Pseudomyrmex subater

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Pseudomyrmex subater
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Pseudomyrmecinae
Genus: Pseudomyrmex
Species: P. subater
Binomial name
Pseudomyrmex subater
(Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1914)

Pseudomyrmex subater casent0173777 profile 1.jpg

Pseudomyrmex subater casent0173777 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Known from Central America, the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. Ward (1996) notes there is not much known about this ant's biology, but field observations in dry forests of western Mexico (Jalisco) and the Dominican Republic suggest that it is a rather aggressive species that is both polygnynous and polydomous. He also found that P. subater can sometimes be found nesting together with Pseudomyrmex cubaensis, but the nature of their relationship is unclear and this species may be either a temporary social parasite of P. cubaensi or a facultative slave maker.


Ward (1985) - P. subater, originally described as a subspecies of Pseudomyrmex elongatus, was recognized as a distinct species by Creighton (1955). It may be distinguished from P. elongatus and Pseudomyrmex cubaensis by the shinier integument, conspicuous pilosity (grading insensibly from appressed pubescence to fine suberect and erect setae), broad head (CI 0.83-0.88), short eyes (REL2 0.54-0.58 in P. subater, > 0.62 in P. elongatus and P. cubaensis), distinct petiolar shape (gradually inclined anterior face rounded into a sharply declining posterior fact: so that NI 0.61-0.72), and conspicuous anteroventral tooth on the postpetiole. Apart from two "cotype" workers in the MCZ from Haiti, I have seen material of P. subater (misidentifif:d as P. elongatus) from the Bahamas (Andros Island, Nassau) and the same, or a closely related species, from Jamaica (Kingston). Wheeler's (1905) record of "elongatus" from the Bahamas appears to be based on a combination of P. subater and P. cubaensis, judging from material in the MCZ.

Recent collections of P. subater from the Bahamas by Blaine Cole show that this species has striking bright orange queens, which look superficially like those of Pseudomyrmex pallidus. Cole also made a collection from a single Cladium culm which contained both P. subater and P. cubaensis workers. These findings suggest that Wheeler's (1905) and Mann's (1920) records of dulotic associations between "flavidula" and "elongata" may have been based in part on pure colonies of P. subater, or mixed colonies of P. subater and P. cubaensis.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Greater Antilles, Guatemala, Haiti (type locality), Mexico, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Ward (1996) - Queens are unusually small for the genus, being about the same size as the workers.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • subater. Pseudomyrma elongata subsp. subatra Wheeler, W.M. & Mann, 1914: 19 (w.) HAITI. Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1972a: 224. Raised to species: Kempf, 1972a: 224. See also: Ward, 1985b: 228; Ward, 1990: 486.

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



Length 4-4.5 mm.

Differing from the typical elongata and the preceding variety in having the head somewhat shorter, the base of the epinotum shorter, more convex, and more rounded, so that it passes into the declivity with a much less distinct angle. The petiole and postpetiole are somewhat more slender, the former narrower behind, the latter slightly longer than broad. The surface of the body, behind the anterior portion of the head, much more shining, the punctures distinct but finer than in the other forms of elongata and the color much darker, being black, with the anterior portion of the head dark brown and the mandibles, clypeus and antennae paler brown. The legs, including the tarsi, are black throughout.

Type Locality Information

Described from several workers taken at Diquini in the stems of bamboo.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Branstetter M. G. and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala. Pp. 221-268 in: Cano E. B. and J. C. Schuster. (eds.) 2012. Biodiversidad de Guatemala. Volumen 2. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, iv + 328 pp
  • Castano-Meneses, G., M. Vasquez-Bolanos, J. L. Navarrete-Heredia, G. A. Quiroz-Rocha, and I. Alcala-Martinez. 2015. Avances de Formicidae de Mexico. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Deyrup M., L. Davis, and S. Buckner. 1998. Composition of the ant fauna of three Bahamian islands. Proceedings of the seventh symposium on the natural history of the Bahamas. 23-32. Bahamian Field Station, San Salvador, Bahamas
  • Enzmann E. V. 1944. Systematic notes on the genus Pseudomyrma. Psyche (Camb.) 51: 59-103.
  • Fontenla J. L., and J. Alfonso-Simonetti. 2018. Classification of Cuban ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) into functional groups. Poeyana Revista Cubana de Zoologia 506: 21-30.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Morrison L. W. 1998. A review of Bahamian ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 25: 561-571.
  • Morrison, Lloyd. 2006. The Ants of Small Bahamian Cays. Bahamas Naturalist & Journal of Science. 1(2):27-32.
  • Perez-Gelabert D. E. 2008. Arthropods of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti): A checklist and bibliography. Zootaxa 1831:1-530.
  • Ward P. S. 1990. The Ant Subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Generic Revision and Relationship to Other Formicids. Systematic Entomology 15: 449-489
  • Ward P. S. 1992. Ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Dominican amber, with a synopsis of the extant Antillean species. Psyche (Cambridge) 99: 55-85
  • Ward P. S., and D. A. Downie. 2005. The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae: phylogeny and evolution of big-eyed arboreal ants. Systematic Entomology 30: 310-335.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1937. Ants mostly from the mountains of Cuba. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. 81: 439-465.
  • Wheeler W. M., and W. M. Mann. 1914. The ants of Haiti. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 33: 1-61.
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.