PS 56-5 - Revision of the Ant Genus Xenomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

Thursday, August 11, 2011
Exhibit Hall 3, Austin Convention Center
Jennifer M. Love, William Mackay and José Pacheco, Biology, University of Texas El Paso, El Paso, TX

Revised taxonomic keys are required to accurately complete ecological studies and understand local to global-level patterns in biodiversity. Xenomyrmex is an ant genus located in the Neotropical Region particularly along the Gulf of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean as well as southern Texas, Florida and the Keys. Xenomyrmex had not been revised since 1957, due largely to difficulties in diagnosis given the small size and quality of the specimens available. The objective of this study was to revise Xenomyrmex based on morphology, to analyze the biogeography of the genus and develop a key to the species. In particular, we aimed to determine the current status of species and subspecies within the genus. Specimens including syntypes, cotypes, and paratypes have been obtained from multiple museums. Our revision of the genus Xenomyrmex will help researchers understand New World ant fauna and the effects of human disturbance on the biodiversity of the Neotropic Region.


Preliminary morphological analyses showed noticeable differences from the previous diagnoses of the species. In particular, we found that several subspecies were synonyms.

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