Apterostigma mayri

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Apterostigma mayri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Apterostigma
Species: A. mayri
Binomial name
Apterostigma mayri
Forel, 1893

Apterostigma mayri casent0909362 p 1 high.jpg

Apterostigma mayri casent0909362 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Synonyms

Identification

Distribution

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.95° to -26.87722222°.

   
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

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Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.

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Biology

Explore-icon.png Explore Fungus Growing 
For additional details see Fungus growing ants.

A handful of ant species (approx. 275 out of the known 15,000 species) have developed the ability to cultivate fungus within their nests. In most species the fungus is used as the sole food source for the larvae and is an important resource for the adults as well. Additionally, in a limited number of cases, the fungus is used to construct part of the nest structure but is not as a food source.

These fungus-feeding species are limited to North and South America, extending from the pine barrens of New Jersey, United States, in the north (Trachymyrmex septentrionalis) to the cold deserts in Argentina in the south (several species of Acromyrmex). Species that use fungi in nest construction are known from Europe and Africa (a few species in the genera Crematogaster, Lasius).


The details of fungal cultivation are rich and complex. First, a wide variety of materials are used as substrate for fungus cultivating. The so-called lower genera include species that prefer dead vegetation, seeds, flowers, fruits, insect corpses, and feces, which are collected in the vicinity of their nests. The higher genera include non leaf-cutting species that collect mostly fallen leaflets, fruit, and flowers, as well as the leafcutters that collect fresh leaves from shrubs and trees. Second, while the majority of fungi that are farmed by fungus-feeding ants belong to the family Lepiotaceae, mostly the genera Leucoagaricus and Leucocoprinus, other fungi are also involved. Some species utilise fungi in the family Tricholomataceae while a few others cultivate yeast. The fungi used by the higher genera no longer produce spores. Their fungi produce nutritious and swollen hyphal tips (gongylidia) that grow in bundles called staphylae, to specifically feed the ants. Finally, colony size varies tremendously among these ants. Lower taxa mostly live in inconspicuous nests with 100–1000 individuals and relatively small fungus gardens. Higher taxa, in contrast, live in colonies made of 5–10 million ants that live and work within hundreds of interconnected fungus-bearing chambers in huge subterranean nests. Some colonies are so large, they can be seen from satellite photos, measuring up to 600 m3.

Based on these habits, and taking phylogenetic information into consideration, these ants can be divided into six biologically distinct agricultural systems (with a list of genera involved in each category):

Nest Construction

A limited number of species that use fungi in the construction of their nests.

Lower Agriculture

Practiced by species in the majority of fungus-feeding genera, including those thought to retain more primitive features, which cultivate a wide range of fungal species in the tribe Leucocoprineae.

Coral Fungus Agriculture

Practiced by species in the Apterostigma pilosum species-group, which cultivate fungi within the Pterulaceae.

Yeast Agriculture

Practiced by species within the Cyphomyrmex rimosus species-group, which cultivate a distinct clade of leucocoprineaceous fungi derived from the lower attine fungi.

Generalized Higher Agriculture

Practiced by species in several genera of non-leaf-cutting "higher attine" ants, which cultivate a distinct clade of leucocoprineaceous fungi separately derived from the lower attine fungi.

Leaf-Cutter Agriculture

A subdivision of higher attine agriculture practiced by species within several ecologically dominant genera, which cultivate a single highly derived species of higher attine fungus.

Note that the farming habits of Mycetagroicus (4 species) are unknown. Also, while species of Pseudoatta (2 species) are closely related to the fungus-feeding genus Acromyrmex, they are social parasites, living in the nests of their hosts and are not actively involved in fungus growing. ‎

Castes

Images from AntWeb

Apterostigma mayri casent0909363 p 1 high.jpgApterostigma mayri casent0909363 d 1 high.jpgApterostigma mayri casent0909363 h 1 high.jpgApterostigma mayri casent0909363 l 1 high.jpg
Syntype of Apterostigma mayri discrepansWorker. Specimen code casent0909363. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MHNG, Geneva, Switzerland.

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • mayri. Apterostigma mayri Forel, 1893e: 604 (w.) TRINIDAD.
    • Wheeler, G.C. 1949: 668 (l.).
    • Status as species: Wheeler, W.M. 1905b: 129; Wheeler, W.M. 1911h: 208 (in key); Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 11; Wheeler, W.M. 1922c: 13; Emery, 1924d: 338; Weber, 1937: 388; Weber, 1938b: 166; Weber, 1941b: 115; Weber, 1945: 34; Weber, 1946b: 136; Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 257; Fernández & Serna, 2019: 839.
    • Senior synonym of abdita: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • Senior synonym of discrepans: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • Senior synonym of pallidum: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • Senior synonym of zip: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • [Note: member of unresolved pilosum-complex: Lattke, 1997: 165.]
  • abdita. Apterostigma abdita Mann, 1922: 50, fig. 22 (w.q.) HONDURAS.
    • Junior synonym of mayri: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • [Note: member of unresolved pilosum-complex: Lattke, 1997: 165.]
  • discrepans. Apterostigma mayri var. discrepans Forel, 1912e: 190 (w.q.m.) BRAZIL (Santa Catarina).
    • Subspecies of mayri: Santschi, 1923d: 67; Emery, 1924d: 338; Borgmeier, 1927c: 124.
    • Junior synonym of mayri: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • [Note: member of unresolved pilosum-complex: Lattke, 1997: 165.]
  • pallidum. Apterostigma mayri var. pallidum Weber, 1937: 388 (w.q.) TRINIDAD.
    • Subspecies of mayri: Weber, 1938b: 168; Weber, 1945: 36.
    • Junior synonym of mayri: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • [Note: member of unresolved pilosum-complex: Lattke, 1997: 165.]
  • zip. Apterostigma mayri subsp. zip Weber, 1938b: 166, figs. 13, 16 (w.q.m.) BOLIVIA.
    • Junior synonym of mayri: Weber, 1958c: 248; Kempf, 1972a: 24; Bolton, 1995b: 74.
    • [Note: member of unresolved pilosum-complex: Lattke, 1997: 165.]

Description

Karyotype

  • 2n = 24, karyotype = 24M (Panama) (Cardoso & Cristiano, 2021; Murakami et al., 1998).

References

  • Bolton, B. 1995b. A new general catalogue of the ants of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 504 pp. (page 74, catalogue)
  • Cardoso, D. C., Cristiano, M. P. 2021. Karyotype diversity, mode, and tempo of the chromosomal evolution of Attina (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini): Is there an upper limit to chromosome number? Insects 1212, 1084 (doi:10.3390/insects12121084).
  • Forel, A. 1893h. Note sur les Attini. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 37: 586-607 (page 604, worker described)
  • Lattke, J. E. 1997. Revisión del género Apterostigma Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Arq. Zool. (São Paulo) 34: 121-221 (page 165, Member of unresolved pilosum-complex)
  • Murakami, T.; Fujiwara, A.; Yoshida, M. C. 1999. Cytogenetics of ten ant species of the tribe Attini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Barro Colorado Island, Panama. Chromosome Science 2(3): 135-139 (page 135-139, Karyotype described)
  • Weber, N. A. 1958d. Synonymies and types of Apterostigma (Hym: Formicidae). Entomol. News 69: 243-251 (page 248, senior synonym of abdita, discrepans, pallidum and zip)
  • Wheeler, G. C. 1949 [1948]. The larvae of the fungus-growing ants. Am. Midl. Nat. 40: 664-689 (page 668, larva described)

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Branstetter M. G. and L. Sáenz. 2012. Las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Guatemala. Pp. 221-268 in: Cano E. B. and J. C. Schuster. (eds.) 2012. Biodiversidad de Guatemala. Volumen 2. Guatemala: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, iv + 328 pp
  • Fernandes, P.R. XXXX. Los hormigas del suelo en Mexico: Diversidad, distribucion e importancia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part II. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (Attini, Dacetii, Cryptocerini). Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 19: 179-209.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kusnezov N. 1953. La fauna mirmecológica de Bolivia. Folia Universitaria. Cochabamba 6: 211-229.
  • Lutinski J. A., B. C. Lopes, and A. B. B.de Morais. 2013. Diversidade de formigas urbanas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de dez cidades do sul do Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 13(3): 332-342.
  • Maes, J.-M. and W.P. MacKay. 1993. Catalogo de las hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de Nicaragua. Revista Nicaraguense de Entomologia 23.
  • Mann W. M. 1922. Ants from Honduras and Guatemala. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 61: 1-54.
  • Mayhe-Nunes A. J., and K. Jaffe. 1998. On the biogeography of attini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ecotropicos 11(1): 45-54.
  • Santschi F. 1923. Pheidole et quelques autres fourmis néotropiques. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 63: 45-69.
  • Ulyssea M.A., C. E. Cereto, F. B. Rosumek, R. R. Silva, and B. C. Lopes. 2011. Updated list of ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) recorded in Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, with a discussion of research advances and priorities. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55(4): 603-–611.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Weber N. A. 1937. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part l. New forms. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 7: 378-409.
  • Weber N. A. 1938. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part IV. Additional new forms. Part V. The Attini of Bolivia. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 9: 154-206.
  • Weber N. A. 1941. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part VII. The Barro Colorado Island, Canal Zone, species. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 12: 93-130.
  • Weber N. A. 1945. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part VIII. The Trinidad, B. W. I., species. Revista de Entomologia (Rio de Janeiro) 16: 1-88.
  • Weber N. A. 1946. The biology of the fungus-growing ants. Part IX. The British Guiana species. Revista de Entomologia (Rio de Janeiro) 17: 114-172.
  • Weber N. A. 1958. Synonymies and types of Apterostigma (Hym: Formicidae). Entomological News 69: 243-251.
  • Wheeler G. C. 1949. The larvae of the fungus-growing ants. Am. Midl. Nat. 40: 664-689.
  • 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. 1916. Ants collected in British Guiana by the expedition of the American Museum of Natural History during 1911. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 35: 1-14.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1922. The ants of Trinidad. American Museum Novitates 45: 1-16.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1925. Neotropical ants in the collections of the Royal Museum of Stockholm. Arkiv för Zoologi 17A(8): 1-55.