| Genus List |

Acanthognathus Overview

The genus is widespread in tropical America. It was revised by Brown and Kempf (1969). Range extensions were reported by Kempf (1975). Colonies are small, usually fewer than 30 adults, and usually occur in rotten twigs or small pieces of rotting wood on the forest floor (Brown & Kempf 1969). Workers are cryptic foragers in the leaf litter. They are predaceous, using their long, snapping mandibles to capture a variety of prey types (Brown & Kempf 1969, Dietz & Brandao 1993). Details of the snapping mechanism, including internal musculature, are described by Gronenberg et al. (1998).

There are six extant species in the genus, of which two are known from Costa Rica:

Acanthognathus ocellatus Mayr 1887

Acanthognathus teledectus Brown & Kempf 1969

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr., Kempf, W. W. 1969. A revision of the neotropical Dacetine ant genus Acanthognathus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche 76:87-109.

Dietz, B. H., Brandao, C. R. F. 1993. Hunting behavior and diet of Acanthognathus rudis Brown and Kempf, with comments on the evolution of predation by Dacetini ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae). Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 37:683-692.

Gronenberg, W., C. R. F. Brandao, B. H. Dietz, S. Just 1998. Trap-jaws revisted: the mandible mechanism of the ant Acanthognathus. Physiological Entomology 23:227-240.

Kempf, W. W. 1975 ("1974"). Report on Neotropical Dacetine ant studies. Revista Brasileira de Biologia 34:411-424.

Page author: John T. Longino longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 4 September 2004.
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