Gnamptogenys porcata (Emery 1896)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Honduras to Bolivia (Lattke 1995, Brown 1958). Costa Rica: mature wet forests of the Atlantic slope, to 1500m.


Pronotum separated from remainder of mesosoma by a very distinct suture, completely breaking the sculpture; anteroventral process of petiole a regularly tapering anterior tooth, not square-cut; petiolar node tilted posteriad in side view, the postero-dorsal angle sharply rounded and overhanging the posterior face; scapes surpassing margin of vertex by more than length of first funicular segment; scape length normally greater than 1.08mm; HL 1.281, HW 1.054, SL 1.213, WL 1.871 (n=1).

Natural History

Gnamptogenys porcata inhabits mature wet forest. It is arboreal and nests in live or dead stems. It appears to be a generalist predator on small arthropods.

During recent collecting at the 1500m site (Finca Murillo) on the Barva transect, colonies were found to be relatively common in live stems of Cecropia angustifolia (Cecropiaceae) and Neomirandea angularis (Asteraceae). These specimens are smaller and of a lighter orange color than specimens from 500m and lower, but specimens from 1100m are intermediate.

Selected Costa Rican records:

Alajuela: Casa Eladio, Rio Penas Blancas, 1019'N, 8443'W, 800m (J. Longino). Mature wet forest. Nest in 5 internodes of Cecropia insignis sapling.

Alajuela: 3km S Vol. Arenal, 1026'N, 8442'W, 700m (J. Longino). Forested ravine. Lone worker in chamber in live stem understory Rubiaceae.

Heredia: Casa Plastico, 17km S Pto. Viejo, 1018'N, 8402'W, 550m (J. Longino). Mature wet forest. (1) Lone queen in hollow live stem of Piper coenocladum. (2) Under moss mat on base of tree trunk.

Heredia: 22km N Volcan Barba, 1020'N, 8404'W, 500m (J. Longino). Mature wet forest. 5cm dia live sapling at edge of forest, small circular hole about head height; colony inside. I enlarged the hole slightly with a knife. The workers aggressively clustered around the entrance, so it was easy to take a large sample of workers. I could not go further into the trunk. The entrance was clean and extended deep into the trunk.

Heredia: La Selva Biological Station, 1026'N, 8401'W, 50m (J. Longino). Mature wet forest understory. Nest in dead stem; remains of cockroach prey in nest. Larvae were grouped inside fresh carcass of cockroach.

Limon: Rio Pacuare, 1001'N, 8331'W, 200m (J. Longino).

From Lattke (1995): One nest midden contained mostly the remains of beetles: scolytids, bostrichids, curculionids, besides isopods. Nests from one population in Venezuela consistently had their brood chambers irregularly wall-papered with the remains of pupal cocoons.

Type data

Ectatomma (Holcoponera) porcata Emery 1896:48. Syntype workers: Costa Rica, Alajuela.

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 118:175-362.

Emery, C. 1896. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bolletino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 28:33-107, pl. 1.

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

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 23 May 2005.
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