Pyramica probatrix (Brown 1964)

Dacetini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view


Full Range: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama.

Costa Rican Range: Atlantic lowlands (Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, La Selva Biological Station), Cordillera de Talamanca (Monteverde), Cordillera Volcanica Central (Zona Protectora at 1070m elevation).


Mandibles in side view straight, not broadly curved ventrally; mandibles relatively short, subtriangular, much of the apical portion meeting along a serially toothed masticatory margin when closed (former Smithistruma); leading edge of the scape with simple straight hairs present, projecting apically, not toward base of scape; color brown-black; face punctate; sides of posterior half of mesosoma completely and densely punctulate; head very elongate, CI 55-61; disc of postpetiole smooth and shining. Also see Bolton (2000:212).

Natural History

Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a static pressure mode of attack (Bolton 1999).

This species occurs in wet forest habitats. I collected the species from Winkler samples of forest floor leaf litter in Monteverde and Hitoy Cerere. Uli Wagner collected a dealate queen in her study of forest floor litter fauna of La Selva Biological Station. At 1070m in the Zona Protectora of Braulio Carrillo National Park, a cloud forest habitat, I found an interesting co-occurrence of this and two other ant species. I looked beneath an epiphyte mat in a treefall, and found what appeared to be two contiguous nests, one of Cyphomyrmex salvini complex, and one of Strumigenys nevermanni. The disturbance to the epiphyte mat had jumbled them together, and I collected a series of both species into a vial. Upon examining the vial later, I discovered three workers of P. probatrix in addition to more abundant workers of Cyphomyrmex and Strumigenys. Could this indicate something special about the nesting habits of probatrix?

Original Description

Smithistruma probatrix Brown 1964:186, pl. 16, fig. 3. Holotype worker: Mexico, Chiapas, Ocosingo,, Berlese funnel sample (C. & M. Goodnight & L. J. Stannard) [MCZ].

Later moved to Pyramica. See Bolton (2000) for complete synonymy.

Literature Cited

Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33:1639-1689.

Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1964. The ant genus Smithistruma: a first supplement to the World revision (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 89:183-200.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 7 May 2001
Previous versions of this page: 4 March 1997
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