Stiphromyrmex

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Stiphromyrmex
Temporal range: Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene
Baltic amber, Baltic Sea region
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae (incertae sedis)
Genus: Stiphromyrmex
Wheeler, W.M., 1915
Type species
Stigmomyrmex robustus, now Stiphromyrmex robustus
Diversity
1 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

Radchenko and Dlussky (2017) - When Mayr (1868) described “?Stigmomyrmex robustus” he stressed some doubts concerning generic position of this species because the single holotype specimen was without both antennal funiculi. Later, Wheeler (1915) investigated two specimens from the collection of Königsberg that he considered to fit well with Mayr’s original description (even though he had not seen the holotype specimen of Stigmomyrmex robustus). As a result, he established a new monotypic genus Stiphromyrmex, transferring to it Mayr’s Stigmomyrmex robustus, which he redescribed and provided an excellent figure of the worker (Wheeler 1915, p. 68, Fig. 27). Wheeler (1915) considered Stiphromyrmex to be related to Pristomyrmex Mayr. The modern species of the latter genus are distributed in the Oriental, Australasian, Afrotropical Regions, and in the southern part of the eastern Palaearctic, and one fossil species was described from the Danish Late Eocene amber (Dlussky & Radchenko 2011). This idea is quite controversial, however, Bolton (2003) placed Stiphromyrmex as incertae sedis to the tribe Myrmecinini (N.B.: the same tribe to which he placed Pristomyrmex).

Identification

Radchenko and Dlussky (2017) - The genus Stiphromyrmex is mainly characterized by the 12-segmented antennae with the big 3-segmented club, by the short and stout mesosoma that is distinctly narrower than the head; the promesonotum convex, the promesonotal suture and metanotal groove are absent; the propodeum with the very big, massive curved spines, directed upward and backward at an angle ca. 55°; the middle and hind tibiae are with simple spur. The frontal lobes poorly developed, only partly covering the antennal sockets. The clypeus is with two longitudinal carinae. The maxillary palpes are 4-segmented, labial palpes – 3-segmented (Wheeler 1915).

Castes

Known only from the worker caste.

Neotype
Neotype

Nomenclature

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

  • STIPHROMYRMEX [incertae sedis in Myrmicinae: Myrmecinini]
    • Stiphromyrmex Wheeler, W.M. 1915h: 67. Type-species: †Stigmomyrmex robustus, by original designation.


References

  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 105, Stiphromyrmex in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 395, Stiphromyrmex in Myrmicinae, Myrmecinini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 257, Stiphromyrmex incertae sedis in Myrmecinini)
  • Dlussky, G. M.; Fedoseeva, E. B. 1988. Origin and early stages of evolution in ants. Pp. 70-144 in: Ponomarenko, A. G. (ed.) Cretaceous biocenotic crisis and insect evolution. Moskva: Nauka, 232 pp. (page 81, Stiphromyrmex incertae sedis in Myrmicinae)
  • Donisthorpe, H. 1943h. A list of the type-species of the genera and subgenera of the Formicidae. [concl.]. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 11(10): 721-737 (page 729, Stiphromyrmex in Myrmicinae, Myrmicini)
  • Radchenko, A. & Dlussky, G.M. 2017. New species of the extinct ant genus Stigmomyrmex Mayr and designation of the neotype of Stiphromyrmex robustus (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Anneles Zoologici. 67:773-780.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1915i [1914]. The ants of the Baltic Amber. Schr. Phys.-Ökon. Ges. Königsb. 55: 1-142 (page 67, Stiphromyrmex as genus)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1915i [1914]. The ants of the Baltic Amber. Schr. Phys.-Ökon. Ges. Königsb. 55: 1-142 (page 67, Stiphromyrmex in Myrmicinae, Myrmicini)