Solenopsis subterranea Mackay and Vinson 1989

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Southern USA (Louisiana, Texas [type locality]), Costa Rica. Costa Rica: widespread below 500m elevation.


Very small size (the smallest in Costa Rica); color pale yellow.

Natural History

This is a tiny subterranean species that occurs in a wide range of habitats, from Guanacaste dry forest to La Selva rainforest, but always below 500m elevation. It appears to be relatively common in mineral soil beneath the leaf litter layer, based on its distribution in Berlese versus Winkler samples. At La Selva Biological Station, it is very common in Berlese samples that include a cylindrical core of soil beneath the leaf litter, but less common in Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter, which usually do not contain much mineral soil. My records from elsewhere in the country are all occasional occurrences in Winkler samples. I have one record of workers coming to a bait at La Selva. On the Barva Transect, the species is common at La Selva, but attenuates rapidly with elevation, such that by 500m elevation it is very rare.

Literature Cited

MacKay, W. P., and S. B. Vinson. 1989. Two new ants of the genus Solenopsis (Diplorhoptrum) from eastern Texas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 91:175-178.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 15 August 2005.
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