New Species: Adetomyrma goblin

Adetomyrma goblin Yoshimura & Fisher 2012

Years ago, Brian Fisher granted me access to a lab colony of a very bizarre insect. Madagascar hosts several species of Adetomyrma dracula ant, an eyeless subterranean social insect with the morbid habitat of piercing the skin of their own larvae to drink the hemolymph.

Brian’s ants were an undescribed species informally called “mad-01”, presumably named for the island rather than the behavior. I am happy to report that, as of this afternoon, “mad-01” has a formal name: Adetomyrma goblin. A new paper by Masashi Yoshimura & Fisher describes this and seven other new species in a monograph treating all 9 taxa in this enigmatic genus.

I love the name goblin. From the etymology:

This species name refers to the goblin-like features of the new species: the males are small and black, and the workers possess long dentition on their masticatory margin.

source: Yoshimura, M., Fisher, B. L. 2012. A revision of the Malagasy endemic genus Adetomyrma (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyoponinae). Zootaxa 3341: 1–31.

6 thoughts on “New Species: Adetomyrma goblin”

      1. It really isn’t functionally much different from trophallaxis other than the minor damage inflicted, imo. The loss from one is the gain of another component of the ‘super-organism’, if you think about it in that manner.

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