Brachymyrmex aphidicola Forel,

Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 43-44

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Brachymyrmex aphidicola Forel


Brachymyrmex aphidicola Forel  HNS  1909. NEW STATUS.

Brachymyrmex heeri var. aphidicola Forel  HNS  1909: 263. [w syntypes examined, MHNG; San Bernadino , Cordillera, Paraguay (Fiebrig)]  .

Brachymyrmex heeri var. fallax Santschi  HNS  1923a: 665. NEW SYNONYMY. [Holotype examined, NHMB; Paraguay (s. loc.) ]  .

There is little reason to consider Brachymyrmex heeri  HNS  and B. aphidicola  HNS  as conspecific, as both species are locally sympatric and morphologically distinct in eastern Paraguay. Brachymyrmex aphidicola  HNS  is one of the most abundant ground and litter nesting ant species in Paraguayan forests. Brachymyrmex heeri  HNS  is more rarely collected, the two nest records I have from Paraguay are both arboreal. The two species are easily separated by the pubescence on gastric tergite 1 (= abd. tergite 3), with the pubescence dense on B. heeri  HNS  and sparse on B. aphidicola  HNS  . Santschi’s type of B. heeri fallax  HNS  (NHMB, examined) falls within the range of variation exhibited by B. aphidicola  HNS  in Paraguay and is synonymized here. It is worth mentioning here that Paraguayan specimens of B. heeri  HNS  are a close match, in both the worker and queen castes, to Forel’s types of B. heeri  HNS  (MHNG examined) described from an introduced population in Switzerland (Forel 1874).

Given the notoriously poor taxonomic state of Brachymyrmex  HNS  and the ubiquity of B. aphidicola  HNS  in the region, there may well exist an older name for this species. A thorough taxonomic revision of this genus is sorely needed.


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Switzerland, Basel, Naturhistorisches Museum