Phylogeny of Pseudomyrmecinae

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Relationships among the three genera of Pseudomyrmecinae, Myrcidris, Pseudomyrmex and Tetraponera, were examined by Ward (1990) who concluded, on the basis of morphological characters, that Myrcidris is the sister group of (Pseudomyrmex + Tetraponera). A recent, more comprehensive study, based on both morphological and molecular data, demonstrated a sister group relationship between Pseudomyrmex and Myrcidris (Ward & Downie, 2005, especially Fig. 2, shown below). DNA sequence data (~5 kb, from five nuclear genes) strongly suggest that Tetraponera is paraphyletic, with one species group (the rufonigra-group) being more closely related to (Pseudomyrmex + Myrcidris) than to other Tetraponera.

Ward & Downie, 2005, Fig. 2.jpg

Ward & Downie, 2005, Fig. 2.


  • Ward Lab Blog
  • Ward, P.S. 1990. The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): generic revision and relationship to other formicids. Syst. Entomol. 15:449-489.
  • Ward, P.S. & Downie, D.A. 2005. The ant subfamily Pseudomyrmecinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): phylogeny and evolution of big-eyed arboreal ants. Systematic Entomology 30:310-335.