Myrmelachista gagates

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Myrmelachista gagates
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Myrmelachistini
Genus: Myrmelachista
Species: M. gagates
Binomial name
Myrmelachista gagates
Wheeler, W.M., 1936

MCZ-ENT00521449 Myrmelachista gagates hal.jpg

MCZ-ENT00521449 Myrmelachista gagates had.jpg

Specimen Label

A Hispaniola endemic described from a single worker collected in La Visite, Haiti in 1934. A second worker was collected from litter in a deciduous transitional forest, at 1190 m at Los Arroyos, Dominican Republic in 2014. The location is adjacent to the Haitian border and ~ 60 km from the type locality.


Similar to the Cuban species Myrmelachista rogeri. The only Formicinae with nine antennal segments are Brachymyrmex and Myrmelachista. The latter has a three segmented antennal club. There are two species of this genus known from Hispaniola, gagates and Myrmelachista ramulorum; gagates is distinctive in its smooth jet black body and rectangular shaped head.

See Longino's comments regarding Caribbean Myrmelachista.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 18.84354° to 18.22711°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Dominican Republic, Greater Antilles, Haiti (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.




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

  • gagates. Myrmelachista gagates Wheeler, W.M. 1936b: 204 (w.) HAITI.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Length 1.7 mm.

Very similar to Myrmelachista rogeri Ern. Andre of Cuba, but differing in the shape of the head, thorax and petiole, in color and pilosity. Head larger and more sharply rectangular, less narrowed in front, where it is as broad as behind. Eyes larger. Promesonotum longer and somewhat less convex above, epinotum proportionally longer and broader. Petiolar scale decidedly thicker, with convex anterior surface and very sharp superior border, which is more deeply and more angularly excised than in rogeri.

Very smooth and shining, like rogeri, with similar pilosity, but the hairs on the gaster less numerous and longer. Jet black; antennae and mandibles dark brown, scapes darker and more blackish, their tips and the basal funicular joints yellowish brown; femora black; tibiae very dark brown, paler at their bases and tips; tarsi and tibial spurs brownish yellow; last tarsal joint of each leg blackish.

Type Locality Information

Described from a single specimen taken by Dr. Darlington at La Visite, 6000-7000 ft., Haiti.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Longino J. T. 2006. A taxonomic review of the genus Myrmelachista (hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Costa Rica. Zootaxa 1141: 1-54
  • Perez-Gelabert D. E. 2008. Arthropods of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti): A checklist and bibliography. Zootaxa 1831:1-530.
  • Wheeler, William Morton. 1936. Ants From Hispaniola and Mona Island. Bulletin: Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College. 80(2):192-211.