Pachycondyla constricta (Mayr 1884)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Southern Mexico to northern Argentina. Costa Rica: lowland wet forest, sea level to at least 150m; common at La Selva, Corcovado.


Mesosomal dorsum setose; no carina between mandible and eye; scapes extend far beyond margin of vertex; color gray-black; orifice of propodeal spiracle circular, not slit-shaped (note that other species may have a circular boss around the spiracular orifice, but orifice itself is slit-shaped); propodeal suture deep, resulting in dorsal profile of two distinct convexities.

Natural History

This species is a common inhabitant of mature rainforests. It usually nests in dead wood on the forest floor, although I once observed a nest in the debris of a small "basket" palm (short understory palms that accumulate a basket of leaf litter where the whorl of petioles emerges from the trunk, often about 50cm above the ground). I find P. constricta in a large proportion of sifted litter samples (Winkler samples) from rainforest sites. Nocturnal foragers are relatively common on and among the leaf litter; diurnal foragers are less common. One nest I collected, in a rotten stick on the forest floor, contained 4 ergatogynes, in which there were no wing scars, but the mesosoma was more robust than normal workers, and the propodeal suture not impressed. I also get these ergatogynes occasionally in Winkler samples. I once observed an alate queen while collecting at night.

Type Data

Ponera constricta Mayr 1884:31. Syntype worker: French Guiana, Cayenne.

Literature Cited

Mayr, G. 1884. In Radoszkowsky, O. Fourmis de Cayenne Francaise. Trudy Russkago Entomologicheskago Obshchestva 18:30-39.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 3 April 1999.
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