Acromyrmex heyeri

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Acromyrmex heyeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Acromyrmex
Species: A. heyeri
Binomial name
Acromyrmex heyeri
(Forel, 1899)

Acromyrmex heyeri casent0173795 profile 1.jpg

Acromyrmex heyeri casent0173795 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Acromyrmex heyeri is common in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. They harvest monocotyledonous leaves (Loeck and Grutzmacher 2001) and masticate their collected plant material into tiny pieces to create the substrate for growing their fungal gardens. A molecular study of co-occuring populations of this species and Acromyrmex ambiguus showed both of these species are cultivating Leucoagaricus gongylophorus but that there are differences in the fungal strains used by the two ant species (Pereira et al. 2015). This ant is host to the socially parasitic Pseudoatta argentina in Argentina and Acromyrmex charruanus in Uruguay.



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil (type locality), Paraguay, Uruguay.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Barrera et al. 2015 studied the diversity of leaf cutting ants along a forest-edge-agriculture habitat gradient. Their study site, in Chaco Serrano of Central Argentina, had forest remnants of various sizes within an agriculture area with wheat, soy and maize. A few colonies of A. heyeri and Acromyrmex silvestrii were found along the forest edge. Acromyrmex crassispinus was the most abundant Acromyrmex species sampled (42% of 162 colonies) and was most abundant in the forest interior. Acromyrmex lundii and Acromyrmex striatus were also present, with the former also found in the forest interior. The latter and A. striatus were the most abundant in the forest edge habitat with A. crassispinus present there at a slightly lower density.






The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • heyeri. Atta (Moellerius) heyeri Forel, 1899c: 31 (footnote) (s.w.) BRAZIL. Emery, 1905c: 43 (q.m.); Bruch, 1921: 199 (q.m.); Goni et al. 1983: 365 (k.). Combination in Acromyrmex: Bruch, 1914: 217; in Acromyrmex (Moellerius): Fowler, 1988: 287. Senior synonym of gaudens, lillensis: Fowler, 1988: 287. See also: Gonçalves, 1961: 127.
  • gaudens. Acromyrmex (Moellerius) heyeri var. gaudens Santschi, 1925e: 164 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of heyeri: Fowler, 1988: 287.
  • lillensis. Acromyrmex (Moellerius) heyeri var. lillensis Santschi, 1925e: 165 (w.) ARGENTINA. Junior synonym of heyeri: Fowler, 1988: 287.



  • 2n = 38, karyotype = 2M+6SM+16ST+14A (Brazil; Uruguay) (Goni et al., 1983; SantosColares et al., 1997).


  • Barrera, C. A., L. M. Buffa, and G. Valladares. 2015. Do leaf-cutting ants benefit from forest fragmentation? Insights from community and species-specific responses in a fragmented dry forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 8:456-463. doi:10.1111/icad.12125
  • Bollazzi, M., and Roces, F. 2002. Thermal preference for fungus culturing and brood location by workers of the thatching grass-cutting ant Acromyrmex heyeri. Insectes Soc. 49: 153–157.
  • Bruch, C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 19: 211-234 (page 217, Combination in Acromyrmex)
  • Bruch, C. 1921. Estudios mirmecológicos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 26: 175-211 (page 199, queen, male described)
  • Emery, C. 1905f. Revisione delle specie del genere Atta appartenenti ai sottogeneri Moellerius e Acromyrmex. Mem. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (6)2:39-54 (page 43, queen, male described)
  • Forel, A. 1899d. Formicidae. [part]. Biol. Cent.-Am. Hym. 3: 25-56 (page 31, soldier, worker described)
  • Fowler, H. G. 1988b. Taxa of the neotropical grass-cutting ants, Acromyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Attini). Científica (Jaboticabal) 16: 281-295 (page 287, senior synonym of gaudens and lillensis)
  • Gonçalves, C. R. 1961. O genero Acromyrmex no Brasil (Hym. Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4: 113-180 (page 127, see also)
  • Goñi, B.; Zolessi, L. C. de; Imai, H. T. 1984 [1983]. Karyotypes of thirteen ant species from Uruguay (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Caryologia 36: 363-371 (page 365, karyotype described)
  • Loek and Grutamacher. 2001 Ocorrência de formigas cortadeiras nas principais regiões agropecuárias do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul. Pelotas: UFPEL, 2001. 1v.
  • Pereira, D. I. B., S. d. A. Botton, M. I. d. Azevedo, D. U. Monteiro, C. Weiblen, V. S. Machado, M. G. Donatti, and A. E. Loeck. 2015. Isolation and molecular characterization of symbiotic fungus from Acromyrmex ambiguus and Acromyrmex heyeri ants of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. Ciência Rural. 45:1256-1261. doi:10.1590/0103-8478cr20141064
  • Rabeling, C.; Schultz, T. R.; Bacci, M., Jr.; Bollazzi, M. 2015. Acromyrmex charruanus: a new inquiline social parasite species of leaf-cutting ants. Insectes Sociaux. 62:335–349. doi:10.1007/s00040-015-0406-6