Strumigenys lanuginosa Wheeler 1905

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

worker face view

worker lateral view

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

line drawing of worker face (from Brown 1962)


Southern Mexico to Colombia and Venezuela, Bahamas (where probably introduced; Brown 1961), Cuba. Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.


Apical fork of mandible with single intercalary tooth; mandible with single conspicuous preapical tooth near apical fork; eye composed of approximately 20 facets; basal fourth to all of first gastral tergum finely longitudinally striolate, opaque-sericeous, noncostulate portion of tergum (if any) smooth and shining; gaster covered with dense brush of flagelliform setae. See also Bolton (2000:521).

Head length 0.55-0.60mm, mandible length 0.35-0.38, CI 77-80, MI 60-64 (n=6 workers from 3 localities; Brown 1961 and one La Selva specimen).

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).

lanuginosa occurs in wet and dry forest habitats. It nests in dead wood on the ground.

Selected Records

Winkler samples from Finca La Pacifica, 19km S Ciudad Neily.

La Selva: nocturnal forager in wet forest.

La Selva: nest in dead wood on ground (Thompson study).

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. 1961. The Neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Miscellaneous concluding studies. Psyche 68:58-69.

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. Quarterly Review of Biology 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: 21 April 1997, 22 April 1997 (JTL-010), 25 July 1997.
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