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Species: Procryptocerus belti   Forel, 1899 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2018)

Procryptocerus belti Forel, 1899B: 46, pl. 3, fig. 6 (w.q.m.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history


Neotropical Region: Belize, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to Panama, Ecuador. Costa Rica: abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, rare elsewhere.


Natural History:

Procryptocerus belti has been collected in both canopy and understory of primary rainforest, in second growth vegetation, in beach-edge vegetation, and in mangroves. Most collections are of foraging workers from low vegetation, but four nest series were collected from narrow-guage dead stems, at least one of which was detached and lodged in low vegetation. Collections have been made in the canopies of tall trees, including Brosimum, Sloanea, Ficus, and Leuhea. Specimens have been found in the feces of Cyclopes (silky anteater).

In Costa Rica, this species prefers seasonally dry habitats. It is very abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, but is rare elsewhere. At La Selva Biological Station, in the wet Atlantic lowlands, it is a very rare element of the ant fauna, occurring sparsely in the tops of canopy trees.


Procryptocerus belti is very similar to P. hirsutus. Procryptocerus hirsutus occurs in lowland Amazonia, the Guyanas, and Trinidad, and is either parapatric or allopatric with P. belti. Procryptocerus hirsutus is larger (HW 1.0-1.3mm [n=7] for P. hirsutus versus 0.88-0.99mm [mean=0.93, n=12] for P. belti). The mesonotum is longitudinally rugose in P. hirsutus, reticulate rugose in P. belti figure) (with the exception of a specimen from Bugaba, Panama). The outer surface of the metatibia is coarsely rugose in P. hirsutus, relatively smooth in P. belti. The first gastral tergite is always uniformly punctate in P. belti, but in P. hirsutus it is variable, ranging from densely punctate to nearly smooth.

See P. pictipes for a discussion of character variation and possible phylogenetic relationships among P. belti, P. hirsutus, P. convexus, and P. pictipes.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth vegetation, 3 times found in rainforest, 2 times found in tropical rainforest, 3 times found in Wet forest, 1 times found in mature rainforest, 1 times found in tropical rain forest, clay loam soil, 2 times found in tropical wet forest, 2 times found in CC 1300 m., 2 times found in rainforest edge, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times in dead stem, 3 times Malaise trap, 2 times ex feces Cyclopes (silky anteater), 3 times on low vegetation, 1 times ex mangroves, 1 times strays, 3 times beating vegetation, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion, 1 times on recent branchfall, 2 times on low vegn., rainforest edge, 1 times nest in 1cm dia stick on road., ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times Malaise, 10 times search, 8 times fogging, 4 times beating, 3 times Sweeping, 1 times bait trap (squid carrion), 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times nest in log, brood, sexuals in nest, 1 times nest in log, dense forest.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1090 meters, 219 meters average

Type specimens: neolectotype of Procryptocerus belti: casent0904894; syntype of Procryptocerus belti: casent0900227, casent0909243

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