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Genus: Pseudomyrmex   Lund, 1831 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2016)

Extant: 134 species, 14 subspecies

Fossil: 13 species

Pseudomyrmex Lund, 1831b: 106 . Type-species: Formica gracilis, by subsequent designation of Smith, 1952a PDF: 98. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Pseudomyrmex in Pseudomyrmecinae: Smith, 1952a PDF: 98; all subsequent authors.
Genus Pseudomyrmex references
Smith, 1858aSmith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. [1858-03-27] PDF 128685: 153 (diagnosis); Roger, 1863bRoger, J. 1863b. Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift 7(Beilage):1-65. [1863-06] 128094: 24 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863aMayr, G. 1863a. Formicidarum index synonymicus. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 13:385-460. [1863] PDF 127213: 426, 451 (Leptalea, Pseudomyrma catalogues); Mayr, 1865Mayr, G. 1865. Formicidae. In: Novara Expedition 1865. Reise der Österreichischen Fregatte "Novara" um die Erde in den Jahren 1857, 1858, 1859. Zoologischer Theil. Bd. II. Abt. 1. Wien: K. Gerold's Sohn, 119 pp. [1865-12-14] PDF 127193: 24 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1870aMayr, G. 1870a. Formicidae novogranadenses. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe. Abteilung I 61:370-417. [1870-04] PDF 127228: 407 (Colombia + Panama ({? = New Grenada}) species key); Smith, 1877bSmith, F. 1877b. Descriptions of new species of the genera Pseudomyrma and Tetraponera, belonging to the family Myrmicidae. Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1877:57-72. [1877-07-02] PDF 128720: 58 (checklist); Cresson, 1887Cresson, E. T. 1887. Synopsis of the families and genera of the Hymenoptera of America, north of Mexico, together with a catalogue of the described species, and bibliography. Transactions of the American Entomological Society, Suppl. Vol. 1887:1-351. [1887] PDF 123936: 262 (U.S.A. catalogue); Dalla Torre, 1893Dalla Torre, K. W. 1893. Catalogus Hymenopterorum hucusque descriptorum systematicus et synonymicus. Vol. 7. Formicidae (Heterogyna). Leipzig: W. Engelmann, 289 pp. [1893] PDF 124002}: 55 (catalogue); Emery, 1921cEmery, C. 1921c. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [part]. Genera Insectorum 174A:1-94 + 7 plates. [1921-06-01] 124749: 28 (diagnosis, catalogue); Gallardo, 1932aGallardo, A. 1932a. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Mirmicinas, sección Promyrmicinae. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 37:37-87. [1932-05-21] PDF 125430: 44 (Argentina species key); Enzmann, 1944Enzmann, E. V. 1944. Systematic notes on the genus Pseudomyrma. Psyche (Cambridge) 51:59-103. [1944-12] PDF 124779: 62 (all species keys); Creighton, 1950aCreighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 104:1-585. [1950-04] PDF 123910: 79 (North America species key); Kempf, 1961aKempf, W. W. 1961a. Estudos sôbre Pseudomyrmex. III. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 4:369-408. [1961-10-10] PDF 126325: 373 (P. gracilis group, partial key); Kempf, 1972bKempf, W. W. 1972b. Catálogo abreviado das formigas da região Neotropical. Studia Entomologica 15:3-344. [1972-08-25] PDF 126357: 215 (Neotropical catalogue); Alayo, 1974Alayo, P. 1974. Introducción al estudio de los Himenópteros de Cuba. Superfamilia Formicoidea. Serie Biológica. Academia de Ciencias de Cuba 53:1-58. [1974] 122161: 9 (Cuba species key); Smith, 1979Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V.; Hurd, P. D.; Smith, D. R.; Burks, B. D. (eds.) 1979. Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. i-xvi, 1199-2209. [1979] 128659: 1345 (North America catalogue); Ward, 1985bWard, P. S. 1985b. The Nearctic species of the genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Quaestiones Entomologicae 21:209-246. [1985] PDF 129618: 215 (Nearctic species key); Billen, 1986bBillen, J. P. J. 1986b. Comparative morphology and ultrastructure of the Dufour gland in ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Entomologia Generalis 11:165-181. [1986-05-30] 122738: 173 (Dufour's gland); Ward, 1989aWard, P. S. 1989a. Systematic studies on pseudomyrmecine ants: revision of the Pseudomyrmex oculatus and P. subtilissimus species groups, with taxonomic comments on other species. Quaestiones Entomologicae 25:393-468. [1989-12] PDF 129619: 407 (Pseudomyrmex oculatus group, key); Ward, 1989aWard, P. S. 1989a. Systematic studies on pseudomyrmecine ants: revision of the Pseudomyrmex oculatus and P. subtilissimus species groups, with taxonomic comments on other species. Quaestiones Entomologicae 25:393-468. [1989-12] PDF 129619: 430 (Pseudomyrmex subtilissimus group, key); Ward, 1990Ward, P. S. 1990. The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): generic revision and relationship to other formicids. Systematic Entomology 15:449-489. [1990-11] PDF 129605: 469 (diagnosis, review of genus); Brandão, 1991Brandão, C. R. F. 1991. Adendos ao catálogo abreviado das formigas da região Neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 35:319-412. [1991-08-31] PDF 122994: 373 (catalogue); Ward, 1992Ward, P. S. 1992. Ants of the genus Pseudomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Dominican amber, with a synopsis of the extant Antillean species. Psyche (Cambridge) 99:55-85. [1992-12-04] PDF 129607: 76 (Dominican Amber species key); Ward, 1993Ward, P. S. 1993. Systematic studies on Pseudomyrmex acacia-ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Pseudomyrmecinae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 2:117-168. [1993-11-17] PDF 129608: 130 (swollen-thorn Acacia-associated species key); Bolton, 1994Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. [1994-07-25] 122834: 184 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995aBolton, B. 1995a. A taxonomic and zoogeographical census of the extant ant taxa (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 29:1037-1056. [1995-08] PDF 122859: 1052 (census); Bolton, 1995bBolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. [1995-10] 122860: 370 (catalogue); Ward, 1999BWard, P. S. 1999B. Systematics, biogeography and host plant associations of the Pseudomyrmex viduus group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Triplaris- and Tachigali-inhabiting ants. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 126:451-540. [1999-08-17] PDF 132567: 473 (Pseudomyrmex viduus group, and other Tachigali- and Triplaris-associated species key); Mackay & MacKay, 2002Mackay, W.; MacKay, E. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp. [2002-12] PDF 131795: 38 (U.S.A., New Mexico species key).

Taxon Page Images:

Pseudomyrmex peperi is an obligate Acacia inhabitant. Here, a worker gathers a lipid-rich Beltian body from a leaf tip. The plant feeds the ants in exchange for protection from herbivores and competing plants. Armenia, Belize.

Not all of the thorns on a swollen-thorn Acacia house the ants' larvae, but those that do are heavily guarded. Here, Pseudomyrmex spinicola patrol a nest entrance, ready to use their stings if the photographer approaches too close. Chiriqui, Panama.
Images © Alex Wild.


Eurasian Region: Algeria
Nearctic Region: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Baja California, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Pacific Islands Region: Hawaii


Most species of Pseudomyrmex nest in dead twigs or stems of woody plants. Some have become specialized inhabitants of live plant domatia, such as the acacia-ants that occupy swollen-thorn acacias.


Worker: antennae 12-segmented; mandibles with proximal tooth on basal margin; eyes large and elongate, more than 1.5 times as long as wide. Other characters as in subfamily.


The genus is predominantly Neotropical, with only two species occurring in California.


Kempf (1958f, 1960a, 1961a, 1967c); Ward (1985b, 1989a, 1992, 1993, 1999).

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-08-23 10:58:42 Zach Lieberman modified Images
On 2013-08-23 10:54:33 Zach Lieberman modified Images
On 2013-08-23 10:53:51 Zach Lieberman modified Images

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pseudomyrmex   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 41, (download) 41 21367
Pseudomyrmex   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 41, (download) 41 21367
Pseudomyrmex   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 41, (download) 41 21367
Pseudomyrmex   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 39, (download) 39 21008

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