Acromyrmex heyeri

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Acromyrmex heyeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Acromyrmex
Species: A. heyeri
Binomial name
Acromyrmex heyeri
(Forel, 1899)

Acromyrmex heyeri casent0173795 profile 1.jpg

Acromyrmex heyeri casent0173795 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Synonyms

Acromyrmex heyeri is common in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and is known to inhabit swamps in Parana, Brazil (Goncalves, 1961; Jaffe, 1993). They harvest monocotyledonous leaves (Loeck and Grutzmacher 2001) and masticate their collected plant material into tiny pieces to create the substrate for growing their fungal gardens. A molecular study of co-occuring populations of this species and Acromyrmex ambiguus showed both of these species are cultivating Leucoagaricus gongylophorus but that there are differences in the fungal strains used by the two ant species (Pereira et al. 2015). This ant is host to the socially parasitic Pseudoatta argentina in Argentina and Acromyrmex charruanus in Uruguay.

Identification

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Paraguay, Uruguay.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Barrera et al. 2015 studied the diversity of leaf cutting ants along a forest-edge-agriculture habitat gradient. Their study site, in Chaco Serrano of Central Argentina, had forest remnants of various sizes within an agriculture area with wheat, soy and maize. A few colonies of A. heyeri and Acromyrmex silvestrii were found along the forest edge. Acromyrmex crassispinus was the most abundant Acromyrmex species sampled (42% of 162 colonies) and was most abundant in the forest interior. Acromyrmex lundii and Acromyrmex striatus were also present, with the former also found in the forest interior. The latter and A. striatus were the most abundant in the forest edge habitat with A. crassispinus present there at a slightly lower density.

This species was found to be a pest in pastures in Paraguay, feeding on the grass Paspalum notatum (Sarubbi & Ramirez, 2020).

Castes

Worker

Queen

Male

Nomenclature

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

  • heyeri. Atta (Moellerius) heyeri Forel, 1899c: 31 (footnote) (s.w.) BRAZIL. Emery, 1905c: 43 (q.m.); Bruch, 1921: 199 (q.m.); Goni et al. 1983: 365 (k.). Combination in Acromyrmex: Bruch, 1914: 217; in Acromyrmex (Moellerius): Fowler, 1988: 287. Senior synonym of gaudens, lillensis: Fowler, 1988: 287. See also: Gonçalves, 1961: 127.
  • gaudens. Acromyrmex (Moellerius) heyeri var. gaudens Santschi, 1925e: 164 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of heyeri: Fowler, 1988: 287.
  • lillensis. Acromyrmex (Moellerius) heyeri var. lillensis Santschi, 1925e: 165 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of heyeri: Fowler, 1988: 287.

Description

Karyotype

  • 2n = 38, karyotype = 2M+6SM+16ST+14A (Brazil; Uruguay) (Goni et al., 1983; SantosColares et al., 1997).

References

  • Barrera, C. A., L. M. Buffa, and G. Valladares. 2015. Do leaf-cutting ants benefit from forest fragmentation? Insights from community and species-specific responses in a fragmented dry forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 8:456-463. doi:10.1111/icad.12125
  • Bollazzi, M., and Roces, F. 2002. Thermal preference for fungus culturing and brood location by workers of the thatching grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri. Insectes Soc. 49: 153–157.
  • Bruch, C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 19: 211-234 (page 217, Combination in Acromyrmex)
  • Bruch, C. 1921. Estudios mirmecológicos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 26: 175-211 (page 199, queen, male described)
  • Emery, C. 1905f. Revisione delle specie del genere Atta appartenenti ai sottogeneri Moellerius e Acromyrmex. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (6)2:39-54 (page 43, queen, male described)
  • Forel, A. 1899d. Formicidae. [part]. Biol. Cent.-Am. Hym. 3: 25-56 (page 31, soldier, worker described)
  • Fowler, H. G. 1988b. Taxa of the neotropical grass-cutting ants, Acromyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini). Científica (Jaboticabal) 16: 281-295 (page 287, senior synonym of gaudens and lillensis)
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1961. O genero Acromyrmex no Brasil (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4: 113-180 (page 127, see also)
  • Goñi, B.; Zolessi, L. C. de; Imai, H. T. 1984 [1983]. Karyotypes of thirteen ant species from Uruguay (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Caryologia 36: 363-371 (page 365, karyotype described)
  • Jaffe, K. 1993. Surfing ants. Florida Entomologist 76: 182-183.
  • Loek and Grutamacher. 2001 Ocorrência de formigas cortadeiras nas principais regiões agropecuárias do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Pelotas: UFPEL, 2001. 1v.
  • Pereira, D. I. B., S. d. A. Botton, M. I. d. Azevedo, D. U. Monteiro, C. Weiblen, V. S. Machado, M. G. Donatti, and A. E. Loeck. 2015. Isolation and molecular characterization of symbiotic fungus from Acromyrmex ambiguus and Acromyrmex heyeri ants of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Ciência Rural. 45:1256-1261. doi:10.1590/0103-8478cr20141064
  • Rabeling, C.; Schultz, T. R.; Bacci, M., Jr.; Bollazzi, M. 2015. Acromyrmex charruanus: a new inquiline social parasite species of leaf-cutting ants. Insectes Sociaux. 62:335–349. doi:10.1007/s00040-015-0406-6
  • Sarubbi, H.J., Ramirez, M.B. 2020. Pest insects in natural and sown pastures of Paraguay. Tropical Grasslands-Forrajes Tropicales 8(2) 158–161 (doi:10.17138TGFT(8)158-161).

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Abril, A.B. and E.H. Bucher. 2007. Genetic Diversity of Fungi Occurring in Nests of Three Acromyrmex Leaf-Cutting Ant Species from Córdoba, Argentina. Microbial Ecology 54(3):417-423
  • Bonetto A. A. 1959. Las hormigas "cortadoras" de la Provincia de Santa Fé (generos: Atta y Acromyrmex). Santa Fé, Argentina: Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (Dirección General de Recurzos Naturales), 79 pp.
  • Boscardin J., E. C. Costa, J. H. C. Delabie. 2014. Relation between ant communities and environmental quality in Eucalyptus grandis submitted to different weedy species control in the south of Brazil. Entomotropica29(3): 173-182.
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Bruch C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Revista del Museo de La Plata 19: 211-234.
  • Bruch C. 1921. Estudios mirmecológicos. Revista del Museo de La Plata 26: 175-211.
  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Culebra Mason S., C. Sgarbi, J. Chila Covachina, J. M. Pena, N. Dubrovsky Berensztein, C. Margaria, and M. Ricci. 2017. Acromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae): species distribution patterns in the province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat. 19(2) 185-199.
  • Diehl E., C. L. Gottert, and D. G. Flores. 2012. Ant communities in three species used in urban arborization in Sao Leopoldo, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Bioikos, Campinas 20(1): 25-32.
  • Diehl-Fleig E. 2014. Termites and Ants from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Sociobiology (in Press).
  • Emery C. 1906. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 37: 107-194.
  • Farji Brener A. G., and A. Ruggiero. 1994. Leaf-cutting ants (Atta and Acromyrmex) inhabiting Argentina: patterns in species richness and geographical range sizes. Journal of Biogeography 21(4): 391-399.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1905. Miscellanea myrmécologiques II (1905). Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 49: 155-185.
  • Fowler H. G. 1985. Leaf-cutting ants of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex of Paraguay (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Dtsch. Ent. Z., N. F. 32(1-3): 19-34.
  • Gallardo A. 1916. Notes systématiques et éthologiques sur les fourmis attines de la République Argentine. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 28: 317-344.
  • Gazzana Flores D., C. L. Goettert, E. Diehl. 2002. Ant communities in Inga marginata and Jacaranda micrantha in a sub-urban area. Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 24(2): 147-155.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1956. Claves para la identificación de las hormigas de la fauna argentina. Idia 104-105: 1-56.
  • Kusnezov N. 1978. Hormigas argentinas: clave para su identificación. Miscelánea. Instituto Miguel Lillo 61:1-147 + 28 pl.
  • Mayhe Nunes A. J., and E. Diehl-Fleig. 1994. Acromyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) distribution in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 16(1): 115-118.
  • Osorio Rosado J. L, M. G. de Goncalves, W. Drose, E. J. Ely e Silva, R. F. Kruger, and A. Enimar Loeck. 2013. Effect of climatic variables and vine crops on the epigeic ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Campanha region, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. J Insect Conserv 17: 1113-1123.
  • Pignalberi C. T. 1961. Contribución al conocimiento de los formícidos de la provincia de Santa Fé. Pp. 165-173 in: Comisión Investigación Científica; Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (Argentina) 1961. Actas y trabajos del primer Congreso Sudamericano de Zoología (La Plata, 12-24 octubre 1959). Tomo III. Buenos Aires: Librart, 276 pp.
  • Santoandre S., J. Filloy, G. A. Zurita, and M. I. Bellocq. 2019. Ant taxonomic and functional diversity show differential response to plantation age in two contrasting biomes. Forest Ecology and Management 437: 304-313.
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  • Santschi F. 1925. Fourmis des provinces argentines de Santa Fe, Catamarca, Santa Cruz, Córdoba et Los Andes. Comunicaciones del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural "Bernardino Rivadavia" 2: 149-168.
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  • Santschi F. 1933. Fourmis de la République Argentine en particulier du territoire de Misiones. Anales de la Sociedad Cientifica Argentina. 116: 105-124.
  • Solomon S. E., C. Rabeling, J. Sosa-Calvo, C. Lopes, A. Rodrigues, H. L. Vasconcelos, M. Bacci, U. G. Mueller, and T. R. Schultz. 2019. The molecular phylogenetics of Trachymyrmex Forel ants and their fungal cultivars provide insights into the origin and coevolutionary history of ‘higher-attine’ ant agriculture. Systematic Entomology 44: 939–956.
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