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Species: Gnamptogenys banksi   (Wheeler, 1930) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Emeryella (Barbourella) banksi Wheeler, 1930h PDF: 10, fig. 1 (q.) PANAMA. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g PDF: 227.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica. In Costa Rica known from Hitoy Cerere, the Penas Blancas Valley (Eladio's at 800m), La Selva Biological Station, and the Barva transect at the 1070m site.


Natural History:

Lattke (1995) reported that this species was found in rotten logs in lowland rainforest, and that it was a specialist millipede predator. He reported known specimens from Barro Colorado Island (type locality) and Ecuador (Guayas, 3km S Bucay). I have now seen four specimens from Costa Rica: 1) an alate queen collected as a stray in Hitoy Cerere in 1985, 2) a nocturnal worker in Penas Blancas in 1988, 3) a worker in La Selva in 1996, and 4) a worker from a Winkler sample at the 1070m site on the Volcan Barva transect.

The La Selva collection was remarkable. As part of the ALAS project, a large-scale arthropod survey project at La Selva, I have been intensively surveying the ant fauna over the last decade, and others have often collected ants at La Selva. The ALAS lab, which is in the laboratory clearing about 5m from the forest edge, has a screened-in porch. On 12 September 1996, at 3:00 in the afternoon, I was sitting in the porch on a coffee break. I saw a large worker ant moving rather clumsily across the floor, particles of lint sticking to its legs, with the appearance of an insect that had wandered into the porch area and gotten trapped inside. It was a worker of G. banksi, the third known specimen from Costa Rica and a new record for La Selva! This is a large, conspicuous ant. How could we have missed it?


Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Hym. Res. 4:137-193.

Wheeler, W. M. 1930. A new Emeryella from Panama. Proceedings of the New England Zoological Club 12:9-13.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 4 times found in montane wet forest, 1 times found in 2nd growth forest, 3 times found in mature wet forest, 1 times found in ALAS lab, 1 times found in Primary forest at river edge, 1 times found in wet forest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times Hojarasca, 3 times ex sifted leaf litter, 2 times strays, 1 times Lab clearing, 1 times bajo de M/08.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 3 times Mini Winkler, 1 times Winkler, 2 times miniWinkler, 2 times search, 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times Pitfall.

Elevations: collected from 50 - 1100 meters, 410 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1985-09-01 and 2011-04-18

Type specimens:

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