Strumigenys cosmostela Kempf 1975

Dacetini, Myrmicinae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker face view

worker lateral view

Additional images: worker mandible (small, large).


Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Peru, Brazil (type locality). In Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands.


Differs from lanuginosa in having a second preapical tooth on mandible; smaller eyes composed of fewer than 10 facets; basal costae of gaster coarse rather than fine; smaller size and relatively shorter mandibles. See also Bolton (2000:520).

Head length 0.556mm, mandible length 0.314, head width 0.448, CI 81, MI 56 (n=1).

Natural History

Brown and Wilson (1959) summarize the genus as follows:

"Widespread in tropics and warm temperate areas. Primarily forest-dwelling; some species occur in grassland and arid scrub. ... Nests mostly in soil and rotting wood; a few species live in arboreal plant cavities in tropical rain forest. Foraging hypogaeic to epigaeic-arboreal. Food: most species are collembolan feeders; a few are polyphagous predators or occasionally feed on sugary substances..."

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

cosmostela occurs in lowland wet forest, in leaf litter/soil on the forest floor. At La Selva Biological Station it is an infrequent species in Winkler and Berlese samples.

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., Wilson, E. O. 1959. The evolution of the dacetine ants. Quarterly Review of Biology 34:278-294.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 20 March 2007.
Previous versions of this page: 22 April 1997 (JTL-011), 25 July 1997.
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