Rogeria belti Mann 1922

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

Specimen from Corcovado National Park

worker face view


Southern Mexico to southwest Colombia; sea level to 1500m. Costa Rica: widespread in wet forest; one of the more commonly encountered species.


Undamaged hair on mesosoma dorsum mostly erect to suberect; decumbent hairs much less abundant than longer, more erect pilosity; petiole with a distinct node and peduncle, not clavate; propodeal spines distinct, spiniform; WL 0.61-0.94mm.


"Rogeria belti" is a species complex. On the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica possibly three distinct species occur:

belti s.s.: WL 0.69mm (n=1); face and promesonotum with coarsely areolate-rugose sculpture; eye with about 12 ommatidia; petiolar node relatively more robust than JTL-002 (Figure). Three specimens that match this description and are generally very similar are: (1) La Selva, from a berlese sample of soil and leaf litter; (2) Rara Avis (a site within 10km of La Selva), 600m elevation, from a Winkler sample of forest floor litter; and (3) Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve (about 130km SE of La Selva), 100m elevation, a diurnal forager.

JTL-002: WL 0.66 (n=1); face and promesonotum less coarsely sculptured, sides of pronotum with more widely spaced rugae with shiny interspaces; eye with about 26 ommatidia; petiolar node relatively less robust than belti s.s. and JTL-004 (Figure). At La Selva, this species has been collected in three different canopy fogging events. Very similar specimens were collected 7km S of La Selva, at 500m elevation. One was obtained during general collection of foragers, two others were on the outside of an arboreal carton nest of Anochetus striatulus. A queen was collected at Rara Avis, also associated with an Anochetus striatulus nest. A nest series from Penas Blancas (800m elevation site) is very similar to the above specimens in sculpture and shape of petiolar node, but is more robust, with worker WL=0.81 (n=1) (Figure). The nest was collected in a recent treefall, in a rotten stick under an epiphyte mat.

JTL-004: WL 0.91mm (n=1); face and promesonotum with coarsely areolate-rugose sculpture; eye with about 12 ommatidia; petiolar node relatively more robust than JTL-002. This species is essentially a robust version of belti s.s. Workers from four different collections are all very similar: (1) La Selva, from a Winkler sample of forest floor litter; (2) Penas Blancas, 800m elevation, a forager on the ground; (3) 3km E of Monteverde, wet forest at 1400m elevation on the Pacific slope, from a Winkler sample; and (4) Monteverde evergreen forest on the Pacific slope, 1360m elevation, from a Winkler sample.

On the Pacific slope of central and southwestern Costa Rica, there is no evidence of multiple sympatric species. Specimens from the Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio, Carara, and San Vito are all fairly similar. They most resemble Pacific slope belti (Figure), but with relatively larger eyes (around 20 ommatidia). They have been collected from both the ground (foragers, Winkler samples) and from the canopy (under epiphytes on branchfalls). Longino collected a nest from under loose bark of a still solid log fallen across a trail, and in another collection observed workers recruiting to a freshly killed tabanid from under the bark of a rotten log.

Additional Images

Worker: lateral view, SEM (reduced, original); mesosomal dorsum, SEM (reduced, original).
Queen (from Corcovado National Park): lateral view (reduced, original); face view (reduced, original).

Literature Cited

Kugler, C. 1994. Revision of the ant genus Rogeria (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with descriptions of the sting apparatus. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 3:17-89.

Page authors:

Grant Ramsey, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.

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

Charles Kugler, Radford University, Radford VA 24142 USA.

Date of this version: 24 November 1998
Previous versions of this page: 23 July 1998
Go back to top

Go to Ants of Costa Rica Homepage