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Species: Pseudomyrmex apache   Creighton, 1953 


Classification:
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See Also:

Pseudomyrmex apache_cf

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

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

Taxonomic history

Distribution:

   (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists)
Nearctic Region: United States
Neotropical Region: Mexico

Distribution Notes:

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

Biology:

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.

California

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.

Identification:

Worker:
  • 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.

References:

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: 20 times found in oak woodland, 25 times found in chaparral, 10 times found in oak-juniper woodland, 13 times found in chaparral on serpentine, 4 times found in oak-pine-juniper woodland, 4 times found in Cupressus grove on serpentine, 4 times found in Chihuahuan desert scrub, 0 times found in Tropical hardwood forest, 0 times found in Desert canyon forest, 2 times found in Quercus-Pinus-Pseudotsiuga forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 50 times on Arctostaphylos, 3 times dead branch Quercus arizonica, 5 times ex dead branch Arctostaphylos, 3 times ex dead branch Quercus emoryi, 2 times ex dead branch of Quercus emoryi, 2 times nest in dead oak branch, 0 times ex Arctostaphylos, 2 times foraging on fence and grape vine, 1 times ex dead branch of live oak, 1 times ex branch of Quercus wislizenii, 2 times ex dead branch Quercus wislizenii, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 5 times Search, 0 times Hollow twig, 1 times In Quercus oblongifolia, 1 times off tree, 2 times hand collecting, 0 times In tree, 1 times Dead branch, 0 times malaise trap, 1 times Dead branch of mesquite, 1 times Nest in tree, 1 times direct collection, ...

Elevations: collected from 60 - 2020 meters, 779 meters average

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



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