Sericomyrmex bruchi, Santschi

Klingenberg, C. & Brandão, C. R. F., 2009, Revision of the fungus-growing ant genera Mycetophylax Emery and Paramycetophylax Kusnezov rev. stat., and description of Kalathomyrmex n. gen. (Formicidae: Myrmicinae: Attini)., Zootaxa 2052, pp. 1-31: 26

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Sericomyrmex bruchi, Santschi


Paramycetophylax  HNS  Kusnezov, 1956 revised status

(Figs. 5, 7 c)

Myrmicocrypta  HNS  (in part) Wheeler, 1907: 728; Forel 1907: 144

Cyphomyrmex (Mycetophylax)  HNS  Emery 1913: 251; key to species, Santschi, 1922: 357; raised to genus by Santschi 1923: 268

Myrmicocrypta (Mycetophylax)  HNS  Santschi, 1916: 383, Gallardo, 1916: 320

Sericomyrmex  HNS  (in part) Santschi, 1916: 383

Paramycetophylax  HNS  Kusnezov, 1956: 23; synonym of Mycetophylax  HNS  by Weber, 1958: 263 (removed from synonymy)

Type species: Sericomyrmex bruchi, Santschi  HNS  , 1916 (original designation) (junior subjective synonym of Paramycetophylax bruchi  HNS  )

Worker: Monomorphic. Integument reticulate, the mandibles longitudinally striate, the head, gaster and legs (particularly over the frontal face of the coxae) with appressed fine short whitish hairs. Long setae at the anterior margin of clypeus, forming a psammophore, mandibles glabrous.

Head quadrate, compound eyes at the middle of head. Mandibles subtriangular, with irregularly developed teeth. Anterior margin of clypeus straight, almost concave, posterior portion attaining the antennal insertions level in a rounded suture. Triangular frontal lobes developed. Vertexal margin strongly concave.

Pronotum with a pair of lateral low tubercles; lateral pronotal margin with an attenuated obtuse angle, mesonotum with a very low antero-median protuberance. Metapropodeal impression distinct and flat; propodeum basal face convex in side view, meeting of faces armed with a pair of small sharp triangular spines; declivous face straight. Petiole without distinct node, half the width of the postpetiole, which bears a large impression posteriorly, dividing the postpetiole posterior area in two lobes. Gaster smooth, without carinae, spines or protuberances.

Gyne: Color, pilosity and sculpture like conspecific workers. Head as in the workers, but with three equally developed ocelli in the posterior fourth of head. Mesosoma with a well developed scutum, scutum-scutellar sulcus and scutellum. Prescutellum straight at middle portion anterior, posterior margin not attached, and axilla well developed. In dorsal view, scutum rounded anteriorly and with its widest part at the tegulae. Parapsides almost indistinct, mostly observable due darker surrounding color, set between parapsidial lines and latero-posterior margin of the scutum, limited by a darker carina. Scutum-scutellar sulcus concave anteriorly. Anepisternum and katepisternum divided by a suture. Anterior border of katepisternum sinuous. Petiole, postpetiole and gaster like those of the workers; gaster with the same width as the head.

Male: Color brown. Head quadrate, big compound eyes occupying anterior half of lateral margin of head, in full face view. Mandibles elongated. Anterior margin of clypeus straight with long setae. Frontal lobes reduced, covering only half of antennal insertions. Vertexal margin straight. Antennae 13-segmented; antennal scapes surpassing vertexal margin. In lateral view, scutum covering entire pronotum. Scutellum strongly bulging in side view. Postpetiole posterior margin with a median impression, gaster smooth.

Comment: Mycetophylax bruchi  HNS  was described by Santschi in 1916 as a Sericomyrmex  HNS  . Kusnezov, while describing Paramycetophylax  HNS  in 1956, designated S. bruchi  HNS  as the type species. We already pointed out above why we believe that this species does not belong to Mycetophylax  HNS  , in special for the psamophore, which in S. bruchi  HNS  departs from the anterior margin of the clypeus and not in the posterior margin as in Kalathomyrmex  HNS  . Other putative synapomorphy is the shape of the frontal lobes, which are triangular and ill-developed, different from the frontal lobes of Mycetophylax  HNS  species (in the present sense). The name Paramycetophylax  HNS  is available and is hence hereby revalidated to accommodate Sericomyrmex bruchi  HNS  .

The only species we assign to the genus Paramycetophylax  HNS  ( P. bruchi  HNS  ) is defined by the following set of characters, the wide triangular frontal lobes; long setae at the mandibles and at the anterior margin of clypeus, forming a psammophore, and distinct pronotal spines. Paramycetophylax  HNS  seems to occur only in southern South America, with P. bruchi  HNS  known only in Argentina thus far.














Sericomyrmex bruchi, Santschi

Klingenberg, C. & Brandão, C. R. F. 2009


Kusnezov 1956


Kusnezov 1956