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Species: Prionopelta antillana   Forel, 1909 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Prionopelta punctulata subsp. antillana Forel, 1909a PDF: 239 (w.) ANTILLES. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Raised to species: Brown, 1960a: 177.


United States (Florida), Caribbean, Honduras south through tropical South America. Paraguay: Alto Paraná, Amambay, Canindeyú.


Longino notes, 10 Nov 2013: Brown (1960) discussed the three species of Prionopelta that were known from the northern Neotropics and the Caribbean. Prionopelta modesta had a densely punctate face. Two other species, P. amabilis and P. antillana, had shinier faces. Brown (1960) discussed the differences between Prionopelta antillana and P. amabilis but was uncertain of their distinctness. For many years I treated all the Central American Prionopelta with shiny faces as one species, P. amabilis. DNA barcoding data suggested two distinct clusters. Morphologically, these two clusters fell neatly into the differences between P. amabilis and P. antillana discussed by Brown. I re-evaluated my pinned material and was able to easily separate Central American material into P. amabilis and P. antillana. The two species are broadly sympatric in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the La Mosquitia area of Honduras. I have many database records for material in ethanol or deposited in other institutions. I have identified all these as "antillana_complex" until they can be evaluated.

Prionopelta antillana: worker: anterior clypeal margin subangular, not evenly rounded; face medial to eye with distinct puncta and smooth shiny interspaces; propodeum possibly with shallower angle between dorsal and posterior faces (angle on P. amabilis seems sharper, more defined somehow); color often lighter orange yellow; dorsal pilosity in profile scruffier. Queen: larger, margins of head with more prominent projecting pilosity, with setae of varying lengths.

Prionopelta amabilis: worker: anterior clypeal margin evenly rounded; puncta on face very small and closely spaced, so that face does not look punctate and also looks somewhat duller than P. antillana; propodeal angle sharper and more defined; color often a bit duskier, amber; dorsal pilosity in profile a more even, shorter pile. Queen: smaller; margins of head with very even, very short pubescence.

I have very little material from beyond Central America. One collection from Rancho Grande, Venezuela, matches most characters of amabilis, but the face is shinier than Central American specimens. The puncta are still tiny, hardly visible. Specimens from the Santa Marta area of Colombia and the island of Guadeloupe are nearly identical and a close match to the types of P. antillana from St. Vincent. They match the characters of antillana workers described above, but the face puncta are more closely spaced relative to Central American specimens.

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-11-10 19:35:25 jack longino modified Distribution
On 2013-11-10 19:34:38 jack longino modified Comments
On 2013-11-10 19:31:10 jack longino modified Comments

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

antillana ForelHNS 1909.

Alto Paraná, Amambay, Canindeyú (ALWC, BMNH, IFML, INBP, LACM, MHNG).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in Bamboo forest, 2 times found in Rainforest, 1 times found in moist forest, 1 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in montane wet forest edge, 2 times found in wet trop. forest, 1 times found in Puesto1,293G. 10m., 1 times found in deciduous forest, 1 times found in Trampa#2,274G,10m., ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 14 times Winkler, 3 times Berlese, 2 times search, 1 times Berlesate, 2 times maxiWinkler, 1 times miniWinkler

Elevations: collected from 50 - 890 meters, 484 meters average

Type specimens:

(-1 examples)

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