Simopelta paeminosa Snelling 1971

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

Additional images:
Worker, sem of face (large, small); mandible (large, small); clypeus (large, small); lateral view of head (large, small); lateral view (small, large); mesosoma, lateral view (large, small; mesosoma, dorsal view (large, small; line drawing of face (large, small); Figure 1 from Snelling (1971) (large, small).


Costa Rica (type locality), Panama, Colombia. Costa Rica: montane sites from Cordillera de Tilar‡n southward.


Mandible with two apical teeth and large basal tooth, basal tooth short with broad base (unlike oculata, JTL-002); eye relatively small (unlike oculata); anteromedial clypeal projection bluntly rounded, not triangular; face and mesosoma with coarse, irregular rugae (unlike all other species); head relatively broad, head width/head length greater than 0.8.

Natural History

All Simopelta species are nomadic group raiders, convergent with Ecitoninae. See additional information under genus account.

This species occurs in mature montane forest habitats, generally above 1000m elevation. I know it from the upper Pe–as Blancas Valley, the 1100m site on the Barva transect in Braulio Carrillo National Park, Wilson Botanical Garden near San Vito, and the Bocas del Toro area of Panama. I also have one collection given to me by Bill Brown from Valle, Colombia. He identified it as an undescribed species, but it matches my concept of paeminosa. For one collection (JTL0863) I observed workers and brood caches in the leaf litter. The larvae were of uniform size, and closely matched the "young larva" illustrations in Wheeler and Wheeler (1986, Figs. 11b, 13a, 14c). Another collection (JTL4360) was a colony in a clump of dirt in the middle of a recent clearing in mature forest. I tried excavating it and found workers and larvae scattered in the dirt mound, but I never found a queen.

Page author:

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

Last modified: 21 July 2005.

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