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Species: Pseudomyrmex simplex   (Smith, 1877) 


Classification:
Download Data

See Also:

Pseudomyrmex simplex_cf, Pseudomyrmex simplex_nr

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2017)

Pseudomyrma simplex Smith, 1877b PDF: 64 (w.) BRAZIL. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Pseudomyrmex: Kempf, 1972b PDF: 223.
Senior synonym of Pseudomyrmex capperi, Pseudomyrmex delicatula, Pseudomyrmex panamensis and material of the unavailable name Pseudomyrmex vittata referred here: Ward, 1985b PDF: 238.
See also: Ward, 1992 PDF: 75 (specimen in amber).

Distribution:


Australasia Region: Central
Nearctic Region: Florida
Neotropical Region: Alajuela, Aragua, Argentina, Atlántida, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Canindeyú, Cayenne, Cayman Islands, Cayo, Chiapas, Colombia, Comayagua, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Escuintla, Exuma, Formosa, Francisco Morazán, French Guiana, Gracias a Dios, Great Abaco, Guanacaste, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Heredia, Honduras, Huánuco, Izabal, Jamaica, Jinotega, Lambayeque, Madre de Dios, Magdalena, Masaya, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, Oaxaca, Ouest, Panama, Panamá, Panamá Oeste, Paraguay, Peru, Petén, Puerto Rico, Puntarenas, Quintana Roo, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte, Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur, Rondônia, Saint Andrew, Saint Elizabeth, San Andrés y Providencia, Suchitepéquez, Trinidad and Tobago, Upper Demerara-Berbice, Venezuela, Veracruz

Distribution Notes:

This common and widely distributed species ranges from Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico, south to Argentina.

Biology:

P. simplex shows a preference for nesting in dead twigs of woody shrubs or trees, rather than in dead stalks of herbaceous plants. In Florida, nests have been collected in dead twigs or stalks of Baccharis halimifolia, Cladium jamaicense, Laguncularia racemosa, Metopium toxiferum. and Nectandra coriacea; there are also museum records from Carya floridana and Swietenia mahagoni. Ward (1985) recorded Costa Rican nests of P. simplex in dead twigs of Anacardium, Ardisia revoluta, Avicennia germinans, Conocarpus erectus, Gliricidia sepium, Hibiscus tiliaceus, and Terminalia catappa.

Most P. simplex nests dissected by Ward (1985) were queenless (indicating a high level of polydomy),
some were monogynous, and one contained two functional (i.e. inseminated, with well-developed ovaries) dealate queens.

Alates have been collected in May, June, and September in Florida.

Identification:

Worker:
  • standing pilosity sparse, absent from mesonotum and propodeum
  • small size (HW 0.55-0.74)
  • eyes relatively long (REL 0.52-0.61)
  • abdominal tergite IV smooth and shining, lacking a dense mat of appressed pubescence
  • vertex of head smooth and shining
  • profemur broad (FI 0.45-0.52)

Taxonomic Notes:

This species is the smallest one of a trio of orange Pseudomyrmex (P. pallidus, P. seminole, P. simplex) which have been confused repeatedly in the United States. P. simplex workers are recognizable by their smooth, shiny, puncticulate head; broad forefemur (FI >0.44); and shining fourth abdominal tergite which is devoid of a dense mat of appressed pubescence. In addition the workers have long eyes, closely contiguous frontal carinae, a very shallow metanotal groove, and a short petiole and postpetiole. There is a fair range of variation in size and body proportions. P. simplex tends to be lighter in color than related species, and the fuscous patches on abdominal tergite IV are usually conspicuous, at least in Florida populations (less so in Central and South America).

References:

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

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

simplexHNS (F. Smith 1877).

Canindeyú, Central, “ Paraná R.” (Dept. unknown) (ALWC, IFML, INBP, MCZC).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 19 times found in mangrove, 28 times found in montane wet forest, 9 times found in CCL 700m., 13 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 15 times found in tropical moist forest, 10 times found in tropical rainforest, 7 times found in tropical wet forest, 7 times found in wet forest, 8 times found in La Selva, 5 times found in pine forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 38 times beating vegetation, 11 times dead twig Laguncularia racemosa, 13 times Malaise trap, 14 times ex sifted leaf litter, 6 times beating veg., 5 times on low vegetation, 5 times at bait, 5 times ex dead twig of woody shrub, 3 times ex dead Cladium culm, 1 times collecting from Carapa guianensis, felled yesterday, along new roadcut just beyo, 1 times foragers on treefall, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 74 times Fogging, 48 times Malaise, 44 times beating, 30 times Search, 7 times MiniWinkler, 7 times ex dead twig, 5 times MaxiWinkler, 5 times Baiting, 0 times trap Y, 2 times hand collecting, 0 times trap J, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 1200 meters, 189 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Pseudomyrmex simplex: casent0902901; syntype of Pseudomyrma acanthobia delicatula vittata: casent0907492; syntype of Pseudomyrma delicatula: casent0902902, casent0907489; syntype of Pseudomyrma delicatula capperi: casent0907490; syntype of Pseudomyrma delicatula panamensis: casent0907491



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