Gnamptogenys mordax (F. Smith 1858)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Mexico to tropical South America (Lattke 1995). Costa Rica: montane forest, Cordillera de Tilaran to Talamancas.


Promesonotal suture very faintly impressed, not breaking sculpture; scapes fail to reach margin of vertex when laid back; dorsal surface of mandible smooth and shiny; propodeal dorsum longitudinally striate; anterior margin of narrow anterior apron of clypeus straight to distinctly concave in the middle, terminating laterally in rounded corners; anteroventral petiolar process more or less tapering anteriorly, lacking posterior lobe or square-cut corner, and lacking distinct fenestra; compound eye large, its greatest diameter greater than the maximum width of antennal scape; eye diameter/HW = 0.35; AT4 smooth and shining.

Costa Rican material is much smaller than Venezuelan mordax workers sent to me by Lattke.


I have the following records of this species in Costa Rica:

Alajuela: Casa Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas, 1019'N, 8443'W, 800m (J. Longino), Winkler sample, ex sifted leaf litter.

Heredia: 17km N Vol. Barba, 1017'N, 845'W, 880m (J. Longino), Winkler sample, ex sifted leaf litter.

Puntarenas: Estacion Biol. Pittier, 902'N, 8258'W, 1670m (J. Longino). Wet forest edge. Nest in irregular chambers in horizontal dead trunk, just under loose bark. Remains of what looked like large elaterid larva in nest. One Gnamptogenys larva seen with head inside a segment of the elaterid larva.

Type data

Ponera mordax F. Smith 1858:98. Syntype worker, queen: Brasil, Guanabara: Rio de Janeiro.

Literature Cited

Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 4:137-193.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the British Museum. VI. Formicidae. 216pp., 14 pls.

Page author:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505

Date of this version: 4 December 1998
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