Psalidomyrmex

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Revision as of 23:28, 3 September 2022 by SShattuck (talk | contribs) (Add references from PDF.)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Psalidomyrmex
Psalidomyrmex foveolatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Alliance: Plectroctena genus group
Genus: Psalidomyrmex
André, 1890
Type species
Psalidomyrmex foveolatus
Diversity
6 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Psalidomyrmex foveolatus casent0101471 profile 1.jpg

Psalidomyrmex foveolatus

Psalidomyrmex foveolatus casent0101471 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships
Ponerinae
Platythyreini

Platythyrea


Ponerini



Simopelta





Belonopelta



Thaumatomyrmex





Mayaponera




Rasopone




Neoponera




Dinoponera



Pachycondyla










Diacamma




Emeryopone





Ponera



Ectomomyrmex





Cryptopone hartwigi




Austroponera



Parvaponera



Pseudoponera











Harpegnathos




Hypoponera




Centromyrmex




Psalidomyrmex




Loboponera




Boloponera



Plectroctena










Asphinctopone




Leptogenys



Myopias





Mesoponera melanaria





Bothroponera



Hagensia






Buniapone



Paltothyreus





Promyopias





Pseudoneoponera



Streblognathus





Brachyponera




Cryptopone gilva, testacea



Euponera



Fisheropone








Phrynoponera




Anochetus



Odontomachus







Megaponera



Ophthalmopone





Mesoponera ambigua



Odontoponera













Relationships among genera of the ant subfamily Ponerinae (extant taxa only, except Dolioponera, Feroponera and Iroponera) based on Schmidt & Shattuck (2014) and Longino & Branstetter (2020).

A small genus (six described species) restricted to central and western Africa. They are cryptic foragers, and at least one species (Psalidomyrmex procerus) is a specialist predator of earthworms. Species of Psalidomyrmex nest in rotten wood, beneath logs, or directly in the ground and hunting is generally performed solitarily (Bolton, 1975b). The latest generic revision is by Bolton (1975b) and there is an updated list of species and a species key presented in Bolton & Brown (2002).

Identification

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Psalidomyrmex workers and queens are readily identified by their unique mandibular structure (mandibles falcate to subtriangular, with broadly rounded basal angles and an attenuated apical tooth) and by their projecting labral lobe, both of which are autapomorphic within the Ponerinae. Other diagnostic characters include the hypertrophied frontal lobes, longitudinal groove on the propodeal dorsum, and large lateral metapleural gland orifice. Psalidomyrmex is most similar to the other members of the Plectroctena genus group, including Loboponera and Plectroctena itself. In addition to lacking the two autapomorphies of Psalidomyrmex already mentioned, these genera differ from Psalidomyrmex in having longitudinal dorsal grooves in the meso- and metafemora and distinct propodeal lamellae.

Keys including this Genus

 

Keys to Species in this Genus

Distribution

Psalidomyrmex is restricted to central and western Africa, ranging from Sierra Leone to Kenya and as far south as Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Bolton, 1975b; Bolton & Brown, 2002).

Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Biology

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014) - Very little is known about the ecology and behavior of Psalidomyrmex. They nest in rotting logs, in the soil beneath rotting logs (Bolton, 1975b), or in deserted termitaries (Déjean et al., 1996, 1997), and workers forage individually in rotting wood or in leaf litter (Bolton, 1975b). Psalidomyrmex procerus is known to be a specialist predator of earthworms (Lévieux, 1982; Déjean et al., 1992), capturing worms as long as 10 cm (Dejean et al., 1999). Although the feeding habits of the other species is unknown, it seems likely that they too may feed on earthworms, given the apparently specialized mandibular structure of the genus.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: ? (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: solitary (Greer et al., 2021)

Castes

Morphology

Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: gradual • Total dental count: 1-11(0-4) • Spur formula: 1 pectinate, 1 pectinate • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present

Male Morphology

 • Antennal segment count 13 • Antennal club 0 • Palp formula 3,4 • Total dental count 0-1 • Spur formula 1 pectinate, 1 pectinate

Nomenclature

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

  • PSALIDOMYRMEX [Ponerinae: Ponerini]
    • Psalidomyrmex André, 1890: 313. Type-species: Psalidomyrmex foveolatus, by monotypy.

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

Description

Schmidt and Shattuck (2014):

Worker

Medium to large (TL 9.0–16.0 mm; Bolton, 1975b) ants with the standard characters of Ponerini. Mandibles falcate to subtriangular, with rounded basal angles, a long apical tooth and a basal groove. Labrum projecting anteriorly beyond the anterior clypeal margin as a lobe. Frontal lobes large, expanded laterally and closely approximated. Eyes of moderate size, located anterior to head midline. Metanotal groove vestigial. Propodeum broad dorsally, with a shallow longitudinal groove dorsally. Propodeal spiracles round. Metapleural gland orifice very large, opening laterally. Metatibial spur formula (1p). Petiole nodiform. Anteroventral articulatory surface of petiole long and broad, with a narrow median V-shaped longitudinal groove. Gaster with a strong constriction between A3 and A4. Head and body with moderate sculpturing (variously punctate, foveolate or striate), with very sparse pilosity and no pubescence. Color reddish brown to black.

Queen

Similar to workers but slightly larger, alate and with ocelli.

Male

See description in Bolton (1975b).

Larva

Described for Psalidomyrmex procerus by Wheeler & Wheeler (1964).

References