Strumigenys godmani Forel 1899

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

worker face view

worker lateral view

Additional images: worker, dorsal view (small, large).


Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana. Costa Rica: Atlantic slope to 500m.


Apical fork of mandible with a single intercalary tooth; mandible with 2 well-developed preapical teeth; large species with massive head and short, heavy mandibles. Also see Bolton (2000:534).

Measurements: head length 1.06-1.20mm, mandible length 0.51-0.55, CI 87-93, MI 46-48 (n=8 specimens from 2 localities, Brown 1962).

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).

Workers of godmani are dramatically large for a Strumigenys. Individual workers may be found day or night on rainforest floor, on rotten wood, and under loose bark. I have never observed this species in Winkler samples, including samples from the same locations where individual workers are collected by visual search. This could be due to their somehow being undersampled by litter sifting, or, more likely, they are actually at much lower density than most Strumigenys species, but their large size makes them oversampled by visual search. Brown (1962) found a nest in Panama in a small rotten log in cloud forest.

Selected Records

I have observed workers at La Selva, Braulio Carrillo National Park at 500m, and Hitoy Cerere.

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. 1962. The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Synopsis and keys to the species. Psyche 69:238-267.

Brown, W. L., Jr., Wilson, E. O. 1959. The evolution of the dacetine ants. Quart. Rev. Biol. 34:278-294.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 30 September 2008.
Previous versions of this page: 14 April 1997
Go back to top

Go to Ants of Costa Rica Homepage