Eastern False Cork-head Ants
Myrmamblys was split into five subgenera by Santschi (1926): Myrmespera, Myrmopelta, Myrmotemnus, Paramyrmamblys, and Myrmamblys sensu stricto. For this reason, two diagnoses of Myrmamblys are provided below, one sensu Emery, the other sensu Santschi.
Myrmamblys sensu Emery
Diagnosis: Emery (1925): "Worker, soldier, and queen. - Medium to small species; worker dimorphism generally accentuated; many species with few or no intermediate between majors (soldiers) and minors. Head of majors (or soldiers) and queens, in general, significantly longer than wide (species with short heads are exceptional), with tendency to have parallel dimensions; often more-or-less obtusely truncate anteriorly, truncation usually comprising entire clypeus. Head of minors of various forms, usually elongated, with posterior margin rounded, while this margin truncate or somewhat effaced in majors and queens. Clypeus of different forms. In minors, clypeus generally occupying almost whole of buccal rim and usually carinate and produced anteriorly as rounded lobe. In majors (soldier) and queens, clypeus usually reduced to its median part, bounded by anterior tentorial pits, this part depressed, without median carina or anterior lobe, and dominated in full-face view by the cheeks (i.e., with facies of Colobopsis).
Development of the cheeks at the expense of the clypeus is a characteristic feature of the cranial dimorphism of the subgenus Myrmamblys; it is also found, but to a lesser degree, in other subgenera, and to a degree equal to, if not more pronounced, in Colobopsis, Pseudocolobopsis, Hypercolobopsis, Myrmaphaenus, Myrmobrachys, etc. A small group of African species have majors with the middle of the anterior margin of the clypeus produced anteriorly.
Frontal carinae in general sinuate; antennal insertions placed distinctly anterior to midlength of frontal carinae. Mesosomal dorsum of workers usually continuous, but often more-or-less impressed anterior to propodeum; propodeum rarely concave posteriorly, forming saddle-like profile, or laterally marginate. Petiolar scale thin or, more rarely, thick and low. Cuticle in general shining and with fine sculpture; head of majors (and of the soldiers) and queens often wholly or partly dull and with more-or-less coarse sculpture; exceptionally, cuticle largely dull and hairy (some species of African group vividus). Male. - I know too few species of this sex to formulate a diagnosis of this heterogeneous subgenus.
Geographic Distribution of Species. - Indomalaya, Japan, Australia, Oceania, Afrotropics.
Note: (1) This subgenus is very heterogeneous and perhaps deserves to be subdivided, which could be done very easily by choosing extreme forms and providing these divisions with formal names; these species would thus become the types of new subgenera. (2) I have chosen a number of notable species, around which I have gathered informal groups, only for the purpose of facilitating orientation and research."
Myrmamblys sensu Santschi
Diagnosis. Santschi (1926). - "I restrict this subgenus to the species which group around C. reticulatus Roger and corresponding to the first group of EMERY. The worker and major (soldier) have obtusely truncate heads. Clypeus rectangular, flat or fairly flat, without medial carina or anterior lobe, is usually impressed anteromedially. Clypeus entirely included in cephalic truncation. Clypeus trapezoidal in minors and often carinate. Mesosomal dorsum continuous or interrupted. Propodeum is often saddle-shaped, without margination, except in a small group.
This saddle-shape to the mesosoma brings together Myrmamblys and Myrmosaga Forel; there may be an indication to follow. Most Myrmamblys, however, have many affinities with the subgenus Myrmentoma sensu EMERY. The species with continuous mesosomal dorsa have affinities to the group caryae, and those whose propodeum is bordered (second group C. greeni Forel) with the real Myrmentoma Forel.
(Translated and edited by B. E. Boudinot, 17 February 2017.)
Species groups of Myrmamblys
Emery (1925) divided Myrmamblys into seven species groups, within which he also indicated species with uncertain affinities. Santschi (1926) transferred several of these species groups to their own subgenera (see below).
"SPECIES OF ASIA, MALAYSIA, OCEANIA, AND AUSTRALIA
Group I: reticulatus
Diagnosis. - Dorsum of worker mesosoma continuous or interrupted, but not straight; propodeum often concave, with saddle-like profile, but neither marginate nor compressed.
Group II: greeni
Diagnosis. - Dorsal face of worker propodeum depressed and laterally marginate.
Group III: moeschi
Diagnosis. - Mesosoma of workers distinctly constricted anterior to propodeum; propodeum raised as bump. Eyes situated very posteriorly.
proposed by Zettel et al. 2018.
Diagnosis: Species of the inquilinus group differ from other Asian Myrmamblys species by an unmodified propodeum.
Their overall great similarity to species of the Colobopsis cylindrica group (“exploding ants”) is interpreted as a type of mimicry, as species of these two groups are often found in close proximity.
SPECIES OF AFRICA
Group IV: emarginatus
[Note: this group was placed in its own subgenus, Myrmespera, by Santschi (1926).]
Diagnosis. - Clypeus of majors more-or-less produced anteriorly. Petiolar scale thin with sharp apex.
Group V: simus
[Note: this group was placed in its own subgenus, Paramyrmamblys, by Santschi (1926).]
Diagnosis: - Defined by negative characters; mostly small species; in some species, head of majors riddled with large punctures as in Myrmotrema.
Group VII: vividus
[Note: this group was placed in its own subgenus, Myrmopelta, by Santschi (1926).]
Diagnosis. - Species usually rather large. Head of majors and queens with lateral margins more-or-less parallel, with narrow clypeus which is depressed and less produced than cheeks. Worker mesosoma often impressed anterior to propodeum (Myrmopelta (part), sensu Santschi)."
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- MYRMAMBLYS [subgenus of Camponotus]
- Myrmamblys Forel, 1912i: 90 [as subgenus of Camponotus]. Type-species: Camponotus reticulatus, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, W.M. 1913a: 80.
- [Type-species not Camponotus fastigatus, unjustified subsequent designation by Forel, 1914a: 263.]
- Arnold, G. 1922. A monograph of the Formicidae of South Africa. Part V. Myrmicinae. Ann. S. Afr. Mus. 14: 579-674 (page 613, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 114, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus [Type-species not Camponotus fastigatus, unjustified subsequent designation by Forel, 1914a: 263; repeated in Arnold, 1922:613.])
- Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 248, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 136, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Forel, A. 1912j. Formicides néotropiques. Part VI. 5me sous-famille Camponotinae Forel. Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 20: 59-92 (page 90, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Forel, A. 1914a. Le genre Camponotus Mayr et les genres voisins. Rev. Suisse Zool. 22: 257-276 (page 263, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Forel, A. 1917. Cadre synoptique actuel de la faune universelle des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 51: 229-253 (page 251, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Klimeš, P., Drescher, J., Buchori, D., Hidayat, P., Nazarreta, R., Potocký, P., Rimandai, M., Scheu, S., Matos-Maraví, P. 2022. Uncovering cryptic diversity in the enigmatic ant genus Overbeckia and insights into the phylogeny of Camponotini (Hymenoptera:Formicidae:Formicinae). Invertebrate Systematics, 36(6), 557-579 (doi:10.1071/is21067).
- Santschi, F. 1926c. Nouvelles notes sur les Campontous. Rev. Suisse Zool. 33: 597-618 (page 601, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Wheeler, W. M. 1913a. Corrections and additions to "List of type species of the genera and subgenera of Formicidae". Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 23: 77-83 (page 80, Type-species: Camponotus reticulatus, by subsequent designation [Type-species not Camponotus fastigatus, unjustified subsequent designation by Forel, 1914a: 263.] )
- Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 708, Myrmamblys as subgenus of Camponotus)