Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)
Thaumatomyrmex ferox Mann, 1922 PDF
: 3, fig. 1 (w.) HONDURAS. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: lectotype worker (by designation of Kempf, 1975b PDF
: 119). Type-locality: lectotype Honduras: San Juan Pueblo, ii.-iii.1920 (W.M. Mann
). Type-depository: USNM. Secondary type information: Paratype-material: 1 paralectotype worker. Paratype-locality: same as for lectotype. Paratype-depositories: MCZC. AntCat AntWiki HOL
Status as species: Weber, 1939a PDF
: 98 (in key); Weber, 1942c PDF
: 67; Smith, 1944b PDF
: 98 (in key); Kempf, 1972b PDF
: 250; Kempf, 1975b PDF
: 119 (redescription); Longino, 1988
: 38; Brandão, 1991 PDF
: 382; Bolton, 1995b
: 420; Jahyny et al., 2008 PDF
: 333; Vazquez et al., 2010 10.1664/10-RA-003.1 PDF
: 25; Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012 PDF
Distribution: Geographic regions
(According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists): Americas: Brazil
, Costa Rica
, Venezuela Biogeographic regions
(According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists): Neotropical
Honduras (type locality), Belize, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Brazil (Manaus) (Kempf 1975, Longino 1988). Costa Rica: lowland wet forest on both Atlantic and Pacific slopes.
This species occurs in wet forest leaf litter, and is most often obtained in sifted litter samples. A Brazilian species, Thaumatomyrmex mutilatus, is a specialist predator of polyxenid millipedes (Brandao et al. 1991), and thus ferox may be as well.
Longino note, 10 Nov 2013: DNA barcoding show this to be a complex of species. A small, narrow-headed form occurs from Honduras southward. It contains three DNA barcode clusters, but I can't find any morphological correlates. A large, broad-headed form occurs in Honduras and is sympatric with the small form(s). All the specimens from north of the Motagua fault (Guatemala, southern Mexico) look very uniform and are intermediate in size and head shape. I don't have any DNA data for these northern specimens.
Brandao, C. R. F., J. L. M. Diniz, and E. M. Tomotake. 1991. Thaumatomyrmex strips millipedes for prey, a novel predatory behaviour in ants and the first case of sympatry in the genus. Insectes Soc. 38:335-344.
Kempf, W. W. 1975. A revision of the Neotropical ponerine ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Stud. Entomol. 18:95-126.
Longino, J. T. 1988. Notes on the taxonomy of the neotropical ant genus Thaumatomyrmex Mayr (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). In J. C. Trager (ed.), Advances in Myrmecology, pp. 35-42. E. J. Brill, New York.
Mann, W. M. 1922. Ants from Honduras and Guatemala. Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus. 61:1-54.
Specimen Habitat Summary
Found most commonly in these habitats: 1 times found in forest patch.
Elevations: collected at 800 m
Collect Date Range: collected between 1971-06-30 and 1987-08-23
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