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Species: Octostruma iheringi   (Emery, 1888) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Rhopalothrix iheringi Emery, 1888c PDF: 361 (q.) BRAZIL (Rio Grande do Sul). Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype worker. Primary type locality: Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul (H. von Ihering). Primary type depository: MSNG. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Misspelled as jheringi by Emery, 1894h PDF: 385; Borgmeier, 1927c PDF: 121; Brown & Kempf, 1960 PDF: 187, and others.]
Combination in Octostruma: Brown, 1949h PDF: 92.


A cryptic inhabitant of forest floor leaf litter and rotten wood; lowland forests of Central and South America; one of the more common species in the genus. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico to southern Brazil, Jamaica.


Octostruma iheringi is a widespread lowland species. In Central America it occurs in wet to seasonally dry habitats, in both mature and second growth forest, from sea level to about 800 m elevation. Almost all collections are from Berlese and Winkler samples of sifted litter and rotten wood from the forest floor. Dealate queens occasionally occur together with workers in litter samples. An alate queen was taken in July 1997, in the lab clearing of La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, a lowland rainforest site.


Octostruma iheringi and O. pexidorsum are the only species with a pair of distinctive, long, extremely fine setae extending perpendicularly from petiolar peduncle, anterior to spiracle, and a similar but shorter pair of setae extending from sides of postpetiole. Octostruma iheringi has a rugulose face and sparse, inconspicuous ground pilosity. Octostruma pexidorsum has a punctate face and dense, wooly ground pilosity.


Brown, W. L., Jr., Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3:161-250.

Emery, C. 1888 ("1887"). Formiche della provincia di Rio Grande do Sul nel Brasile, raccolte dal dott. Hermann von Ihering. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 19:352-366.

Emery, C. 1890. Voyage de M. E. Simon au Venezuela (Decembre 1887 - Avril 1888). Formicides. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. (6)10:55-76.

Forel, A. 1899. Formicidae. [part]. Biol. Cent.-Am. Hym. 3:25-56.

Forel, A. 1912. Formicides neotropiques. Part II. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (Attini, Dacetii, Cryptocerini). Mem. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 19:179-209.

Hoelldobler, B., Wilson, E. O. 1986. Soil-binding pilosity and camouflage in ants of the tribes Basicerotini and Stegomyrmecini (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Zoomorphology (Berl.) 106:12-20.

Santschi, F. 1936. Contribution a l'etude des fourmis de l'Amerique du Sud. Rev. Entomol. (Rio J.) 6:196-218.

Wheeler, W. M. 1908. The ants of Jamaica. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24:159-163.

Wilson, E. O. 1956. Feeding behavior in the ant Rhopalothrix biroi Szabo. Psyche (Camb.) 63:21-23.

Wilson, E. O., Brown, W. L., Jr. 1985 ("1984"). Behavior of the cryptobiotic predaceous ant Eurhopalothrix heliscata, n. sp. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Basicerotini). Insectes Soc. 31:408-428.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

iheringi (EmeryHNS 1888a).

Canindeyú, Concepción (ALWC, BMNH, INBP, LACM, MZSP).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 37 times found in tropical rainforest, 32 times found in mature wet forest, 12 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 8 times found in wet forest, 4 times found in rainforest, 2 times found in dry forest, 5 times found in forest, 4 times found in tropical wet forest, 4 times found in 1° forest, 1 times found in SAT, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 114 times ex sifted leaf litter, 9 times Hojarasca, 10 times leaf litter, 6 times ex sifted litter, 1 times cacao pod litter, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times leaf litter in root mat, 1 times Ticoporo Forest Reserve. Dense second growth with few larger trees. Ex sifted le, 1 times tall forest, rocky soil, 1 times rotten wood, 1 times One of the ALAS berlese samples., ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 65 times MiniWinkler, 37 times Winkler, 31 times MaxiWinkler, 4 times berlese, 6 times Winkler sample, 4 times litter sample, 2 times search, 2 times Mini Winkler, 1 times Winkler of litter, 1 times Baited pitfall, 1 times Winkler48h, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1050 meters, 245 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1912-01-13 00:00:00.0 and 2021-01-21 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Holotype of Rhopalothrix godmani: casent0900927; Syntype Octostruma wighti: mcz-ent00008680, mcz-ent00303380; syntype of Octostruma iheringi: casent0904966; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni: casent0904967; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni spei: casent0909346; syntype of Rhopalothrix simoni wighti: casent0909345, casent0911206; Type of unavailable quadrinomial: Rhopalothrix simoni spei sulcata: casent0912539

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