Temnothorax bestelmeyeri

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Temnothorax bestelmeyeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Crematogastrini
Genus: Temnothorax
Species group: sallei
Species: T. bestelmeyeri
Binomial name
Temnothorax bestelmeyeri
(Mackay, W.P., 2000)

Temnothorax bestelmeyeri casent0172986 profile 1.jpg

Temnothorax bestelmeyeri casent0172986 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is only known from a single worker. It was collected in a pitfall trap in desert grassland.


Prebus 2017 - A member of the sallei clade.

Mackay (2000) - This is a small, pale yellow species with large, black eyes and a 12-segmented antenna. The dorsum of the head is covered with striae formed by closely placed punctures that are in rows. The carinae on the clypeus are poorly formed, the middle carina is lacking, but the entire surface of the clypeus is convex. The top of the mesosoma is covered with fine rugae, the petiolar node is moderately sharp in profile, with the edge formed by a ruga. The subpeduncular process is well developed. The postpetiole is more than 1.5 X the width of the petiole.

This pale yellow ant with large, black eyes would be confused with few other species, except for Temnothorax andersoni, Temnothorax cokendolpheri, Temnothorax liebi and Temnothorax coleenae from the Chihuahuan Desert. See the discussion of T. coleenae for characteristics to separate these species. The large eyes would also separate it from Temnothorax terrigena, Temnothorax furunculus, and Temnothorax andrei.

Keys including this Species


USA. New Mexico. Known only from the type locality.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 34.156971° to 32.5°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.


Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.



The holotype was collected in desert grassland.


Only known from the type collection.



Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • bestelmeyeri. Leptothorax (Myrafant) bestelmeyeri Mackay, W.P., 2000: 318, figs. 26, 41, 42, 87-89 (w.) U.S.A. Combination in Temnothorax: Bolton, 2003: 271.

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



Mandibles with 4 teeth plus poorly defined denticles; anterior border of clypeus convex, clypeus without medial carina and poorly defined lateral carinae; eye large, anterior edge to anterior edge of cheek (0.16mm) less than maximum diameter of eye; vertex straight; mesosoma with none of the sutures breaking the sculpture; propodeal spines small (0.06mm in length), but well developed; petiole with well developed, blunt subpetiolar tooth, anterior petiolar face straight, posterior face convex, petiolar node moderately sharp in profile.

Erect, blunt hairs scattered on most surfaces, up to 0.12mm in length, legs and scapes with finer hairs, which are nearly decumbent.

Dorsum of head punctate with punctures forming costulae, dorsum of mesosoma with fine rugulae, sides similar to sculpture on head, gaster smooth and polished, mesosoma, petiole and postpetiole (sides and dorsum) mostly punctured and rough, dorsum of gaster smooth and shining.

Concolorous pale yellow with black eyes.

Measurements: HL 0.67, HW 0.54, SL 0.49, EL 0.22, WL 0.79, PW 0.19, PL 0.16, PPW 0.29, PPL 0.20. Indices: CI 81, SI 73, PI 113, PPI 145.

Type Material

Holotype worker Museum of Comparative Zoology USA: New Mexico, Dona Ana Co. 37 k N Las Cruces, Jornada Experimental Range, 26 or 29-vii-1996. B. Bestelmeyer.


Patronym. Named in honor of Brandon Bestelmeyer, who collected the holotype, as well as other interesting Leptothorax specimens.


  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 271, Combination in Temnothorax)
  • MacKay, W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 36: 265-444 (page 318, figs. 26, 41, 42, 87-89 worker described)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Prebus, M. 2017. Insights into the evolution, biogeography and natural history of the acorn ants, genus Temnothorax Mayr (hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bmc Evolutionary Biology. 17:250. doi:10.1186/s12862-017-1095-8 (The doi link to the publication's journal webpage provides access to the 24 files that accompany this article).

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bestelmeyer B. T., and J. A. Wiens. 2001. Local and regional-scale responses of ant diversity to a semiarid biome transition. Ecography 24: 381-392.
  • Mackay W. P. 2000. A review of the New World ants of the subgenus Myrafant, (genus Leptothorax) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Sociobiology 36: 265-444.
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.