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Anochetus mayri is native to the Neotropics, where it is widespread across the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The species is introduced in Florida, and is the only member of its genus known to have become successfully established outside of its native range. This small and presumably predaceous trap-jaw species is most often found in leaf litter, and is recognized by its long linear mandibles, single waist segment and bicuspidate petiolar node. This latter character, along with its much smaller size and lack of a nuchal carinae, easily allow A. mayri to be distinguished by its sister genus, Odontomachus. While it may be capable of stinging humans, the species is not aggressive or strongly defensive, and is unlikely to become a significant economic pest or have significant impacts on the native fauna.
Native Range. Veracruz lowlands of Mexico through Central America and the West Indies to hylean South America, at least as far south as the Beni River drainage of Bolivia, and on the west slope of the Andes to southern Ecuador (Brown 1978). Costa Rica: wet forest in Atlantic lowlands to 800m elevation.
Introduced Range. USA Florida: Homestead (Dade Co.); south Miami (Dade Co.); West Palm Beach (Palm Beach Co.).
Anochetus mayri was placed together with A. neglectus and A. minas into the A. mayri-group by Brown (1978), which he described as small species with squamiform, emarginate or bicuspidate petiolar nodes. Brown commented that the high variability of A. mayri with respect to body size, eye size, antennal scape length, color and sculpture, as well as size and details of form and dentition of the mandibles, raises the suspicion that A. mayri may include two or more sibling species. Brown therefore adopted the convention of referring to the A. mayri complex.
A native to the Neotropics, A. mayri is widespread across the Caribbean, Central America and South America. The species was first reported from Dade County, Florida in 1987 (Deyrup et al., 2000) based on a single dealate queen. As of 2002, A. mayri was found to be thriving at a site in Palm Beach County, where it was found together with many other introduced ants species throughout leaf litter samples taken at the bases of pines and oaks (Deyrup, 2002). The species appears to be confined to disturbed habitats in its introduced range, where it forages in subterranean microhabitats for prey. Deyrup (2002) reports that while it may be capable of stinging humans, the species is not aggressive or strongly defensive, and is unlikely to become a significant economic pest or have significant impacts on the native fauna.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1978. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Studia Entomol. 20:549-652.
Emery, C. 1884. Materiali per lo studio della fauna Tunisia raccolti da G. e L. Doria. III. Rassegna delle formiche della Tunisia. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova (2)1:373-386.
M. (2003) An updated list of Florida ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida
Entomol., 86, 43-48. Deyrup,
M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. (2000) Exotic ants in Florida. Trans. Am.
Entomol. Soc., 126, 293-326. Deyrup,
M., Johnson, C., Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. (1989) A preliminary list of
the ants of Florida. Florida Entomol., 72, 91-101.
Deyrup, M. (2002) The exotic ant Anochetus mayri in Florida (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomol., 85, 658-659.
Deyrup, M. (2003) An updated list of Florida ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Florida Entomol., 86, 43-48.
Deyrup, M., Davis, L. & Cover, S. (2000) Exotic ants in Florida. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc., 126, 293-326.
Deyrup, M., Johnson, C., Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. (1989) A preliminary list of the ants of Florida. Florida Entomol., 72, 91-101.
Found most commonly in these habitats: 53 times found in tropical wet forest, 42 times found in mature wet forest, 36 times found in tropical rainforest, 32 times found in tropical moist forest, 25 times found in 2º wet forest, 22 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 21 times found in montane wet forest, 21 times found in 2º lowland tropical rainforest, 20 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 16 times found in lowland wet forest, ...
Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 203 times MiniWinkler, 68 times MaxiWinkler, 44 times Malaise, 36 times Winkler, 4 times search, 5 times Berlese, 1 times Flight Intercept Trap, 1 times general collecting, 1 times Pan Trap, 1 times baiting
Elevations: collected from 5 - 1360 meters, 439 meters average