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Species: Pachycondyla purpurascens   Forel, 1899 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Pachycondyla purpurascens Forel, 1899b PDF: 12, pl. 1, fig. 10 (w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: holotype worker. Type-locality: Costa Rica: Caché (Rogers). Type-depository: MHNG. Type notes: MacKay & MacKay, 2010 PDF: 489, designate the single specimen in MHNG as lectotype, but as there is no evidence that more than one specimen was ever present, the designation is unnecessary. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Lectotype designation: MacKay & MacKay, 2010 PDF: 489 (unnecessary).
Status as species: MacKay & MacKay, 2010 PDF: 489 (redescription); Bezděčková et al., 2015 PDF: 124; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019 PDF: 541.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica, Panama. Costa Rica: known from mid to upper elevation sites from Cordillera de Guanacaste to Cordillera Volcanica Central; also known from Bocas del Toro region of Panama, so probably continuous in montane sites throughout the country.


This species is a dramatically large ant found as individual workers on roads and trails.

Longino: I observed a nest at Cerro Cacao in the Guanacaste Conservation Area. At the bottom of the forest patch below the station, along the trail back to Quebrada Grande, a nest was in the steep bank of the trail. A purpurascens worker captured a Gnamptogenys worker from a nest I was excavating. The purpurascens worker moved irregularly back and forth at first, but then went to a simple circular hole in the bank. I followed the hole, excavating horizontally into the bank, until I was a full arm's length plus trowel length into the bank. At this point I began scooping out a few workers at a time. I obtained about 16 workers this way.

Taxonomic Notes:

The type locality of "Cache" is probably Lago Cachí near Cartago. There are at least two specimens in the type series, one at MHNG and one at BMNH (both imaged on AntWeb), so the Mackays were correct to designate a lectotype.


Bolton, B. 1995. A New General Catalogue of the Ants of the World. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Emery, C. 1901. Notes sur les sous-familles des Dorylines et Ponerines (Famille des Formicides). Annales de la Societe Entomologique de Belgique 45:32-54.

Emery, C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 1181-125.

Forel, A. 1899. Formicidae. Biologia-Centrali Americana 3:1-169.

Kempf, W. W. 1961. As formigas do genero Pachycondyla Fr. Smith no Brasil (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Revta Bras. Entomol. 10:189-204.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 81 times found in mesophyll forest, 15 times found in wet forest, 8 times found in mesophil forest, 4 times found in cloud forest, 3 times found in cloud forest, primary, along steep ridge near peak, 3 times found in cloud forest, primary, near ridgetop, 2 times found in mature cloud forest, 2 times found in tropical wet forest, 1 times found in cloud forest litter, 1 times found in Ecotone between pastures and low vegetation, mature wet forest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 79 times at bait, 15 times pan trap, 16 times ex sifted leaf litter, 5 times forager, 2 times Strays, 1 times on low vegn., 1 times on dead wood, 1 times moist forest, 1 times leaf litter, 1 times beating vegetation, 1 times at bait at night, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 80 times Baiting, 15 times Pan Trap, 10 times MiniWinkler, 7 times search, 4 times MaxiWinkler, 1 times Berlese, 1 times hand collecting, 1 times observation, 1 times Winkler, 1 times Beating.

Elevations: collected from 35 - 1689 meters, 1178 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1924-03-01 00:00:00.0 and 2022-01-22 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: Lectotype of Pachycondyla purpurascens: casent0907248; syntype of Pachycondyla purpurascens: casent0902515; syntype purpurascens: jtl056030; syntypes transversa: jtl007996; type purpurascens: jtl008000

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