Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
This group badly needs taxonomic revision, but there is hope, as Chris Wilson in Texas has decided to revise them for a graduate search project!
Explanation of Names
brachy - short or small, -myrmex - ant
Total worker length 2mm or less
Minute (2mm or less) formicine ants (have acidopore, venom with formic acid), unique among North American species of this subfamily for its 9-segmented antennae.
Probably all 48 US states and bordering Canadian provinces, though not well documented in the northern central portion of this area.
B. depilis is subterranean in mesic, wooded microhabitats. Introduced species live in leaf litter and even under trash or rotten wood, typically in disturbed and at least partly wooded sites.
Mating flights of B. depilis on August or September. Introduced species may fly any time of year in warm, humid weather, often stimulated by recent rain.
B. depilis apparently feeds largely on honeydew from subterranean, sap-feeding hemipterans. Introduced species forage on leaf litter and on low vegetation for honeydew, fresh bird droppings, dead insects, etc.
See typical life cycle of Formicidae.
Brachymyrmex depilis (possibly a species complex) is the widely distributed, sole native North American member of this genus. Several South American Brachymyrmex species have become well established in Florida and other Sun Belt states, especially in urban areas, parks, etc.