Prionomyrmex

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Prionomyrmex
Temporal range: 42–23 Ma Bartonian, Middle to Late Oligocene
Prionomyrmex longiceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmeciinae
Tribe: Prionomyrmecini
Genus: Prionomyrmex
Mayr, 1868
Type species
Prionomyrmex longiceps
Diversity
4 fossil species
(Species Checklist)

Template:Myrmeciinae Relationships There are two species in this genus from the Baltic Amber (Eocene). This genus appears to be ancestral to the genus Myrmecia from Australia.

Identification

Worker. - First funicular joint of antennae about half as long as the second, the second the longest, and the succeeding joints gradually decreasing in length to the pentultimate, which is a little shorter than the last joint. Surface of body smooth, very finely shagreened, but not punctate or rugulose. Hairs moderately abundant, erect or suberect, short on the head, thorax, legs and scapes, somewhat longer on the abdomen. Pubescence indistinct, execept in one specimen (B 259), in which it seems to be abundant but glued to the body by a white film.

Distribution

This taxon is known from Baltic amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Bitterfeld amber (Bartonian, Middle to Late Eocene), Rott, Westphalia, Germany (Late Oligocene).

Biology

The long legs, strong claws and remarkable mandibles of the worker indicate that P. longiceps was predaceous, and in all probability, an arboreal ant.

Association with Other Organisms

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Strepsiptera

  • This species is a host for the strepsipteran species unknown (Strepsiptera, Myrmecolacidae?) (a parasite) in Baltic amber (Pohl & Kinzelbach, 2001).

Castes

Worker, Male, Queen

Nomenclature

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

  • PRIONOMYRMEX [Myrmeciinae: Prionomyrmecini]
    • Prionomyrmex Mayr, 1868c: 77. Type-species: †Prionomyrmex longiceps, by monotypy.

References