Pseudomyrmex feralis

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Pseudomyrmex feralis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Pseudomyrmex
Species group: ferrugineus
Species: P. feralis
Binomial name
Pseudomyrmex feralis
Ward, 2017

Ward 2017-9d.jpg

P. feralis is apparently restricted to Guatemala where it is associated with montane rainforest and mixed tropical-temperate mesic forest, at elevations ranging from 1460 m to 1900 m. I have collected three nest series, all in dead twigs. The workers are non-aggressive and uninclined to sting. (Ward, 2017)

Identification

Ward (2017) - P. feralis can be recognized by the laterally angulate clypeal lobe, moderately long eyes (REL 0.48–0.51), robust profemur (FI 0.43–0.46) and convex mesosomal profile in which the metanotal groove is almost indiscernable. The acacia-ants in the Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus group have a more slender profemur (FI 0.35–0.41), generally shorter eyes (REL 0.39–0.50), and a well-developed metanotal groove. For distinctions between P. feralis and the other non-mutualist in the P. ferrugineus group, Pseudomyrmex evitus, see above under that species. With respect to body size and color, P. feralis is superficially similar to a much more common, but undescribed, high-elevation Central American species, Pseudomyrmex psw159, which ranges from Chiapas to Nicaragua, and occurs sympatrically with P. feralis in Guatemala. P. psw159 belongs to a distantly related complex of species that includes Pseudomyrmex elongatulus and Pseudomyrmex championi (the Pseudomyrmex elongatulus group, to be treated in a later study). Workers of P. psw159 can be distinguished from those of P. feralis by a number of features, including a laterally rounded median clypeal lobe; 6,4 palp formula; shorter eyes (REL 0.42–0.47); more elongate head (CI 0.82–0.86); and more slender profemur (FI 0.40–0.44).

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Guatemala (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • feralis. Pseudomyrmex feralis Ward, 2017: 532, fig. 3 (w.) GUATEMALA.

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

Description

Worker

(n = 8). HL 1.02–1.08, HW 0.94–0.99, MFC 0.029–0.047, LHT 0.73–0.77, CI 0.90– 0.94, REL 0.48–0.51, REL2 0.53–0.56, FCI 0.030–0.047, FI 0.43–0.46, PLI 0.54–0.57, PWI 0.50–0.60.

Medium-sized species (see HL, HW and LHT measurements) with head slightly longer than broad (CI <1.00) and eyes moderately elongate (REL >0.47); anterior margin of median clypeal lobe concave, and laterally angulate; palp formula 5,3; frontal carinae closely contiguous, separated by notably less than basal scape width; profemur relatively robust; mesosoma as in Fig. 3, metanotal groove very weakly impressed, and not evident in lateral view, mesosoma appearing broadly convex in profile; dorsal face of propodeum slightly longer than, and rounding gradually into, declivitous face; petiole as in, a little less than twice as long as high or wide, and with a slightly differentiated anterior peduncle; postpetiole broad, about 1.7–1.8X petiole width. Head, mesosoma and petiole punctulate-coriarious and subopaque; postpetiole and abdominal tergite IV sublucid, their reflectance reduced by fine punctulae and associated dense pubescence. Standing pilosity fine, pale, and somewhat sparse on most parts of the body (MSC 7–12), usually present on the mesonotum but lacking on propodeum. Dark brown, the pronotum—and sometimes the rest of the mesosoma, petiole and appendages—variably lighter brown.

Type Material

Holotype worker. Guatemala Sacatepéquez: Parque Florencia, nr. San Miguel Milpas Altas, 1900 m, 14°34ʹN 90°41ʹW, 13 Nov 2003, ex dead twig of woody Asteraceae, montane rainforest, P. S. Ward PSW15038 (National Museum of Natural History) (CASENT0794097). Paratypes. Series of 9 workers, same data as holotype (California Academy of Sciences, John T. Longino Collection, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Philip S. Ward Collection, University of California, Davis, Colección de Artrópodos).

References