AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Pseudomorpha sp.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Beetle
Suborder: Adephaga
Family: Carabidae
Genus: Pseudomorpha
Kirby, 1825

Pseudomorpha is a myrmecophilous genus of Carabid beetle restricted to the Western Hemisphere. Pseudomorpha and some related genera are obligatory myrmecophiles in their larval stages. There are 27 described species with more than 100 undescribed species. As far as is known, adults are found in and around ant nests and in the surrounding vicinity; females are ovoviviparous (Liebherr and Kavanaugh 1985); larvae are known to be ant nest inquilines (Lenko 1972; Erwin 1981), or perhaps living with termites (Ogueta 1967). Of adults found at lights (UV, MV, and white light), most are males. Members of this genus are known to occur from Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado in the north to Argentina in the south, including the Caribbean area, and in southern Australia. They should be looked for in southern Wyoming, where they are also likely to occur. The only eastern species, P. excrucians Kirby, is related to species from the Caribbean and South America, not to those lineages from the American west and southwest.

Diagnosis. Form moderately depressed or rarely subcylindrical, narrow or broad, lean or robust, head visible from above, legs concealed beneath when in repose. Color ranges from black to light brown, rarely slightly rufous; only adults of P. excrucians Kirby, Yasunimorpha piranhna Erwin & Geraci, Guyanemorpha spectablis Erwin from Guyane are markedly bicolored. Head with mouthparts visible in dorsal aspect; ventrally beneath eye with deeply recessed groove for insertion of antennal base; mandibular scrobe nearly effaced, delimited by row of short stout setae; mentum and submentum fused; antennal scape partially visible in dorsal aspect. Anterior coxal cavities closed, median coxal cavities conjunct, metepimeron visible. Abdomen with six visible sterna, sternum III with broad medial emargination on posterior margin; sterna V and VI in male with dense row of decumbent and yellowish robust setae medially. Male parameres long, nearly of same length (more or less symmetrical), glabrous or setose, not balteate; phallobase bonnet-shaped, crested or not.

The species groups of Pseudomorpha Kirby 1825 and their known distributions (note that some species group names are based on yet undescribed species in Erwin in prep.) Alleni group. AZ, UT Augustata group. AZ, CA, NV, NM, TX, UT, México Behrensi group. CA, CO, ID, NV, NM, OR, UT Caterinoi group. CA Consanguinea group. AZ, CA Cronkhitei group. AZ, CA Chumash group. CA Cylindrica group. NM, TX, México Excrucians group. AR, GA, LA, MS, SC, Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic Falli group. CA Hubbardi group. AZ, NM, TX Parallela group. CA, Haiti Peninsularis group. AZ, CA, CO, NV, NM, OR, UT, México Phiara group. TX Pilatei group. TX, Costa Rica, Guatemala, México Santarita group. AZ, NM, México Subsulcata group. NM Tenebroides group. AZ, CA, NV, NM, UT Vindicata group. CO, ID, UT

List of Pseudomorpha and their Host Ants

List of Pseudomorpha and their Host Ants
Genus and species Author and Year Ant Host Distribution Notes
Pseudomorpha alleni VanDyke, 1953 ants Arizona (type) Alleni group
Psuedomorpha alutacea Notman, 1925 ants Arizona, New Mexico (type)
Pseudomorpha argentina Steinheil, 1869 ants Argentina
Pseudomorpha arrowi Notman, 1925 ants Mexico: Cuidad Durango
Pseudomorpha augustata G. Horn, 1883 ants Arizona, New Mexico Augustata group
Pseudomorpha behrensi G.Horn, 1870 ants Mexico; USA: California, Idaho, Nevada Behrensi group
Pseudomorpha caribbeana Darlington, 1935 ants Haiti
Pseudomorpha castanea Casey, 1909 ants California, Oregon, Utah
Pseudomorpha champlaini Notman, 1925 ants Arizona
Pseudomorpha confusa Notman, 1925 ants Australia
Pseudomorpha consanguinea Notman, 1925 ants Arizona, California Consanguinea group
Pseudomorpha cronkhitei G.Horn, 1867 ants California Cronkhitei group
Pseudomorpha cylindrica Casey, 1889 ants Texas Cylindrica group
Pseudomorpha excrucians Kirby, 1825 ants Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina Excrucians group
Pseudomorpha falli Notman, 1925 ants California
Pseudomorpha gerstaeckeri Chaudoir, 1877 ants Brazil
Pseudomorpha huachinera Amundson & Erwin, 2013 ants Mexico (type); USA: Arizona Santarita group
Pseudomorpha hubbardi Notman, 1925 ants Arizona (type) Hubbardi group
Pseudomorpha lacordairei (Dejean & Boisduval, 1829) ants Brazil
Pseudomorpha parallela VanDyke, 1943 ants California Parallela group
Pseudomorpha patagonia Erwin & Amundson, 2013 ants USA: Arizona Santarita group
Pseudomorpha penablanca Amundson & Erwin, 2013 ants Arizona Santarita group
Pseudomorpha peninsularis VanDyke, 1953 ants Mexico Peninsularis group
Pseudomorpha pilatei Chaudoir, 1862 ants Mexico: Yucatan Pilatei group
Pseudomorpha pima Amundson & Erwin, 2013 ants Arizona Santarita group
Pseudomorpha santacruz Erwin & Amundson, 2013 ants Arizona Santarita group
Pseudomorpha santarita Erwin & Amundson, 2013 ants Arizona, New Mexico Santarita group
Pseudomorpha schwarzi Notman, 1925 ants Arizona
Pseudomorpha tenebroides Notman, 1925 ants Arizona Tenebroides group
Pseudomorpha tuxtla Liebherr & Will, 1996 ants Mexico
Pseudomorpha vandykei Notman, 1925 ants Arizona
Pseudomorpha vicina Notman, 1925 ants California, Nevada
Pseudomorpha vindicata Notman, 1925 ants Utah Vindicata group


  • Baehr M (1997) Revision of the Pseudomorphinae of the Australian region. 2. The genera Pseudomorpha Kirby, Adelotopus Hope, Cainogenion Notman, Paussotropus Waterhouse, and Cryptocephalomorpha Ritsema. Taxonomy, phylogeny, zoogeography. (Insecta, Coleoptera, Carabidae). Spixiana, Supplement 23, 1–508.
  • Bousquet, Yves, 2012, Catalogue of Geadephaga (Coleoptera, Adephaga) of America, north of Mexico, ZooKeys 245, pp. 1-1722
  • Kirby, W. 1825. A description of such genera and species of insects, alluded to in the "Introduction to Entomology" of Messrs. Kirby and Spence, as appear not to have been before sufficiently noticed or described. The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 14:563-572.
  • Lenko K (1972) Pseudomorpha laevissma, un Carabideo mirmecofilo (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Studia Entomologica 15: 439-444.
  • Liebherr JK, Kavanaugh DH (1985) Ovoviviparity in carabid beetles of the genus Pseudomorpha (Insecta: Coleoptera). Journal of Natural History 19: 1079-1086. doi: 10.1080/00222938500770681
  • Ogueta E (1967) Las especies argentinas de la subfamilia Pseudomorphinae G. Horn, 1881. Acta Zoológica Lilloana 23: 217-232.
  • Steinheil, Eduard 1869. Symbolae ad historiam coleopterorum Argentiniae meridionalis, ossia elenco dei coleotteri raccolti dal professore Pelegrino STROBEL, durante il suo soggiorno in Buenos Aires &c: Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, 12: 238-260.
  • Van Dyke, E.C. 1943. New species and subspecies of North American Carabidae. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 19:17-30.
  • Van Dyke, E. C. 1953b. New Coleoptera from Western North America (Carabidae, Melasidae, Buprestidae, Curculionidae). The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 29(2):102-107.