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Genus: Octostruma   Forel, 1912 


Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Extant: 35 valid species

Octostruma Forel, 1912f PDF: 196 [as subgenus of Rhopalothrix]. Type-species: Rhopalothrix simoni, by subsequent designation of Wheeler, 1913a PDF: 82. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Octostruma in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini: Brown, 1949f PDF: 92; all subsequent authors to the last entry above; Bolton, 1994: 105; Bolton, 1998a: 67.
Octostruma as genus: Brown, 1948e PDF: 102; Brown, 1949f PDF: 92; Brown & Kempf, 1960 PDF: 181; all subsequent authors except the following.
Genus Octostruma references
Emery, 1924f PDF: 328 (review, catalogue); Brown, 1949f PDF: 92 (species, checklist); Brown & Kempf, 1960 PDF: 181, 244 (diagnosis, all species revision, key); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 169 (catalogue); Brandão, 1991 PDF: 362 (catalogue); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1051 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 293 (catalogue); Palacio, 1997: 416 (Colombia species key); Longino, 2013b PDF: 9, 11 (all species revision, key); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 222 (brief male diagnosis); Fernández & Serna, 2019 PDF: 865 (Colombia species key)

Taxon Page Images:

Octostruma sp. Maquipucuna reserve, Pichincha, Ecuador.
Image © Alex Wild.


The genus Octostruma is known only from the New World tropics, from southern Mexico and the West Indies to northern Argentina (Brown and Kempf 1960). It is a part of the "cryptobiotic" fauna: small, slow-moving ants that live in rotten wood and leaf litter. The very similar genus Eurhopalothrix is known to be predaceous on small, soft-bodied arthropods (Brown and Kempf 1960, Wilson 1956, Wilson and Brown 1985).

Workers and nests are extremely difficult to see in the field. Some species camouflage themselves with layers of soil (Hoelldobler and Wilson 1986). As a result of their cryptic nature, they were considered extremely rare until the 1960's. But increasing use of Winkler and Berlese sampling has shown Octostruma to be relatively common. They occur in most Winkler samples from wet forest sites in the Neotropics. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Octostruma   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 34, (download) 34 21367
Octostruma   Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55: 34, (download) 34 21367

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