Anochetus orchidicola Brown 1978

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Mexico (Veracruz), Costa Rica.


Combined length of head and closed mandibles about 1.8mm; petiolar node as seen from the front or rear with apical margin rounded, slightly flattened, or weakly emarginate in the middle, but in this case, the free corners are always broadly rounded, not forming pointed teeth.

Natural History

Anochetus are presumably predators, using their snapping mandibles much like their larger relatives, Odontomachus. However, there are few direct observations.

A. orchidicola lives in montane wet forest, nesting beneath epiphytes in the low arboreal zone. Workers have also been collected in Winkler samples from the forest floor.

Selected Records

Alajuela: Penas Blancas Valley, 1018'N, 8442'W, 940m (J. Longino). Wet forest. (1) In epiphyte mat on side of trunk of canopy Guarea tree, about 10m high. (2) Scattered workers under epiphytes, in organic matter, on top of trunk of old treefall; no central nest area or larvae found.

Heredia: 16km N Vol. Barba, 1017'N, 845'W, 950m (J. Longino). Primary forest gap. Scattered workers and pupae under moss mat at base of small tree.

Puntarenas: Monteverde, 1018'N, 8448'W, 1500m (J. Longino). Cloud forest; sifted litter sample (Winkler sample) from knife-edged ridge.

Puntarenas: Wilson Botanical Garden, 4km S San Vito, 847'N, 8258'W, 1200m (L and A Alonso).

Puntarenas: Fila Cruces, nr San Vito, 847'N, 8303'W, 1200m (J. Longino). Cloud forest; ex sifted leaf litter from forest floor (Winkler sample).

Type data

Anochetus orchidicola Brown 1978. Holotype worker: in quarantine at Laredo, Texas, 20 June 1944, "with orchid root," originating at Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico.

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1978. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Studia Entomol. 20:549-652.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 20 December 1998
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