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Costa Rica (Atlantic lowlands), Peru.
In Costa Rica, this species inhabits wet forests of the Atlantic lowlands. It nests in dead wood on the ground and in plant cavities in low vegetation.
Selected records from Costa Rica:
Heredia: La Selva Biological Station, 10¡26'N, 84¡01'W, 50m (J. Longino). Lowland rainforest; nest in dead wood on forest floor.
Limon: Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, 9¡40'N, 83¡02'W, 100m (J. Longino). Mature wet forest. Nest in the chamber formed by clasping sides of petiole of Diffenbachia. Prey (?) remains in nest were over 4 adult Nematocera.
J. Longino, 18 Aug 2014: Regarding Gnamptogenys wheeleri, I now have two collections from Costa Rica and one from Tambopata, Peru, that look identical and have a distinctively depressed dorsal face of the propodeum. Santschi (1929) observed this distinctive morphology and it is illustrated in his Figure 18. He associated the taxa G. rustica, wheeleri, and brasiliensis mayri with this feature, all new taxa described in his revision of Holcoponera. Brown (1958) left rustica and wheeleri as valid species but synonymized mayri under wheeleri, with no discussion. The type locality is Costa Rica for both wheeleri and mayri, and the images of types of both on AntWeb show the distinctive character, so this synonymy is probably solid. Lattke (1995) synonymized them all under striatula.
Gnamptogenys striatula and the form with the depressed propodeum are sympatric in Costa Rica and have different habitat preferences. The former is found in open, disturbed areas, and the latter is a mature forest species. Also, wheeleri has a square-cut anteroventral petiolar process, while the Costa Rican version of striatula has a rounded process without a posterior angle. I consider G. wheeleri a valid species and use this name to refer to this form. With my current knowledge, it occurs at least in Costa Rica and Peru. The relationship to G. rustica, from Paraguay, is unknown. Also, among the South American specimens associated with striatula there is a welter of variation in propodeal shape and the form of the ventral petiolar process. The group is clearly in need of more work in South America.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 118:175-362.
Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research 4:137-193.
Santschi, F. 1929. Revision de genre Holcoponera Mayr. Zoologische Anzeiger 82:437-477.