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Full Range: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama.
Costa Rican Range: Atlantic lowlands (Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, La Selva Biological Station), Cordillera de Talamanca (Monteverde), Cordillera Volcanica Central (Zona Protectora at 1070m elevation).
Smithistruma probatrix Brown 1964:186, pl. 16, fig. 3. Holotype worker: Mexico, Chiapas, Ocosingo, 25.vi.1950, Berlese funnel sample (C. & M. Goodnight & L. J. Stannard) [MCZ].
Later moved to Pyramica. See Bolton (2000) for complete synonymy.
Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a static pressure mode of attack (Bolton 1999).
This species occurs in wet forest habitats. I collected the species from Winkler samples of forest floor leaf litter in Monteverde and Hitoy Cerere. Uli Wagner collected a dealate queen in her study of forest floor litter fauna of La Selva Biological Station. At 1070m in the Zona Protectora of Braulio Carrillo National Park, a cloud forest habitat, I found an interesting co-occurrence of this and two other ant species. I looked beneath an epiphyte mat in a treefall, and found what appeared to be two contiguous nests, one of Cyphomyrmex salvini complex, and one of Strumigenys nevermanni. The disturbance to the epiphyte mat had jumbled them together, and I collected a series of both species into a vial. Upon examining the vial later, I discovered three workers of P. probatrix in addition to more abundant workers of Cyphomyrmex and Strumigenys. Could this indicate something special about the nesting habits of probatrix?
Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33:1639-1689.
Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.
Brown, W. L., Jr. 1964. The ant genus Smithistruma: a first supplement to the World revision (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 89:183-200.