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Article
Published: 2017-02-06

A review of the Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus and Pseudomyrmex goeldii species groups: acacia-ants and relatives (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of California at Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Hymenoptera ants ant-plants Pseudomyrmecinae taxonomy Mesoamerica South America

Abstract

The Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus group contains the Mesoamerican acacia-ants, an assemblage of species that inhabit and protect swollen-thorn acacias (Vachellia spp.). Recent phylogenetic studies have confirmed the existence of two generalist (dead twig-inhabiting) species that are embedded within the P. ferrugineus group. They are described here as P. evitus sp. nov. (occurring from Mexico to Costa Rica) and P. feralis sp. nov. (Guatemala). The morphological definition of the P. ferrugineus group is revised to incorporate additional variability in the worker and queen castes. The previous diagnosis of the males, based largely on features of the genitalia, requires little revision. Closely related to the P. ferrugineus group is a clade of five predominantly South American species, here designated and diagnosed as the P. goeldii group. The five species, P. goeldii (Forel), P. laevifrons Ward, P. micans sp. nov., P. obtusus sp. nov., and P. parvulus sp. nov., are characterized and illustrated. P. laevifrons and P. micans are closely related and difficult to distinguish, possibly reflecting incomplete isolation. Keys are provided for the identification of the species in both groups.

 

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How to Cite

WARD, P. S. (2017). A review of the <em>Pseudomyrmex</em> <em>ferrugineus</em> and <em>Pseudomyrmex</em> <em>goeldii</em> species groups: acacia-ants and relatives (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa, 4227(4), 524–542. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4227.4.3