|Based on Blaimer et al., 2016. Note only selected Acropyga species are included, and undescribed species are excluded.|
This species is the first recorded Acropyga species being transported by man (from Belize to Alabama presumably by ship: information from label data).
- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
Lapolla (2004) - 7-8 segmented antennae; mandibles broad with 4 distinct teeth; mesosomal dorsum relatively flat (pronotum and mesonotum at about same height); an especially small species (total length < l.7 mm). Queen: as in worker with modifications expected for caste. Male: 9 segmented antennae; head longer than broad; in lateral view, parameres slightly tapering to a rounded apex; cuspi short meeting digiti dorsally. Compare with: Acropyga exsanguis, Acropyga fuhrmanni, and Acropyga stenotes.
This is among the smallest New World species (TL: 1.2-1.6); Acropyga panamensis is around the same size, though it is quite different morphologically from A. smithii. A. smithii workers can possess antennal segment counts as low as 7 segments, the lowest number observed in a New World Acropyga (the only other species to have antennal segment counts this low is Acropyga oceanica from Southeastern Asia). A. smithii could be confused with Acropyga stenotes because they both are small species that have distinctly longer than broad heads, but A. stenotes has 11-segmented antennae.
A. smithii is the only member of the decedens species-group known to possess broadly rounded paramere apices in the male. It shares several characteristics with Acropyga fuhrmanni such as elongated penis valves, antennal segment counts in the worker not greater than 8 segments and similarly shaped mandibles.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
The species has a large range from Central America (to Belize) southward, probably throughout tropical South America. It has also been found in the Lesser Antilles.
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
LaPolla (2004) - A. smithii is known to inhabit rainforests and cacao plantations. It occurs in the soil and litter; Weber (1944) reported nests from red clay soils down to a depth of 7.5 cm. Queens have been recorded from under the bark of a rotten log. Weber (1944) reported that at least two queens were found in one nest, indicating that this species may be polygynous. Winged reproductives have been collected from January-May. Two mealybug species have been recorded with this species, Neochavesia eversi, and Geococcus coffeae.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- smithii. Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) smithii Forel, 1893g: 349 (q.) ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES (St Vincent I.).
- Status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1905b: 132; Emery, 1925b: 30; Wheeler, W.M. 1935f: 328; Donisthorpe, 1936b: 110 (in list); Weber, 1944: 95 (redescription); Kempf, 1972a: 18; Bolton, 1995b: 58; LaPolla, 2004a: 43 (redescription); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 255; Fernández & Ortiz-Sepúlveda, 2019: 732.
- Senior synonym of kathrynae: LaPolla, 2004a: 43.
- Senior synonym of urichi: LaPolla, 2004a: 43.
- kathrynae. Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) kathrynae Weber, 1944: 114, fig. 12 (w.) TRINIDAD.
- Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 17; Bolton, 1995b: 57.
- Junior synonym of smithii: LaPolla, 2004a: 43.
- urichi. Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) urichi Weber, 1944: 115, figs. 2,3 (w.q.m.) TRINIDAD.
- Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 18; Bolton, 1995b: 58.
- Junior synonym of smithii: LaPolla, 2004a: 43.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
LaPolla (2004) - (n=13): TL: 1.23-1.62; HW: 0.316-0.364; HL: 0.36-0.408; SL: 0.192-0.251; ML: 0.354-0.449; GL: 0.492-0.764; CI: 81.86-97.2; SI: 58.02-69.76.
Head: yellow; covered in a layer of thick layer of appressed hairs; head distinctly longer than broad; posterior margin entire; 7-8 segmented, distinctly incrassate antennae; scape fails to reach posterior margin by about the length of the first two funicular segments; clypeus with abundant erect to suberect hairs; mandibles narrow with 4 distinct teeth; gap exists between inner mandibular margin and anterior clypeal margin. Mesosoma: pronotum rises gently from margin toward mesonotum; mesosomal dorsum flat; mesonotum and propodeum at about the same level; abundant suberect to erect hairs on mesonotum; metanotal area distinct; propodeum distinct; declivity steep. Gaster: petiole thick and erect, well below level of propodeum; gaster yellow; covered in a thick layer of appressed hairs, with scattered erect hairs throughout.
From LaPolla (2004) - (n=2): TL: 2.07-2.24; HW: 0.395-0.408; HL: 0.427-0.449; SL: 0.256-0.281; ML: 0.627-0.634; GL: 1.02-1.16; CI: 90.87-92.51; SI: 64.81-68.87. As in worker with modifications expected for caste.
LaPolla (2004) - (n=2): TL: 1.5; HW: 0.275-0.287; HL: 0.313-0.324; SL: 0.208-0.21; ML: 0.474-0.51; GL: 0.65; CI: 87.86-88.58; SI: 73.17-75.64
Head: brownish-yellow, darker around 3 prominent ocelli; head longer than broad; covered in layer of short appressed hairs with scattered, longer hairs, especially along sides: 9 segmented, slightly incrassate antennae, with apical segment about as long as three preceding segments; scape fails posterior margin by about length of pedicel; posterior margin entire; clypeus medially convex with many long erect hairs on surface; mandible narrow with 2 teeth, a small tooth at basal angle and a long apical tooth; apical tooth separated from basal tooth by a wide, smooth diastema; a slight gap exists between inner mandibular margin and outer clypeal margin. Mesosoma: light yellow; pronotum narrow and collar-like with only a few erect; pronotum overarched by mesonotum; mesonotum rounded anteriorly and covered in a layer of appressed hairs, occasionally with a few erect hairs; propodeum rounded; declivity steep. Gaster: petiole thick and erect; gaster yellow; covered in a layer of appressed hairs with scattered erect hairs throughout. Genitalia: in lateral view, parameres taper to rounded apices; posterior portion of parameres with many long erect hairs; cuspi short, round and each tapering to an apical point; digiti flat and anvil-shaped apically; cuspi meet digiti dorsally.
Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) smithii Forel, 1893: 349 (q.). Holotype queen, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: St. Vincent, elev. 457.2 m, (H.H. Smith) (The Natural History Museum) [examined]. The holotype queen is labeled JSL TYPE #101.
Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) kathrynae Weber, 1944: 114 (w.). 4 syntype workers, TRINIDAD: Maracas Valley. B.W.I. (N.A. Weber) (Museum of Comparative Zoology) [examined]. NEW SYNONYM.
Acropyga (Rhizomyrma) urichi Weber, 1944: 115 (w.q.m.). 2 syntype workers, 1 syntype queen, 1 syntype male, TRINIDAD: Maracas Valley. B.W.I. (N.A. Weber) (MCZC) [examined]. NEW SYNONYM.
- Forel, A. 1893j. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent, récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893: 333-418 (page 349, queen described)
- LaPolla, J.S. 2004a. Acropyga of the world. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 33(3):1-130. (page 43, Senior synonym of kathrynae, urichi)
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
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- Blaimer B. B., J. S. LaPolla, M. G. Branstetter, M. W. Lloyd, and S. G. Brady. 2016. Phylogenomics, biogeography and diversification of obligate mealybug-tending ants in the genus Acropyga. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 102: 20-29.
- Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.2944
- Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
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- Groc S., J. Orivel, A. Dejean, J. Martin, M. Etienne, B. Corbara, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2009. Baseline study of the leaf-litter ant fauna in a French Guianese forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity 2: 183-193.
- Johnson C., D. Agosti, J. H. C. Delabie, K. Dumpert, D. J. Williams, and M. Tschirnaus. 2001. Acropyga and Azteca ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with scale insects (Sternorrhyncha: Coccoidea): 20 million years of intimate symbiosis. American Museum Novitates 3335: 1-18.
- Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
- LaPolla J.S. 2004. Acropyga (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the world. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute 33(3): 1-130.
- Longino J. T. 2013. Ants of Nicargua. Consulted on 18 Jan 2013. https://sites.google.com/site/longinollama/reports/ants-of-nicaragua
- Longino J. T. L., and M. G. Branstetter. 2018. The truncated bell: an enigmatic but pervasive elevational diversity pattern in Middle American ants. Ecography 41: 1-12.
- Longino J. T., and R. K. Colwell. 2011. Density compensation, species composition, and richness of ants on a neotropical elevational gradient. Ecosphere 2(3): 16pp.
- Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at https://sites.google.com/site/admacsite/
- Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
- Pires de Prado L., R. M. Feitosa, S. Pinzon Triana, J. A. Munoz Gutierrez, G. X. Rousseau, R. Alves Silva, G. M. Siqueira, C. L. Caldas dos Santos, F. Veras Silva, T. Sanches Ranzani da Silva, A. Casadei-Ferreira, R. Rosa da Silva, and J. Andrade-Silva. 2019. An overview of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the state of Maranhao, Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 59: e20195938.
- Rodriguez E. R., and J. E. Lattke. 2012. Diversidad de hormigas en un gradiente altitudinal de la cordillera de la Costa, Venezuela. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa (S.E.A.) 50: 295?304.
- Silva R.R., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2014. Ecosystem-Wide Morphological Structure of Leaf-Litter Ant Communities along a Tropical Latitudinal Gradient. PLoSONE 9(3): e93049. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093049
- Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, P. de Tarso Amorim Castro, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2012. Annual and Seasonal Changes in the Structure of Litter-Dwelling Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Atlantic Semideciduous Forests. Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/959715
- Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, W. Duarte da Rocha, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2011. As comunidades de formigas de serapilheira nas florestas semidecíduas do Parque Estadual do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais. MG.BIOTA, Belo Horizonte 3(5): 5-24.
- Weber N. A. 1944. The neotropical coccid-tending ants of the genus Acropyga Roger. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 37: 89-122.
- Wheeler W. M. 1905. The ants of the Bahamas, with a list of the known West Indian species. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 21: 79-135.
- Wheeler W. M. 1935f. Ants of the genus Acropyga Roger, with description of a new species. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 43:321-329.