The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Pyramica - subgenus Epitritus
Genus Pyramica

Subgenus Epitritus Haliday (in litt., Emery, 1869a: 136)


Diagnostic Features - Head elongated with numerous large orbicular hairs. Antennae 4- or 6-segmented, the scape lobiform basally. Mandibles elongate with no more than a single preapical tooth; apical armament of a long dorsal spiniform tooth subtended by a vertical series of denticulae or the denticulae alone. Labrum projecting anteriorly between the mandibles as a biconical structure; clypeus with spatulate or strap-like projecting hairs.

Haliday's (1869a) genus description is at {original description}. Arnold (1917: 384) gave a translation of the expanded description given by André (1883b: 402), based upon the European species Epitritus argiolus (the genotype); this is at {original description}.

Bolton (1971b, 1973a) mentions that three species of these minute (TL 1.2-2.2) ants had been found in West Africa. One species from the northern savannah of Nigeria (Brown, 1962), and two from the forest zone of eastern Ghana, found from Berlese funnel samples of leaf litter. A further species was described in the later revision by Bolton (1983).

This appears to be the same as what Bolton (2000: 269) separated as the "argiola-group".  The members were as earlier plus argiola and three new species, marchosias, anorbicula and mormo.

Key to African species (adapted from Bolton, 1983):

1 {short description of image}Antennae with 4 segments; TL 1.2 mm, HL 0.29, HW 0.39, SL 0.17
. Pyramica minima West Africa - minima
-- Antennae with 6 segments 2
2 {short description of image}Dorsum of head without numerous large orbicular hairs; anterior margin of clypeus with projecting long, filiform hairs; TL 2.0-2.2 mm, HL 0.48-0.50, HW 0.60-0.66, SL 0.25-0.28 PW 0.34-0.40
Gabon - anorbicula
-- Dorsum of head with numerous large orbicular hairs; anterior margin of clypeus with projecting broad, strap-like hairs 3
Tooth at dorsal apex of mandible long and spine-like; crossing over opposite mandible when blades closed 4
-- Tooth at dorsal apex of mandible short, not spine-like 5
4 {short description of image}Mandible with a single small preapical tooth close to the apicodorsal tooth; head behind clypeus with appressed small spatulate hairs; large hairs on scape curved forwards; TL 1.9 mm, HL 0.45, HW 0.58, SL 0.26 .
. {Pyramica rromi} West Africa & Congo Basin - roomi
-- Mandible with a two preapical teeth on distal half of the blade; head behind clypeus with orbicular hairs; large hairs on scape directed at right angles; TL 2.2 mm, HL 0.52, HW 0.64, Sl 0.31 (no illustrations available)
Zaire - mormo
5 {short description of image}Dorsal surface of each mandibular blade without large flattened hairs on the distal half; posterior half of mesonotum convex; TL 1.7-2.2 mm, HL 0.40-0.48, HW 0.46-0.59, SL 0.33-0.29, PW 0.26-0.32
. {short description of image} West Africa - laticeps
-- Dorsal surface of each mandibular blade with 2 large flattened hairs on the distal halfout flattened hairs; 6
6 Pyramica tiglathPosterior half of mesonotum humped in profile; mandibles with truncated teeth on apex; TL 1.4 mm, HL 0.34, HW 0.39, SL 0.20, PW 0.25
West Africa - tiglath
-- {short description of image}Mandibles with elongated apical teeth; TL 1.5-1.7 mm, HL 0.37-0.43, HW 0.45-0.51, SL -.19-0.22, PW 0.27-0.32
Gabon - marchosias
Contents MYRMICINAE Introduction
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