Typhlomyrmex pusillus Emery 1894

Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Insecta, Arthropoda, Animalia

worker lateral view

worker face view


Argentina, Bolivia (type locality), Peru, Brasil (SC, PR, PA), Guianas, Costa Rica, Honduras. Costa Rica: scattered localities above 800m.


Petiolar node as high as or higher than long, with a differentiated posterior face; mandible of queen and worker subtriangular, with well-differentiated basal and masticatory margins. The queen is almost the same size as the workers, only slightly larger.

Natural History

Regarding this species, Brown (1965) states:

T. pusillus appears to be a soil dweller in cultivated and pampas areas as well as in forest (Kempf, 1961). It also seems to exist at higher elevations (e.g., in a coffee plantation at Venecia, near Medellin, Colombia). Probably it is strongly subterranean in foraging and nesting habits.

In Costa Rica I have collected this species from the north slope of Volcan Barba at 800m, just west of Monteverde at 900m, Cerro Cacao in the Guanacaste Conservation Area, and Pittier Biological Station at 1670m in the Cordillera de Talamanca. The Cerro Cacao collection was from beneath a stone under the stunted forest of Cerro Pedregal. The other collections were from Winkler samples of sifted litter from the forest floor. The collection from near Monteverde contained workers and a dealate queen.

Type Data

Typhlomyrmex pusillus Emery 1894:141. Syntype worker: Bolivia, La Paz: Coroico. Emery 1906:111, queen. Menozzi 1927:269, male (schmidti).

Typhlomyrmex schmidti Menozzi 1927:268. Synonymy by Brown 1965:73.

Literature Cited

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1965. Contributions to a reclassification of the Formicidae. IV. Tribe Typhlomyrmecini (Hymenoptera). Psyche (Camb.) 72:65-78.

Emery, C. 1906 ("1905"). Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XXVI. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 37:107-194.

Kempf, W. W. 1961. A survey of the ants of the soil fauna in Surinam (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 4:481-524.

Menozzi, C. 1927. Formiche raccolte dal Sig. H. Schmidt nei dintorni di San Jose di Costa Rica. Entomol. Mitt. 16:266-277.

Page author:

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

Date of this version: 1 June 1999
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