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Species: Strumigenys ludia   Mann, 1922 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2022)

Strumigenys (Strumigenys) ludia Mann, 1922 PDF: 35, fig. 17 (w.) HONDURAS. Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: syntype workers (number not stated, “a series of workers”). Primary type locality: Honduras: Cecilia, ii-iii.1920, No. 24456 (W.M. Mann). Primary type depositories: MCZC, USNM. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Brown, 1954c PDF: 195 (q.)
Status as species: Brown, 1954c PDF: 194 (redescription); Brown, 1962c PDF: 242; Kempf, 1972b PDF: 244; Bolton, 1995b: 397; Lattke & Goitía, 1997 PDF: 371 (in key); Bolton, 2000: 528 (redescription); Sosa-Calvo et al., 2006 PDF: 820; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF: 261.

Taxon Page Images:

// Distribution


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

Distribution Notes:

Southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Costa Rica: Atlantic lowlands.


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..."

Members of the genus are all predaceous, with a kinetic mode of attack (Bolton 1999).

Brown (1962) reports that ludia is a forest species and usually nests in rotten branches or twigs lying on the forest floor. He also reports that the food is chiefly entomobryoid Collembola. 

In Costa Rica, ludia occurs in young second growth habitats, and not in samples from mature forest. Thus, this species may be associated with synanthropic habitats. However, in the range further north it is abundant in Winkler samples from mature forest.

In addition to regular queens there are ergatoid queens that are more robust than workers, with a more developed petiolar node, and with a trio of minute ocelli.


Apical fork of mandible with one intercalary tooth; mandible with no preapical teeth; petiole with node only feebly differentiated from its anterior peduncle; gastral hairs mostly stiff, spatulate. Also see Bolton (2000:528).

Head length 0.67-0.74mm, mandible length 0.49-0.56, CI 81-84, MI 73-76 (n=9 workers from 6 localities; Brown 1962).


Strumigenys ludia is a complex of cryptic species. There is evidence of two and perhaps three sympatric species in northern Chiapas, Mexico. Clusters segregate on a scatterplot of head length x mandible length. Form 1 is the smallest, with ML < 0.55 and HL < 0.75. Form 2 is intermediate in size, ML 0.49-0.58, HL 0.71-0.81. Form 3 is the largest, with ML > 0.6 and HL > 0.78. Form 4 is large with short mandible, ML 0.51, HL 0.80. Form 1 occurs from second growth lowlands of Chiapas, through the Peten, to west coastal Honduras. Specimens from La Selva also match this form, but the range is divided by Form 2. Form 2 occurs from west coastal Honduras south through Atlantic coastal Nicaragua. Form 3 occurs at higher elevations and mature wet forest in Chiapas, in the Lacandon area, and at Cerro Azul Meambar in Honduras. Form 4 is from just two specimens in one Winkler sample, from a roadside site in the Lacandon forest of Chiapas. The DNA barcodes differ by about 15% between a specimen of form 1 from Honduras and a specimen of form 4 from Chiapas.

Brown's (1954 "1953") concept of S. ludia included forms 1 and 2, based on the range of measurements he reported. Brown's concept also included the junior synonym S. ludia tenuis Weber, 1934. Mann described S. ludia from "Cecilia," Honduras. From the context of the publication, this must have been a site in the lowlands or foothills along the Atlantic coast. Weber's tenuis is from Nicaragua, Tuli Creek, near San Miguel. Both are sites in which forms 1 or 2 could occur, so types should be examined.


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. 1954(1953). The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: Group of elongata Roger. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 61:189-200.

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.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in Port of entry, 1 times found in tropical rainforest.

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 1 times rocky loam soil, 1 times on orchids.

Collected most commonly using these methods: 1 times 24 hour mini-Winkler, litter extraction.

Elevations: collected from 50 - 671 meters, 263 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1941-06-15 00:00:00.0 and 2004-07-22 00:00:00.0

Type specimens:

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