Worker of Trachymyrmex septentrionalis tending fungus, photographed by Alex Wild.

Belongs within: Myrmicinae.

The Attini, including the leafcutter ants and allied taxa, are a clade of ants characterised by the cultivation of fungi for food (Schultz & Brady 2008). Female attins, upon leaving the parental nest, carry a sample of their food fungus with them in order to start a culture in their new nest. The ancestral attins cultivated fungi of the Leucocoprineae, but one subgroup of the genus Apterostigma cultivates coral fungi of the Pterulaceae. Leafcutter ants, including the genera Atta and Acromyrmex, cultivate a single derived fungus species on pieces of leaves that they collect and carry back to their nest (Schultz & Brady 2008).

    |--Paleoattini SB08
    |    |--Apterostigma SB08
    |    |    |  i. s.: A. electropilosum SB08
    |    |    |         A. pilosum SB08
    |    |    |--A. auriculatum SB08
    |    |    `--+--A. collare SB08
    |    |       |--+--A. dentigerum SB08
    |    |       |  `--A. dorotheae SB08
    |    |       `--+--A. goniodes SB08
    |    |          `--A. manni SB08
    |    `--+--Mycocepurus SB08
    |       |    |--M. smithi SB08
    |       |    `--+--M. curvispinosus SB08
    |       |       `--M. tardus SB08
    |       `--Myrmicocrypta SB08
    |            |--M. infuscata SB08
    |            `--+--M. buenzlii SB08
    |               `--+--M. ednaella SB08
    |                  `--M. urichi SB08
    `--Neoattini SB08
         |--Mycetophylax emeryi SB08
         `--+--Mycetarotes SB08
            |    |--M. acutus SB08
            |    `--M. parallelus SB08
            `--Mycetosoritis SB08
                 |--M. hartmanni SB08
                 `--+--M. clorindae SB08
                    `--Cyphomyrmex SB08
                         |  i. s.: C. maya SB08
                         |         C. taino SB08
                         |--+--+--C. fanulus SB08
                         |  |  `--+--‘Mycetophylax’ conformis SB08
                         |  |     `--C. morschi SB08
                         |  `--+--C. rimosus SB08
                         |     `--+--C. cornutus SB08
                         |        `--C. minutus SB08
                         `--+--+--C. costatus SB08
                            |  `--+--C. longiscapus SB08
                            |     `--C. muelleri SB08
                            `--+--Mycetagroicus triangularis SB08
                               `--Trachymyrmex SB08
                                    |  i. s.: T. neomexicanus WW90
                                    |         T. nogalensis WW90
                                    |         T. primaevus SB08
                                    |         T. seminole H79
                                    |         T. urichi H79
                                    |--+--Sericomyrmex parvulus SB08
                                    |  `--+--T. papulatus SB08
                                    |     `--+--T. opulentus SB08
                                    |        `--T. zeteki SB08
                                    `--+--+--T. intermedius SB08
                                       |  `--+--T. diversus SB08
                                       |     `--+--T. cornetzi SB08
                                       |        `--+--T. bugnioni SB08
                                       |           `--T. irmgardae SB08
                                       `--+--+--T. arizonensis SB08
                                          |  `--+--T. septentrionalis SB08
                                          |     `--T. smithi SB08
                                          `--+--Atta SB08
                                             |    |  i. s.: A. dissimilis Jerdon 1851 (n. d.) B03
                                             |    |         A. domicola Jerdon 1851 (n. d.) B03
                                             |    |         A. sexdens H79
                                             |    |--+--A. cephalotes SB08
                                             |    |  `--A. laevigata SB08
                                             |    `--+--A. mexicana SB08
                                             |       `--A. texana SB08
                                             `--Acromyrmex BS06
                                                  |  i. s.: A. lobicornis CM07
                                                  |--A. versicolor SB08
                                                  `--+--A. octospinosus SB08
                                                     `--+--Pseudoatta SB08
                                                        |--+--A. balzani SB08
                                                        |  `--A. landolti SB08
                                                        `--+--A. heyeri SB08
                                                           `--A. lundi SB08

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B03] Bingham, C. T. 1903. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera. Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-Wasps. Taylor and Francis: London.

[BS06] Brady, S. G., T. R. Schultz, B. L. Fisher & P. S. Ward. 2006. Evaluating alternative hypotheses for the early evolution and diversification of ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 103 (48): 18172–18177.

[CM07] Curtis, D. J., & G. Machado. 2007. Ecology. In: Pinto-da-Rocha, R., G. Machado & G. Giribet (eds) Harvestmen: The Biology of Opiliones pp. 280–308. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[H79] Howse, P. E. 1979. The uniqueness of insect societies: Aspects of defense and integration. In: Larwood, G. & B. R. Rosen (eds) Biology and Systematics of Colonial Organisms pp. 345–374. Academic Press: London.

[SB08] Schultz, T. R. & S. G. Brady. 2008. Major evolutionary transitions in ant agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 105 (14): 5435–5440.

[WW90] Wheeler, G. C., & J. Wheeler. 1990. Insecta: Hymenoptera Formicidae. In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 1277–1294. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

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