Stickle-back Carpenter Ants
Diagnosis. Emery (1925). - "Worker and soldier. - Small species; caste dimorphism does not appear to be considerable, according to figures and description of Mann; however, figures and descriptions conflict, e.g., eye position of majors, who, according to description, would be set very far posteriorly, which seems to me implausible. For this reason, I establish the following description based on 3 workers of C. heathi var. gilvigaster, Wheeler, which I have in my possession from him:
Head of worker rounded, somewhat longer than broad, obliquely truncate anteriorly, truncated surface not marginate, and including, in addition to clypeus and cheeks, part of frontal carinae up to antennal insertions; eyes situated somewhat posterior to midlength of lateral head margins. Clypeus short, not carinate. Frontal carinae short, divergent, antennal insertions situated well anterior to frontal carina midlength. Mesosoma elongate; pronotum shouldered and marginate; mesonotum and propodeum fused, without suture nor with lateral borders; mesonotum and propodeum with median longitudinal carina which bears two unpaired spines, posterior spine forked apically. Major workers, according to Mann, with shorter spines and posterior spine not forked. Petiole nodiform; node bearing three small spines, one of which is unpaired.
Geographical distribution of species. - Brazil (Amazon), French Guiana [see note below about an undescribed Central American species]."
(Translated and edited by B. E. Boudinot, 19 February 2017.)
Myrmodirachis is currently a subgenus of Camponotus.
At least one very similar species occurs in Central America, C. JTL-055, inhabiting rainforest canopy.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- MYRMODIRACHIS [subgenus of Camponotus]
- Myrmodirachis Emery, 1925b: 168 [as subgenus of Camponotus]. Type-species: Camponotus heathi, by original designation.
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 119, Myrmodirachis as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 168, Myrmodirachis as subgenus of Camponotus)