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Species: Solenopsis brevicornis   Emery, 1888 

Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Solenopsis brevicornis Emery, 1888c PDF: 356 (w.q.) BRAZIL. Neotropic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: In Costa Rica, this distinctive species occurs in wet to moist forest habitats, in leaf litter on the ground. It is known almost exclusively from Winkler and Berlese samples of forest floor leaf litter. In the Atlantic lowlands it occurs in a high proportion of Winkler samples. Chris Thompson carried out a study at La Selva Biological Station, surveying ants nests inhabiting dead wood and dead sticks in the leaf litter. He found two nests of this species, including one with alate queens.


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: Size small; color black; clypeus with moderately diverging carinae, projecting as small teeth; mandible with basal tooth distinct, not widely separated from third tooth; eyes usually large, circular, composed of 5-8 fused ommatidia (occasionally reduced); sparse long setae projecting from vertex margin and sides of head; mesosoma short and compact; petiolar node subtriangular to bluntly rounded; lower portions of katepisternum, propodeum, petiole, and postpetiole punctate. Among the Costa Rican fauna, this is the only small Solenopsis I know with extensive punctate sculpture; all the rest are largely smooth and shining. However, the extent of sculpture is highly variable and can almost vanish. Specimens from higher elevation tend to be larger, darker, with somewhat inflated propodeum, and reduced sculpture on propodeum and petiole. For example, in Winkler samples from Penas Blancas there can appear ants that look very different: one with extensive sculpture, lighter color, and subtriangular petiole; another with reduced sculpture, darker color, and more rounded petiole. But these differences are gradually bridged among material from other collections and other localities.


Longino, 1 Mar 2014: Pacheco and Mackay 2013 identify material as brevicornis from Mexico to Brazil, and they consider it sympatric with terricola in Costa Rica and Panama. In their key, brevicornis is differentiated from terricola by being "concolorous yellow to dark brown (normally dark colored); side of petiole heavily punctate, node slightly angulate." In contrast, terricola is "Dark mahogany brown with yellowish appendages (concolorous with mesosoma, medium brown in specimens from Caribbean); side of petiole mostly smooth and glossy, node rounded at apex." In my material, these characters do not separate discrete clusters. There is variability and may be multiple cryptic species, but I do not see a clean divide into two sympatric species. For now I refer to all this material as brevicornis and provisionally treat terricola as a synonym of brevicornis.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 445 times found in mature wet forest, 147 times found in montane wet forest, 31 times found in wet forest, 39 times found in lowland rainforest, 26 times found in tropical rainforest, 21 times found in rainforest, 17 times found in cloud forest, primary, near ridgetop, 3 times found in SSA, 8 times found in wet cloud forest, 1 times found in Parc. sucesionales, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 571 times ex sifted leaf litter, 128 times hojarasca, 28 times sifted litter, 8 times Cerca del Refugio Cascante, 2 times Bosque Primario, Suelo, 3 times Ex sifted leaf litter., 1 times madera muerta caida cerca quebrada, 1 times Hojarasca., 4 times at bait, 3 times Alrrededor de trampa M/03, 2 times leaf litter, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 504 times miniWinkler, 110 times Winkler, 79 times Berlese, 114 times Mini Winkler, 3 times search, 3 times Search & Berles, 3 times maxiWinkler, 3 times baiting, 2 times Sweeping, 2 times Pitfall, 1 times bait, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1530 meters, 351 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1981-12-17 and 2020-02-15

Type specimens: Lectotype of Solenopsis brevicornis: casent0904626; syntype of Solenopsis brevicornis medioclara: casent0913879; syntype of Solenopsis brevicornis petropolitana: casent0913880

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