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Temporal range: Burdigalian to Recent
A. berwicki worker
Scientific classification

Roger, 1862 [1]
Type species
Acropyga acutiventris
Roger, 186
42 species

Atopodon Forel, 1912
Malacomyrma Emery, 1922
Rhizomyrma Forel, 1893

Acropyga is a genus of small formicine ants. Some species can be indirect pests. A. acutiventris, which is found from India to Australia, tends subterranean, root-feeding mealybugs of the species Xenococcus annandalei. Living, gravid females are carried in the jaws of A. acutiventris queens during their nuptial flight, to establish the symbiotic association in founding colonies. Other Acropyga species have relationships with different species of mealybugs, and it could be a trait common to the whole genus.[3]


Acropyga are smaller than 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in), with a compact, stocky body. They have antennae with 10 or 11 segments (including the scape), short palps and reduced eyes with four to 30 individual ommatidia. In some species, the eyes are completely absent.[4]


Acropyga is found in the Americas, southern Africa, India to Southeast Asia and Australia. A. palearctica is known only from Greece. Fossil specimens of Acropyga have been recovered from the Burdigalian stage. Dominican amber deposits and several individuals are preserved carrying Electromyrmococcus mealybugs.[5] These fossils represent the oldest recorded record of the symbiosis between mealybugs and Acropyga species ants.[5] They are found in leaf litter and forage on low vegetation, and will nest in various sites, including soil, bark and rotten logs.[4]



  1. ^ "Acropyga Roger, 1862". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  2. ^ Bolton, B. (2014). "Acropyga". AntCat. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  3. ^ Robert W. Taylor (1992). "Nomenclature and distribution of some Australian and New Guinean ants of the subfamily Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)". Journal of the Australian Entomological Society. 31 (1): 57–69. doi:10.1111/j.1440-6055.1992.tb00458.x.
  4. ^ a b S. O. Shattuck; N. J. Barnet. "Genus Acropyga". Australian Ants Online. CSIRO. Archived from the original on July 21, 2008. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Christine Johnson; Donat Agosti; Jacques H. Delabie; Klaus Dumpert; D. J. Williams; Michael von Tschirnhaus; Ulrich Maschwitz (2001). "Acropyga and Azteca ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with scale insects (Sternorrhyncha: Coccoidea): 20 million years of intimate symbiosis". American Museum Novitates. 3335: 1–18. doi:10.1206/0003-0082(2001)335<0001:AAAAHF>2.0.CO;2.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Acropyga at Wikimedia Commons