Brachymyrmex aphidicola

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Brachymyrmex aphidicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Myrmelachistini
Genus: Brachymyrmex
Species: B. aphidicola
Binomial name
Brachymyrmex aphidicola
Forel, 1909

Brachymyrmex aphidicola casent0173474 profile 1.jpg

Brachymyrmex aphidicola casent0173474 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Specimens of this species have been found under stones, in rotten wood, on epiphytes (USNMENT00757619), and on Conostegia setosa (USNMENT00757923). Brachymyrmex aphidicola nests underground or in organic litter, and it appears to be abundant in Paraguayan forests (Ortiz-Sepulveda et al. 2019, Wild 2007).

At a Glance • Limited invasive  


Ortiz-Sepulveda et al. (2019) – Brachymyrmex aphidicola is morphologically similar to Brachymyrmex australis, Brachymyrmex minutus, and Brachymyrmex termitophilus, because all of them typically have smooth and shiny yellowish bodies, their mesonotum does not bulge dorsally above the pronotum, their eyes are positioned on the cephalic midline, and the metanotal groove is either absent or narrower than the diameter of the metathoracic spiracles. However, B. aphidicola differs from B. australis by having scapes that surpass the posterior margin of the head by a length longer than the maximal diameter of the eye; from B. minutus by having a well-differentiated mesometanotal suture and by the presence of two erect hairs on the pronotum and two on the mesonotum; and from B. termitophilus by having scattered pubescence on the gaster.

Some specimens from Argentina have expanded gasters.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 25.68015° to -31.657°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States.
Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greater Antilles, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay (type locality), Peru, Venezuela.

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.




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

  • aphidicola. Brachymyrmex heeri var. aphidicola Forel, 1909a: 263 (w.) PARAGUAY.
    • Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464), 10 paralectotype workers.
    • Type-locality: lectotype Paraguay: San Bernardino (K.A.G. Fiebrig); paralectotypes with same data.
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Forel, 1912i: 62 (q.).
    • Subspecies of heeri: Forel, 1912i: 62; Forel, 1915c: 361; Bruch, 1915: 534; Santschi, 1923b: 665; Emery, 1925b: 42; Borgmeier, 1927c: 141; Donisthorpe, 1927b: 397; Wheeler, W.M. & Bequaert, 1929: 37; Wheeler, W.M. 1934h: 17; Wheeler, W.M. 1935g: 38; Santschi, 1936b: 204; Kempf, 1972a: 39; Bolton, 1995b: 81; Fernández & Ortiz-Sepúlveda, 2019: 728; Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464 (redescription).
    • Status as species: Wild, 2007b: 27, 43; Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464.
    • Senior synonym of fallax: Wild, 2007b: 43; Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464.
    • Senior synonym of hemiops: Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464.
    • Distribution: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.
  • fallax. Brachymyrmex heeri var. fallax Santschi, 1923b: 665, fig. 29 (w.) PARAGUAY.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Paraguay: (no further data).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • Santschi, 1925e: 168 (q.).
    • Subspecies of heeri: Emery, 1925b: 42; Santschi, 1925e: 167; Kempf, 1972a: 39; Bolton, 1995b: 82.
    • Junior synonym of aphidicola: Wild, 2007b: 43; Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464.
  • hemiops. Brachymyrmex longicornis var. hemiops Santschi, 1923b: 668, fig. 20 (w.q.) BRAZIL (São Paulo).
    • Type-material: syntype workers, syntype queens (numbers not stated, “numerous).
    • [Note: Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464, cite 11w, 3q syntypes NHMB.]
    • Type-locality: Brazil: São Paulo, Ypiranga, iii.1906, no. 2371 (H. von Ihering) (sent by Luederwaldt).
    • Type-depository: NHMB (probably also MZSP).
    • Subspecies of longicornis: Emery, 1925b: 43; Borgmeier, 1927c: 142; Kempf, 1972a: 40; Bolton, 1995b: 82.
    • Junior synonym of aphidicola: Ortiz-Sepúlveda, et al. 2019: 464.

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



Ortiz-Sepulveda et al. (2019) - Lectotype HL1 0.41; HL2 0.29; HL3 0.10; HW 0.37; SL 0.39; EL 0.10; WL 0.41; PnL 0.10; PnW 0.25; ML 0.08; MW 0.18; Indices CI 90.48; SI1 105.26; SI2 133.33; OI1 26.32; OI2 23.81. Paralectotype (n = 4). HL1 0.43–0.45; HL2 0.27–0.31; HL3 0.10; HW 0.37; SL 0.39–0.41; EL 0.10; WL 0.41–0.43; PnL 0.14–0.17; PnW 0.23–0.29; ML 0.08– 0.10; MW 0.16–0.18; Indices CI 82.61–86.36; SI1 105.26– 110.53; SI2 125.00–142.86; OI1 26.32; OI2 21.74–22.73. Additional material (n = 20). HL1 0.36–0.55; HL2 0.26–0.37; HL3 0.08–0.13; HW 0.33–0.51; SL 0.32–0.54; EL 0.09–0.12; WL 0.35–0.58; PnL 0.09–0.18; PnW 0.24–0.36; ML 0.07–0.12; MW 0.14– 0.20; Indices CI 84.21–95.65; SI1 94.74–112.5; SI2 117.14– 157.89; OI1 21.82–28.57; OI2 20.62–28.89.

Head. Slightly longer than wide in full face view; posterior cephalic margin flat or slightly concave. Dorsum of the head with scattered appressed hairs. Clypeus with a rounded anterior margin and five long, erect hairs of which a single, usually conspicuous hair is near the anterior margin, two hairs are in mediolateral position, and two more near the toruli; other hairs on the clypeus are markedly shorter and appressed or decumbent. Toruli surpassing the posterior clypeal margin in oblique anterodorsal view. The scapes surpass the posterior margin of the head by a length larger than the maximal diameter of the eye, and typically bear appressed, sometimes decumbent, but never erect hairs. Three ocelli usually present, but sometimes inconspicuous. Eyes are positioned on the cephalic midline and have 7–10 ommatidia along their maximal diameter.

Mesosoma. Typically with two erect hairs on the pronotum and two on the mesonotum. In lateral view, the mesonotum is not or weakly inflated and does not bulge dorsally above the pronotum. Metanotal groove absent or shallow and narrower than the diameter of the metathoracic spiracles. Metathoracic spiracles in dorsolateral position, not protruding, and usually touching the propodeal suture. Dorsum of propodeum slightly convex and ~ 1/ 3th of the length of the propodeal slope. Propodeal spiracles circular, positioned ventrally of the posterior propodeal margin, and slightly posterior of the middle of the propodeal slope. Legs with appressed and scattered hairs. Petiole short and inclined forward.

Gaster. With scattered pubescence and scattered long suberect hairs, especially along the posterior edges of the segments.

Color and sculpture. Body smooth and shiny, yellowish.

Type Material

Ortiz-Sepulveda et al. (2019) – Lectotype worker (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève: USNMENT00757130) and paralectotype workers (MHNG: USNMENT00757129, 00757130, 00758121–00718123; here designated): 11 workers [examined]. PARAGUAY: San Bernardino.

The original description of Forel (1909) indicates B. aphidicola occurs in both Paraguay and the Bermudas; however, a type locality is not designated. In the type series of Forel’s collection (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève), only specimens from Paraguay are present. Nevertheless, Santschi’s collection (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel) contains a decapitated specimen from Bermudas that is labeled as the type of B. aphidicola. Given this complication, only the specimens from Forel’s collection are designated here as lectotype and paralectotypes.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Cuezzo, F. 1998. Formicidae. Chapter 42 in Morrone J.J., and S. Coscaron (dirs) Biodiversidad de artropodos argentinos: una perspectiva biotaxonomica Ediciones Sur, La Plata. Pages 452-462.
  • Favretto M. A., E. Bortolon dos Santos, and C. J. Geuster. 2013. Entomofauna from West of Santa Catarina State, South of Brazil. EntomoBrasilis 6 (1): 42-63.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1909. Ameisen aus Guatemala usw., Paraguay und Argentinien (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1909: 239-269.
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part VI. 5me sous-famille Camponotinae Forel. Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 20: 59-92.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lutinski J. A., B. C. Lopes, and A. B. Morais. 2013. Diversidade de formigas urbanas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de dez cidades do sul do Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 13(3): 332-342.
  • Ortiz-Sepuvelda C. M., B. Van Bocxlaer, A. D. Meneses, and F. Fernandez. 2019. Molecular and morphological recognition of species boundaries in the neglected ant genus Brachymyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): toward a taxonomic revision. Organisms Diversity & Evolution
  • Quiran, E.M. 2007. El Género Neotropical Brachymyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) en la Argentina. III: Redescripción de las Especies: B. aphidicola Forel, de B. australis Forel y B. constrictus Santschi. Neotropical Entomology 36(5):699-706
  • Rosa da Silva R. 1999. Formigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) do oeste de Santa Catarina: historico das coletas e lista atualizada das especies do Estado de Santa Catarina. Biotemas 12(2): 75-100.
  • Santschi F. 1923. Revue des fourmis du genre Brachymyrmex Mayr. Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires 31: 650-678.
  • Santschi F. 1925. Fourmis des provinces argentines de Santa Fe, Catamarca, Santa Cruz, Córdoba et Los Andes. Comunicaciones del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural "Bernardino Rivadavia" 2: 149-168.
  • Santschi F. 1936. Contribution à l'étude des fourmis de l'Amérique du Sud. Revista de Entomologia (Rio de Janeiro). 6: 196-218.
  • Ulyssea M. A., L. Pires do Prado, C. R. F. Brandao. 2017. Catalogue of the Dolichoderinae, Formicinae and Martialinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) types deposited at the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 57(23): 295-311.
  • 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.
  • Vittar, F. 2008. Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mesopotamia Argentina. INSUGEO Miscelania 17(2):447-466
  • Vittar, F., and F. Cuezzo. "Hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la provincia de Santa Fe, Argentina." Revista de la Sociedad Entomológica Argentina (versión On-line ISSN 1851-7471) 67, no. 1-2 (2008).
  • Wild, A. L. "A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Zootaxa 1622 (2007): 1-55.