Trachymyrmex

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A genus of fungus growing ants. Trachymyrmex is mostly Neotropical, occurring in the Nearctic region mostly in the southern parts of Florida, Texas and Arizona, except for one species. Trachymyrmex septentrionalis that occurs up to New York in the North, Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana in the west, and south to Florida and the West Indies. Long Island and Staten Island in New York are the northernmost records for an attine ant. (Mayhé-Nunes & Brandão 2002)


At a Glance • Fungus Grower  

Identification

Mayhé-Nunes & Brandão (2002) - The most clear feature to distinguish the monomorphic Trachymyrmex from other attine cognate genera is the always present mesosomal projections on the dorsum of pronotum and/or mesonotum, surmounted by secondary tubercles or minute teeth, that in some species are transformed in small blunt hillocks. All species of Atta lack dorsal projections on the pronotum, and show in addition a strong variation of total body length amongst workers of the same colony. Acromyrmex and Mycetosoritis, the probable closest genera to Trachymyrmex, share with most Trachymyrmex the tuberculated dorsal surface of the first gastric tergite. There are some Trachymyrmex species that look very similar to Acromyrmex workers, which are, nonetheless, almost as polymorphic as in Atta. On the other hand, Trachymyrmex differs from the enigmatic Mycetosoritis by their relatively shallow antennal scrobes (deeply impressed in Mycetosoritis) only comparable to the scrobes found in the Strigatus group of Cyphomyrmex. Most Cyphomyrmex of the Rimosus group have the frontal lobes very expanded laterally, clearly surpassing two thirds of the head width. although two species of this group, Cyphomyrmex longiscapus and Cyphomyrmex foxi show weakly expanded frontal lobes while, in the strigatus group, Mycetophylax lectus and Mycetophylax bruchi present extremely expanded frontal lobes.

The extremely homogeneous Sericomyrmex differs from the strikingly heterogeneous Trachymyrmex in the females by having heart-shaped head, broadest posteriorly, broader than long, lacking any trace of occipital tooth and supraocular tumulus; the preocular carina fades out before or at the level of posterior orbit of eye; the frontal lobes are always triangular and inconspicuously expanded laterad, the interfrontal width about one half of head width as measured across the eyes; the antenna! scapes are relatively short, never quite reaching the occipital border in full-face view when laid back over the head as much as possible; thorax compact; piligerous tubercles practically absent.

Trachymyrmex species groups

Keys including this Genus

 

Keys to Species in this Genus

Distribution

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 7 7 0 0
Total Species 2841 1736 3045 932 835 4379 1741 2862

Biology

Association with Other Organisms

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Species Uncertain

An unknown species of Trachymyrmex is a host for the diapriid wasp Mimopriella sp. (www.diapriid.org).

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Trachymyrmex host diapriid wasp Mimopriella sp. parasite
Trachymyrmex arizonensis prey ant Neivamyrmex nigrescens predator
Trachymyrmex arizonensis prey ant Neivamyrmex rugulosus predator
Trachymyrmex arizonensis xenobiont ant Strumigenys arizonica xenobiont Ward, 1988
Trachymyrmex saussurei prey ant Neivamyrmex texanus predator

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: >100 to well over 1000 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: herbivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: cooperative (Greer et al., 2021)

Castes

Morphology

Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 11 • Antennal club: gradual-3 weak • Palp formula: 4,2 • Total dental count: 8-12 • Spur formula: 0, 0 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Scrobes: weakly developed • Pronotal Spines: dentiform • Mesonotal Spines: dentiform • Propodeal Spines: dentiform; present • Petiolar Spines: absent; dentiform • Caste: polymorphic • Sting: NA • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent

Male Morphology

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 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club gradual-4 weak • Palp formula 4,2 • Total dental count 3-7 • Spur formula 0,0

Karyotype

Species Uncertain

The generic placement of the following species is uncertain. Species formerly placed in Trachymyrmex are now placed within Trachymyrmex, Mycetomoellerius and Paratrachymyrmex.

  • Trachymyrmex” sp. 1, 2n=12 (n=6), karyotype=12M, Panama, Murakami et al. (1998).
  • Trachymyrmex” sp. 2, 2n=18 (n=9), karyotype=18M, Panama, Murakami et al. (1998).
  • Trachymyrmex” sp. 3, 2n=22 (n=11), karyotype=18M + 4SM, Brazil, Barros et al. (2013).

All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis 10 20 20M Panama Murakami et al., 1998; Micolino et al., 2020

Phylogeny

Myrmicinae
Myrmicini
Pogonomyrmecini
Stenammini
Solenopsidini
Attini

Ochetomyrmex  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Tranopelta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Diaphoromyrma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lachnomyrmex  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Blepharidatta  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Allomerus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Wasmannia  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Pheidole  (1,294 species, 7 fossil species)

Cephalotes  (123 species, 16 fossil species)

Procryptocerus  (44 species, 0 fossil species)

Strumigenys  (879 species, 4 fossil species)

Phalacromyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Pilotrochus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Protalaridris  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Rhopalothrix  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Basiceros  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Octostruma  (35 species, 0 fossil species)

Eurhopalothrix  (54 species, 0 fossil species)

Talaridris  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthognathus  (7 species, 1 fossil species)

Daceton  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Lenomyrmex  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Microdaceton  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Orectognathus  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Colobostruma  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Epopostruma  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

Mesostruma  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Paleoattina

Apterostigma  (44 species, 2 fossil species)

Mycocepurus  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmicocrypta  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Neoattina

Cyatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Kalathomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetarotes  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetosoritis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex  (23 species, 2 fossil species)

some Cyphomyrmex

Paramycetophylax  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetophylax  (21 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetagroicus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Mycetomoellerius  (31 species, 1 fossil species)

Sericomyrmex  (11 species, 0 fossil species)

Xerolitor  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Paratrachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Trachymyrmex  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Amoimyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Atta  (20 species, 1 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex  (56 species, 0 fossil species)

some Acromyrmex

Pseudoatta  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogastrini

Rostromyrmex  (1 species, 6 fossil species)

Cardiocondyla  (90 species, 0 fossil species)

Ocymyrmex  (34 species, 0 fossil species)

Nesomyrmex  (84 species, 2 fossil species)

Xenomyrmex  (5 species, 0 fossil species)

Terataner  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Atopomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Cataulacus  (65 species, 3 fossil species)

Carebara  (249 species, 9 fossil species)

Diplomorium  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Melissotarsus  (4 species, 1 fossil species)

Rhopalomastix  (14 species, 0 fossil species)

Calyptomyrmex  (38 species, 0 fossil species)

Strongylognathus  (27 species, 0 fossil species), Tetramorium  (598 species, 2 fossil species)

Cyphoidris  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Dicroaspis  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Aretidris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Vollenhovia  (83 species, 3 fossil species)

Dacetinops  (7 species, 0 fossil species)

Indomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Crematogaster  (783 species, 3 fossil species)

Meranoplus  (91 species, 0 fossil species)

Lophomyrmex  (13 species, 0 fossil species)

Adlerzia  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Recurvidris  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Stereomyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Trichomyrmex  (29 species, 0 fossil species)

Eutetramorium  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Royidris  (15 species, 0 fossil species)

Malagidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Vitsika  (16 species, 0 fossil species)

Huberia  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Podomyrma  (62 species, 1 fossil species)

Liomyrmex  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Metapone  (31 species, 0 fossil species)

Kartidris  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Mayriella  (9 species, 0 fossil species)

Tetheamyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Dacatria  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Proatta  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Dilobocondyla  (22 species, 0 fossil species)

Secostruma  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Acanthomyrmex  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Myrmecina  (106 species, 0 fossil species)

Perissomyrmex  (6 species, 0 fossil species)

Pristomyrmex  (61 species, 3 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma  (36 species, 0 fossil species)

Propodilobus  (1 species, 0 fossil species)

Lasiomyrma  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Ancyridris  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

some Lordomyrma

Paratopula  (12 species, 0 fossil species)

Poecilomyrma  (2 species, 0 fossil species)

Romblonella  (10 species, 0 fossil species)

Rotastruma  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Gauromyrmex  (3 species, 0 fossil species)

Vombisidris  (19 species, 0 fossil species)

Temnothorax  (512 species, 7 fossil species)

Harpagoxenus  (4 species, 0 fossil species)

Formicoxenus  (8 species, 0 fossil species)

Leptothorax  (20 species, 0 fossil species)

See Phylogeny of Myrmicinae for details.

Nomenclature

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

  • TRACHYMYRMEX [Myrmicinae: Attini]
    • Trachymyrmex Forel, 1893e: 600 [as subgenus of Atta]. Type-species: Atta septentrionalis, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, W.M. 1911f: 174.
    • Trachymyrmex subgenus of Cyphomyrmex: Emery, 1913b: 251; Emery, 1924d: 344.
    • Trachymyrmex subgenus of Acromyrmex: Forel, 1917: 247.
    • Trachymyrmex raised to genus: Gallardo, 1916b: 242; Wheeler, W.M. 1916c: 11; Wheeler, W.M. 1922a: 669; Borgmeier, 1950b: 384; Kempf, 1972a: 252.

Taxonomic Notes

Kempf was in the process of revising Trachymyrmex at the time of his death. Brandao and Mayhe-Nunes subsequently used Kemp's manuscripts when revising the genus in a series of papers that focused on individual species groups.

Description

Worker

Mayhé-Nunes & Brandão (2002) - Dorsal mesosomal spines multidentate or multituberculate, often transformed into small blunt hillocks, bristling with secondary tubercles. Frontal carinae strongly diverging caudad reaching or nearly reaching the lateral angles of the occiput, forming laterad a sometimes shallow but always present scrobe for part of the scapes. Inter frontal width close to or less than 2/3 of the head Width (including eyes). Worker caste monomorphic or nearly so, size Variation slight; major workers absent.

References