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Species: Octostruma iheringi   (Emery, 1888) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2015)

Rhopalothrix iheringi Emery, 1888c PDF: 361 (q.) BRAZIL. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki

Taxonomic history

Combination in Octostruma: Brown, 1949f PDF}: 92.
Senior synonym of Octostruma godmani, Octostruma simoni, Octostruma spei, Octostruma wighti and material of the unavailable name Octostruma sulcata referred here: Brown & Kempf, 1960 PDF}: 187.
See also: Longino, 2013 PDF :35.


A cryptic inhabitant of forest floor leaf litter and rotten wood; lowland forests of Central and South America; one of the more common species in the genus.


Southern Mexico to southern Brazil, Jamaica.


Octostruma iheringi is a widespread lowland species. In Central America it occurs in wet to seasonally dry habitats, in both mature and second growth forest, from sea level to about 800 m elevation. Almost all collections are from Berlese and Winkler samples of sifted litter and rotten wood from the forest floor. Dealate queens occasionally occur together with workers in litter samples. An alate queen was taken in July 1997, in the lab clearing of La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, a lowland rainforest site.


Octostruma iheringi and O. pexidorsum are the only species with a pair of distinctive, long, extremely fine setae extending perpendicularly from petiolar peduncle, anterior to spiracle, and a similar but shorter pair of setae extending from sides of postpetiole. Octostruma iheringi has a rugulose face and sparse, inconspicuous ground pilosity. Octostruma pexidorsum has a punctate face and dense, wooly ground pilosity.


Brown, W. L., Jr., Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3:161-250.

Emery, C. 1888 ("1887"). Formiche della provincia di Rio Grande do Sul nel Brasile, raccolte dal dott. Hermann von Ihering. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 19:352-366.

Emery, C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Decembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (6)10:55-76.

Forel, A. 1899. Formicidae. [part]. Biol. Cent.-Am. Hym. 3:25-56.

Forel, A. 1912. Formicides neotropiques. Part II. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (Attini, Dacetii, Cryptocerini). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 19:179-209.

Hoelldobler, B., Wilson, E. O. 1986. Soil-binding pilosity and camouflage in ants of the tribes Basicerotini and Stegomyrmecini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zoomorphology (Berl.) 106:12-20.

Santschi, F. 1936. Contribution a l'etude des fourmis de l'Amerique du Sud. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 6:196-218.

Wheeler, W. M. 1908. The ants of Jamaica. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24:159-163.

Wilson, E. O. 1956. Feeding behavior in the ant Rhopalothrix biroi Szabo. Psyche (Camb.) 63:21-23.

Wilson, E. O., Brown, W. L., Jr. 1985 ("1984"). Behavior of the cryptobiotic predaceous ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata, n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Basicerotini). Insectes Soc. 31:408-428.

Taxon Page Author History

On 2013-08-14 13:05:46 jack longino modified Biology
On 2013-08-14 13:02:47 jack longino modified Identification
On 2013-08-14 12:56:39 jack longino modified Distribution

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Wild, A. L., 2007:
Canindeyú , Concepción (ALWC, BMNH, INBP, LACM, MZSP).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 37 times found in tropical rainforest, 32 times found in mature wet forest, 12 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 4 times found in rainforest, 3 times found in wet forest, 1 times found in SAT, 4 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in dry forest, 3 times found in lowland rainforest, 2 times found in SSA, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods or in the following microhabitats: 64 times MiniWinkler, 26 times Winkler, 28 times MaxiWinkler, 4 times berlese, 2 times Mini Winkler, 2 times search

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1050 meters, 216 meters average

Type specimens: Holotype of Rhopalothrix godmani: casent0900927; Syntype Octostruma wighti: mcz-ent00008680, mcz-ent00303380; syntype of Octostruma iheringi: casent0904966; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni: casent0904967; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni spei: casent0909346; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni spei sulcata: casent0912539; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni wighti: casent0909345, casent0911206

(-1 examples)

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