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Species: Platythyrea punctata   (Smith, 1858) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Pachycondyla punctata Smith, 1858a PDF: 108 (w.m.) DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: 1 syntype worker, 1 syntype male. Type-locality: St. Domingo (no further data). Type-depository: not in BMNH, presumed lost. Type notes: The syntypes could not be found in BMNH. A queen of this species in BMNH, labelled as type of Platythyrea punctata, is correctly identified but has an incorrect label “P. pilosula Sm.”, and a white, rectangular label “Type. F. Smith coll. 79.22.” The original description of Platythyrea punctata did not mention a queen, and the date, (18)79, is far too late. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Forel, 1893j PDF: 358 (q.); Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 81 (l.).
Combination in Platythyrea: Roger, 1863a PDF: 173; Roger, 1863b PDF: 17.
Status as species: Roger, 1861a PDF: 8; Roger, 1863b PDF: 17, 47; Mayr, 1863a PDF: 442; Mayr, 1886c PDF: 359; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 27; Forel, 1901k PDF: 335; Wheeler, 1905c PDF: 80, 120; Wheeler, 1908a PDF: 123; Wheeler, 1908b PDF: 159; Wheeler, 1908h PDF: 401; Forel, 1909a PDF: 242; Wheeler, 1910a PDF: 561; Emery, 1911e PDF: 30; Wheeler, 1911a PDF: 21; Wheeler, 1911b PDF: 168; Forel, 1912d PDF: 35; Wheeler, 1913b PDF: 481; Wheeler, 1913e PDF: 239; Wheeler & Mann, 1914 PDF: 7; Mann, 1916 PDF: 403 (in key); Mann, 1920b PDF: 404; Mann, 1922 PDF: 7; Borgmeier, 1923: 53; Wheeler, 1923d PDF: 3; Menozzi & Russo, 1930 PDF: 150; Santschi, 1931d PDF: 265; Wheeler, 1936c PDF: 195; Smith, 1937 PDF: 824; Borgmeier, 1937b PDF: 219; Creighton, 1950a PDF: 34; Smith, 1951c PDF: 783; Brown, 1957e PDF: 229; Smith, 1958c PDF: 110; Kempf, 1964a PDF: 141; Wilson, 1964b PDF: 4; Smith, 1967a PDF: 346; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 206; Alayo, 1974 PDF: 30; Brown, 1975 PDF: 9, 54; Smith, 1979: 1336; Deyrup et al., 1989 PDF: 93; Brandão, 1991 PDF: 371; Bolton, 1995b: 336; Deyrup, 2003 PDF: 46; Mackay et al., 2008 PDF: 209; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 263; Feitosa, 2015c: 99; Wetterer et al., 2016 PDF: 16; Deyrup, 2017: 32; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019 PDF: 513; Lubertazzi, 2019 10.3099/MCZ-43.1 PDF: 155.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Suriname, United States
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical

Distribution Notes:

Florida, Mexico, West Indies, Central America.


Natural History:

My collections of this species have all been individuals captured on tree trunks and low vegetation. The workers are very fast and difficult to capture. They have a powerful sting.

In Costa Rica, I have seen collections from Corcovado National Park, Curu Wildlife Reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Rosa National Park, and the La Selva Biological Station in the Atlantic lowlands.

This species exhibits a remarkable diversity of reproductive strategies (Schilder et al. 1999, Heinze and Hoelldobler 1995). Morphologically there are regular alate queens, regular workers, and a range of intercastes between them. Males occur but are rare. Morphological queens occur in some colonies, but are not regularly present. In queenless colonies, unmated workers can produce new workers, queens, and males by parthenogenesis. Workers may also be inseminated, and thus possibly reproduce sexually. In spite of the potentially clonal structure of such colonies, workers exhibit agonistic interactions and dominance hierarchies, and usually one individual, often an unmated worker, is reproductively dominant.


Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search, Agriculture, Cornell University 5:1-116.

Heinze, J., Hoelldobler, B. 1995. Thelytokous parthenogenesis and dominance hierarchies in the ponerine ant, Platythyrea punctata. Naturwissenschaften 82:40-41.

Schilder, K., Heinze, J., Hoelldobler, B. 1999. Colony structure and reproduction in the thelytokous parthenogenetic ant Platythyrea punctata (F. Smith) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Insectes Sociaux 46:150-158.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in tropical rainforest, 6 times found in 2º wet forest, 9 times found in lowland wet forest, 5 times found in mature wet forest, 7 times found in rainforest, 6 times found in tropical moist forest, 6 times found in tropical wet forest, 3 times found in mature secondary broadleaf forest, 5 times found in 2º lowland rainforest, 4 times found in lowland rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 23 times ex sifted leaf litter, 10 times Malaise trap, 16 times at bait, 15 times beating vegetation, 1 times foragers, 1 times On tree trunk of Pithecellobium saman, at night, 2 times on low vegetation, 1 times nest in rotten stub of quercus laevis, 1 times nest in dead wood, 1 times nest in dead log, 1 times in recent branchfall, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 15 times search, 10 times Malaise, 16 times Baiting, 11 times MiniWinkler, 15 times Beating, 6 times Winkler, 5 times MaxiWinkler, 3 times hand collecting, 3 times direct collection, 3 times Fogging, 3 times Malaise trap, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1090 meters, 254 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1912-02-01 00:00:00.0 and 2017-09-12 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Platythyrea pruinosa: casent0915905; syntype of Platythyrea cineracea: casent0907127; type of Pachycondyla punctata: focol0857; type of Platythyrea pruinosa: focol0858

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