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Species: Strumigenys biolleyi   Forel, 1908 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Strumigenys biolleyi Forel, 1908c PDF: 43 (w.) COSTA RICA. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: holotype worker. Primary type locality: Costa Rica: La Palma, 1600 m. (P. Biolley). Primary type depository: MHNG. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico (Chiapas) to Ecuador, Jamaica. In Costa Rica common on the Atlantic slope and montane areas to 1600m; appears absent from lower Pacific slopes.


Brown and Wilson (1959) summarize the genus as follows: "Widespread in tropics and warm temperate areas. Primarily forest-dwelling; some species occur in grassland and arid scrub. ... Nests mostly in soil and rotting wood; a few species live in arboreal plant cavities in tropical rain forest. Foraging hypogaeic to epigaeic-arboreal. Food: most species are collembolan feeders; a few are polyphagous predators or occasionally feed on sugary substances..."

biolleyi occurs in wet forest habitats. It nests on the forest floor, in dead wood, rotten twigs, and under loose bark. Workers forage nocturnally.


Longino notes, 9 Nov 2013: Strumigenys biolleyi is a species complex. There are separate montane and lowland forms, and turnover of forms with latitude. Three specimens have been DNA barcoded. Two are from montane sites in Nicaragua, cluster together, and match a common montane form from Costa Rica to Guatemala (and a similar montane form goes from Atitlan to Chiapas). This is probably true biolleyi; the holotype is from La Palma, a 1600m elevation site in Costa Rica. The other barcoded specimen is from a lowland rainforest site in Nicaragua. It is distinctive morphologically, and in the BOLD phenogram falls distant from the other two, separated by multiple other Strumigenys species. Lowland forms tend to be smaller, have reduced pilosity, and are more bicolored (red head and mesosoma, dark gaster). There are two synonyms under biolleyi, tridens from BCI, Panama, and luctuosa from La Caja, near San Jose, Costa Rica. Strumigenys tridens might match a lowland form, like the form at La Selva Biological Station. There is a distinct form I have from the Central Valley of Costa Rica and parapatric with the montane form in Monteverde, occurring in the moist forest transition zone between cloud forest and dry forest. This could be luctuosa.


Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Nat. Hist. 33:1639-1689.

Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini, with a revision of the Strumigenys species of the Malagasy Region by Brian L. Fisher, and a revision of the Austral epopostrumiform genera by Steven O. Shattuck. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 65:1-1028.

Brown, W. L., Jr. 1962. The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Synopsis and keys to the species. Psyche 69:238-267.

Brown, W. L., Jr., Wilson, E. O. 1959. The evolution of the dacetine ants. Quart. Rev. Biol. 34:278-294.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Forel, A., 1908, Fourmis de Costa-Rica, récoltées par M. Paul Biolley., Bulletin de la Societe Vaudoise des Sciences Naturelles 44, pp. 35-72

Strumigenys BiolleyiHNS n. sp.

[[ worker ]] L. (avec les mandibules) 3,3 mill. Mandibules etroites, avec deux bords paralleles, longues comme un peu plus de la moitie de la tete, faiblement courbees en dedans, tres semblables a celles de la S. SmithiHNS, mais plus longues et plus etroites, terminees par trois longues dents courbees (deux, dont l'une bifurquee), et avec deux autres dents longues et subegales sur la 2 e moitie de leur bord interne. Elles sont luisantes, ponctuees, longuement pubescentes. Tete triangulaire, tres elargie et tres echancree derriere, peu retrecie vers les yeux, un peu plus longue que large, tres semblable a celle de la S. SmithiHNS. Pas d'incisure du bord de la tete devant les yeux qui sont sous ies fossettes antennaires. Epistome triangulaire, a bord anterieur convexe, sans echaucrure. Le scape n'atteint pas le bord occipital. Le premier article du funicule long- comme les deux suivants reunis. Ceux-ci sont au moins aussi epais que longs. Le 4 e est long comme les trois premiers reunis et le dernier comme presque tout le reste du funicule. Le promesonotum a des angles anterieurs tres obtus, et derriere son bord anterieur et lateral, (qui est un peu deprime), une forte depression semicirculaire, convexe devant. Derriere et au-dessus de cette depression, le large promesonotum forme un disque arrondi, aussi long que large, mediocrement convexe. Derriere ce disque vient une faible mais assez distincte echancrure transversale, a la suture mesometanotale. La face basale du metanotum est rectangulaire, un peu plus large que longue, subplane, sans trace d'epines derriere, tres basse. La face declive est aussi rectangulaire, subhorizontale, continuant Ja face basale presque dans le meme plan, sans masses spongieuses, mais bordee de deux aretes vives qui l'encaissent, et terminee en bas ou plutot derriere par deux petites epines metasternales (ou metanotales inferieures) triangulaires, un peu plus longues que larges. Premier n oe ud presque deux fois plus large que long, longuement petiole devant, avec des masses spongieuses derriere et dessous. Second n oe ud bien plus large que le premier, plus long aussi, bien plus large que long. Le thorax a un aspect un peu deprime.

Entierement reticulee-ponctuee et mate, membres compris; abdomen (sans les n oe uds) et face declive du metanotum lisses et luisants. L'abdomen n'a pas de stries a la base. Une pubescence appliquee, jaune, fort eparse, assez brillante, repandue partout et epaissie en massues allongees sur la tete et le thorax. Sur l'abdomen et sur le pedicule de longs poils epars pointus qui sont tres rares ailleurs, nuls sur les tibias et les scapes, sauf une rangee de poils courbes devant ces derniers.

D'un brun tres fonce, abdomen presque noir, pattes, antennes, mandibules, epistome et face declive du metanotum roussatres.

La Palma, Costa Rica, 1600 metres, recolte avec des Pheidole AlfaroiHNS (P. Biolley). Un seul exemplaire.

Tres voisin du S. SmithiHNS Forel, mais bien distinct de tous par la forme du metanotum.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 66 times found in cloud forest, 47 times found in montane wet forest, 28 times found in mature wet forest, 18 times found in moist forest, 20 times found in mesophyll forest, 15 times found in tropical wet forest, 13 times found in ridgetop cloud forest, 11 times found in wet forest, 10 times found in mesophil forest, 6 times found in tropical rainforest, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 186 times ex sifted leaf litter, 18 times Hojarasca, 12 times at bait, 11 times ex sifted litter, 6 times ex sifted leaf litter on ground, 6 times flight intercept trap, 3 times nest in rotten wood, 1 times dead log, 4 times ex sifted litter from forest floor, 2 times forest litter, 3 times sifted litter, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 101 times MiniWinkler, 54 times Winkler, 51 times MaxiWinkler, 37 times search, 20 times Mini Winkler, 18 times Berlese, 9 times Baiting, 8 times Flight Intercept Trap, 2 times Search & Berles, 3 times bait, 3 times Beating, ...

Elevations: collected from 5 - 1838 meters, 1000 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1905-04-01 00:00:00.0 and 2022-01-17 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: luctuosa type: jtl016062; syntype of Strumigenys biolleyi: casent0909322; syntype of Strumigenys tridens: casent0900426; Syntypes Strumigenys luctuosa: jtl056075; type: jtl016060; type of Strumigenys luctuosa: focol0187

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