Overview

Comprehensive Description

SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE HNS LEPELETIER

This is a large subfamily incorporating about 200 genera with a great diversity of form. All have two segmented pedicels and stings. Pupae are not enclosed in cocoons.

Keys to genera of Myrmicinae HNS

Workers

1 Propodeum without spines or teeth, with smoothly rounded postero- dorsal border............................................................................................. 2

Propodeum bispinose or toothed ................................................................ 3

2(1) Antennae with 10 segments terminating in two-segmented club (Fig. 85) Diplorhoptrum Mayr (p. 64) Antennae with 12 segments terminating in three-segmented club (Fig. 81) Monomorium HNS Mayr (p. 62)

3 (1) Mandibles sickle-shaped, narrowing to pointed apex without teeth (Fig. 108) Strongylognathus HNS Mayr (p. 80) Mandibles subtriangular with broad masticatory border............................... 4

4 (3) Postpetiole attached to dorsum of first gastral segment (Figs. 88,89) Crematogaster HNS Lund (p. 66) Postpetiole attached to anterior face of gaster.............................................. 5

5 (4) Postpetiole with ventral lobe drawn out into an angular process or spine ....... 6

Postpetiole without distinct ventral projection............................................. 7

6 (5) Mandibles exceptionally broad but without teeth; head massive, quadrangular, finely striate (Figs. 104, 105).................................. Harpagoxenus HNS Forel (p. 78)

Mandibles normal with 5 distinct teeth; head not much wider than pronotum; whole body smooth and shining (Figs. 102,103)..... Formicoxenus HNS Mayr (p. 77)

7 (5) Antennae 11 segmented (Fig. 92)................ Leptothorax HNS Mayr (in part) (p. 68)

Antennae 12 segmented............................................................................. 8

8(7) Head underneath with two strong longitudinal carinae; anterior margin of clypeus bidentate (Fig. 90)........................................ Myrmecina HNS Curtis (p. 67)

Head without ventral carinae; clypeus with anterior margin entire................ 9

9(8) Posterolateral borders of clypeus raised into a ridge in front of antenna insertions; sting with a triangular lamelliform appendage apicodorsa pronotum with angled anterolateral corners in European species (Figs. 110,111)...................................................... Tetramorium HNS Mayr (p. 82)

Clypeal border not raised; sting without a lamelliform appendage; pronotum with rounded anterolateral corners in North European species................... 10

10(9) Median portion of clypeus longitudinally bicarinate, prolonged posteriorly between narrowly set frontal carinae; petiole with long anterior peduncle (Fig. 72) ............................................................ Stenamma HNS Westwood (p. 60)

Median portion of clypeus broad not bicarinate; petiole with short stout peduncle................................................................................................. 11

II (10) All tibia with pectinate spurs; last three antennal segments distinctly shorter than rest of funiculus............................................... Myrmica HNS Latreille (p. 40)

Mid and hind tibial spurs absent or simple; last three antennal segments about as long as rest of funiculus........................................................................ 12

12 (11) Dimorphic species with broad-headed, large workers having mandibles with two teeth apically, separated from the basal tooth by a long diastema; minor workers have oval heads with multidentate mandibles (Figs. 76-79)

Pheidole HNS Westwood (p. 61)

Monomorphic with all workers of even size; mandibles with five teeth in decreasing size from base to apex (Fig. 92) ............... Leptothorax HNS Mayr (p. 68)

Queens

1 Postpetiole attached to dorsum of first gaster segment

Crematogaster HNS Lund (p. 66) Postpetiole attached to anterior face of first gaster segment.......................... 2

2(1) Gaster with a broad longitudinal channel; anterior margin of clypeus with a median notch (Fig. 107).......................................... Anergates HNS Forel (p. 79)

Gaster without a longitudinal channel; anterior margin of clypeus entire....... 3

3 (2) Petiole quadrangular, biturberculate above; ventral surface of head with paired longitudinal carinae ....................................... Myrmecina HNS Curtis (p. 67)

Petiole nodal with distinct anterior peduncle. Ventral surface of head without paired longitudinal carinae......................................................................... 4

4 (3) Propodeum smoothly rounded in side view ................................................. 5

Propodeum distinctly angulate in side view or with more or less prominent spines or teeth ........................................................................................... 6

5 (4) Antennae with 10 segments, terminating in abrupt 2 segmented club (Fig. 84) Diplorhoptrum Mayr (p. 64) Antennae with 12 segments, terminating in 3 segmented club (Fig. 83) Monomorium HNS Mayr (p. 62)

6 (4) Mandibles narrow falcate, curving inwards to sharp pointed apex Strongylognathus HNS Mayr (p. 80) Mandibles subtriangular with broad masticatory border............................... 7

7 (6) Antennae with 11 segments........................................................................ 8

Antennae with 12 segments...................................................................... 10

8 (7) Postpetiole with long or enlarged ventral tooth like process.......................... 9

Postpetiole with indistinct minute antero-ventral tooth (Fig. 94) Leptothorax HNS Mayr (in part) (p. 68)

9 (8) Mandibles with distinct teeth; body shining without sculpture; subpostpetiolar process a long and acute spine.............................. Formicoxenus HNS Mayr (p. 77)

Mandibles edentate; head sculptured; subpostpetiolar process as a blunt tooth................................................................... Harpagoxenus HNS Forel (p. 78)

10 (7) Mandibles with a large apical and preapical tooth well separated from indistinct basal tooth; mesoscutum smooth and shining .. Pheidole HNS Westwood (p. 61) Mandibles with masticatory margins dentate throughout; mesoscutum sculptured ....................................................................................................... 11

11 (10) Posterolateral portion of clypeus raised into a ridge in front of the antennal insertions. Sting with lamelliform appendage ........... Tetramorium HNS Mayr (p. 82)

Clypeus not raised into a ridge posteriorly. Sting without lamelliform appendage....................................................................................................... 12

12(11) Tibial spurs of middle and hind legs distinctly pectinate Myrmica HNS Latreille (p. 40)

Tibial spurs of middle and hind legs simple or absent.................................. 13

13 (12) Postpetiole with a massively developed ventral process (Fig. 69)

Sifolinia HNS Emery (p. 58)

Postpetiole without ventral process or tooth .............................................. 14

14 (13) Petiole with a long anterior peduncle; median portion of clypeus narrow, distinctly bicarinate; body hairs long and acute .... Stenamma HNS Westwood (p. 60) Petiole with a short thick peduncle; median portion of clypeus broad without distinct carinae; body hairs short and blunt.. Leptothorax HNS Mayr (in part) (p. 68)

Males

1 Apterous, always without wings.................................................................. 2

Alate, wings always present........................................................................ 3

2 (1) Antennae with 10 or 11 segments; appearance pupoidal with dull sculptured integument; anterior margin of clypeus notched (Fig. 106) Anergates HNS Forel (p. 79)

Antennae with 12 segments; appearance worker-like with shining unsculptured integument; anterior margin of clypeus without median notch Formicoxenus HNS Mayr (p. 77)

3(1) Antennae with 10 segments, with elongate second funicular segment............ 4

Antennae with 12 or 13 segments................................................................ 5

4 (3) Mandibles edentate, curved, narrowing to pointed apex (Fig. 109) Strongylognathus HNS Mayr (p. 80) Mandibles dentate; subtriangular ........................... Tetramorium HNS Mayr (p. 82)

5 (3) Postpetiole attached to dorsum of First gaster segment Crematogaster HNS Lund (p. 66

Postpetiole attached to anterior face of first gaster segment.......................... 6

6 (5) Antennae with 12 segments........................................................................ 7

Antennae with 13 segments...................................................................... 10

7 (6) Propodeum smoothly rounded; notauli absent (Fig. 87) Diplorhoptrum Mayr (p. 64) Propodeum biangulate or with distinct teeth or spines; notauli present.......... 8

8 (7) Mandibles with 5 distinct teeth; antennal scape longer than half funiculus Sifolinia HNS Emery (p. 58)

Mandibles reduced, edentate; antennal scapes shorter than half funiculus..... 9

9 (8) Postpetiole with large ventral tooth-like process ..... Harpagoxenus HNS Forel (p. 78)

Postpetiole with a-minute antero-ventral tooth (Fig. 95) Leptothorax HNS Mayr (in part) (p. 68)

10(6) Mandibles extremely reduced, non-functional; petiole quadrangular without anterior peduncle; wings very dark (Fig. 91) .............. Myrmecina HNS Curtis (p. 67)

Mandibles with 3 or more teeth; petiole nodal with distinct anterior peduncle; wings light..............................................................................................11

11 (10) First funicular segment short and bulbous; ocelli enlarged and protuberant (Fig. 80) ............................................................... Pheidole HNS Westwood (p. 61)

First funicular segment elongate; not swollen; ocelli not markedly protuberant .......................................................................................................... 12

12(11) Notauli and parapsidal furrows absent...................... Monomorium HNS Mayr (p. 62)

Distinct Y-shaped notauli present............................................................. 13

13(12) Mid and hind tibiae with distinct pectinate spurs (Fig. 3) Myrmica HNS Latreille (p. 40)

Mid and hind tibial spurs simple or absent................................................. 14

14 (13) Anterior peduncle drawn out and elongate; propodeum bidentate (Fig. 75) Stenamma HNS Westwood (p. 60) Anterior peduncle short and thick; propodeum simply angled or rounded (Fig. 101)................................................... Leptothorax HNS Mayr (in part) (p. 68)

  • Collingwood, C. A. (1979): The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, 1-174: 36-40, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/6175/6175.pdf
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  • Donisthorpe, H. S. J. K. (1938): Five new species of ant, chiefly from New Guinea. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 1, 140-148: 141-141, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/5782/5782.pdf
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Myrmicinae HNS

Worker monomorphic, dimorphic, or polymorphic, often very strongly so; the soldier form having a very large head and strong mandibles. Frontal carinae nearly always separated, rarely close together; divergent or slightly convergent behind and rarely lobed anteriorly; usually the clypeus is wedged in between the frontal carinae; in the Metaponini and a few other forms the clypeus is not prolonged back, its posterior margin being rounded. Antennae from 4- to 12-jointed, often with a distinct club. Ocelli frequently absent in the ordinary worker, though in strongly dimorphic species they may still be more or less distinct in the soldier. Pedicel formed by the petiole and the postpetiole; very rarely ( Melissotarsus HNS ) the postpetiole is nearly as wide as the basal segment of the gaster. Stridulatory organ usually present at the base of the gaster. Sting developed. Spurs of the middle and hind tibiae in the majority of cases simple or absent; pectinate in the Metaponini and Myrmicini only. Gizzard simple and tubular in most genera and of a very primitive type compared with the conditions in the Dolichoderinae, Camponotinae, and Pseudomyrminae.

Female usually winged and larger than the worker; in a few cases ergatoid; true dichthadiiform queens are not known, but in some parasitic genera ( Anergates HNS , Anergatides HNS ) the gaster of the fertile female becomes enormously distended.

Male usually with the copulatory armature partly exserted; entirely retractile in a few genera of the Solenopsidini only. Anal segment with cerci. In a few cases (as in certain species of Cardiocondyla HNS ) ergatoid, wingless males are known, sometimes together with winged individuals. Antennae almost always 13-jointed, even when the worker and female have very few antennal joints (11-jointed in Stereomyrmex HNS and Cataulacus HNS ; 12-jointed in Metapone HNS , certain Attini, Meranoplini, etc.).

The venation of the fore wing offers much diversity. In some genera the more primitive type is still retained, with a closed radial, two closed cubital cells, and a closed discoidal cell, but all degrees of reduction are met with. When there is only one cubital cell, the cubitus may be united with the radius by means of a long intercubitus(type of Solenopsis HNS ) or the intercubitus may disappear, the cubitus and radius being fused in a spot or for some distance (type of Formica HNS ).

Larva thick-bodied, orthocephalic, without exudatory papillae around the mouth. The body is, as a rule, abundantly covered with chitinous hairs of very different kinds; dorsal oncochaetae often present.

Nymphs never enclosed in a cocoon.

The Myrmicinae is the largest subfamily of ants, containing over 120 genera and many thousands of described species, races, and varieties, nearly as many as the other six subfamilies together. As would be expected, the taxonomic arrangement of this maze is exceedingly difficult and it is no wonder that such keen myrmecologists as Forel and Emery have not yet succeeded in reaching satisfactory results and are obliged to modify their views at every turn of the road. For practical and other reasons, have felt at liberty to change somewhat the classification proposed by Emery,1 though have followed him in the main. Have united the two tribes Solenopsidini and Pheidologetini, which pass repeatedly into each other and are merely separated by the shape of the radial cell (closed in the Pheidologetini; open in the Solenopsidini), a character the value of which seems to have been overrated by Emery. Have also accepted Forel's tribe Proattini and, furthermore, separated Stegomyrmex HNS from the Dacetini as an independent tribe. The very peculiar genus Archaeomyrmex, recently discovered by Mann in the Fiji Islands, must also constitute a distinct tribe, which I have provisionally placed between the Myrmecinini and Meranoplini.

The habits in this subfamily offer no less diversity than the structure. The majority of the species are carnivorous or partly so; but many others are granivorous, the most prominent in this respect being the members of Messor HNS and allied genera ( Novomessor HNS , Veromessor HNS , Oxyopomyrmex HNS , Pogonomyrmex HNS , many species of Pheidole HNS , etc.). In these ants the nest often contains spacious granaries full of seeds. Many myrmicine ants are attracted by sugary substances such as are furnished by the nectaries of flowers or various extrafloral plant organs. Often, also, they attend aphids, coccids, psyllids, or leafhoppers for the sake of the honeydew they excrete. The New World "leaf-cutting" or "fungusgrowing " ants of the tribe Attini feed exclusively on the food-bodies ("bromatia") producd by fungi cultivated in their nests. There are also many cases of social parasitism which, in its most extreme form, has lead to the disappearance of the worker caste ( Wheeleriella HNS , Epixenus HNS , Epipheidole HNS , Sympheidole HNS , Epaecus HNS , Anergates HNS , Anergatides HNS , and probably several other genera of which only males and females are known). Temporary social parasitism is probably the rule in some species of Aphaenogaster HNS and in the Malagasy and Indomalayan subgenus Oxygyne HNS of Crematogaster HNS .

'Emery, C. ' Intorno alia classificazione dei Myrmicinae,' Rend. Accad. Sc. Bologna, 1914, pp. 29-42. 'Noma de sous-genres et de genres proposes pour la sous-famille des Myrmicinae; modifications a la classification de ee groupe,' Bull. Soc. Ent. France, 1915, pp. 189-192.

  • Wheeler, W. M. (1922): The ants collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 45, 39-269: 124-125, URL:http://plazi.org:8080/dspace/handle/10199/17097
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Characteristics

Bolton (2003) gives the following apomorphies of the Myrmicinae:
  • Metapleural gland orifice a longitudinal slit or crescent, opening dorsally to posterodorsally, and not overhung by a cuticular flange or flap
  • Petiole in posterior view with fused tergite and sternite equally convex, with their inner margins forming a circle
  • Helcial tergite and sternite form a rough circle in frontal view, their apices meeting end to end, and the tergite not overlapping the sternite

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Worker monomorphic, dimorphic, or polymorphic, often very strongly so; the soldier form having a very large head and strong mandibles. Frontal carinae nearly always separated, rarely close together; divergent or slightly convergent behind and rarely lobed anteriorly; usually the clypeus is wedged in between the frontal carinae; in the Metaponini and a few other forms the clypeus is not prolonged back, its posterior margin being rounded. Antennae from 4- to 12-jointed, often with a distinct club. Ocelli frequently absent in the ordinary worker, though in strongly dimorphic species they may still be more or less distinct in the soldier. Pedicel formed by the petiole and the postpetiole; very rarely ( Melissotarsus ) the postpetiole is nearly as wide as the basal segment of the gaster. Stridulatory organ usually present at the base of the gaster. Sting developed. Spurs of the middle and hind tibiae in the majority of cases simple or absent; pectinate in the Metaponini and Myrmicini only. Gizzard simple and tubular in most genera and of a very primitive type compared with the conditions in the Dolichoderinae, Camponotinae, and Pseudomyrminae.

 

Female usually winged and larger than the worker; in a few cases ergatoid; true dichthadiiform queens are not known, but in some parasitic genera ( Anergates , Anergatides ) the gaster of the fertile female becomes enormously distended.

 

Male usually with the copulatory armature partly exserted; entirely retractile in a few genera of the Solenopsidini only. Anal segment with cerci. In a few cases (as in certain species of Cardiocondyla ) ergatoid, wingless males are known, sometimes together with winged individuals. Antennae almost always 13-jointed, even when the worker and female have very few antennal joints (11-jointed in Stereomyrmex and Cataulacus ; 12-jointed in Metapone , certain Attini, Meranoplini, etc.).

 

The venation of the fore wing offers much diversity. In some genera the more primitive type is still retained, with a closed radial, two closed cubital cells, and a closed discoidal cell, but all degrees of reduction are met with. When there is only one cubital cell, the cubitus may be united with the radius by means of a long intercubitus(type of Solenopsis ) or the intercubitus may disappear, the cubitus and radius being fused in a spot or for some distance (type of Formica ).

 

Larva thick-bodied, orthocephalic, without exudatory papillae around the mouth. The body is, as a rule, abundantly covered with chitinous hairs of very different kinds; dorsal oncochaetae often present.

 

Nymphs never enclosed in a cocoon.

 

The Myrmicinae is the largest subfamily of ants, containing over 120 genera and many thousands of described species, races, and varieties, nearly as many as the other six subfamilies together. As would be expected, the taxonomic arrangement of this maze is exceedingly difficult and it is no wonder that such keen myrmecologists as Forel and Emery have not yet succeeded in reaching satisfactory results and are obliged to modify their views at every turn of the road. For practical and other reasons, have felt at liberty to change somewhat the classification proposed by Emery,1 though have followed him in the main. Have united the two tribes Solenopsidini and Pheidologetini, which pass repeatedly into each other and are merely separated by the shape of the radial cell (closed in the Pheidologetini; open in the Solenopsidini), a character the value of which seems to have been overrated by Emery. Have also accepted Forel's tribe Proattini and, furthermore, separated Stegomyrmex from the Dacetini as an independent tribe. The very peculiar genus Archaeomyrmex, recently discovered by Mann in the Fiji Islands, must also constitute a distinct tribe, which I have provisionally placed between the Myrmecinini and Meranoplini.

 

The habits in this subfamily offer no less diversity than the structure. The majority of the species are carnivorous or partly so; but many others are granivorous, the most prominent in this respect being the members of Messor and allied genera ( Novomessor , Veromessor , Oxyopomyrmex , Pogonomyrmex , many species of Pheidole , etc.). In these ants the nest often contains spacious granaries full of seeds. Many myrmicine ants are attracted by sugary substances such as are furnished by the nectaries of flowers or various extrafloral plant organs. Often, also, they attend aphids, coccids, psyllids, or leafhoppers for the sake of the honeydew they excrete. The New World "leaf-cutting" or "fungusgrowing " ants of the tribe Attini feed exclusively on the food-bodies ("bromatia") producd by fungi cultivated in their nests. There are also many cases of social parasitism which, in its most extreme form, has lead to the disappearance of the worker caste ( Wheeleriella , Epixenus , Epipheidole , Sympheidole , Epaecus , Anergates , Anergatides , and probably several other genera of which only males and females are known). Temporary social parasitism is probably the rule in some species of Aphaenogaster and in the Malagasy and Indomalayan subgenus Oxygyne of Crematogaster .

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Wheeler, W. M.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:40774
Specimens with Sequences:29026
Specimens with Barcodes:25397
Species:3186
Species With Barcodes:2351
Public Records:11016
Public Species:989
Public BINs:1334
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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

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