Centromyrmex brachycola

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Centromyrmex brachycola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Centromyrmex
Species: C. brachycola
Binomial name
Centromyrmex brachycola
(Roger, 1861)

Centromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 profile 1.jpg

Centromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label


Kempf (1967) - The brachycola var. paulina types, just a few individuals, were taken from a nest of Syntermes dirus Burmeister (Luederwaldt, 1926: 238). The specific identification of the host species is somewhat doubtful, since the common Syntermes species in the Sao Paulo area is not dirus but wheeleri Emerson (d. Araujo, 1958: 211-2). Mann (1934: 189) has made the ensuing very important observation: "In Bolivia I found in a decayed log a populous nest of termites and in the same log was a colony of red hunter ants (Centromyrmex). In the chambers of the ants’ home I noticed on top of each larva the body of a decapitated termite. Nearby were piles of dead termites to provide a second helping". This observation probably refers to the above mentioned series taken at Rosario, Bolivia.


A member of the brachycola species group.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.549° to -24.571944°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Bolivia (type locality), Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, 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.


Mackay and Mackay (2010) report this species (as Cryptopone mirabilis) occurring in mature montane rainforest, between 550 - 650 meters elevation, and has been collected under a stone.



Images from AntWeb

Centromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 head 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 profile 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 dorsal 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178344 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0178344. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Centromyrmex brachycola casent0178345 head 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178345 profile 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178345 dorsal 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178345 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178345. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Centromyrmex brachycola casent0178343 head 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178343 profile 1.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178343 profile 2.jpgCentromyrmex brachycola casent0178343 label 1.jpg
Queen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0178343. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by UCDC, Davis, CA, USA.


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

  • brachycola. Ponera brachycola Roger, 1861a: 5 (q.) BRAZIL (Minas Gerais).
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Minas Gerais (H. Drewsen).
    • Type-depository: unknown.
    • Emery, 1906c: 114 (w.).
    • Combination in Pachycondyla: Roger, 1863b: 18;
    • combination in Centromyrmex: Emery, 1890a: 74 (in text); Emery, 1890b: 40 (footnote).
    • Status as species: Roger, 1863b: 18; Mayr, 1863: 447; Dalla Torre, 1893: 15; Forel, 1895b: 111; Emery, 1906c: 114; Emery, 1911d: 58; Borgmeier, 1923: 62; Kempf, 1967b: 405 (redescription); Kempf, 1972a: 75; Bolton, 1995b: 140; Wild, 2007b: 38; Bolton & Fisher, 2008c: 25; Feitosa, 2015c: 98; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 518; Branstetter & Longino, 2022: 21.
    • Senior synonym of bohemanni: Kempf, 1967b: 405; Kempf, 1972a: 75; Bolton, 1995b: 140.
    • Senior synonym of mirabilis: Branstetter & Longino, 2022: 21.
    • Senior synonym of paulina: Kempf, 1967b: 405; Kempf, 1972a: 75; Bolton, 1995b: 140.
    • Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil.
  • bohemanni. Centromyrmex bohemanni Mayr, 1866b: 895, pl. 20, fig. 7 (w.) BRAZIL (Rio de Janeiro).
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Rio de Janeiro (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depository: NHRS.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 15; Forel, 1895b: 111; Emery, 1911d: 58; Borgmeier, 1923: 62.
    • Junior synonym of brachycola: Kempf, 1967b: 405; Kempf, 1972a: 75; Bolton, 1995b: 140.
  • mirabilis. Pachycondyla mirabilis Mackay & Mackay, 2010: 466, figs. 5, 161, 586-588 (w.) BOLIVIA, BRAZIL (Mato Grosso).
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 2 paratype workers.
    • Type-locality: holotype Bolivia: Rosario (Lake Rocagua), xi.1921 (W.M. Mann); paratypes with same data.
    • Type-depositories: LACM (holotype); LACM, WEMC (paratypes).
    • Combination in Cryptopone: Schmidt, C.A. & Shattuck, 2014: 185.
    • Junior synonym of brachycola: Branstetter & Longino, 2022: 21.
  • paulina. Centromyrmex brachycola var. paulina Forel, 1911c: 287 (w.) BRAZIL (São Paulo).
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Prov. São Paulo, Ypiranga (v. Ihering).
    • Type-depositories: MHNG, WWKC.
    • Subspecies of brachycola: Luederwaldt, 1918: 35; Borgmeier, 1923: 63.
    • Junior synonym of brachycola: Kempf, 1967b: 405; Kempf, 1972a: 75; Bolton, 1995b: 140.

Taxonomic Notes

Jack Longino (15 Oct 2015) suggested that Pachycondyla mirabilis was a junior synonym of this species. He examined the holotype from the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. The type series was collected by Mann from Bolivia, Rosario on Lake Rocagua. Kempf (1966) reviewed the Neotropical Centromyrmex. Under C. brachycola he discussed the Rosario series collected by Mann, parts of which are in multiple collections (including Kempf's). Kempf referred to Mann's own account of finding this colony in a termite mound (Mann 1934:189).

Type Material



Kempf (1967) - Total length about 6 mm. Head length 1.09-1.17 mm; head width 1.12-1.17 mm; thorax length 1.79-1.87 mm; hind tibia length 0.70-0.77 mm; hind metatarsus length 0.51-0.59 mm. Basal border of mandibles forming with chewing border nearly a right angle; chewing border finely and rather indistinctly denticulate (dentition often completely worn off). Head subquadrate, nearly as long as broad, with subparallel and almost straight sides, occipital border gently excavate. Clypeus without a median tumulus on disc, its anterior border very gently convex. Antennal scapes fail to reach the occipital corners by a distance equalling its maximum width. Thorax smooth and shining, the sparse punctures inconspicuous; striation confined to the extreme metasternal angle. Dorsum of thorax at least slightly impressed at meso-epinotal junction; epinotum at a slightly lower level than disc-shaped mesonotum. Mesoepinotal suture absent. Thorax strongly compressed at mesoepinotal junction. Basal face of epinotum narrowed in front to almost a point, forming posteriorly an obtuse angle with declivous face, which is oblique. Mesial spur of mid tibiae narrow and pointed, projecting well beyond apex of tibia. Extensor face of hind tibiae lacking heavy, spinelike setae on apical half. Petiole much longer than broad, the node laterally compressed; subpetiolar process relatively low and dentate. Sternum I of gaster without a marginate tuberosity below petiolar insertion.


Kempf (1967) - Similar to the worker, of approximately the same size. Thorax length 1.92-1.94 mm. Maximum diameter of eyes 0.27 mm. Petiolar node somewhat shorter than in worker. Hind wing with 7 hamuli.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borgmeier T. 1923. Catalogo systematico e synonymico das formigas do Brasil. 1 parte. Subfam. Dorylinae, Cerapachyinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae. Archivos do Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) 24: 33-103.
  • Emery C. 1906. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 37: 107-194.
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Fernández F. 2008. Subfamilia Ponerinae s.str. Pp. 123-218 in: Jiménez, E.; Fernández, F.; Arias, T.M.; Lozano-Zambrano F. H. (eds.) 2008. Sistemática, biogeografía y conservación de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, xiv + 609 pp.
  • Fernández F., and E. E. Palacio. 1995. Hormigas de Colombia IV: nuevos registros de géneros y especies. Caldasia 17: 587-596.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1911. Ameisen des Herrn Prof. v. Ihering aus Brasilien (Sao Paulo usw.) nebst einigen anderen aus Südamerika und Afrika (Hym.). Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 1911: 285-312.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Gallego-Ropero M.C., R.M. Feitosa & J.R. Pujol-Luz, 2013. Formigas (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Associadas a Ninhos de Cornitermes cumulans Kollar (Isoptera, Termitidae) no Cerrado do Planalto Central do Brasil. EntomoBrasilis, 6(1): 97-101.
  • Kempf W. W. 1967. A synopsis of the Neotropical ants of the genus Centromyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 9: 401-410.
  • Kempf W. W. 1978. A preliminary zoogeographical analysis of a regional ant fauna in Latin America. 114. Studia Entomologica 20: 43-62.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Luederwaldt H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64.
  • Mackay, W.P. and E.E. MacKay. 2010. The systematics and biology of the New World ants of the genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press Lewiston, NY
  • 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.
  • Scott-Santos, C.P., F.A. Esteves, C.R.F. Brandao. 2008. Catalogue of "Poneromorph" ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia 48(11):75-88.
  • Ulyssea M. A., and C. R. F. Brandao. 2013. Ant species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the seasonally dry tropical forest of northeastern Brazil: a compilation from field surveys in Bahia and literature records. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 57(2): 217–224.