Bucktooth or Slope-back Carpenter Ants
Characters. - Open, soldier and female. - Small and medium-sized species; Dimorphism of the soldiers very pronounced; In many species there are but few forms of passage (sometimes not at all) between the two extreme categories of neutrals. Head of large workers (or soldiers) and females longer than wide; The sides parallel or somewhat converging in front, slightly curved or straight; In this case, the head is very elongated and more or less obtuse truncated in front (Paracolobopsis); The occipital border is generally straight or slightly curved in small workers, straight or tangled in large, and rarely very curved. The epistome is subject, as in Myrmamblys, to the same transformations according to the size of the specimens in the same species; It is always distinctly carene, at least in part, even among the greatest specimens, and in these, it is less advanced than the cheeks which exceed it considerably. Sigmoe frontal areas: divergent; The articulation of the antennas is located well in front of their half. Corselet with back arch, continuous. Scaly usually lenticular or flat at the back. Tegument, at least that of the head, mat; Sometimes the mandibles and the contour of the mouth are more or less shining among the great workmen (soldiers). Male.- (C. hermanni, Emery). Looks like colobopsis males.
Geographical distribution of species. - Southern United States to all of South America except the far south and Chile.
Notes: (1) I gathered in this subgenus part of the Myrmaphaenus of my 1920 revision along with Neomyrmamblys of Wheeler (Myrmamblys, Emery 1920), Paracolobopsis (Emery 1920) and some other species, having found, after much study, that the subgenera in question were not based on characteristics sufficiently important to justify their distinction as such. I designated groups within Myrmaphaenus for these erstwhile subgenera [see below]. (2) This group represents the American counterpart of Myrmamblys in the eastern hemisphere. (3) C. caperi, Forel, from Jamaica, which Forel classified in his subgenus Myrmothrix and Wheeler in his Myrmobrachys, has the head and clypeal structure of Myrmaphaenus; however, this species differs from the majority of the species in this group by its small eyes which are distant from the posterior head margin, even among small workers, as well by its long mesosoma with a more-or-less marginate pronotum and compressed and agnular propodeum with the posterior face slightly concave posteriorly, forming a saddle-like profile, reminiscent of certain Myrmamblys of the group reticulatus."
(Translated and edited by B. E. Boudinot, 19 February 2017.)
Myrmaphaenus is currently a subgenus of Camponotus.
Species groups of Myrmosphincta
Emery (1925) divided Myrmosphincta into five species groups, which he defined as follows:
"Group I: leydigi (type of subgenus)
Diagnosis. - Relatively large, almost entirely matte with microscopic sculpture giving distinct silky reflection; setae coarse, distributed across body.
Group II: blandus
Diagnosis. - Body completely covered with silky pubescence (except a few varieties). Size difference between majors and minors very considerable.
Group III: salvini (Paracolobopsis, Emery).
Diagnosis. - Head of soldiers more-or-less cylindrical (resembling Colobopsis). Head of workers with straight posterior margin and posterolateral angles pronounced; a mousse [translation uncertain] ridge passes through posterolateral angles of head to eye (also present in some species of Myrmobrachys).
Group IV: novogranadensis (Neomyrmamblys, Wheeler).
Diagnosis. - Negative and highly variable.
Group V: capperi
Diagnosis. Worker. - Head oval, eyes small, distant from posterior head margin, even in minors. Propodeum compressed; dorsal face forming angle with posterior face in profile view."
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- MYRMAPHAENUS [subgenus of Camponotus]
- Myrmaphaenus Emery, 1920b: 237 [as subgenus of Camponotus]. Type-species: Camponotus leydigi, by original designation.
- Myrmaphaenus senior synonym of Neomyrmamblys, Paracolobopsis: Emery, 1925b: 152.
- NEOMYRMAMBLYS [junior synonym of Myrmaphaenus]
- Neomyrmamblys Wheeler, W.M. 1921a: 19 [as subgenus of Camponotus]. Type-species: Camponotus fastigatus, by subsequent designation of Santschi, 1921f: 311.
- Neomyrmamblys junior synonym of Myrmaphaenus: Emery, 1925b: 152.
- PARACOLOBOPSIS [junior synonym of Myrmaphaenus]
- Paracolobopsis Emery, 1920b: 249 [as subgenus of Camponotus]. Type-species: Camponotus salvini, by original designation.
- Paracolobopsis junior synonym of Myrmaphaenus: Emery, 1925b: 152.
- Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 117, Myrmaphaenus as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Emery, C. 1920b. Le genre Camponotus Mayr. Nouvel essai de la subdivision en sous-genres. Rev. Zool. Afr. (Bruss.) 8: 229-260 (page 237, Myrmaphaenus as subgenus of Camponotus)
- Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 152, Myrmaphaenus as subgenus of Camponotus; Myrmaphaenus senior synonym of Neomyrmamblys, Paracolobopsis)
- Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 705, Myrmaphaenus as subgenus of Camponotus)