The wonderful world of pseudomyrmex

Pseudomyrmex is a species of ant that often nests in trees or twigs. because only 4 species are ground nesting, it is considered arboreal genus. They have large ovular eyes, one of their defining features, the other being their length, they are at least 1.5 times as long as they are wide. In the central and south american tropics there are species that have symbiotic relationship with thorn acacia trees. In most cases Pseudomyrmex live in hollowed out twigs. the highest north they are found is Pseudomyrmex apache northern California. there are many different types of Pseudomyrmex from many different habitats, they are very fun ants to keep They are only found native in the Americas. Here’s an overview of some commonly kept species.

Pseudomyrmex pallidus

Pseudomyrmex pallidus is a species of ant found in deserts of North America They nest in twigs and sticks they hollow out. the queens are usually 7-8 mm and the workers are 5-7 mm length. They are one of the most polygynous species in the world, with upwards of 22 queens per small twig. Unlike Argentine ants or other extremely polygynous ants they don’t ever cull queens. they are translucent orange in color and have large, black, ovular eyes. In captivity tend to be picky when it comes to food, mine only eat roaches, meal worm beetles, and melanogaster fruit flies, however they may also eat curly winged flies, other beetles, and spiders possibly. They

Three queens of Pseudomyrmex pallidus this species is highly polygynous, more so than Linepithemahumile. This is an original photo.

have their nuptial “flights” in July but they mate just outside of the nest. the alates have wings but choose not to use them most of the time, however sometimes the queens fly to different locations to spread a colony, although most return to the nest after mating. they will mate in captivity and are a fascinating species to keep as the colony growth is only limited by the food provided. they grow slow usually taking about 4 months to develop at 33 degrees Celsius, seven at 21 degrees Celsius. They cant tolerate humidity well at all.

Pseudomyrmex spincola and other simbiotic Pseudomyrmex

These ants form simbiotic realationships with the trees they nest in Acacia trees. The Pseudomyrmex benifit from the beltian bodies produced by the tree for the ants. Also, they get prey in the form of the tree’s pest insects. The Acacia tree also benifits from this exchange, by gaining protection from predators, vines, and pests. These ants, however rare, are sometimes kept by hobbists, mostly in south america. They are kept in a setup with the trees they inhabit these trees are small trees so they don’t use much space. they require high humidity. 

A Simbiotic Pseudomyrmex worker, this is an unusual species because it nests in cecropia trees similar to Aztecha these ants also forage outside the area of the tree. This is an original photo.

Similar to Aztecha there are species of ants that nest in cecropia trees. for those unaware, cecropia trees are a fast growing, tropical trees that are common in south america. the ants that nest in them nest in the young growing trees. since these trees are fast growing they have no defenses for protecting themselves. the young trees have chambers that many other pests take advantage of. the ants nesting in the trees go inside these burrows and eat their inhabitants. also they go out and forage on other foliage. these ants are usually kept in custom wood setups. they require high humidity.

Pseudomyrmex Grascillis

This species spans from southern united states to northern argintina. they require high humidity and are monogyne. They usually live around humans, in windowsills and whatnot. they are found nesting in wood in the wild. this is one of the most adaptable species in this genus as it can accept normal ant setups. they are a very aggressive ant towards prey in the wild and captivity.

Pseudomyrmex grascilis queen credit: Bugguide.net

They can be kept in acryllic nests, natural twig nests, ytong nests, and plaster nests. they develop faster in 26 – 32 degrees celcius. they normally have their flights early in the season march-july. the queens can be reared in test tubes like other ants.

What did I miss?

Nobody’s perfect, I included a few of these species, there are many similar to the ones above. Do you have a pseudomyrmex colony? If so, feel free to comment about it below. I will add it to this post and credit you! Also please note, that Tetroponera is not Pseudomyrmex although they are in the same family. I plan to do a separate post about Tetroponera as many different species of them are kept as well. More images of different species can be found on alex wild’s website https://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Taxonomic-List-of-Ant-Genera/Pseudomyrmex/ . If you have a soil nesting Pseudomyrmex, please notify me! They are extremely rare and I would love to credit you in a separate post!

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