Pristomyrmex lucidus

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Pristomyrmex lucidus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Pristomyrmex
Species: P. lucidus
Binomial name
Pristomyrmex lucidus
Emery, 1897

Pristomyrmex lucidus casent0217913 p 1 high.jpg

Pristomyrmex lucidus casent0217913 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species occurs in rainforest and has been collected in soil under a log, under the bark of a rotten log, in litter samples, and on the ground.


Wang (2003) - Worker. Masticatory margin of mandible lacking a diastema and possessing four teeth, of which the third tooth, counting from the apex, smallest; HW 0.98-1.26, HL 0.92-1.16; postpetiole in dorsal view longer than broad or as long as broad, in profile with an arched anterior face and a steeply sloping posterior face; petiole node in profile with a single evenly rounded blunt apex.

The workers of P. lucidus can be easily recognized by the following characters: (1) The postpetiole, in profile view, shows an arched anterior face and a steeply sloping posterior face, with the apex pointing posterior-upwardly. This shape is unique in the levigatus group. Furthermore, the postpetiole in dorsal view is longer than or as long as broad. In the other 11 species of the group, the postpetiole, in dorsal view, is distinctly broader than long. (2) The petiole node in profile view bears a single evenly blunt-rounded apex that is not seen in the other 11 species of the levigatus group. (3) P. lucidus has the largest head width (HW) in the levigatus group: In the .5.5 specimens measured, HW is 1.00 to 1.26 but 0.98 in only one individual. In the other species of the levigatus group, HW is less than 0.90, except in one species, Pristomyrmex largus, in which, HW falls into the range 0.90 to 0.96.

A member of the Levigatus species group

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: New Guinea (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


The biology of most Pristomyrmex species is poorly known. From Wang (2003): Most species of Pristomyrmex dwell in the rainforest, foraging as predators or scavengers. An Asian species, Pristomyrmex punctatus, however, occurs in open and disturbed habitats (e.g., bare hills, agricultural areas, and beaches). These ants prefer to nest in soil, litter, or rotten wood; in rotten parts of living trees; in dead standing trees; or around plant roots.

Pristomyrmex is of great interest because it exhibits several unusual biological and evolutionary phenomena. The absence of morphologically normal queens and reproduction primarily by unmated workers in P. punctatus {=P. pungens) is a highly unusual life history in the Formicidae. Ergatoid queens, a special wingless female caste morphologically intermediate between the queen and the worker, are present in at least four species: Pristomyrmex punctatus, Pristomyrmex africanus, Pristomyrmex wheeleri, and Pristomyrmex mandibularis; two of them (P. africanus and P. wheeleri) possess both queen and ergatoid queen castes.

Simulating death, slowness of movement, and nocturnal foraging has been recorded in Pristomyrmex (Donisthorpe, 1946; Taylor, 1965; Weber, 1941). Colony size varies greatly among species, ranging from about a dozen to several thousand workers (Donisthorpe, 1946; Itow et al, 1984; Mann, 1919; Taylor, 1965, 1968).


Queens have yet to be collected.



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

  • lucidus. Pristomyrmex lucidus Emery, 1897c: 584 (w.) NEW GUINEA. Donisthorpe, 1948b: 305 (q.). See also: Wang, M. 2003: 503.

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



Wang (2003) - TL 3.71-4.84, HL 0.92-1.16, HW 0.98-1.26, CI 104-111, SL 0.90-1.16, SI 89-98, EL 0.16- 0.20, PW 0.62-0.79, AL 0.90-1.28, PPW 0.24-0.28, PPL 0.26-0.31, PPI 84-100 (n = 55).

Mandibles smooth and shining but sometimes with a few longitudinal rugae superficial or distinct. A broad-based short tooth present about midway on the basal margin of the mandible. Clypeus with a short median longitudinal carina that usually does not reach to the anterior clypeal margin; sometimes this carina indistinct; sometime s a few additional short rugae present. Anterior clypeal margin with a median tooth and two lateral teeth; sometimes the median tooth is smaller than the others. Ventral surface of clypeus lacking any rugae or teeth. Palp formula 1,3. Frontal carinae extending to the level of the posterior margins of eyes. Antennal scrobes absent. Frontal lobes slightly expanded basally. Eyes containing 7 to 10 ommatidia in the longest row. Pronotum at most with a pair of blunt tubercles, lacking teeth or spines. Propodeum with a pair of armaments, varying from broadly based minute teeth to moderately long acute spines. Metapleural lobes triangular or each with a blunt-rounded apex. Petiole node in profile high, with a single evenly blunt-rounded apex and a long anterior peduncle . Postpetiole in profile high (slightly higher than petiole), with an arched anterior face and a steeply sloping posterior face , its apex pointing posterior-upwardly. In dorsal view, postpetiole broadening from front to back, mostly longer than broad, rarely about as long as broad. Cephalic dorsum between the frontal carinae highly polished but usually with a few foveolate punctures bordering the frontal carinae. Sometimes a few foveolate punctures present on the genae and many on the ventral surface of the head. Dorsum of alitrunk, petiole, and postpetiole unsculptured and highly polished. Gaster smooth and shining. Dorsal surfaces of head and alitrunk with sparse erect to suberect moderately long hairs. A pair of hairs present on the dorsum of petiole node and one to two pairs on the dorsum of postpetiole. First gastral tergite with a few hairs. A few pairs of forward-projecting hairs present near the anterior clypeal margin. Scapes and tibiae with numerous suberect to erect short hairs. Body uniform yellow-brown or blackish-brown or bicolored (i.e., alitrunk and pedicel segments lighter than head and gaster).


Wang (2003) - TL 5.12, 5.22; HL 1.13, 1.14; HW 1.22, 1.27; CI 108, 111; SL 1.06, 1.13; SI 87, 89; EL 0.26, 0.28; PW 0.96, 1.00; AL 1.40, 1.42; PPW 0.31, 0.36; PPL 0.32, 0.38; PPI 9.5, 97 (n = 2).

Generally similar to worker, except for normal caste differences. In addition, propodeal armaments usually shorter than those in the conspecific worker; first gastral tergite sometimes with numerous erect or suberect hairs.

Type Material

Wang (2003) - Holotype worker, New Guinea: Berlinhafen (Biro) (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa) [examined].


  • Donisthorpe, H. 1948b [1947]. A second instalment of the Ross Collection of ants from New Guinea. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 11(14): 297-317 (page 305, queen described)
  • Wang, M. 2003. A Monographic Revision of the Ant Genus Pristomyrmex (Hymenoptera:Formicidae). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 157(6): 383-542 (page 503, figs. 221-224 worker, queen described)