Pseudomyrmex curacaensis

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Pseudomyrmex curacaensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Pseudomyrmex
Species: P. curacaensis
Binomial name
Pseudomyrmex curacaensis
(Forel, 1912)

Pseudomyrmex curacaensis casent0005872 profile 1.jpg

Pseudomyrmex curacaensis casent0005872 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nests in dead twigs and branches of a variety of trees.

Identification

Ward (1989) - The key characteristics of P. curacaensis are its relatively large size, sublucid-punctate head, and relatively sharp lateral margination of the petiole (such that, in dorsal view, the maximum width of the petiole occurs at, rather than below, the dorsolateral margination). In lateral view, the petiolar node presents a rounded profile, typical of the P. oculatus group, P. curacaensis is very closely related to the Central American species, Pseudomyrmex cretus; for distinguishing features see the description for this species, the keys to workers and queens, and the discussion under P. cretus. At the lower end of its size range (worker HW 0.74-0.79), P. curacaensis may be confused with Pseudomyrmex cubaensis (s.l.); the most useful distinguishing characters are the marginate petiole, more markedly concave occipital margin, and the more elongate funicular segments, of P. curacaensis. The infuscated patch around the ocelli also tends to be characteristic, but it is not invariably present. Finally, P. curacaensis tends to have a less elongate head, and a more slender fore femur, than P. cubaensis.

Distribution

Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Curacao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guadelupe, Guyana, Panama, Peru, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Venezuela

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Lesser Antilles, Panama, Suriname (type locality), Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Ward (1989) - I have encountered this species in a broad range of habitats, from tropical thorn forest and roadside vegetation to primary and second-growth rain forest. Nest-site records include dead twigs or branches of Prosopis juliflora, Gliricidia sepium, Triplaris sp., Pilosocereus lanuginosus, and unidentified bombacaceous and leguminous trees.

Koch et al. (2018) sampled this species in Caryocar barsiliense trees, in southeastern Brazil cerrado, as part of a study examining species interactions in ant-plants.

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • curacaensis. Pseudomyrma dolichopsis var. curacaensis Forel, 1912g: 23 (w.) SURINAM. Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1961a: 379. Raised to species: Kempf, 1961a: 379 (misspelled as curacaoensis).

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

Ward (1989) - It is curious that this species, one of the more common members of the P. oculatus group, has been unrecognized since its original description. Kempf (1961) raised P. curacaensis to species without being able to identify any material referable to it. In collections I have often found specimens of P. curacaensis misidentified as P. oculatus, to which they bear only a superficial resemblance, having a very different petiole shape and head sculpture.

Description

Worker

Ward (1989) - measurements (n=37). —HL 0.85-1.21, HW 0.74-0.89, MFC 0.014-0.037, CI 0.70-0.88, OI 0.53-0.59, REL 0.51-0.58, REL2 0.64-0.77, OOI (-0.04)-0.47, VI 0.74-0.86, FCI 0.018-0.044, SI 0.44-0.49, SI2 0.60-0.74, FI 0.42-0.49, POI 1.09-1.60, MPI 0.030-0.059, NI 0.56-0.69, PLI 0.71-0.89, PWI 0.59-0.78, PPWI 1.15-1.64.

Worker diagnosis. —Similar to Pseudomyrmex cretus (q.v.); averaging smaller in size (HW 0.74-0.89), with longer head, shorter scapes, and longer eyes (S12 0.60-0.74; REL2 0.64-0.77); occipital margin varying from flat to (frequently) rather conspicuously concave, in full-face frontal view; funicular segments II and III about as long as broad, or nearly so (FLI 1 .55-2.04, n=6). Propodeum and petiole similar to that of P. cretus, except correspondingly more slender in smaller individuals. Sculpture, pilosity, and pubescence more or less as in P. cretus. Color variable: typically medium to dark brown, with lighter appendages, and a darker infuscated patch on the upper third of the head, including the ocelli; some populations (e.g., northern Colombia, Curacao) have workers which are lighter orange-brown in color, with contrasting dark brown hind femur, postpetiole, and gaster.

Type Material

Ward (1989) - Two syntype workers, Curacao (Bugnion) (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève) [Examined]. One syntype here designated LECTOTYPE.

References

  • Forel, A. 1912h. Formicides néotropiques. Part IV. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (suite). Mém. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 20: 1-32 (page 23, worker described)
  • Kempf, W. W. 1961a. Estudos sôbre Pseudomyrmex. III. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4: 369-408 (page 379, Combination in Pseudomyrmex, and raised to species; (misspelled as curacaoensis).)
  • Koch, E. B. A., W. Dattilo, F. Camarota, and H. L. Vasconcelos. 2018. From species to individuals: does the variation in ant-plant networks scale result in structural and functional changes? Population Ecology. 60:309-318. doi:10.1007/s10144-018-0634-5