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Species: Procryptocerus belti   Forel, 1899 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Procryptocerus belti Forel, 1899d PDF: 46, pl. 3, fig. 6 (w.q.m.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: neotype worker (by designation of Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 11). Primary type locality: neotype Costa Rica: Nicoya (A. Alfaro) (by restriction of Kempf, 1951 PDF: 31). Primary type depository: MSNG (neotype). Type notes: 1) The neotype worker was named as ‘neolectotype’ by Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF, a category not recognised by ICZN. An earlier lectotype worker, designated by Kempf, 1951 PDF: 31, has since been lost according to Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 12. 2) The original description gave no indication of number of specimens, nor did Kempf, 1951 PDF: 33. Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 11, 12, cite 2 queens, 1 male extant in MHNG, and 2 workers, 2 queens, 3 males extant in MSNG. 3) Other original syntype locality: workers Panama: Bugaba (Champion). These specimens are cited in Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 12, under material examined of Procryptocerus belti. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Lectotype designation: Kempf, 1951 PDF: 31.
Neotype designation: Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 11.
Status as species: Emery, 1924f PDF: 301; Kempf, 1951 PDF: 31 (redescription); Kempf, 1972b PDF: 212; Bolton, 1995b: 367; Longino & Snelling, 2002 PDF: 11 (redescription); Guerrero et al., 2018 10.25100/socolen.v44i2.7115 PDF: 250; Serna et al., 2019 PDF: 1065.
// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Mexico to Panama, Ecuador. Costa Rica: abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, rare elsewhere.


Natural History:

Procryptocerus belti has been collected in both canopy and understory of primary rainforest, in second growth vegetation, in beach-edge vegetation, and in mangroves. Most collections are of foraging workers from low vegetation, but four nest series were collected from narrow-guage dead stems, at least one of which was detached and lodged in low vegetation. Collections have been made in the canopies of tall trees, including Brosimum, Sloanea, Ficus, and Leuhea. Specimens have been found in the feces of Cyclopes (silky anteater).

In Costa Rica, this species prefers seasonally dry habitats. It is very abundant in the lowlands of the Pacific side, south of Puntarenas, but is rare elsewhere. At La Selva Biological Station, in the wet Atlantic lowlands, it is a very rare element of the ant fauna, occurring sparsely in the tops of canopy trees.


Procryptocerus belti is very similar to P. hirsutus. Procryptocerus hirsutus occurs in lowland Amazonia, the Guyanas, and Trinidad, and is either parapatric or allopatric with P. belti. Procryptocerus hirsutus is larger (HW 1.0-1.3mm [n=7] for P. hirsutus versus 0.88-0.99mm [mean=0.93, n=12] for P. belti). The mesonotum is longitudinally rugose in P. hirsutus, reticulate rugose in P. belti figure) (with the exception of a specimen from Bugaba, Panama). The outer surface of the metatibia is coarsely rugose in P. hirsutus, relatively smooth in P. belti. The first gastral tergite is always uniformly punctate in P. belti, but in P. hirsutus it is variable, ranging from densely punctate to nearly smooth.

See P. pictipes for a discussion of character variation and possible phylogenetic relationships among P. belti, P. hirsutus, P. convexus, and P. pictipes.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 12 times found in montane wet forest, 6 times found in rainforest, 1 times found in 2nd growth vegetation, 3 times found in Wet forest, 3 times found in rainforest edge, 2 times found in mature rainforest, 2 times found in tropical rainforest, 1 times found in roadside, 2 times found in lowland wet forest, 1 times found in Second growth vegetation with isolated tall trees, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times in dead stem, 2 times ex feces Cyclopes (silky anteater), 4 times on low vegetation, 3 times Malaise trap, 1 times ex mangroves, 1 times ex dead twig of Ficus, 1 times strays, 3 times Sobre Vegetacion, 3 times beating vegetation, 1 times ex feces of Cyclopes (silky anteater), 2 times copa de árbol, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 12 times Malaise, 10 times search, 8 times fogging, 4 times beating, 3 times Sweeping, 1 times flight intercept trap, 1 times miniWinkler, 1 times beating vegetation (3 hour period), 1 times canopy fogging, 1 times carrion trap|squid.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1090 meters, 237 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1911-11-18 00:00:00.0 and 2015-07-13 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: neolectotype of Procryptocerus belti: casent0904894; syntype of Procryptocerus belti: casent0900227, casent0909243

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