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Species: Platythyrea punctata   (Smith, 1858) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Pachycondyla punctata Smith, 1858a PDF: 108 (w.m.) CENTRAL AMERICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Forel, 1893j PDF: 358 (q.).
Combination in Platythyrea: Roger, 1863a PDF: 173.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central America.


Natural History:

My collections of this species have all been individuals captured on tree trunks and low vegetation. The workers are very fast and difficult to capture. They have a powerful sting.

In Costa Rica, I have seen collections from Corcovado National Park, Curu Wildlife Reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Rosa National Park, and the La Selva Biological Station in the Atlantic lowlands.

This species exhibits a remarkable diversity of reproductive strategies (Schilder et al. 1999, Heinze and Hoelldobler 1995). Morphologically there are regular alate queens, regular workers, and a range of intercastes between them. Males occur but are rare. Morphological queens occur in some colonies, but are not regularly present. In queenless colonies, unmated workers can produce new workers, queens, and males by parthenogenesis. Workers may also be inseminated, and thus possibly reproduce sexually. In spite of the potentially clonal structure of such colonies, workers exhibit agonistic interactions and dominance hierarchies, and usually one individual, often an unmated worker, is reproductively dominant.


Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search, Agriculture, Cornell University 5:1-116.

Heinze, J., Hoelldobler, B. 1995. Thelytokous parthenogenesis and dominance hierarchies in the ponerine ant, Platythyrea punctata. Naturwissenschaften 82:40-41.

Schilder, K., Heinze, J., Hoelldobler, B. 1999. Colony structure and reproduction in the thelytokous parthenogenetic ant Platythyrea punctata (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Insectes Sociaux 46:150-158.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in tropical rainforest, 6 times found in 2º wet forest, 9 times found in lowland wet forest, 5 times found in mature wet forest, 6 times found in tropical moist forest, 6 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 6 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in mature secondary broadleaf forest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, 2 times found in wet forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 23 times ex sifted leaf litter, 16 times at bait, 9 times Malaise trap, 15 times beating vegetation, 1 times On tree trunk of Pithecellobium saman, at night, 2 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest in rotten stub of quercus laevis, 1 times nest in dead wood, 1 times nest in dead log, 1 times foragers, 1 times Collecting in recent (< 1week) treefall. A large dead snag fell, bringing a lar, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 15 times search, 10 times Malaise, 16 times Baiting, 11 times MiniWinkler, 15 times Beating, 6 times Winkler, 3 times hand collecting, 5 times MaxiWinkler, 3 times direct collection, 3 times Fogging, 3 times Malaise trap, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1090 meters, 254 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Platythyrea pruinosa: casent0915905; syntype of Platythyrea cineracea: casent0907127; type of Pachycondyla punctata: focol0857; type of Platythyrea pruinosa: focol0858

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