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Species: Megalomyrmex silvestrii   Wheeler, 1909 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2019)

Megalomyrmex silvestrii Wheeler, 1909b PDF: 235 (w.) MEXICO. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Megalomyrmex (Wheelerimyrmex): Mann, 1922 PDF: 29.
Status as species: Mann, 1922: 29; Emery, 1922e: 190; Wheeler, W.M. 1925a: 33 (in key); Kempf & Brown, 1968: 97; Kempf, 1970c: 361; Kempf, 1972a: 140; Brandão, 1990b PDF: 443 (redescription); Bolton, 1995b: 249; Brandão, 2003: 154; Wild, 2007b: 33; Longino, 2010: 54; Boudinot et al., 2013 PDF: 59 (w.q.m.).


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Widespread in Neotropics from Argentina to Mexico. Costa Rica: widespread in lowlands.


Natural History:

Mann (1916) stated "A good series of workers were taken at Ceiba and San Juan Pueblo, nesting in the ground and in rotten logs. It is a timid species and very active when disturbed." Weber (1940) reported three collections of silvestrii (reported as wheeleri; wheeleri synonymized with silvestrii by Kempf and Brown 1968) found in nests of Cyphomyrmex costatus on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. In one nest he found a dealate queen. In a second nest he found a dealate queen and a worker. In a third nest he found 3 dealate queens and 55 workers. However, Brown (in Kempf and Brown 1968) reported finding four nests, two from Barro Colorado Island, one from Cerro Campana, Panama, and one from Santa Teresa, Brazil, that "were nesting independently of other ants so afar as he could tell." Brown's two Barro Colorado nests were "inside a small clod of soil in the leaf litter," and "in a small piece of rotten wood, 10 mm deep and 15 mm wide, also contained many termites." Diniz collected isolated nests of silvestrii in Betim, MG, Brazil (reported in Brandao 1990). Kempf and Brown (1968) suggested that the species is "not so much a parasite as it is a mass-foraging predator that specializes in raiding, and sometimes occupying, the nests of small Attini."

In Costa Rica, I have seen the species only from Winker samples. The samples were from Hitoy Cerere, Osa Peninsula, and Santa Rosa (Bosque humedo).


Brandao, C. R. F. 1990. Systematic revision of the Neotropical ant genus Megalomyrmex Forel (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae), with the description of thirteen new species. Arquivos de Zoologia (Sao Paulo) 31:411-481.

Kempf, W. W., Brown, W. L., Jr. 1968. Report on some Neotropical ant studies. Papeis Avulsos Zool. 22:89-102.

Mann, W. M. 1916. The Stanford Expedition to Brazil, 1911, John C. Branner, Director. The ants of Brazil. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 60:399-490.

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

silvestrii WheelerHNS 1909.

Amambay (ALWC). Literature records: Pte. Hayes (Fowler 1981).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 36 times found in tropical rainforest, 26 times found in mature wet forest, 17 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 19 times found in tropical moist forest, 13 times found in lowland wet forest, 10 times found in 2º wet forest, 9 times found in montane wet forest, 4 times found in wet forest, 4 times found in 2º lowland tropical rainforest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 132 times ex sifted leaf litter, 23 times at bait, 7 times Hojarasca, 7 times Malaise trap, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times Mulford Expedition, 1 times Leaf litter, 1 times Hojarasca., 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times ex sifted litter; 6L sifted litter; extracted in Winkler sack over 32 hours, 1 times ex rotten trunk, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 79 times MiniWinkler, 43 times MaxiWinkler, 22 times Baiting, 15 times Winkler, 8 times Malaise, 6 times Mini Winkler, 2 times search, 1 times Night MiniWinkler, 1 times bait, 1 times Winkler48h, 1 times Berlese, ...

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1110 meters, 268 meters average

Type specimens: syntype of Megalomyrmex brasiliensis misionensis: casent0913546

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