Brachymyrmex cavernicola

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Brachymyrmex cavernicola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Myrmelachistini
Genus: Brachymyrmex
Species: B. cavernicola
Binomial name
Brachymyrmex cavernicola
Wheeler, W.M., 1938

Brachymyrmex cavernicola jtlc000003469 p 1 high.jpg

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Specimen Labels


At first sight this species might be mistaken for a Nylanderia because of its peculiar erect hairs, or macrochaetae. It is obviously related to Brachymyrmex australis (as Brachymyrmex longicornis) but its worker is stouter, with much smaller eyes, longer median funicular joints, much thicker petiolar node and very different pilosity. (Wheeler 1938)


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico (type locality), Peru.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • cavernicola. Brachymyrmex cavernicola Wheeler, W.M. 1938: 252 (w.m.) MEXICO.

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



Length 1.5-2 mm.

Head nearly square, with feebly and evenly convex sides and straight posterior border. Eyes at the middle of the sides, small, moderately convex, with only about 12 facets in their greatest diameter, less than half as long as the distance between their anterior orbits and the anterior corners of the head. Clypeus large, very convex behind but not carinate, its anterior border subangularly produced. Mandibles narrow, with oblique, 5-toothed apical borders, the teeth large and subequal, except the median one, which is minute. Frontal area distinct, triangular, impressed; frontal carinae short, subparallel. Antennae 9-jointed as in the other species of the genus, long and slender; scapes extending fully one-third their length beyond the posterior border of the head; joints 2-7 of funiculus subequal, twice as long as broad, first joint shorter, terminal joint as long as the two preceding joints together. Thorax with distinct promesonotal, mesometanotal and metaepinotal sutures, distinctly impressed dorsally at the mesometanotal suture, the metaepinotal oblique on each side and confluent with the mesometanotal suture in the middle; metanotal spiracles not prominent. Seen from above the pronotum is broad and semicircularly rounded anteriorly, more than twice as broad as long without the neck; mesonotum semicircular, also slightly more than twice as broad as long; epinotal declivity sloping, flattened. widening posteriorly, fully three times as long as the slightly convex base. Petiole with low, thick, anteriorly inclined node, which, seen from behind, has a rounded and slightly acuminate superior border. Gaster voluminous, of the usual shape. Legs rather slender.

Shining; very finely and superficially reticulate, the head more distinctly than the body.

Erect hairs very coarse and conspicuous, dark brown, arranged in two parallel longitudinal rows on the front and vertex, shorter on the posterior corners of the head. longer, sparser and paler on the c1ypeus; pro- and mesonotum each with a few of these brown hairs but there are none on the epinotum; on the dorsum of the gaster they are numerous and regularly arranged. Appendages with rather abundant. fine. white, appressed or subappressed pubescence; gula with similar but more dilute pubescence.

Yellow; appendages slightly paler; dorsum of gaster and posterior portion of head brownish.


Length about 1.3 mm.

Head, small, flat, as broad as long, narrower in front than behind, with convex sides and straight posterior border. Eyes large but not convex; ocelli widely separated, large but not prominent. Mandibles small, narrow, with truncated, edentate tips. Clypeus small, flattened, its anterior border produced in the middle as a blunt point. Frontal carinae very short; frontal area like that of the worker but not impressed. Antennae 10-jointed; scapes extending beyond the posterior border of the head; first funicular joint slightly swollen, nearly twice as long as broad; joints 2-8 subequal, nearly one and one-half times as long as broad, terminal joint as long as the three preceding joints together. Thorax elliptical, much broader than the head; mesonotum large, as long as broad, very convex and semicircularly projecting over the pronotum, flattened behind; scutellum large and convex; epinotum small, feebly convex and sloping. in profile without distinct base and declivity. Petiolar node small, its superior border straight and transverse, much sharper than in the worker. Gaster-shaped as in this caste; genitalia small, exserted; stipites subtriangular, with rounded tips; volsellae somewhat uncinate. Legs slender.

Shining, like the worker very finely and obscurely reticulate.

Brown erect hairs very short, present only on the mesonotum and scutellum; remainder of body and appendages invested with very fine, appressed, white pubescence. Pale yellow; mesonotum brownish, posterior portion of head dark brown. Wings opaque white, with white veins.

Type Material

Described from 34 workers and a single male taken by Dr. Pearse in the Balaam Canche Cave, Chichen Itza, under a stone near the mouth.