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Species: Probolomyrmex boliviensis   Mann, 1923 

Download Data

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Probolomyrmex boliviensis Mann, 1923 PDF: 16, fig. 2 (q.) BOLIVIA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: holotype queen. Type-locality: Bolivia: Rurrenabaque (W.M. Mann). Type-depository: USNM. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia (Agosti 1995).


Natural History:

Taylor (1965) captured a live colony on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, and published the following notes:

My Barro Colorado accession originally consisted of 22 workers, 7 queens (4 alate), 11 pupae (9 worker, 2 male), 2 pharate pupae and 6 larvae of various instars. These were collected from an old beetle gallery in a fairly sound, dry portion of a rotting branch about 30 cm. long and 8-10 cm. in diameter, lying on the floor of primary rainforest. The ants were in a single group occupying almost 3 cm. of the gallery, which was about 6-10 mm. in diameter. An aspirator device was used for collection, and it is presumed that the whole colony, excluding foragers, was taken. One of the queens was more worn than the others and appeared to be the 'mother-queen' of the colony. The specimens were immediately placed in a glass-topped plaster-of-Paris observation cell, in which they survived for six days until the death of the queen and the larvae disrupted their behaviour. A number of eggs were accumulated during this period, at least two of them being laid by the queen. One worker completed its development while under observation.

Various small soil arthropods including assorted Collembola, Symphyla, small immature spiders, larval and adult ants, Diptera, Coleoptera and termites at all stages were placed in the nest from time to time. None of these organisms were attacked or accepted as food; indeed, the ants usually retreated hurriedly with their brood when confronted by other animals.

The larvae and pharate pupae, still enclosed in larval cuticles, were not placed by the nurse workers on the nest floor, but were attached to the plaster walls or glass ceiling of the brood chamber by the peculiar terminal abdominal suspensory tubercles described above, so as to hang head downwards. Eggs and pupae were normally placed on the floor of the brood chamber, but under most conditions they too were attached to the nest ceiling, presumably being held there by the surface tension forces of the moisture film on the glass. Pupae were invariably placed with the frontal region of the head adherent to the ceiling, and the eggs were attached either directly to the ceiling, or to the bodies of larvae or pupae.

The workers were very active and 'excitable', being reminiscent of Leptogenys or Platythyrea in this regard. They ran quite rapidly and 'nervously' when disturbed and, even when settled, were constantly active, grooming themselves and their partners. The larvae were assiduously attended and were almost constantly being licked by one or more of the workers. The suspended brood was usually placed immediately above the main adult cluster, the nurse workers moving on to the ceiling to attend to the larvae.

Workers were not observed transporting their fellows, but the queen was carried about 5 cm. in the jaws of a worker on one occasion. She lay in a pupal posture and was held by the frontal part of the head, lying ventral side uppermost along the underside of the transporting worker. Pupae were always normally carried in this way, although they were sometimes dragged by the legs or antennae when being positioned by nurse workers. The larvae were always carried along the underside of transporting workers and were invariably gripped about the neck of the terminal abdominal suspensory tubercle. This mode of grasping the larvae appeared to facilitate their placement on the nest ceiling by the workers. The newly emerged workers are highly callow, and apparently take about 5 days to attain full coloration.

I know of only one collection of Probolomyrmex boliviensis from Costa Rica, with the following data:

Prov. Limon: Guapiles, 10¡13'N, 83¡47'W, palmito plantation, 28 Apr 1996 (coll. R. Matlock).


Agosti, D. 1995 ("1994"). A revision of the South American species of the ant genus Probolomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 102:429-434.

Mann, W. M. 1923. Two new ants from Bolivia. (Results of the Mulford Biological Exploration. - Entomology.). Psyche (Camb.) 30:13-18.

O'Keefe, S. T., and D. Agosti. 1997. A new species of Probolomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Guanacaste, Costa Rica. J. New York Ent. Soc. 105:190-192.

Taylor, R. W. 1965. A monographic revision of the rare tropicopolitan ant genus Probolomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. R. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 117:345-365.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Probolomyrmex boliviensis   Agosti, D., 1995, A revision of the South American species of the ant genus Probolomyrmex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Journal of the New York Entomological Society 102, pp. 429-434: 432-433, (download) 432-433 8080
Probolomyrmex boliviensis   Taylor, R. W., 1965, A monographic revision of the rare tropicopolitan ant genus Probolomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 117, pp. 345-365: 361-363, (download) 361-363 2805

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 6 times found in mature wet forest, 5 times found in tropical rainforest, 1 times found in riparian rainforest, small strip of 2nd growth at side of river, bordering an old Cacao plantation with very open understory, lots of Vachelia ant plants in understory, 2 times found in mature rainforest, edge of forest near pasture and agricultural land, steep rocky terrain, 1 times found in Terra Firme forest Plot 1U15, 1 times found in Bamboo forest, 1 times found in Forest Floor, 1 times found in mature rainforest, near pasture edge, small stream through forest, 1 times found in montane wet forest, patch at road edge surrounding a small stream, other side of stream with more contiguous forest, less disturbed, possibly mature, 1 times found in Narrow strip of riparian forest, surrounded by steep pastures, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 18 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times Rotten chunk of wood 1/2 buried in soil, 1 times Ex Rotten Branch 3 Diameter, 1 times cacao pod litter.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 9 times miniWinkler, 6 times MaxiWinkler, 3 times winkler, 1 times litter sample, 1 times berlese, 1 times pitfall trap.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 550 meters, 249 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1961-06-21 and 2020-01-27

Type specimens:

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