Acromyrmex echinatior (Forel 1899)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Mexico to Panama.


Median pronotal spines usually absent, occasionally present as low tubercles, never distinct spines; head not tapering behind eyes; head width less than or equal to 3.2mm; propodeal spines carinate, irregularly ridged to tip; distinct pair of short, setose carinae on dorsal face of propodeum anterior to spines; all spines and tubercles generally thin and sharp; color red to yellow-brown.

Natural History

In Costa Rica this species prefers open dry habitats such as urban areas around San Jose and seasonally dry habitats of Guanacaste Province. I have records of the species from Santa Rosa National Park, Palo Verde, San Jose, and as far south as Quepos, but I never collected any Acromyrmex in the wet forest of the Osa Peninsula during extensive collecting there in the 1980's.

On the nature trail near the headquarters of Santa Rosa National Park I once observed workers carrying cut flower parts up a tree, suggesting that nests may occasionally be arboreal.

Queens multiply mate, and colonies are facultatively polygynous (Bekkevold et al. 1999).

Taxonomic notes

Atta (Acromyrmex) octospinosa var. echinatior Forel 1899:34. Syntypes: Mexico, Chihuahua, Montezuma (Cockerell); Guatemala, Senahu en Vera Paz, El Reposo, Zapote (Champion) [worker, queen]; Costa Rica, Volc‡n de Irazu (Rogers) [worker]; Panam‡, Bugaba, Volc‡n de Chiriqui (Champion).

Raised to species by Schultz et al. (1998).

Literature Cited

Bekkevold, D., J. Frydenberg, and J. J. Boomsma. 1999. Multiple mating and facultative polygyny in the Panamanian leafcutter ant Acromyrmex echinatior. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 46:103-109.

Schultz, T. R., D. Bekkevold, and J. J. Boomsma. 1998. Acromyrmex insinuator new species: an incipient social parasite of fungus-growing ants. Insectes Sociaux 45:457-471.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 22 October 2003.
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