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Species: Pseudomyrmex apache   Creighton, 1953 

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See Also:

Pseudomyrmex apache_cf, Pseudomyrmex apache_nr

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pseudomyrmex apache Creighton, 1953b PDF: 134, pl. 12, figs. 1-7 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Nearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

See also: Creighton, 1954 PDF: 9; Ward, 1985b PDF: 229.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Mexico, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Pseudomyrmex apache ranges from California to east Texas, and south into northern Mexico (Ward, 1985).


A denizen of xeric habitats, P. apache nests in sizable dead branches (1-12 cm diameter) of various trees (especially live oaks) and large woody shrubs, usually taking advantage of beetle-bored cavities. By state and country. nest-site records are as follows (Ward, 1985):
  • Texas: Prosopis glandulosa, Quercus grisea.
  • Arizona: Populus sp., Prosopis sp., Quercus arizonica, Q. emoryi, Q. grisea, Q. oblongifolia, Q. turbinella.
  • California: Arctostaphylos manzanita, Fraxinus gall, Pinus attenuata cone, Quercus chrysolepis, Q. wislizenii, Umbellularia californica.
  • Mexico: Prosopis sp., Quercus emoryi, Q. fusiformis, Q. oblongifolia, Q. santaclarensis.

Ward (1985) dissected 13 nests (from Texas, Arizona and California), of which five contained no dealate females, six contained a single queen, one contained two functional (i.e. inseminated) queens, and one contained 6 dealate queens. Thus, this species is at least occasionally polygynous and, judging from the queenless nests, polydomous. For two of the five queenless nests, queenright nests were located on the same tree or shrub.

Ward (1985) recorded two observations of lone foraging (presumably colony founding) dealate queens: one on the trunk of a Quercus arizonica tree in September (Arizona) and the other on an Arctostaphylos bush in February (northern California). The latter queen was dissected and found to be inseminated but possessing preoviposition ovaries (ovarioles short; corpora lutea absent). Alates of P. apache have been collected in March, April, and July to November, suggesting that mating may occur in more than one season.


Pseudomyrmex apache is found throughout most of California except the mountains and extreme north. It occurs in chaparral, oak woodland, mixed (oak-pine-douglas fir) forest, coastal sage scrub, and desert riparian sites. Nests have been collected in dead branches of Arctostaphylos, Baccharis, Quercus and Umbellularia. There are also records from a Fraxinus gall and a Pinus attenuata cone. Workers appear to be generalist scavengers. Alates are produced sporadically throughout the year.


  • median clypeal lobe laterally rounded
  • eyes relatively short, such that scape length subequal to eye length (SL/EL 0.90-1.00)
  • minimum distance between frontal carinae subequal to basal width of scape
  • moderate size (HW 0.83-1.04)
  • standing pilosity sparse (generally absent from mesonotum and propodeum)

Taxonomic Notes:

Pseudomyrmex apache is superficially similar to some orange-colored members of the P. pallidus group, but it can be recognized by the well separated frontal carinae, laterally rounded anterior clypeal margin, short eyes relative to scape length, and (in the male) ventrally pointed pygidium. P. apache workers also tend to be larger. more densely sculptured (hence less shiny), and more setose than those of other pallidus group species. Size alone (worker HW > 0.82) will separate P. apache from all Nearctic pallidus-group species except P. pallidus and P. seminole. In addition to the character differences mentioned above, P. apache can usually be distinguished from P. pallidus and P. seminole by the presence of a pair of erect setae, one on either side of the median ocellus, in the worker. In P. apache workers these two setae are always present and usually as long as the ocellar distance (OD). In P. seminole and P. pallidus workers these setae are either absent or shorter than OD.


Creighton, W. S. 1953 ("1952"). Pseudomyrmex apache, a new species from the southwestern United States (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 59: 131-142.

Creighton, W. S. 1954. Additional studies on Pseudomyrmex apache (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 61: 9-15.

Ward, P. S. 1985. The Nearctic species of the genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Quaestiones Entomologicae 21: 209-246.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 23 times found in oak woodland, 26 times found in chaparral, 10 times found in oak-juniper woodland, 15 times found in chaparral on serpentine, 6 times found in oak-pine-juniper woodland, 8 times found in Tropical hardwood forest, 4 times found in Chihuahuan desert scrub, 4 times found in Cupressus grove on serpentine, 2 times found in Quercus-Pinus-Pseudotsiuga forest, 2 times found in oak-juniper woodland in canyon bottom, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 51 times on Arctostaphylos, 3 times dead branch Quercus arizonica, 3 times ex dead branch Quercus emoryi, 5 times ex dead branch Arctostaphylos, 6 times hollow twig, 2 times ex dead branch of Quercus emoryi, 2 times ex dead branch of Quercus grisea, 2 times nest in dead oak branch, 1 times In Quercus oblongifolia, 4 times ex Arctostaphylos, 2 times foraging on fence and grape vine, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times Search, 2 times hand collecting, 3 times direct collection, 2 times Malaise, 2 times malaise trap, 1 times ethylene glycol pitfall, 1 times ex. via beating shrubs, 1 times pitfall trap, 1 times sweeping Baccharis, 1 times beating vegetation (2 hours), 1 times creosote mesquite desert, ...

Elevations: collected from 60 - 2020 meters, 776 meters average

Type specimens: Paratype: fmnhins0000105044, fmnhins0000105045, fmnhins0000105046, fmnhins0000118383; paratype of Pseudomyrmex apache: casent0902872

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