Temnothorax brevispinosus

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

Temnothorax brevispinosus casent0911187 p 1 high.jpg

Temnothorax brevispinosus casent0911187 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Only known from the type, this species was discovered in Michoacan, Mexico. The nest was found in amongst rocks in an open area within a pine-oak forest, in rocky soil.


Prebus 2017 - A member of the sallei clade.

Mackay (2000) - This is a small, brown species with a 12-segmented antenna. The propodeal spines are poorly developed, consisting of small, blunt bumps. The head is nearly completely smooth and shiny, as is much of the dorsum of the mesosoma (except propodeum, which has well defined rugae intermixed with punctures) and the side of the pronotum. The petiolar node has a relatively sharp apex with coarse rugae covering the upper surface.

This new species is nearly identical to Temnothorax mexicanus. It differs in the sculpturing of the workers, females and males. The head of the worker is more coarsely sculptured than that of Temnothorax mexicanus, specifically the striae between the eye and insertion of the antenna are very coarse and well developed, consisting of parallel, semicircular lines with the insertion of the antennae at the center. The side of the pronotum is mostly smooth and glossy, whereas the side of the pronotum of Temnothorax mexicanus is covered with striae. The females are less sculptured than those of Temnothorax mexicanus, the dorsum of the head is nearly smooth and shining, but the semicircular striae are present between the eye and the insertions of the antennae, as in Temnothorax mexicanus. The degree of sculpturing of the workers and females is reversed from the situation in Temnothorax mexicanus: the workers of Temnothorax brevispinosus are more sculptured than those of Temnothorax mexicanus, the females of Temnothorax brevispinosus are less sculptured than those of Temnothorax mexicanus. The propodeal spines of Temnothorax brevispinosus are very poorly developed, much less than Temnothorax mexicanus. The clypeus of the male of Temnothorax brevispinosus is nearly completely covered with reticulated rugae, much more than simply a transverse ruga at the anterior of the clypeus, as appears in Temnothorax mexicanus and Temnothorax adustus. Thus, although these three species are closely related, there are these major structural differences between them. It could be confused with Temnothorax manni. It differs in that the scapes have at least suberect hairs (appressed in Temnothorax manni). Additionally, the propodeal armature consists of poorly developed angles, whereas the angles of Temnothorax manni are nearly developed into spines.

Keys including this Species


MEXICO, Michoacan. Known only from type locality.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 19.28855° to 18.2428°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Mexico (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 type series was collected in rocky soil in amongst rocks, in pine-oak forest, along road in a somewhat open area.


Known only from the type collection.




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

  • brevispinosus. Leptothorax (Myrafant) brevispinosus Mackay, W.P., 2000: 323, figs. 24, 95 (w.q.m.) MEXICO. 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.



Mandibles with 5 teeth; anterior border of clypeus straight and crenulated, clypeus with well developed medial carina and several lateral carinae; vertex nearly straight; sides of head broadly convex; eyes extending past sides of head; antenna with 12 segments; scape nearly reaching occipital corners: mesosoma with dorsum nearly flat, sutures not marked on dorsum; propodeum with dorsal face and posterior face equal in length, propodeal spines consisting of simple angles; petiole with anterior petiolar face nearly straight, posterior face also nearly straight, meeting at the top of the petiolar node at an angle subpeduncular process consisting of a simple tooth; post-petiole not remarkable.

Erect hairs mostly blunt tipped, scattered over head. including c1ypeus. short (up to 0.05mm), scapes with abundant hairs, few nearly erect. most suberect to decumbent, mesosoma with several hairs, mostly on dorsum, short (up to 0.08mm), some nearly clavate. legs with several hairs, many erect, many hairs on petiole and postpetiole, similar to those on mesosoma, gaster with many hairs, some nearly sharp pointed; decumbent pubescence sparse. few hairs on head and gaster.

Sculpture mostly smooth. dorsum of head smooth and glossy, area posterior to insertion of antennae with concentric whorls of rugae, sides of head, especially near base of mandible. with rugae and a few scattered punctures, side and dorsum of pronotum smooth and shining, except for very fine costulae on lower lateral border, mesopleural region and side of propodeum with moderately well defined rugae, intermixed with punctures, top of mesosoma predominantly smooth and shining, dorsum of propodeum similar to side, posterior face with transverse striations, side of petiole with poorly defined rugae and punctures, top of petiole with coarse rugae, side of postpetiole mostly punctate, top smooth on anterior half, posterior half punctate, gaster completely smooth and shining.

Color medium brown.

Measurements: HL 0.65-0.67, HW 0.52-0.53, SL 0.5-0.52, EL 0.13-0.14, WL 0.68-0.70, PW 0.14-0.16, PL 0.13-0.14, PPW 0.20-0.22, PPL 0.16-0.18. Indices: CI 79-80, SI 78, PI 108-114, PPI 122-125.


Mandible with 5 or 6 teeth (some poorly defined); clypeus as in worker; eyes large, extending well beyond sides of head; ocelli well developed; scape reaching occipital corner; vertex slightly concave; propodeal spines consisting of simple angles; petiole and postpetiole as in worker, except that anterior half of postpetiole rising above surface as swollen area.

Erect hairs on head and mesosoma similar to those of worker, those on petiole, postpetiole and gaster longer (up to 0.18mm) and mostly with sharp points; decumbent pubescence as in worker; sculpture more coarse, specifically rugae on head extend to area between eye and frontal carina, pronotum with striae on sides, mesopleuron mostly smooth and shining, propodeum with coarse rugae with intrarugal spaces partially to mostly shining, petiole, postpetiole and gaster as in worker.

Color medium brown.

Measurements: HL 0.77, HW 0.67, SL 0.61, EL 0.22, WL 1.30, PW 0.22, PL 0.16, PPW 0.32, PPL 23, Indices: CI 87, SI 79, PI 138, PPI 139.


Mandible with 3-5 teeth, most except apical poorly defined; median anterior border of clypeus convex, clypeus convex; eyes large, extending well past sides of head; ocelli large; scape short, approximately length offirst 3 funicular segments; vertex weakly concave; propodeal armature nearly absent, area where spines normally occur simply bulging from surface and connected across propodeum to other bulge by carina; petiole as in worker, but lower and less acute.

Erect hairs sparse, those on head very short (less than 0.04mm), those on mesosoma slightly longer (up to 0.07mm), those on petiole long (0.12mm), gastral hairs slightly shorter (0.10mm): decumbent pubescence very sparse, few hairs only on head.

Sculpture very different than that of worker and female, dorsum and ventral surface of head completely punctate, rugae present near mandibles and near frontal carinae, clypeus with coarse rugae, a major ruga extending transversely across middle ofc1ypeus, a smaller medial ruga extending from anterior margin of c1ypcus to this ruga, other rugae smaller, pronotum glossy with fine costulae on lower surface, scutum moderately shining, surface covered with costulae mesopleural area mostly shining, side of propodeum with costulae, top with fine rugae, posterior face coriaceous, petiole and postpeptiole with fine punctures and costulae, gaster smooth and shining.

Color medium brown.

Measurements: HL 0.46-0.47, HW 0.52-0.53, SL 0.14 0.15, EL 0.22-0.25, WL 1.00-1.01, PW 0.14-0.15, PL 0.11-0.13, PPW 0.20-0.21, PPL 0.11-0.12, Indices: CI 113, SI 30-32, PI 115-127, PPI 175-182.

Type Material

Michoacan, Parque Nacional Cerro Garnica, 2700 meters, 25 May 1988, W. Mackay #10357. Nest in soil. The site is one mile E of park entrance, 3.2 miles road distance from Pino Gordo, using odometer. Holotype worker Museum of Comparative Zoology, 33 paratype workers William and Emma Mackay Collection, MCZC, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, National Museum of Natural History, UTIC, 1 paratype female MCZC and 3 paratype males CWEM, MCZC, USNM.


Morphological. Name based on the small propodeal spines in all three castes.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133