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Genus: Pseudomyrmex   Lund, 1831 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Extant: 147 valid species, 8 valid subspecies

Fossil: 13 valid species

Pseudomyrmex Lund, 1831b: 106. Type-species: Pseudomyrmex 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, 1858a PDF: 153 (diagnosis); Roger, 1863b PDF: 24 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 426, 451 (Leptalea, Pseudomyrma catalogues); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 24 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1870a PDF: 407 (Colombia + Panama (=New Grenada) species key); Smith, 1877b PDF: 58 (checklist); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 262 (U.S.A. catalogue); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 55 (catalogue); Emery, 1921c PDF: 28 (diagnosis, catalogue); Gallardo, 1932a PDF: 44 (Argentina species key); Enzmann, 1944 PDF: 62 (all species keys); Creighton, 1950a PDF: 79 (North America species key); Kempf, 1961a PDF: 373 (P. gracilis group, partial key); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 215 (Neotropical catalogue); Alayo, 1974 PDF: 9 (Cuba species key); Smith, 1979: 1345 (North America catalogue); Ward, 1985b PDF: 215 (Nearctic species key); Billen, 1986b: 173 (Dufour's gland); Ward, 1989a PDF: 407 (Pseudomyrmex oculatus group, key); Ward, 1989a PDF: 430 (Pseudomyrmex subtilissimus group, key); Ward, 1990 PDF: 469 (diagnosis, review of genus); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 373 (catalogue); Ward, 1992 PDF: 76 (Dominican Amber species key); Ward, 1993 PDF: 130 (swollen-thorn Acacia-associated species key); Bolton, 1994: 184 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1052 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 370 (catalogue); Ward, 1999b PDF: 473 (Pseudomyrmex viduus group, and other Tachigali- and Triplaris-associated species key); Mackay & Mackay, 2002 PDF: 38 (U.S.A., New Mexico species key); Ward, 2017 10.11646/zootaxa.4227.4.3 PDF: 524 (species groups key; ferrugineus and goeldii groups species key); Ward & Branstetter, 2017 PDF: 1 (ferrugineus group phylogeny); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 277 (brief male diagnosis); Ward, 2019 PDF: 1092 (Colombia species key); Ward & Branstetter, 2022 10.1093/isd/iaxb025 PDF: 1 (Pseudomyrmex elongatulus group phylogeny, divergence dating, biogeography, classification), 9 (Pseudomyrmex elongatulus group diagnosis, species key (workers, queens).

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. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
    Oceania: Hawaii
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical, Oceania
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Nearctic, Neotropical


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).

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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