI 24.

Color light reddish-brown, with yellowish appendages. Head and mesosoma finely covered by continuous, vermiculate rugae, transverse on anterior portion of pronotum, grading to longitudinal on rest of promesonotum, mesopleura and lateral surfaces of propodeum; mandibles with few and short longitudinal striae restricted to basal portion; petiole and postpetiole irregularly rugose. Abundant pilosity on head and dorsum of promesonotum; petiolar node with about six long hairs; dorsum of postpetiole with more than 10 long hairs; first tergite of gaster with long flexuous hairs restricted to the most anterior portion, near the insertion of postpetiole.

Head slightly longer than broad, with vertexal margin only moderately convex; frontal lobes weakly rounded laterally; eyes comparatively large, with approximately eight facets at greatest diameter. Promesonotum gently convex in profile; metanotal groove relatively narrow and deeply impressed; propodeal spines mostly straight, with apexes minimally directed upwards; teeth of propodeal lobes swollen basally, with about half-length of propodeal spines. Petiolar node elevated and subtriangular in dorsal view; dorsum of postpetiole strongly convex and with a discrete anteroventral projection, directed anteriorly.

Type Material

Holotype worker. PANAMA: Chiriqui: Bocas del Toro, Cont. Div.,, R. Anderson col., no. 17840, specimen code CASENT0173883 [MCZC]. Paratypes. PANAMA: Chiriqui: 20.4km N. San Félix,, R. Anderson col., no. 17767 (1 worker) [WPMC].


This species is named after Dr. William “Bill” Mackay, myrmecologist at the University of Texas, El Paso. Mackay sent us important material for this study, including the type series of this species.


  • Feitosa, R.M. & Brandão, C.R.F. 2008. A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical myrmicine ant genus Lachnomyrmex Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 1890, 1-49.