Current View: Bolton World Catalog
Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.95.1. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Species: Strumigenys smithii   Forel, 1886 

Download Data

Current Valid Name:

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Strumigenys smithii Forel, 1886a PDF: 215 (w.) BRAZIL (Santa Catarina). Neotropic. Primary type information: Primary type material: syntype workers (number not stated). Primary type locality: Brazil: Itajahy, Colonie Blumenau (W. Müller). Primary type depositories: MCZC, MHNG, NHMW. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Forel, 1893j PDF: 375 (q.m.)
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Belize and El Salvador south to Santa Catarina, Brazil, and Amazonian Bolivia; St. Vincent Island, Grenada Island. In Costa Rica: Atlantic and southern Pacific lowlands.


Natural History:

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).

smithii occurs in wet forest habitats. In Costa Rica, it perhaps nests and forages in the low arboreal zone. The few collections are from that zone, and I have never observed it in Winkler samples.


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., 1893, Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent. Récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith., Transactions of the Entomological Society of London 1893, pp. 333-418

1. Strumigenys smithii, ForelHNS.

(No. 24 a a 24 f). [[ queen ]] [[ male ]].

[[ worker ]]. Un peu plus petites que les types de Blumenau.

[[ male ]] (encore inedit). L. 2, 7 a 3 mill. Tete arrondie, un peu plus longue que large; mandibules beaucoup plus courtes que chez la S. baudueri, EmeryHNS, [[ male ]] (au contraire de l'ouvriere 1). Mandibules striees, courtes, arquees, epaisses a la base, sans bord terminal, terminees par une longue dent pointue et luisante. Antennes longues, filiformes; scape seulement un peu plus long que large et que le 1 er article du funicule. Epistome a peine avance devant. La tete est beaucoup plus large et plus courte que chez le S. baudueriHNS. Face basale du metanotum oblique, en long talus, presque deux fois longue comme la face declive, dont elle est separee par une dent presque imperceptible. Face declive bordee d'une arete tres basse. Los deux articles du pedicule comme chez l'ouvriere et entoures de la meme facon des memes masses chitineuses areolaires. Valvules genitales exterieures obtusement triangulaires, d'un jaune blanchatre.

Tete et thorax fortement reticules-ponctues et mats; pedicule et abdomen lisses et luisants. La sculpture du pronotum et du meso- notum est forte et irreguliere, celle du metanotum plus faible (subopaque); cotes du thorax en partie lisses et luisants. Quelques poils epars. Pattes seulement pubescentes. Tete noire; abdomen brun fonce; pattes et antennes brun jaunatre; le reste d'un brun rougeatre. Ailes teintes de brunatre.

[[ queen ]] (encore inedite). L. 3 mill. Ailes manquent. Dents du meta- notum plus solides, moins membraneuses que chez l'ouvriere. Scutellum non proeminent en arriere. Du reste comme l'ouvriere.

Mons. H. H. Smith ecrit du No. 24 ( Strumigenys smithiiHNS): - " The cavities in which these ants are found are always black inside, as if with some fungoid growth. " Ce fait est du plus haut interet et fait presumer que certaines StrumigenysHNS ont comme leurs proches voisines, les AttaHNS, CyphomyrmexHNS, etc., l'habitude de cultiver des champignons. Les belles recherches toutes recentes du Dr. Moeller a Blumenau ont demontre dans tous leurs details les habitudes mycophages des Attini presumees par Belt. La systematique m'a prouve (Bullet, soc. ent. suisse, 1892) que les Attini sont intimement lies aux Dacetonini [ StrumigenysHNS, etc.), et m'a fait supposer que les Attini sont les derives secondaires, ce qui est d'autant plus probable qu'ils sont bornes au continent americain, tandis que les Dacetonini sont repandus dans le monde entier, meme en Nouvelle Zelande. Or l'instinct mycophage des Dacetonini, s'il se confirme generalement, est evidemment primitif, c. a. d. primordial, bien moins complexe et moins developpe que chez les AttaHNS qui vont couper des feuilles pour y faire pousser leurs champignons.

These ants are rather common in shady places. The formicarium is generally under sod or rubbish on a rock; sometimes in rotten wood. It is simply a small chamber (one or two inches long), with an entrance passage; or, if there are other passages, I have not discovered them. The ants are found crowded in the chamber with their larvae, and sometimes males and females. They are very sluggish. The colony may contain several hundred.

(24). Pretty common in partly decayed wood, shady or open places. The ants are found crowded thickly in dry cavities, generally an inch long and wide, and half an inch high; with them are larvae, and sometimes males, but I have found no females. The workers are very sluggish, hardly moving when the nest is disturbed; so that they may be picked out one by one with the forceps. The males are more active. The cavities in which these ants are found are always blade inside as if with some fungoid growth. Occasionally these ants make nests at the roots of grass, & c.

(24 a). Near Palmyra Estate (leeward), Nov. 3 rd, 1000 ft. Open field, near a stream, in a half-rotted log. The ants were found thickly crowded in a small cavity of a knot, well in from the surface; I could not discover the entrance. All that I could find were taken, and I think few were lost. The log was split up without finding others.

(24 b). Fitz-Hugh Valley (leeward); shady place, 500 ft., Nov. 4 th, in a log. There were two adjoining chambers, apparently of the same colony. The males in one chamber were more mature.

(24 c). Forest, Morne a Garou, 1500 ft. Oct. 27 th. Found on a leathery fungus growing on log.

(24 d). Fitz-Hugh Valley. Near No. 24 b. Nov. 4 th. Under rotting banana-leaves on a stone.

(24 e). Bowwood Valley, near Kingstown, 600 ft. Oct. 15 th. Clearing; scattered under the bark of a decaying log.

(24 f). Petit Bordelle Valley, 1200 ft. Nov. 13 th. Shady banks of stream; under sod on a rock. From some confusion in the notes I cannot describe the formicarium.

I have found workers of these ants foraging in the daytime in a dark outhouse. Golden Grove Estate (leeward), 300 ft. They move about slowly.

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 2 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in forest, 3 times found in montane wet forest, 2 times found in rainforest, 2 times found in tropical moist forest, 1 times found in lowland rainforest, 1 times found in wet cloud forest, 1 times found in mature moist forest, 1 times found in mixed montane forest, 1 times found in SS0, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 9 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times in soft dead branch, 1 times ex sifted litter, 1 times sifted litter (leaf mold, rotten wood), 1 times nocturnal strays, 1 times nocturnal foragers on rotten trunk, 1 times nocturnal column, 1 times LeafLitter, 1 times in debris in split in tree, 1 times Hojarasca, 1 times beating vegetation, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 8 times Winkler, 3 times MiniWinkler, 3 times Fogging, 2 times Search, 1 times litter sample, 1 times Winkler48h, 1 times Beating, 1 times Foggin.

Elevations: collected from 10 - 1300 meters, 540 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1959-03-22 00:00:00.0 and 2016-06-09 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Strumigenys smithii: casent0909328; syntype of Strumigenys smithii inaequalis: casent0904933

See something amiss? Send us an email.
Log In to see maps.