Pachycondyla bugabensis Forel 1899

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Nicaragua to Peru. Costa Rica: rainforests of the Atlantic lowlands, slopes to about 900m elevation from Cordillera de Guanacaste to Cordillera de Talamanca.


Mesosomal dorsum with erect hairs; opening of propodeal spiracle viewed perpendicularly slit-shaped, more than twice as long as wide; mandible with approximately 13 teeth; dorsal outline of mesosoma interrupted by a distinct, impressed propodeal groove, so that the mesonotum forms a convexity separate from the more or less convex propodeal dorsum; in full-face view, a line drawn through the centers of the eyes falls near head mid-head, crossing near posterior limits of frontal carinae; cheeks with a distinct carina reaching from clypeal wing to eye margin; anterior face of petiolar node perpendicular, forming an angular anterodorsal summit; sides and posterior face of petiole smooth, not rugulose; head width including eyes usually less than 2.2mm, width of pronotum less than 1.55mm.

This species is essentially a smaller version of the common species P. villosa. I cannot find any consistent differences other than size.

Similar species: villosa, insignis, theresiae.

Natural History

This species inhabits the canopy and subcanopy of mature rainforest, where it is most often encountered as workers on low vegetation, in treefalls, and in fogging samples.

At 900m elevation in the Rio Penas Blancas Valley I found a nest (colln JTL24Jul84/1024) in a canopy Guarea tree. The nest was in a small chamber under an epiphyte mat on the side of the trunk, about 10m high. In Braulio Carrillo National Park I observed a nest high in a canopy tree (colln JTL0238). It consisted of large chambers under an orchid clump. There was abundant brood, but there appeared to be only about 20 workers. At La Selva I observed a small nest (colln JTL1629) in dead wood suspended in low vegetation. The nest was along a trail edge in mature forest.

Twice I have found nests embedded in the larger nests of Cyphomyrmex cornutus. Cyphomyrmex cornutus makes an approximately 30cm long nest of accreted soil, suspended from a low branch. At Rara Avis I observed a worker and a few larvae (colln JTL2233) in a small chamber near the top of a cornutus nest, and again at Estacion Pitilla I observed a similar small bugabensis nest (colln 2777) embedded in a cornutus nest.

Type Data

Pachycondyla theresiae var. bugabensis Forel 1899:14. Syntype worker: Panama, Bugaba. Raised to species by Mackay and Mackay (2010).

Literature Cited

Forel, A. 1899. Formicidae. Biologia-Centrali Americana 3:1-169.

Mackay, W. P., and E. E. Mackay 2010. The Systematics and Biology of the New World Ants of the Genus Pachycondyla (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 24 December 2010.
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