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Brachymyrmex aphidicola casent0173474 profile 1.jpg
Brachymyrmex aphidicola worker
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Myrmelachistini
Genus: Brachymyrmex
Mayr, 1868
Type species
Brachymyrmex patagonicus
Mayr, 1868
44 species

Brachymyrmex is a genus in the ants subfamily Formicinae.[2] The genus can be recognized by the combination of having nine antennal segments (fewer than most ants) and the petiole concealed by the gaster in dorsal view. They are sometimes called "rover ants".[3][4]


The genus has a mainly Neotropical distribution, ranging from the United States to Argentina and Chile, including the Caribbean islands, but some species have been introduced to Japan, and Madagascar.[5]


Brachymyrmex is a genus of minute ants that at first glance exhibit little morphological variation. Currently only the 9-segmented antennae and lack of antennal club have been proposed to diagnose workers of the genus. The combination of small size, soft metasoma, and the simple morphology makes observations and interpretation of morphological characters difficult. These difficulties impede taxonomic revisions and even led Creighton (1950) to call Brachymyrmex a "miserable little genus".[5] Nevertheless, 44 species and 17 subspecies are currently assigned to Brachymyrmex.[1]


The first complete taxonomic revision of Brachymyrmex was published by Santschi (1923) and included 27 species and 15 subspecies and varieties. In this revision, Santschi (1923) recognized two subgenera: 1) Brachymyrmex sensu stricto (including most of the species) and 2) Bryscha (four species).[5]

Brachymyrmex sensu stricto contains species that have hairy legs, antennae without erect hairs and the second segment of the antennal funiculus much shorter that the first (= third antennal segment much shorter than the second). Bryscha species have legs and antennae with erect hairs and the second segment of the antennal funiculus is as long as or longer than the first. Unlike other species in the genus, two of the species of the subgenus Bryscha, Brachymyrmex pilipes and Brachymyrmex micromegas, have dimorphic workers. Ambiguity remains regarding the status of Bryscha. Brown (1973) provisionally synonymized it under Brachymyrmex and Bolton (1995, 2014) accepted this synonymy in his catalogues without substantiating the decision.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bolton, B. (2014). "Brachymyrmex". AntCat. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Genus: Brachymyrmex". AntWeb. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  3. ^ Brachymyrmex patagonicus on the UF / IFAS Featured Creatures Web site
  4. ^ Warner, John; Yang, Rou-Ling; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H. (2008). "Efficacy of Selected Bait and Residual Toxicants for Control of Bigheaded Ants, Pheidole megacephala (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), in Large Field Plots". Florida Entomologist. 91 (2): 277–282. doi:10.1653/0015-4040(2008)91[277:eosbar];2.
  5. ^ a b c d Ortiz, C.; Fernandez, F. (2014). "Brachymyrmex species with tumuliform metathoracic spiracles: Description of three new species and discussion of dimorphism in the genus (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)". ZooKeys (371): 13–33. doi:10.3897/zookeys.371.6568. PMC 3909797. PMID 24493952.
  • Bolton B (1995) "A new general catalogue of the ants of the world.", Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass, 504 pp.
  • Brown WL Jr (1973) "A comparison of the Hylean and Congo-West African rain forest ant faunas." In: Meggers BJ, Ayensu ES, Duckworth WD (Eds) Tropical forest ecosystems in Africa and South America: a comparative review, 161–185.
  • Creighton, WS (1950). "The ants of North America". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College. 104: 1–585.
  • Santschi, F (1923). "Revue des fourmis du genre Brachymymex Mayr". Anales del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Buenos Aires. 31: 650–678.

External links[edit]