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Species: Pseudomyrmex pallidus   (Smith, 1855) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Pseudomyrma pallidus Smith, 1855c PDF: 160 (w.) U.S.A. (Florida). Nearctic. Primary type information: Primary type material: lectotype worker (by designation of Ward, 1985b PDF: 234). Primary type locality: lectotype U.S.A.: Florida (E. Doubleday). Primary type depository: BMNH. Secondary type information: Secondary type material: 1 paralectotype queen. Secondary type locality: same as for lectotype. Secondary type depository: BMNH. Type notes: Ward, 1985b PDF: 234, cites a queen syntype, a caste not mentioned in the original description. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Lectotype designation: Ward, 1985b PDF: 234.
Combination in Leptalea: Smith, 1951c PDF: 788.
Status as species: Smith, 1858a PDF: 159; Roger, 1863b PDF: 25; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 452; Smith, 1877b PDF: 59; Mayr, 1886d PDF: 464; Cresson, 1887 PDF: 262; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 58; Emery, 1895d PDF: 269; Pergande, 1896 PDF: 875; Forel, 1899b PDF: 92; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 123; Emery, 1906c PDF: 119; Forel, 1906d PDF: 231; Wheeler, 1908h PDF: 419 (redescription); Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 562; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 483; Wheeler, 1913d PDF: 113; Forel, 1913m PDF: 215; Bruch, 1914 PDF: 225; Wheeler, 1916f PDF: 324; Emery, 1921c PDF: 33; Wheeler, 1922e PDF: 4; Borgmeier, 1927c PDF: 74; Smith, 1930a PDF: 2; Gallardo, 1932a PDF: 74 (redescription); Wheeler, 1932a PDF: 4; Wheeler, 1933a: 62; Wheeler, 1934f PDF: 138; Wheeler, 1935g: 17; Cole, 1937a PDF: 98; Wheeler, 1937b PDF: 446; Smith, 1947f PDF: 544; Creighton, 1950a PDF: 80; Smith, 1951c PDF: 788; Smith, 1954c PDF: 4; Brown, 1957e PDF: 235; Creighton, 1957b PDF: 20 (in key); Smith, 1958c PDF: 112; Blum & Callahan, 1963 PDF: 69; Wilson, 1964b PDF: 4; Smith, 1967a PDF: 348; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 222; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 9 (in key); Hunt & Snelling, 1975 PDF: 21; Smith, 1979: 1346; Snelling & George, 1979: 38; Ward, 1985b PDF: 234 (redescription); Zolessi et al., 1988: 5; Deyrup et al., 1989 PDF: 94; Brandão, 1991 PDF: 375; Ward, 1992 PDF: 80 (in table); Bolton, 1995b: 374; Mackay & Mackay, 2002 PDF: 45; Deyrup, 2003 PDF: 46; MacGown & Forster, 2005 PDF: 67; Ward, 2005 PDF: 39; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 264; Deyrup, 2017: 42.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Pseudomyrmex pallidus occurs from southeastern United States (as far north along the eastern seaboard as New Jersey) west to southern California, and south through Mexico and Central America to Panama. Populations also occur in Cuba and the Bahamas.


P. pallidus exhibits diversity in its choice of nesting sites. While it shows a preference for dead stalks or culms of herbaceous plants, it will also nest in dead twigs or branches of shrubs and trees in some localities.

By state, the Nearctic nest-site records are from the following plants (Ward, 1985):
  • Florida: Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Andropogon, Bidens, Cladium jamaicense, Uniola paniculata.
  • Georgia: Callicarba.
  • Texas: Baccharis, Heterotheca subaxillaris, Iva ciliata, Melia azedarach, Prunus, Ptelea trijoliata, Uniola paniculata.
  • Arizona: Gossypium thurberi, Quercus emoryi, Q. oblongifolia.
  • California: Acacia greggii, Hyptis emoryi; also Baccharis salicifolia.
The number of functional queens in a colony varies widely. The majority of P. pallidus nests which Ward (1985) dissected from Texas and Florida were queenless or monogynous, but sometimes  larger numbers of mated, dealate queens cohabited (up to a maximum of 22). Since P. pallidus colonies are often polydomous, the number of queens per colony may be higher. P. pallidus alates have been collected in every month of the year, indicating that mating occurs in more than one season.


This species is relatively uncommon in southern California, and usually associated with woody shrubs or trees. In California nests have been found in dead branches of Hyptis emoryi, Acacia greggii and Baccharis salicifolia.


  • median clypeal lobe laterally angled
  • eye moderately elongate (REL2 0.53-0.65), and notably exceeding scape length (SL/EL 0.68-0.85)
  • minimum distance between frontal carinae less than basal width of scape (MFC < 0.025)
  • vertex with coriarious-punctulate sculpture
  • pubescence moderately dense on abdominal tergite IV
  • standing pilosity sparse, lacking on mesonotum and propodeum

Taxonomic Notes:

This is the most common and widespread member of the pallidus group in North and Central America. P. pallidus shows considerable geographical variation in size, sculpture, and body proportions. However the workers are consistently orange-brown in color, with contiguous frontal carinae (MFC < 0.025), moderately long eyes (REL2 > 0.52), and (at least weakly)  coriarious-punctulate sculpture on the vertex. No other Nearctic species possesses this combination of characters.


Blum, M. S.; Callahan, P. S. 1963. The venom and poison glands of Pseudomyrmex pallidus (F. Smith). Psyche (Cambridge) 70: 69-74.

Peters, J. M. 1997. Microsatellite loci for Pseudomyrmex pallidus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Ecology 6: 887-888.

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

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Pseudomyrmex pallidus   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: -1, (download) -1 21008
Pseudomyrmex pallidus   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 42, (download) 42 21367

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 141 times found in sand dunes, 11 times found in littoral vegn., 0 times found in in stems of Arizona Ash, 10 times found in tropical dry forest, 8 times found in riparian woodland, 13 times found in Jackson Prairie remnant, 7 times found in old field/pasture, 6 times found in roadside near mangrove, 7 times found in mangrove, 9 times found in Black Belt Prairie, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 111 times ex Uniola culm, 26 times Malaise trap, 15 times ex weed stalk, 8 times ex Baccharis twig, 11 times ex dead weed stalk, 9 times ex dead Heterotheca stalk, 7 times ex Heterotheca stem, 8 times dead grass culm, 5 times ex dead twig of Gliricidia sepium, 4 times dead Bidens stalk, 7 times ex grass stem, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 29 times malaise trap, 11 times sweeping, 8 times general collecting, 0 times Lindgren funnel baited with Typosan and alpha pinene, 4 times search, 5 times malaise, 1 times blacklight trap, 5 times direct collection, 4 times hand collecting, 3 times Lindgren funnel, 3 times Lindgren funnel baited with Typosan, ...

Elevations: collected from 1 - 2660 meters, 195 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1904-05-19 00:00:00.0 and 2017-07-08 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pseudomyrmex pallidus: casent0902900

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