Pseudomyrmex filiformis

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Pseudomyrmex filiformis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Pseudomyrmex
Species: P. filiformis
Binomial name
Pseudomyrmex filiformis
(Fabricius, 1804)

Pseudomyrmex filiformis casent0173752 profile 1.jpg

Pseudomyrmex filiformis casent0173752 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Ward (1996) suggests this ant is a temporary social parasite of a number of common, co-occurring Pseudomyrmex species, including Pseudomyrmex elongatus, Pseudomyrmex holmgreni and Pseudomyrmex (sp. PSW-14).

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Ward (1996) - Incipient colonies of this species have been found inhabiting a nest in small dead twigs with several workers of a different Pseudomyrmex species. This contrasts with mature colonies, which form large monospecific nests with a single functional queen. This suggests the queens are temporary social parasites.

Gillette et al. (2015) in a Chaipas, Mexico field study of twig-nesting ants in coffee plants found P. ejectus occurred in 9% of the twigs with nests. All of its nests were below 1300 m.





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

  • filiformis. Formica filiformis Fabricius, 1804: 405 (q.) CENTRAL AMERICA. Wheeler, W.M. 1919i: 125 (w.m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1956: 384 (l.). Combination in Leptalea: Erichson, 1839: 309; in Pseudomyrma: Roger, 1862c: 289; in Pseudomyrmex: Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1956: 384. Senior synonym of cephalica: Roger, 1862c: 289; of biconvexa: Wheeler, W.M. 1919i: 125; of longiceps Forel, longiceps Stitz: Ward, 1989: 438.
  • cephalica. Pseudomyrma cephalica Smith, F. 1855c: 168 (w.q.m.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of filiformis: Roger, 1862c: 289.
  • biconvexa. Pseudomyrma biconvexa Forel, 1899c: 95, pl. 4, fig. 10 (w.) GUATEMALA. Junior synonym of filiformis: Wheeler, W.M. 1919i: 125.
  • longiceps. Pseudomyrma biconvexa var. longiceps Forel, 1906d: 229 (w.) COLOMBIA. Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1972a: 218. Subspecies of filiformis: Wheeler, W.M. 1919i: 131. Junior synonym of filiformis: Ward, 1989: 438.
  • longiceps. Pseudomyrma longiceps Stitz, 1933: 68 (q.) VENEZUELA. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of longiceps Wheeler, above.] Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1972a: 221. Junior synonym of filiformis: Ward, 1989: 438.


Type Material

Ward (1989):

Syntype dealate queen, Essequibo, Guyana (Smidt) (Zoologisk Museum, University of Copenhagen) [Examined]; here designated as LECTOTYPE. A second syntype dealate queen in ZMUC, lacking head, metasoma, and a locality label, has been labelled paralectotype.

Pseudomyrma cephalica F. Smith, 1855:168. Dealate queen, labelled as type, Santarem, Brazil (Bates); two workers. probable syntypes, Villa Nova, Brazil (Bates) (The Natural History Museum) [Examined].

Pseudomyrma biconvexa Forel, 1899:95. Syntype workers, Pantaleon, Guatemala (Champion) (BMNH, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève); Costa Rica (Tonduz) (BMNH) [Examined].

Pseudamyrma biconvexa var. longiceps Forel, 1906:229. Syntype worker, Santa Marta, Colombia (A. Forel) (MHNG) [Examined].

Pseudomyrma longiceps Stitz, 1933:69. Holotype queen, Macuto, near La Guayra, Venezuela (e. Gazgo) (not in Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universität Hamburg. probably destroyed during World War II).

The syntype worker of P. longiceps (Forel) is simply a large P. filiformis worker, with a rather elongate head and a conspicuous subpetiolar tooth. I have seen such variant workers within nest-series of typical P. filiformis from elsewhere in Central and South America. Although the unique type of P. longiceps (Stitz) is lost, the original description (particularly as it pertains to head length, position of eyes, and petiole shape) is closer to that of P. filiformis than any other species known to me.


  • Erichson, W. F. 1839. Bericht über die Leistungen im Gebiete der Naturgeschichte während des Jahres 1838. IX. Insecten. Arch. Naturgesch. 5(2 2: 281-375 (page 309, Combination in leptalea)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1804. Systema Piezatorum secundum ordines, genera, species, adjectis synonymis, locis, observationibus, descriptionibus. Brunswick: C. Reichard, xiv + 15-439 + 30 pp. (page 405, queen described)
  • Gillette, P. N., K. K. Ennis, G. D. Martinez, and S. M. Philpott. 2015. Changes in Species Richness, Abundance, and Composition of Arboreal Twig-nesting Ants Along an Elevational Gradient in Coffee Landscapes. Biotropica. 47:712-722. doi:10.1111/btp.12263
  • Roger, J. 1862c. Synonymische Bemerkungen. 1. Ueber Formiciden. Berl. Entomol. Z. 6: 283-297 (page 289, Combination in Pseudomyrma, Senior synonym of cephalica)
  • Ward, P. S. 1989a. Systematic studies on pseudomyrmecine ants: revision of the Pseudomyrmex oculatus and P. subtilissimus species groups, with taxonomic comments on other species. Quaest. Entomol. 25: 393-468 (page 438, Senior synonym of longiceps Forel and longiceps Stitz)
  • Ward, P. S. 1996. A new workerless social parasite in the ant genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a discussion of the origin of social parasitism in ants. Systeamtic Entomology. 21:253-263. PDF
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1956. The ant larvae of the subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 49: 374-398 (page 384, larva described, Combination in Pseudomyrmex)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1919k. A singular neotropical ant (Pseudomyrma filiformis Fabricius). Psyche (Camb.) 26: 124-131 (page 125, worker, male described, Senior synonym of biconvexa)