Hispaniola Ant Genera

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Generic summaries and resources for identifying specimens are presented here. Genera are listed alphabetically within their respective subfamilies.

Additional information about the ants of the island can be found here: Ants of Hispaniola

There is a key to Hispaniola Subfamilies, and subfamily specific generic keys. The latter are listed at the given link and are individually noted under each subfamily heading below.

Amblyoponinae

Fulakora

The lone representative of its subfamily, Fulakora falcata, has been collected in Jaragua National Park in Pedernales, Dominican Republic.

Dolichoderinae

Key to Hispaniola Dolichoderinae Genera

Bothriomyrmex

There is a single species, Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus, known from Hispaniola.

Dorymyrmex

There is a single species, Dorymyrmex antillanus, known from Hispaniola.

Linepithema

Key to Linepithema of Hispaniola

Tapinoma

Key to Tapinoma of Hispaniola

Dorylinae

There are two species, in two different genera, in this subfamily that occur on Hispaniola. The following couplet will separate these two species.

  • Well developed antennal scrobes present; well developed eye present; head and mesosoma longitudinally striate . . . . . Cylindromyrmex darlingtoni
  • Antennal scrobes absent; if eye present small and simple; head and mesosoma foveolate ,. . . . . Syscia sp.

Cylindromyrmex

There is a single species, Cylindromyrmex darlingtoni, known from Hispaniola.

Syscia

There is a single worker of an undescribed species that was collected in the Dominican Republic. (images)

Ectatomminae

Gnamptogenys

Key to Gnamptogenys of Hispaniola

Formicinae

Acropyga

A moderately diverse genus (41 species) of warm temperate and tropical areas throughout the world. Acropyga are small hypogaeic ants that primarily subsist on mealybugs and their exudates (LaPolla et al., 2002; LaPolla, 2004). This relationship has putatively become obligate for many species. Alate queens of more than 10 species that have flown away from their natal nests have been observed carrying mealybugs in their mandibles. This behavior is presumed to be the means by which new colonies of all Acropyga species acquire their symbionts. Because of their subterranean existence, these ants are rarely collected or observed.

There are two species present, one known from workers and the other known from males. A nest with males needs to be found to determine if these two names represent one or two species. The presumed type locality of the male Acropyga dubitata is notable as being not far west of a recent collection of Acropyga parvidens from Loma Quita Espuela Scientific Reserve.

Finding nests of Acropyga can be challenging. Acropyga typically remain underground, except when they release sexuals from their nests. During this time, their subterranean nests are opened at the ground surface via multiple entrances. Workers can be observed milling about these openings, seemingly attempting to entice the sexuals to exit the colony and alight. Knowing what time of the year mating flights occur would be helpful in finding such nests. The A. dubitata type labels, presumably collected during a mating flight(s?) away from a nest, do not include clearly stated collection dates. The labels do contain some cryptic handwritten numbers (e.g., 27.9, 7-9, 14.9.05) that suggest they were found in September, 1905 (see LaPolla 2004).

Brachymyrmex

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Brachymyrmex species.

Camponotus

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Camponotus species.

Myrmelachista

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • In full face view, outline of the sides of head evenly concave across its entire margin; brown to brownish-red head and mesosoma; the darker blackish gaster contrasts with the lighter dark-brown to brown mesosoma . . . . . Myrmelachista ramulorum
  • In full face view, sides of head not evenly concave, the sides and top of head in outline roughly rectangular in shape (slightly concave from above eye to top of head in full face view); body jet black and shiny with some lighter yellowish coloration in antennae, lower part of head adjacent to mandibles, mandibles, margins of gastral segments and the distal portions of legs . . . . . Myrmelachista gagates

Nylanderia

Key to Nylanderia of the West Indies

There is an excellent regional revision of this genus (LaPolla and Kallal, 2019) that added seven new species to the island's fauna. All of the new species were from the Dominican Republic.

LaPolla and Kallal's provided the following summary of the region's Nylanderia:

Nylanderia are found throughout the West Indies from lowlands to elevations of nearly 2,000 m. The West Indies are host to quite a few endemic species, but they mainly occur in mountainous areas. Lowland and more urban settings are often dominated by non-native and invasive Nylanderia, such as Nylanderia bourbonica. Native West Indian Nylanderia species can be found in a diverse array of forest habitats from drier scrub forests to rainforests. Most of the native species across the West Indies are ground-dwelling, found in rotten logs and under stones in wooded to densely forested habitats. One known exception is the arboreal, and apparently nocturnal, Nylanderia microps. At this time, it would appear none of the native species are shared between any of the islands of the Greater Antilles despite ancient connections and recent commercial links. It is worth noting there is at least one species endemic to the Lucayan Archipelago, although given that Andros Island and Cuba were linked in the last ice age it would not be surprising to find Nylanderia lucayana in Cuba as well. We found a single endemic species in Trinidad (Nylanderia zaminyops), and this species may range into South America given the often-close affinity of the Trinidadian and South American faunas. Another new species appears to be endemic to Grenada (Nylanderia coveri). As relatively large and mountainous tropical islands, the number of Nylanderia species of both Hispaniola and Cuba provided here are likely underestimates.

It is also worth noting that while we examined Nylanderia guatemalensis and Nylanderia steinheili from Jamaica, we did not have Nylanderia specimens from less disturbed, more natural areas of the island. Given that the other three islands of the Greater Antilles have endemic species, Jamaica would be a good place to sample for additional new species. This revision examined morphological characters and future studies would certainly benefit by adding molecular data. There are morphologically very similar species across the West Indies and in Nylanderia as a whole (e.g., Gotzek et al. 2012). Morphology alone is likely underestimating species diversity. In addition, Nylanderia in other parts of the world are found in a great variety of habitats (Kallal and LaPolla 2012). Future studies would benefit by examining other habitat types across the islands.

One West Indian fossil species is known from Dominican Amber: Nylanderia vetula. Based on its overall morphology it appears most similar to the extant Nylanderia fuscaspecula, a widespread species in the Dominican Republic.

In the West Indies there are three Prenolepis genus-group genera present: Nylanderia, Paratrechina, and Zatania (Key to Prenolepis genus-group). The only Paratrechina species in the New World is Paratrechina longicornis, which is an invasive species from either Africa or Asia (LaPolla et al. 2013; LaPolla & Fisher 2014). It is easily separated from Nylanderia by possessing a uniquely elongated mesosoma with a low propodeum (typically reaching only the mesonotal height in lateral view) and a long scape that is without macrosetae. Zatania is native to the West Indies (LaPolla et al. 2012) and can be separated from Nylanderia based on mesosomal characteristics: Nylanderia possess deep and complete mesonotal and metanotal sutures that divide the posterior part of the mesosoma distinctly into the mesopleuron and propodeum; Zatania have shallow and incomplete mesosomal sutures (Williams & LaPolla 2016). Additionally, most of the West Indian Zatania have 5 mandibular teeth. The exception is Zatania cisipa, which possesses 6 teeth (LaPolla et al. 2012); all West Indian Nylanderia have 6 mandibular teeth.

Paratrechina

There is a single species, Paratrechina longicornis, known from Hispaniola.

Zatania

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • Larger species (HW <0.6 mm), head and mesosoma pale yellowish brown with gaster a slightly darker brown, in profile view erect hairs on dorsum of mesosoma confined to pronotum . . . . . Zatania darlingtoni
  • Larger species (HW ~0.9 mm), head and mesosoma reddish brown with darker black gaster, in profile view erect hairs present across entire dorsum of mesosoma . . . . . Zatania gibberosa

Myrmicinae

Aphaenogaster

There is a single species, Aphaenogaster relicta, known from Hispaniola.

Cardiocondyla

Key to Cardiocondyla of Hispaniola

Cephalotes

Key to Cephalotes of Hispaniola

Crematogaster

There is no key to separate the two Hispaniola species. If you have collected a Crematogaster, it is likely to be Crematogaster steinheili (compare with images on the species page).

Cyphomyrmex

There is no key to separate the two Hispaniola species.

Eurhopalothrix

There is a single species, Eurhopalothrix floridana, known from Hispaniola.

Monomorium

Key to Monomorium of Hispaniola

Mycetomoellerius

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • Four tuberculate longitudinal ridges on the first gastric tergite. Supraocular projection spine-like; head and gaster may be darker than what is a more yellowish-brown mesosoma . . . . . Mycetomoellerius jamaicensis
  • Two tuberculate longitudinal ridges may be present on first gastral tergite, but tuberculatess not well developed. Supraocular projection absent or vestigial; the whole body dark reddish brown . . . . . Mycetomoellerius haytianus

Mycocepurus

There is a single species, Mycocepurus smithii, known from Hispaniola.

Pheidole

Key to Pheidole of Hispaniola

Pogonomyrmex

Key to Pogonomyrmex of Hispaniola

Johnson and Cover (2015) recently revised the Hispaniola Pogonomyrmex. Summary information from their study prefaces their key (see the link above) and is found on their respective species' pages.

Rogeria

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Rogeria species.

Solenopsis

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Solenopsis species.

Solenopsis geminata is the only large-bodied polymorphic Solenopsis species known from the island. The large workers and the range of worker sizes readily separate this species from its congeners. Solenopsis globularia has a large globulose postpetiola and is the sole Hispaniola thief ant that can be definitively determined to species. The remaining small Solenopsis species from the island have a distinctively narrower postpetiole. At present there is no reliable means of identifying the set of narrow postpetiole Solenopsis species nor is not clear how many species are present.

Strumigenys

Key to Strumigenys of Hispaniola

There are 11 species of Strumigenys present. Nine species are widely distributed Neotropical natives or tropical tramps. The two remaining species are endemic.

Temnothorax

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Temnothorax species.

Tetramorium

Key to Tetramorium of Hispaniola

Trichomyrmex

There is a single species, Trichomyrmex destructor, known from Hispaniola.

Wasmannia

There is a single species, Wasmannia auropunctata, known from Hispaniola.

Ponerinae

Anochetus

Key to Anochetus of Hispaniola

Hypoponera

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Hypoponera species.

Leptogenys

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • In full face view outline of sides of head, from the occiput to the area adjacent to the mandibles, diverging, head width increases from occiput to clypeus; in lateral view sides of metanotum, propodeum and petiole with some sculpture, not entirely smooth and shiny . . . . . Leptogenys pubiceps
  • In full face view outline of sides of head, from the occiput to the area adjacent to the mandibles, roughly parallel; in lateral view sides of metanotum, propodeum and petiole smooth and shining (a variable species, workers may vary in the expression of these characters) . . . . . Leptogenys antillana

Odontomachus

A taxonomic revision is needed to clarify the identity of the island's Odontomachus species.

Platythyrea

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • In side view head, mesosoma and gaster relatively smooth and without coarse punctuation . . . . . Platythyrea strenua

Pseudoponera

The following couplet can be used to separate the two species of this genus that are known to occur on the island:

  • Six or seven mandibular teeth; clypeus divided by central horizontal carina; relatively smaller workers, total length usually < 4 mm; subpetiolar process angulate posteriorly, forming two laminae or flanges . . . . . Pseudoponera succedanea
Pachycondyla cauta casent0178707 head 1.jpg
Pachycondyla cauta casent0178707 profile 1.jpg
Petiole, arrow indicating the posterior subpetiolar process.

The subpetiolar process of P. succedanea, in comparison to P. stigma, is more rectangular in shape. The arrow in the image points to the center of one posterior flange. The flange is darker than the rest of the lateral side of the subpetiolar process and there is also a darkly-colored linear seam evident where the flange arises from the posterior process (click on the image to open a larger, more detailed view of these features). In this view, the second flange is on the opposite side of the posterior edge of the posterior process thus is hidden by the first flange.

  • Six mandibular teeth; poorly developed or no central horizontal carina on clypeus; subpetiolar process rounded posteriorly, workers relatively larger (>4.5 mm) . . . . . Pseudoponera stigma
Pachycondyla stigma casent0178180 head 1.jpg
Pachycondyla stigma casent0178180 profile 1.jpg
Petiole, arrow indicating the rounded posterior subpetiolar process.

Thaumatomyrmex

There are two undescribed species known from the island.

Proceratiinae

There are two genera of this subfamily present in Hispaniola. The following couplet will separate these genera:

  • Apical segment of antenna greatly enlarged in width in comparison to remaining funicular antennal segments, and its length more than half as long as the total length of the remainder of funicular segments combined; mandibles with a single tooth at their apex . . . . . Discothyrea . . . one species present: Discothyrea testacea
  • Apical antennal segment not as long or enlarged as detailed above; numerous teeth present on mandibles . . . . . Proceratium, see below

Discothyrea

There is a single species, Discothyrea testacea, known from Hispaniola.

Proceratium

Two species are known from Hispaniola. Proceratium longiscapus is known from a single queen collected at a light trap. The other species, Proceratium taino, is known from workers and a tentatively associated queen.

Pseudomymecinae

Pseudomyrmex

Key to Pseudomyrmex of Hispaniola