Mystrium labyrinth

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Mystrium labyrinth
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Amblyoponinae
Genus: Mystrium
Species group: camillae
Species: M. labyrinth
Binomial name
Mystrium labyrinth
Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014

Mystrium labyrinth casent0003280 p 1 high.jpg

Mystrium labyrinth casent0003280 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species has been collected from rainforest litter samples.


Yoshimura and Fisher (2014) - Mystrium labyrinth females can be distinguished easily from the other Mystrium females in the Malagasy region by a combination of the following characters: the pronotal dorsum covered with strong regular reticulation; the second maxillary palpomere shorter than the third; the long genal tooth of head nearly reaching anterior end of the lateral lobe of the clypeus; and the first flagellomere (third antennal segment) as long as the pedicel (second antennal segment). The worker of M. labyrinth is similar to that of Mystrium silvestrii; however, M. labyrinth can be distinguished from M. silvestrii by an anterior clypeal margin with long, well-developed conical setae (weak in M. silvestrii and Mystrium mz01), and a moderately long petiole (short and wide in M. silvestrii as in Mystrium barrybressleri).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Malagasy Region: Madagascar (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Mystrium are predators that specialize on capturing large centipedes. The long mandibles appear to be adapted to gripping what can be fast moving centipedes, and hold them in place to allow their being stung in the softer areas between their body segments. Foragers carrying out this task also need to have strong mandibular muscles that combined with their long mandbiles may compromise their efficiency in regards to brood care. Mystrium rogeri exhibits caste polymorphism where large workers appear to be specialized for foraging while smaller workers are adapted to specialize on brood care. Colonies of Mystrium oberthueri have large workers and many small reproductives. The vast majority of the the latter do not mate, do not leave the nest and both care for brood and are active in cleaning their nests. Colony size tends to be small (< 200 workers) and in some species, e.g., Mystrium rogeri, reproduction is based on having a single large queen morph that found nests independantly. In others, intermoph queens exist and colony founding can occur via fission.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • labyrinth. Mystrium labyrinth Yoshimura & Fisher, 2014: 47, figs. 10B, 10D, 14B, 33E, 34E, 35C, 36B, 36D, 36F, 42B ( MADAGASCAR.

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



Measurements: holotype. HL 1.73, HW 1.76, SL 1.08, ML 1.77, HD 1.03, WL 1.96, PnW 1.01, PpW 0.84, PtW 0.90, PtL 0.51, CI 101.7, SI 61.2, MI 100.5, PpI 83.0, PtI 176.1.

HL 1.67–1.79, HW 1.72–1.84, SL 1.05–1.09, ML 1.70–1.76, HD 1.03–1.09, WL 1.90–2.02, PnW 1.02–1.08, PpW 0.81–0.87, PtW 0.82–0.95, PtL 0.45–0.52, CI 102.0–102.8, SI 58.0–61.1, MI 92.2–99.4, PpI 79.0–82.7, PtI 180.4–183.8 (3 specimens measured).

Posterolateral corner of head moderately expanding posteriorly. Posterior face of vertex forming almost right angle with its dorsal face on median line of head, so that declivity of vertex on lateral part as steep as that on median part. Ventral half of vertex sculptured. Eye relatively larger than that of Mystrium barrybressleri. Anterior margin of clypeus convex with long conical setae, of which median pair larger than adjacent pair. Genal tooth of head relatively long, as long as lateral lobe of clypeus. Masticatory margin of mandible in full-face view slightly visible on its basal half, invisible on its distal half. Width of dorsal surface of mandible almost identical from mandibular shaft to distal portion. Second maxillary palpomere shorter than third. First flagellomere (third antennal segment) as long as pedicel (second antennal segment). Central part of pronotal dorsum and lateral surface of pronotum strongly and regularly reticulate. Mesonotum often not differentiated and indistinct from propodeum in dorsal view, its length as long as that of propodeum. Metanotal groove indistinct in lateral view, but mesonotum slightly higher than pronotum. Short, but distinct ridge present on dorsal edge of metapleural gland bulla. Petiole wide in dorsal view, but narrower than that of Mystrium barrybressleri (PtI<185).

Body color reddish brown to black.

Queen. Description.


Measurements: HL 1.65, HW 1.69, SL 0.99, ML 1.48, HD 1.10, WL 2.33, MnW 1.27, PtW 1.08, PtL 0.51, CI 102.5, SI 58.5, MI 87.6, MnI 74.8, PtI 212.2 (one specimen measured).

Wings present, well developed. Wing sclerites fully developed even if wings have dropped off. Posterolateral corner of head moderately expanding posteriorly; expansion weaker than that of workers. Posterior face of vertex forming almost right angle with its dorsal face on median line of head, so that declivity of vertex on lateral part as steep as that on median part. Ventral half of vertex sculptured. Eye well developed. Both anterior and lateral ocelli clearly present, median portion of lateral ocelli and posterior portion of anterior ocellus edged by blackish pigment. Anterior margin of clypeus convex, with long conical setae, of which median pair larger than adjacent pair. Genal tooth of head distinctly developed, reaching slightly posterior of lateral lobe of clypeus. Masticatory margin of mandible almost invisible in full-face view, and dorsal surface on distal portion as wide as that on mandibular shaft. Spatulate seta present on basal side of each basal denticle on masticatory margin of mandible. First flagellar segment on antenna as long as pedicel. Setae on pronotum distinctly spatulate, widened distally. Propodeal declivity in lateral view slightly convex on dorsal part of metanotal gland bulla, making blunt angle with its dorsal margin. Petiole relatively long in dorsal view, 0.5 × length of abdominal segment III.

Body color blackish brown.

Type Material

Holotype. Worker: CASENT0003281, BLF00976, MADAGASCAR, Toliara, 5 km N Isaka-Invondro (-24.75°, 46.8°), 350 m alt., 12.xi.1992, B.L.Fisher leg. California Academy of Sciences.


This species name is the English word labyrinth, inspired by the strong reticulation covering the body surface of the new species. The species epithet is a noun, and thus invariant.