Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dolichoderinae
Genus: Bothriomyrmex
Species: B. enigmaticus
Binomial name
Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus
Prebus & Lubertazzi, 2016

Prebus-and-Lubertazzi-2016-6 hal.jpg

Prebus-and-Lubertazzi-2016-6 had.jpg

Known from the Hispañola type material, B. enigmaticus is the only representative of this genus known form the Caribbean. One congener is known Costa Rica and the balance of the species in the genus occur in the old world.


Prebus and Lubertazzi (2016) - The following character combination distinguishes Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus from Bothriomyrmex paradoxus: palp formula 2,3; medial lobe of clypeus not strongly projecting: flat, or with a broad, shallow concavity anteriorly. Long, paired setae on medial clypeal lobe separated by 2/3 their length or more. Eyes large: OI 23.1–24.7. Head box-like, with occipital corners narrowly rounded.

Neotropical Bothriomyrmex (workers):

  • Palp formula 4,3 (see fig. 3d in Dubovikoff & Longino 2004); medial lobe of clypeus strongly projecting beyond the lateral lobes; anterior margin evenly rounded to flat, never concave medially; paired long setae on anterior margin of medial lobe separated by less than ⅔ of their length (Fig. 2a, see image in description section below). . . . . Bothriomyrmex paradoxus
  • Palp formula 2,3 (Fig. 2d); medial lobe of clypeus weakly projecting; anterior margin flat to broadly concave medially; paired long setae on anterior margin of medial lobe separated by 2/3 of their length or more (Fig. 2b, see image in description section below). . . . . B. enigmaticus

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 19.29776° to 19.29775701°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Dominican Republic (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


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.

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.


Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus is known from one collection on the north side of the island of Hispañola. The sampling took place in July 2015 during a Museum of Comparative Zoology expedition to the Dominican Republic. The new ant species was discovered while based at a guardhouse in the Toro Palomo sector on the SE side of the Loma Guaconejo Scientific Reserve, near the village of La Peonía, at 195 m in elevation. M. Prebus collected a partial nest containing workers and brood from decomposing wood at the top of a 1.5 m tall live sapling in the middle of a path leading west from the guardhouse. The habitat was scrubby secondary growth, roughly 100 meters from a more mature secondary lowland moist forest. Tapinoma litorale was abundant in this habitat; due to the superficial similarity of these two species, Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus was initially thought to have been a collection of T. litorale. The nest was not mixed; it consisted solely of B. enigmatus.

Lubertazzi 2017, unpublished: A subsequent visit to this location and a relatively intensive search for this species by 3 collectors did not yield any new collections.



B enigmaticus F4.jpg


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

  • enigmaticus. Bothriomyrmex enigmaticus Prebus & Lubertazzi, 2016: 4, figs. 2b-e, 3, 4 (w.l.) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.
    • Status as species: Lubertazzi, 2019: 77.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description. Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



(n=11): CL 0.541–0.563 (0.554); ClyW 0.375–0.412 (0.395); CS 0.520–0.542 (0.531); CW 0.495–0.523 (0.508); dAN 0.181–0.215 (0.197); EL 0.124–0.137 (0.132); EW 0.096–0.109 (0.105); EYE 0.112–0.122 (0.118); F2W 0.062–0.070 (0.065); IF2 1.000–1.222 (1.117); MGr 0.019–0.030 (0.024); MW 0.318–0.357 (0.343); PoOC 0.251–0.274 (0.260); PH 0.214–0.250 (0.231); PrL 0.264–0.296 (0.282); SL 0.407–0.434 (0.424); WL 0.572–0.617 (0.600).

Prebus and Lubertazzi 2016. Fig. 2. Clypeal structure. a. Bothriomyrmex paradoxus (Dubovikoff & Longino, 2004) (JTLC000003511). b. B. enigmaticus sp. nov. (MCZ-ENT00035850); arrows indicate the insertion points of long setae on anterior clypeal margin. c. Petiole. d. Mouthpart dissection. e.Ventral view of head capsule of B. enigmaticus sp. nov. (MCZ-ENT00035850). Photo credit for 2a: Michael Branstetter. All scale bars represent 0.2 mm.

Palp formula 2,3; distal maxillary palp segment roughly twice as long as basal (Fig. 2d). Medial hypostoma absent (Fig. 2e). Masticatory margin of mandible with 6 teeth and 1–2 denticles. Mandibles with short, curved setae similar to those on the anterior clypeal margin. Clypeus narrow: 0.10–0.11 mm high medially. Anterior clypeal margin flat, or with a broad, shallow concavity; bearing many short, curved setae; one long seta on each side of concavity, their bases separated by the length of the setae or more. Medial lobe of clypeus not strongly projecting. Posterior margin of clypeus even with anterior surfaces of antennal socket cavities. Antennal scapes short, not reaching the posterior margin of the head in full face view. Head slightly oblong (CL/CW 1.069–1.108), with lateral margins evenly convex; widest part of head in full-face view posterior to the compound eyes. Posterior head margin flat, becoming slightly concave medially; corners of head narrowly rounded, giving the entire head a blocky appearance. Head with two long setae on frons (longer than the first funicular segment) and two shorter setae on posterior clypeal margin (shorter than the first funicular segment), otherwise covered uniformly with short, dense, decumbant pubescence. Eyes large (EYE/CS 0.214–0.229), 8 ommatidia in longest row.

Posteroventral pronotum margin narrowly rounded. Metanotal groove deeply impressed. Propodeum high and rounded, with declivitous face roughly twice as long as dorsal face in profile; propodeal angle indistinct. Mesosoma covered uniformly with short, dense, decumbent pubescence.

Petiolar node in profile scale-like and strongly inclined anteriorly, with the anterior face much shorter than the posterior face (Fig. 2c). Ventral margin of petiole with a large lobe. Several setae present on the posteroventral margin of lobe.

Second, third and fourth tergites of gaster with long, erect setae arising from the middle of the tergite: two on the second, six on the third and fourth. First four sternites of gaster also bearing two long setae similar to those found on the tergites. Pubescence similar to the rest of the body, but becoming longer on the posterior margins of the sclerites.

Uniformly light brown; coxae and legs somewhat lighter.


Shape dolichoderoid. Body with two ventrolateral protuberances on prothorax which are fused ventrally by a narrow ridge; setae very short and limited to the prothorax; 8 pairs of spiracles. (Fig. 4).

Type Material

Holotype worker. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Provincia Maria Trinidad Sanchez, 7 km WSW El Factor, 19.29776° N, 69.94977° W ±3 m, 195 m ±5 m, 21 Jul. 2015, disturbed broadleaf moist forest, nest in dead top of live tree, M.M. Prebus#MMP01990 MCZ-ENT00035850. Paratypes. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Provincia Maria Trinidad Sanchez, 9 workers, same collection as holotype (California Academy of Sciences: CASENT0756066; Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad: CASENT0756067; Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History: CASENT0756068; Museum of Comparative Zoology: MCZENT00539146, MCZ-ENT00539147;Museo Nacional de Historia Natural "Prof. Eugenio de Jesús Marcano" 18.106; University of California, Davis: CASENT0756071; National Museum of Natural History: CASENT0756072; Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences: CASENT0755363).


The specific epithet is derived from the ancient Greek “αινιγματικός”, meaning “riddle”, and bears a double entendre: not only is this the second species in this genus with a paradoxical distribution, this species also presents a puzzling new perspective on the generic classification system of the tribe Bothriomyrmecini.