Pseudomyrmex spinicola (Emery 1890)

Ward, Philip S., 1993, Systematic studies on Pseudomyrmex acacia-ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Pseudomyrmecinae), Journal of Hymenoptera Research 2, pp. 117-168: 149-151

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.10150

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Pseudomyrmex spinicola (Emery 1890)


Pseudomyrmex spinicola (Emery 1890) 

(Figs. 11,21,60, 68)

Pseudomyrma spinicola Emery 1890:64  . Lectotype worker, Alajuela , Costa Rica (Alfaro) ( MCSN) [Examined]  .

Pseudomyrma spinicola race atrox Forel 1912:24  . Syntype workers, Panama (Christophersen) ( MHNG,  NHMB) [Examined], Syn. nov.  One syntype from MHNG here designated LECTOTYPE  .

Pseudomyrma spinicola race Gaigei Forel 1914:615  . Syntype workers, Columbien (Gaige) ( MHNG),  Fundacion , Colombia (F. M. Gaige) ( LACM,  MCZC) [Examined]. Syn. nov. 

Pseudomyrma spinicola subsp. infernalis Wheeler 1942:180  . Syntype workers, queens, males, Venado , Canal Zone, Panama (W. M. Wheeler),  Red Tank , Canal Zone, Panama (W. M. Wheeler), and  Las Sabanas , Panama (W. M. Wheeler) ( AMNH,  MCZC) [Examined].  One MCZC worker, from Red Tank, here designed LECTOTYPE. Syn. nov. 

Pseudomyrma spinicola subsp. scelerosa Wheeler 1942:181  . Syntype workers, Granada , Nicaragua (C. F. Baker) ( AMNH,  MCZC) [Examined].  One MCZC worker here designated LECTOTYPE. Syn. nov. 

Pseudomyrma spinolae  [sic] var. infernalis Enzmann 1945:91  . Syntype workers, queens, Red Tank , Canal Zone, Panama (W. M. Wheeler) ( MCZC) [Examined] [Objective synonym off. spinicola subsp. infernalis Wheeler  ; Brown 1949:43]  ,

Pseudomyrma spinolae  [sic] var. scelerosa Enzmann 1945:91  . Syntype workers, Granada , Nicaragua (C. F. Baker) ( MCZC) [Examined] [Objective synonym of P. spinicola subsp. scelerosa, Wheeler  ; Brown 1949:43], Pseudomyrmex spinicola (Emery)  ; Wheeler and Wheeler 1956:386  .

Worker measurements (n = 41). - HL 0.99-1.28, HW 0.94-1.15, MFC 0.032-0.067, Cl 0.84-0.97, REL 0.42-0.47, REL2 0.45-0.54, OOI 1.22-2.11, VI 0.64-0.83, FCI 0.032-0.061, SI 0.45-0.50, SI2 0.88-1.05, NI 0.61-0.69, PLI 0.47-0.64, PWI 0.49- 0.71, PPWI 1.32-1.85.

Worker diagnosis. - Median clypeal lobe emarginate, laterally angulate (Fig. 11), relatively broad ( CLW / HW 0.21-0.25). Palp formula 5,3 (rarely 5p4,3). Frontal carinae relatively close, and median lobes of antennal sclerites rather exposed ( FCI 2 0.24-0.42). Head longer than broad but variably so (see range of Cl values). Posterior margin of head ranging from broadly convex (Fig. 11) to straight or even weakly concave, usually rounding gently into the sides of head. Basal face of propodeum subequal to declivitous face, rounding into latter; in dorsal view propodeal spiracles salient,protruding laterally. Petiole generally slender ( PLI <0.65) with a well developed anterior peduncle; in dorsal view posterolateral angles typically prominent. Head densely punctulate, sublucid, interspaces small (punctulae essentially contiguous on most of head) but shiny. Mesosoma finely punctulate dorsally becoming punctulate-coriarious laterally, sublucid; propodeum lacking overlying, coarser rugulo-punctate sculpture. Standing pilosity usually moderately common on body dorsum and including some hairs> 0.20 mm. Appressed pubescence common on most surfaces. Varying from light orange-brown to dark brown in color.

Comments. - The short, broad, emarginate and laterally angulate median clypeal lobe (Fig. 11) distinguishes the worker of this species. The sublucid integument, elongate petiole, prominent propodeal spiracles, and somewhat angulate posterolateral comers of the petiole are also characteristic. In addition, queens and workers of P. spinicola  have more elongate scapes and legs than those of all other species except P. satanicus  {Figs. 30,31). For differences between P. spinicola  and the closely related P. satanicus  see under the latter species.

P. spinicola  is a variable taxon and has received several infraspecific names, here considered junior synonyms. Southeastern populations (from the Rio Grande de Tárcoles in Costa Rica east through Panama to northern Colombia) are somewhat differentiated from the others, with the workers and queens tending to have more elongate heads, darker color, and more slender petioles with less pronounced posterolateral angles (see Figs. 34,35). In Costa Rica the contrasts between the two sets of populations are rather striking, and are perhaps accentuated by habitat differences since some (but not all) the southeastern populations are associated with Acacia allenii View Cited Treatment   growing in forested situations, while the northern populations are primarily from Acacia collinsii View Cited Treatment   in open habitats. Samples from Panama (all associated with A. collinsii View Cited Treatment   ) are more variable and partly bridge the phenotypic gap. It is possible that more than one species is masquerading in this variation but the evidence remains ambiguous.

Distribution and biology. - P. spinicola  is a monogynous species, distributed from Honduras to northern Colombia (Fig. 68), which is associated with Acacia collinsii View Cited Treatment   and, less frequently, Acacia allenii View Cited Treatment   and A. cornigera View Cited Treatment   . Janzen (1983) provides a good summary of its biology in Costa Rica, under the name " P. ferruginea  ". Observations on " P. ferruginea  " in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Isla Providencia (Janzen 1969, 1974, 1975, 1983) refer to P. spinicola  ; true P. ferrugineus  does not occur south of Honduras and El Salvador.

Material examined ( AMNH,  ANSP,  BMNH,  CUIC,  FFIC,  GBFM,  GCWC,  INBC,  JTLC,  KSUC,  LACM,  MCSN,  MCZC,  MHNG,  MZSP,  NHMB,  PSWC,  UCDC,  USNM  ). -

COLOMBIA Atlantico: Cuatro Bocas , 200m (J.F.G.Clarke)  ; Bolivar. Hda. Monterey , 50m (G.Fagua  ; F.Femandez)  ; Magdalena: Aracataca (P.J.Darlington)  ; Fundacion (F.M.Gaige)  ; Fundacion, Santa Marta Mts. , 300ft. (F.M.Gaige)  ; San Andres y Providencia: " Old Providence Isl. " (D.Fairchild)  ; Isla Providencia , 300ft.(D.H.Janzen)  ; dept, unknown: “Columbien” (Gaige)  .

COSTA RICA Alajuela: Alajuela (A.Alfaro)  ; San Mateo (P.Biolley)  ; Surubres, nr. San Mateo (P.Biolley)  ; Turrücares (A.Alfaro)  ; Cartago: Turrialba (c.u.)  ; Guanacaste: 10.7mi NW Liberia (D.H.Janzen)  ; 2mi S Canas (D.H.Janzen)  ; 5km S Liberia (D.H.Janzen)  ; 6mi W Liberia (D.H.Janzen)  ; 7km N Canas (D.H.Janzen)  ; Canas, "La Pacifica" (R.L.Jeanne)  ; Finca La Pacifica (D.W.Davidson)  ; Garita (A.Alfaro)  ; Hda. Comelco, 24km NW Canas (InterAm Hwy) (E.R.Heithaus)  ; Hda. La Pacifica, nr. Canas , 50m (P.S.Ward)  ; Palo Verde (D.E.Gill  ; E.Guerrant & P.Fiedler  ; H.A.Hespenheide  ; D.H.Janzen)  ; Palo Verde , 50m (D.M.Olson)  ; Palo Verde , <100m (J.Longino)  ; Rio Corobici, nr. Canas (R.M.Bohart)  ; Santa Rosa Natl. Pk .(E.M.Barrows)  ; SantaRosaNatl.Pk. , 300m (J.Longino  ; P.S.Ward)  ; Santa Rosa Natl. Pk. , 5m (P.S.Ward)  ; Santa Rosa Natl. Pk. , <5m (P.S.Ward)  ; Heredia: " 15mi SE Pto.Viejo" [15km SW Pto.Viejo] (D.H.Janzen)  ; Puntarenas: 1.5mi NW Rincon (D.H.Janzen)  ; 14. lmi N Golfito (D.H.Janzen)  ; 14km E Palmar Norte , 70m (P.S.Ward)  ; 1km NE Tarcoles , 20m (P.S.Ward)  ; 21.6 rd.mi NE Palmar Norte , 90m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 3.4miSE Golfito , 30m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 4mi SW Rincon (D.H.Janzen)  ; Corcovado Natl. Pk. (D.W.Davidson  ; J.T.Longino)  ; Corcovado Natl. Pk., Llorona (J.T.Longino)  ; Corcovado Natl. Pk., Sirena , 100m (P.S.Ward)  ; Corcovado Natl. Pk., Sirena , 10m (P.S.Ward)  ; Entrada Boruca, 20km NE Palmar Sur (D.H.Janzen)  ; Osa Penin., nr. Rincon (D.H.Janzen)  ; Reserva Biol. Carara , 30m (P.S.Ward)  ; Rincon (D.H.Janzen)  ; Rio Terraba, nr. Palmar Sur (D.H.Janzen)  ; San Jose: 16.4mi SW San Isidro , 160m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 3.5kmNE Santiago de Pur (D.H.Janzen)  ; Santa Ana (D.H.Janzen)  ; Tarrazu [Rio?] (A.Alfaro)  ; Villa Colon (A.Alfaro  ; D.H.Janzen)  ; Villa Colon , 880m (A.Alfaro)  .

HONDURAS Choluteca: 11.1 mi NE Choluteca , 450m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 3.6mi W Choluteca , 200m (D.H.Janzen)  ; Colon: El Canal, Puerto Castilla (W.M.Mann)  ; Roetan Isl. [Isla de Roatan ] (M.Bates)  ; Trujillo , 80m (Echtemacht)  .

NICARAGUA Boaco: Empalme do Boaco [=El Empalme?] (Echtemacht)  ; Chontales: no specific locality (Janson)  ; Estelí: 7.5mi NW San Isidro , 550m (D.H.Janzen)  ; Granada: Granada (C.F.Baker)  ; Leon: 19mi SE Leon [= 3.5mi N Pto.Somoza (Sandino)] (D.H.Janzen)  ; 28.1 mi SE Leon (D.H.Janzen)  ; Madriv 13.9mi from Honduras, on Nic.border, Hwy. 1 (D.H.Janzen)  ; 2.5mi W Somoto (D.H.Janzen)  ; Managua: 20mi N Tipitapa, 90m [= 19.4mi N Tipitapa] (D.H.Janzen)  ; 8.1mi E San Benito (D.H.Janzen)  ; 9mi N Tipitapa , 50m [= 8.8mi N Tipitapa] (D.H.Janzen)  ; Matagalpa: 15.8mi NW Sebaco (D.H.Janzen)  ; 2.6mi N Dario (D.H.Janzen)  ; 4.1mi S Matagalpa , 650m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 4mi S Dario , 350m [= 4.5mi SE Dario] (D.H.Janzen)  ; 4mi S Dario , 350m (D.H.Janzen)  ; Rivas: C.R. border, lmi N Penas Blancas , <5m [=1mi NW Penas Blancas] (D.H.Janzen)  ; Isla Ometepe (F. Joyce)  ; San Juan del Sur , 10m [=1mi N San Juan del Sur] (D.H.Janzen)  .

PANAMA Canal Zone: 7.5mi NW Balboa (between Summit Gdn. &Paraiso) (D.H.Janzen)  ; Ancon (S.F.Blake)  ; Barro Colorado Island (Weber)  ; Cerro Galera (P.S.Ward)  ; Chivachiva trail (W.M.Wheeler)  ; Chivachiva trail, nr. Red Tank (W.M. Wheeler)  ; Culebra [presumably CulebraCut] (D.D.Gaillard)  ; E end of Madden Dam (D.H.Janzen)  ; Gamboa (N.Banks)  ; Howard AFB, W of Panama City , 50m (W.L.Brown et al.)  ; Madden Dam (D.Quintero et al.)  ; Paraiso (A.Busck)  ; Red Tank (W.M.Wheeler)  ; Ruta 1,14kmWPanama City , 100m (W.L.Brown et al.)  ; Venado (W.M.Wheeler)  ; W end Madden Dam (D.H.Janzen)  ; Chiriqui: 10.7mi ESE Concepcion (D.H.Janzen)  ; 12.9mi E Remedios (D.H.Janzen)  ; 19.6mi E Sapotilla , 50m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 7.2mi W Remedios (D.H.Janzen)  ; 9.5mi S Boquete , 620m (D.H.Janzen)  ; Code: 0.3mi W Agua Dulce , 50m (D.H.Janzen)  ; 10.4miNESantaMaria , 60m [= 1.9mi W Agua Dulce, Hwy. 1] (D.H.Janzen)  ; 2.7mi SW Penonome (D.H.Janzen)  ; Herrera: Cerro Guacamaya, Albina al N. de Monagrillo (D.Quintero et al.)  ; Los Santos: 3.1 mi N Pedasi (D.H.Janzen)  ; Azuero Penin., 5.4mi SE Los Santos , <5m (D.HJanzen)  ; Panama: 18.6mi SW Chepo (D.H.Janzen)  ; Bella Vista (N.Banks)  ; Las Sabanas (G.C.Wheeler  ; W.M.Wheeler)  ; Las Sabanas, Panama City (H.F.Dietz)  ; Rio Corona, S of El Valle , 2000ft. (C.W.Rettenmeyer)  ; Rio Tetita, San Carlos (F.D.Rattinibane)  ; savannah nr. Juan Diaz (Weber)  ; Veraguas(?): Las Palmas (c.u.)  ; Veraguas: 4km NW Santiago (D.Quintero)  ; prov. unknown: “Panama” (Christophersen)  .


Italy, Genova, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria"


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Switzerland, Basel, Naturhistorisches Museum


USA, California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History


USA, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Harvard University, Museum of Comparative Zoology


USA, New York, New York, American Museum of Natural History


USA, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Academy of Natural Sciences


United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]


USA, New York, Ithaca, Cornell University




Panama, Panama, Universidad de Panama


George C. Walters


Costa Rica, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio)


John T. Longino


USA, Manhattan, Kansas State University


Brazil, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo




USA, California, Davis, University of California, R.M. Bohart Museum of Entomology


USA, Washington D.C., National Museum of Natural History, [formerly, United States National Museum]














Pseudomyrmex spinicola (Emery 1890)

Ward, Philip S. 1993

[sic] var. infernalis

Enzmann 1945: 91

[sic] var. scelerosa

Enzmann 1945: 91

Pseudomyrma spinicola subsp. infernalis

Wheeler 1942: 180

Pseudomyrma spinicola subsp. scelerosa

Wheeler 1942: 181

spinicola subsp. infernalis

Wheeler 1942

Pseudomyrma spinicola

race Gaigei Forel 1914

Pseudomyrma spinicola race atrox

Forel 1912: 24

Pseudomyrma spinicola

Emery 1890: 64