Pyramica alberti (Forel 1893)

Dacetini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Full Range: widespread in Neotropics, from southern Mexico to Amazonian Bolivia and Brazil.

Costa Rican Range: common from sea-level to approximately 700m; Atlantic and Pacific slopes.


Mandibles in side view straight, not broadly curved ventrally; mandibles relatively short, subtriangular, much of the apical portion meeting along a serially toothed masticatory margin when closed (former Smithistruma); leading edge of scape with a row of conspicuous projecting curved hairs, of which those distal to the subbasal bend distinctly curve toward the base of the scape; pronotal humeral hair present; ventral surface of petiole in profile with a deep, conspicuous and very obviously spongiform curtain, its maximum depth at least half that of the peduncle and usually more; disc of postpetiole completely unsculptured and glassy smooth; anterior border of clypeus V-shaped; basal lamella of mandible followed distally by a long edentate second lamella that extends forward about half the exposed length of the fully closed mandible, the two separated only by a minute cleft; mandibles long, MI 27-33. Also see Bolton (2000:154).

Natural History

This species occurs in wet forest habitats. Colonies are small, and are encountered beneath dead wood, under loose bark, and in plant cavities. Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a static pressure mode of attack (Bolton 1999).

This is one of the most common Pyramica in Costa Rica. At La Selva Biological Station, nests are common in small pieces of dead wood on the ground. For example, old Lecythis pods are common nest sites. Workers are slow-moving, and thus relatively easy to overlook. Individuals can be obtained by sifting leaf litter and extracting arthropods in a Berlese funnel or Winkler bag.

Original Description

Strumigenys alberti Forel 1893:380. Syntype worker, queen: Antilles Islands, St. Vincent.

Later moved to Smithistruma, then Pyramica. See Bolton (2000) for complete synonymy.

Literature Cited

Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History 33:1639-1689.

Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.

Forel, A. 1893. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent, recoltees par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893:333-418.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 7 May 2001
Previous versions of this page: 4 March 1997
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