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Species: Pseudomyrmex caeciliae   (Forel, 1913) 


Classification:
Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Pseudomyrma Eduardi r. Caeciliae Forel, 1913m PDF: 214 (w.) GUATEMALA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1972b PDF: 217.
Raised to species: Ward, 1989a PDF: 410.

Distribution:

(based on species list records)
Nearctic Region: Texas
Neotropical Region: Atlántida, Campeche, Costa Caribe Norte, Costa Rica, Francisco Morazán, Guanacaste, Guatemala, Heredia, Honduras, Islas de la Bahía, Jinotega, Nicaragua, Panama, Puntarenas, Suchitepéquez

Distribution Notes:

Pseudomyrmex caeciliae is distributed from Texas (United States) to Panama.

Identification:

Among members of the oculatus group (see Ward, 1989), workers of caeciliae can be recognized by the following combination of features:
  • small size (HW 0.51-0.61)
  • head punctate-sublucid; at least some punctures separated by half their diameters or more, especially between the ocelli and compound eye, and immediately posterior to compound eye
  • eyes relatively long (REL 0.48-0.55; REL2 0.72-0.81)
  • petiole relatively short (PLI 0.79-0.91), with rounded dorsolateral margination
  • medium to dark brown in color

Taxonomic Notes:

The characteristic features of P. caeciliae are its small size, relatively dark color, and the sublucid punctate appearance of parts of the head and mesosoma. It is distinguished from P. elongatus primarily on the basis of this shiny appearance (all of their metric measurements overlap broadly, although P. elongatus averages larger in size, with relatively longer eyes). Typically P. elongatus workers have a densely punctate and opaque head, while in P. caeciliae the punctures on the head are less dense, with (correspondingly) more extensive shiny interspaces between them, especially in the area immediately posterior to the compound eye; but both species vary considerably, and the extremes of sculptural variation come close to overlapping.

An old series of workers from Escuintla, Guatemala (Wheeler leg.) examined by Ward (1989) included both P. elongatus, P. caeciliae, and several individuals seemingly intermediate between the two. In western Mexico (Jalisco, Sinaloa), where P. caeciliae is apparently absent, some P. elongatus workers approach P. caeciliae in head sculpture. On the other hand in Costa Rica, where the two species are broadly sympatric, intermediates appear to be absent.

P. caeciliae differs from P. cubaensis by its smaller size (HW <0.62), relatively longer eyes (REL2 0.72-0.81), broader fore femur, and shorter petiole. While Mexican and Central American populations of these two species are rather distinct, Jamaican "caeciliae" partly bridge the gap between the two. These Jamaican individuals may, in fact, represent small P. cubaensis. The relationship of P. caeciliae to the South American species, P. urbanus, is even more problematic. The existing differences between the two are slight (see key to species in Ward, 1989) and not wholly diagnostic. More material, especially worker-associated queens and males from northern South America, will be needed to resolve this issue.

References:

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

Ward, P. S. 1989. 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.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in subtropical thorn woodland, 2 times found in suburban landscaped area, 1 times found in Ecotone between pastures and low vegetation, mature wet forest, 1 times found in mangrove, 1 times found in urban, 1 times found in 2º tropical rainforest, 1 times found in Mangrove estuary, 1 times found in roadside, 1 times found in tropical wet forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: pseudomyrme times collecting in mesquite tree at beach edge in front of cabina. #3424, 2 times foragers, 2 times ex dead branch of Prosopis glandulosa, strays times 3, 1 times on branchfall, 2 times Malaise trap, 1 times concrete pedestal, strays on treetrunks near main house; beach edge. times 3435-s, 1 times sweeping vegetation, 1 times St. 804, general collecting in canopy Basiloxylon, 30m high., 1 times roadside veg., Pseudomyrmex nest in hollow twig; sunny area; entire nest content, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 4 times search, 1 times hand collecting, 2 times Malaise, 1 times sweep.

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1100 meters, 250 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pseudomyrmex caeciliae: casent0907535



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