Platythyrea pilosula (F. Smith 1858)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Costa Rica, Brazil (type locality), Venezuela.


Mandible lacking a basal sulcus that begins at the insertion on the dorsal side and curves obliquely to lateral margin; masticatory margin of mandible edentate.


Platythyrea punctata, pilosula, and sinuata form part of the punctata complex, of which Brown (1975) writes:

[The species of the punctata complex] are both very close and highly variable, so that species limits are anything but clear. In fact, it is possible that most or all of these forms are variants, in part geographically distributed, of a single species that should bear the prior name P. pilosula. In this work, I have adopted a more conservative course, provisionally recognizing 5 species in the complex even though no one of them can be cleanly separated from all of the other 4.

I have seen three specimens that key to pilosula. They seem identical to sinuata, except the mandibular sulcus is very weak, not interrupting the punctate sculpture, and not attaining the lateral border. One specimen I collected from the Santa Marta region of Colombia. The other two are from Costa Rica. One is a worker collected along the road to Monteverde, near Guacimal, at 400m elevation. This was an area of open pasture land and secondgrowth forest patches. The other is an alate queen, collected on the northern slope of Volcan Barba, at 500m elevation (at the El Ceibo station, near the crossing of the Rio Peje). This was a mosaic of mature rainforest and relatively new pastures.

Type data

Ponera pilosula F. Smith 1858:95. Syntype worker: Brazil.

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search, Agriculture, Cornell University 5:1-116.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 31 May 1999
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