Rhopalothrix JTL-001 Longino ms. (cf. stannardi)

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view

Line drawing of stannardi holotype, from Brown and Kempf (1960).


Costa Rica (mid-elevation Atlantic slope wet forest).


Gastral dorsum evenly covered with conspicuous spatulate setae; labrum with a small median notch, lateral lobes shallowly bilobed.

Natural History

The genus Rhopalothrix is a member of the monophyletic tribe Basicerotini (Bolton 1998). I assume that Rhopalothrix share the predaceous habits of other members of the tribe. The few basicerotines whose habits are known prey on small, soft-bodied arthropods (Wilson 1956, Brown and Kempf 1960, Wilson and Brown 1985).

I know this species from one Winkler sample from wet forest at C.A.T.I.E. near Turrialba.

Taxonomic notes

JTL-001 differs from the Mexican stannardi in (1) anterior margin of labrum more erose, with a distinct short median notch, and lateral lobes bidentate; (2) teeth on inner margin of mandibles more strongly developed; and (3) spatulate setae cover most of gaster instead of just posterior half.

Rhopalothrix stannardi Brown and Kempf 1960:236. Holotype worker: Mexico, Chiapas, Ocosingo Valley, Finca el Real (C. and M. Goodnight and L. J. Stannard) [MCZC]. "... taken by Berlese or other sifting apparatus."

Literature Cited

Bolton, B. 1998. Monophyly of the dacetonine tribe-group and its component tribes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Natural History Museum London (Entomology) 67:65-78.

Brown, W. L., Jr., Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3:161-250.

Wilson, E. O. 1956. Feeding behavior in the ant Rhopalothrix biroi Szabo. Psyche (Camb.) 63:21-23.

Wilson, E. O., Brown, W. L., Jr. 1985 ("1984"). Behavior of the cryptobiotic predaceous ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata, n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Basicerotini). Insectes Soc. 31:408-428.

Page author:

John T. Longino, The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA 98505 USA.longinoj@evergreen.edu

Date of this version: 9 November 1999
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