Mycocepurus tardus Weber 1940

Attini, Myrmicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Panama (type locality), Costa Rica, Nicaragua. Costa Rica: widespread in wet forest habitats, to 800m elevation.


Anteromedian pair of promesonotal spines present; middle of ring of promesonotal spines with distinctly pointed spines or oblique carinae; scapes with short erect setae, varying from abundant and conspicuous to sparse and very difficult to see; propodeal spines thin and straight, not stout and curved anteriorly. See also Kempf (1963).

Natural History

In Costa Rica this species inhabits wet forested habitats throughout the country. I have collected specimens from Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, the Volcan Barva transect at 500m, and at 800m elevation in the Peľas Blancas Valley east of Monteverde.

At Manuel Antonio, in mature wet forest, I found a M. tardus nest and a Trachymyrmex nest in close proximity, within 5cm of each other in the red clay soil in the center of a trail. The Trachymyrmex had a larger, asymmetrical tumulus above ground and a 3-4cm diameter fungus nest 5cm deep. The M. tardus had a small turret of soil and a 1-2cm diameter fungus nest near the Trachymyrmex. At San Pedrillo in Corcovado National Park, in primary forest, I found M. tardus in numerous small nests in a clay path. 1-2cm diameter tumuli covered the entrance holes. At the 500m site of the Volcan Barva transect I found a worker beneath a stone in mature rainforest. My other collections have been from Winkler samples of sifted leaf litter from the forest floor.

Mycocepurus tardus appears to be a form that favors forested habitats, while the very similar species M. smithii inhabits synanthropic habitats.

See also MacKay et al. (2004).

Literature Cited

Kempf, W. W. 1963. A review of the ant genus Mycocepurus Forel, 1893 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 6:417-432.

Mackay, W. P., J. M. Maes, P. R. Fernandez, and G. Luna. 2004. The ants of North and Central America: the genus Mycocepurus (Hymenoptera : Formicidae). 7pp. Journal of Insect Science, 4:27, Available online:

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 26 October 2005.
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