Mycetophylax daguerrei

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Mycetophylax daguerrei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Mycetophylax
Species: M. daguerrei
Binomial name
Mycetophylax daguerrei
(Santschi, 1933)

Cyphomyrmex daguerrei casent0912500 p 1 high.jpg

Cyphomyrmex daguerrei casent0912500 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Nothing is known about the biology of this species.


See description section below.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: -29.7° to -34.583333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Explore-icon.png Explore Fungus Growing 
For additional details see Fungus growing ants.

A handful of ant species (approx. 275 out of the known 15,000 species) have developed the ability to cultivate fungus within their nests. In most species the fungus is used as the sole food source for the larvae and is an important resource for the adults as well. Additionally, in a limited number of cases, the fungus is used to construct part of the nest structure but is not as a food source.

These fungus-feeding species are limited to North and South America, extending from the pine barrens of New Jersey, United States, in the north (Trachymyrmex septentrionalis) to the cold deserts in Argentina in the south (several species of Acromyrmex). Species that use fungi in nest construction are known from Europe and Africa (a few species in the genera Crematogaster, Lasius).

The details of fungal cultivation are rich and complex. First, a wide variety of materials are used as substrate for fungus cultivating. The so-called lower genera include species that prefer dead vegetation, seeds, flowers, fruits, insect corpses, and feces, which are collected in the vicinity of their nests. The higher genera include non leaf-cutting species that collect mostly fallen leaflets, fruit, and flowers, as well as the leafcutters that collect fresh leaves from shrubs and trees. Second, while the majority of fungi that are farmed by fungus-feeding ants belong to the family Lepiotaceae, mostly the genera Leucoagaricus and Leucocoprinus, other fungi are also involved. Some species utilise fungi in the family Tricholomataceae while a few others cultivate yeast. The fungi used by the higher genera no longer produce spores. Their fungi produce nutritious and swollen hyphal tips (gongylidia) that grow in bundles called staphylae, to specifically feed the ants. Finally, colony size varies tremendously among these ants. Lower taxa mostly live in inconspicuous nests with 100–1000 individuals and relatively small fungus gardens. Higher taxa, in contrast, live in colonies made of 5–10 million ants that live and work within hundreds of interconnected fungus-bearing chambers in huge subterranean nests. Some colonies are so large, they can be seen from satellite photos, measuring up to 600 m3.

Based on these habits, and taking phylogenetic information into consideration, these ants can be divided into six biologically distinct agricultural systems (with a list of genera involved in each category):

Nest Construction

A limited number of species that use fungi in the construction of their nests.

Lower Agriculture

Practiced by species in the majority of fungus-feeding genera, including those thought to retain more primitive features, which cultivate a wide range of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae.

Coral Fungus Agriculture

Practiced by species in the Apterostigma pilosum species-group, which cultivate fungi within the Pterulaceae.

Yeast Agriculture

Practiced by species within the Cyphomyrmex rimosus species-group, which cultivate a distinct clade of leucocoprineaceous fungi derived from the lower attine fungi.

Generalized Higher Agriculture

Practiced by species in several genera of non-leaf-cutting "higher attine" ants, which cultivate a distinct clade of leucocoprineaceous fungi separately derived from the lower attine fungi.

Leaf-Cutter Agriculture

A subdivision of higher attine agriculture practiced by species within several ecologically dominant genera, which cultivate a single highly derived species of higher attine fungus.

Note that the farming habits of Mycetagroicus (4 species) are unknown. Also, while species of Pseudoatta (2 species) are closely related to the fungus-feeding genus Acromyrmex, they are social parasites, living in the nests of their hosts and are not actively involved in fungus growing. ‎



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • daguerrei. Cyphomyrmex (Cyphomyrmex) daguerrei Santschi, 1933e: 118 (w.) ARGENTINA.
    • Combination in Mycetophylax: Sosa-Calvo et al., 2017: 9.
    • See also: Kempf, 1964d: 28.


Kempf (1964) - When describing daguerrei, Santschi compared it with Cyphomyrmex morschi (=Mycetophylax morschi). There is, indeed, a certain resemblance, evident principally in the following characters: Scape long, well projecting beyond occipital lobes or corners; hind femora slender, not dilated nor visibly carinate ventrally at basal third, their length exceeding the head length; clypeal teeth feebly if at all developed. These characters likewise separate daguerrei from the remaining forms of the olitor-subgroup. A few stray specimens from southeastern Brazil, which I provisionally associate with Mycetophylax olitor approach daguerrei rather closely, except for the just mentioned critical characters, and the evenly rounded frontal lobes, the subparallel frontal carinae.

On the other hand, the deeply notched anterior border of clypeus, the more distinctly circumscribed antennal scrobe, the marked occipital angles, the better developed thoracic tubercles, the steeper face of epinotum, the shorter and broader postpetiole with more strongly diverging sides in full-face view, are useful features for distinguishing daguerrei from morschi.


Kempf 1964 Cyphomyrmex a.jpg

Kempf (1964) - Lectotype. Total length 3.4 mm; head length 0.80 mm; head width 0.75 mm; maximum diameter of eyes 0.13 mm; scape length 0.67 mm; thorax length 1.01 mm; hind femur length 0.85 mm. Medium brown; dorsum of head, postpetiole and gaster infuscated. Opaque; finely reticulate-punctate; antennal scrobe reticulate-punctate, slightly shining; front reticulate-rugose; postpetiole and gaster with dense larger shallow foveolae. The whole insect covered with whitish, fine, decumbent, scattered and glittering hairs, becoming subdecumbent or recurved on head and gaster. Tip of gaster with the usual dense fringe of short erect hairs.

Head (fig 8). Mandibles finely punctate and vestigially striolate; chewing border with 8 teeth, gradually diminishing in size toward base. Clypeus with anterior border convex and projecting, noticeably excised in middle; lateral denticle at origin of frontal carinae at best vestigial. Frontal area distinct, longer than broad. Frontal carinae with moderately expanded frontal lobes, somewhat diverging caudad and feebly sinuous after constriction. Preocular carinae reaching occipital corner, completely closing the antennal scrobe. Occiput broadly and shallowly excised with another narrower and deeper median excision, between distinct carinae of vertex. Supraocular tumulus blunt but prominent. Scapes in repose surpassing marked occipital corners by a distance equaling their apical width. Funicular segments II-IV a little longer than broad, V-VII about as broad as long.

Thorax (fig 22). Pronotum with a pair of projecting and conical tubercles on each side; midpronotal tubercle well-developed but rather blunt; antero-inferior corner with an obliquely truncate foliaceous tooth. Mesonotum with 2 pairs of longitudinal ridges, appearing in side view as obtuse, low triangular teeth; area between ridges flattened to slightly excavate. Mesoepinotal groove deeply impressed. Basal face of epinotum laterally weakly marginate, posteriorly with a pair of small pointed teeth. Hind femora simple, not dilated nor longitudinally crested ventrally on basal third.

Pedicel (fig 22, 34). Petiolar node broader than long, slightly broader with rounded corners in front; anterior face distinct from dorsal face, the latter delimited laterally by longitudinal carinules and posteriorly by a slightly raised transverse laminule. Postpetiole subtrapezoidal, somewhat broader than long, (11:9), dorsum with a deep longitudinal furrow, postero-lateral corners narrowly foliaceous and not appressed to sternum. First tergite of gaster with shallow, mid-dorsal longitudinal furrow in front; lateral borders submarginate on anterior two thirds.

The paratype worker has the following measurements; head length 0.83 mm; head width 0.75 mm; scape length 0.72 mm; thorax length 1.07 mm; hind femur length 0.85 mm. It is otherwise completely identical with lectotype. The denticle at origin of frontal carinae is still weaker, nearly obsolete. Figures based on paratype specimen, deposited in my collection (WWK).

Type Material

Kempf (1964) - 3 workers collected by J. B. Daguerre, n. 1903-667. Two workers examined (lectotype and paratype NHMB and WWK) received from Santschi collection.


  • Kempf, W. W. 1964d. A revision of the Neotropical fungus-growing ants of the genus Cyphomyrmex Mayr. Part I: Group of strigatus Mayr (Hym., Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 7: 1-44 (page 28, see also)
  • Santschi, F. 1933f. Fourmis de la République Argentine en particulier du territoire de Misiones. An. Soc. Cient. Argent. 116: 105-124 (page 118, worker described)
  • Sosa-Calvo, J., JesÏovnik, A., Vasconcelos, H.L., Bacci, M. Jr., Schultz, T.R. 2017. Rediscovery of the enigmatic fungus-farming ant "Mycetosoritis" asper Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Implications for taxonomy, phylogeny, and the evolution of agriculture in ants. PLoS ONE 12: e0176498 (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0176498).