The Ants of Africa
SUBFAMILY MYRMICINAE - Genus Rhoptromyrmex
Contents - Myrmicinae - MYRMICINAE Introduction

Genus Rhoptromyrmex Mayr (1901b: 18)


Diagnostic Features - Similar to Tetramorium but propodeum of most African species unarmed, and palp formula 3,2; no antennal scrobes and frontal carinae short; head distinctly heart-shaped.

Mayr's (1901b) genus description is at {original description}. Arnold (1917) gave a translation and provided a key to South African species, this is at {original description}.

Bolton (1976, 1986) described five African species, of which three are from West Africa and or the Congo Basin. Members of the genus are described by Bolton (1986) as general feeders, collecting living and dead arthropods, tending homoptera and feeding at plant nectaries; i.e. having a similar life style to their tetramoriine cousins.

NOTE: Placed under Tetramorium by Ward et al. (2015). "Rhoptromyrmex is synonymized (syn.n.) under Tetramorium, generating the following new combinations (unless otherwise noted) in Tetramorium: caritum, critchleyi, globulinodis, opacum and transversinodis" [African species only here].

Ward, P.S., Brady, S.G., Fisher, B.L. & Schultz, T.R. 2015. The evolution of myrmicine ants: phylogeny and biogeography of a hyperdiverse ant clade(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Systematice Entomology, 40, 61-81.

Key to named species from Africa (derived from Bolton (1986a) -

Queen only known; light brown - see images on species page
Uganda - caritus
1 {short description of image}Antennae 11-segmented; TL 2.4-2.7 mm; propodeum with a pair of spines or teeth; overall dense reticulo-puncturation .
. {Rhoptromyrmex critchleyi} Nigeria & Cameroun - critchleyi
-- Antennae 12-segmented; propodeum unarmed and rounded 2
2 {short description of image}Alitrunk and usually the head with dense reticulo-puncturation giving an opaque appearance; TL 2.5 mm; maxillary palp with 4 segments; darkish-yellow, head and alitrunk reddish .
. {Rhoptromyrmex opacus. West Africa & Congo Basin - opacus
-- Alitrunk and head largely smooth and shiny; maxillary palp usually 3-segmented 3
3 {short description of image}TL 3.3 mm; postpetiole in dorsal view sub-globular, in profile with a prominent rounded ventral protuberance; brownish-red, appendages lighter .
. {Rhoptromyrmex globulinodis} South Africa, Zare & Zimbabwe - globulinodis
-- {short description of image}TL 3.0 mm; postpetiole in dorsal view much broader than long; in profile without a prominent ventral protiuberance; brownish-ochreous .
. {Rhoptromyrmex transversinodis} South Africa - transversinodis

Rhoptromyrmex species 48

From Ghana on cocoa mistletoe (Room, 1975). A single worker listed as Rhoptromyrmex species 48, was collected from the ground at CRIG by Bigger (1981a).

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