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Species: Platythyrea pilosula   (Smith, 1858) 

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Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2023)

Ponera pilosula Smith, 1858a PDF: 95 (w.) BRAZIL. Neotropic. Primary type information: Type-material: 2 syntype workers. Type-locality: Brazil: (no further data). Type-depository: BMNH. Type notes: A remounted worker in BMNH is labelled “type” and has a red disc. Apart from this the specimen has only a square of yellow paper and the label “Smith coll. Presented by Mrs Farren White.” A second worker, that has not been remounted, has the same labels but lacks the “type” disc, and has a white rectangular label “Frstrm.” Type-locality given by Smith is merely “Brazil.” This is absent from both specimens. It is perhaps best to regard both specimens as syntypes. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Combination in Platythyrea: Mayr, 1886c PDF: 358.
Combination in Leptogenys: Emery, 1911e PDF: 106.
Combination in Platythyrea: Donisthorpe, 1932c PDF: 474; Kempf, 1965 PDF: 181.
// Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):

Distribution Notes:

Costa Rica to northern Argentina east of the Andes. Costa Rica: lowland wet forest, especially on Atlantic side.


Natural History:

My collections of this species have mostly been individuals captured on tree trunks and low vegetation. The workers are very fast and difficult to capture. I observed one nest in a recently felled Virola tree at La Selva Biological Station. It was in and under an epiphyte mat, extending into small chambers in the bark. I have collected alate queens twice, one on the northern slope of Volcan Barba, at 500m elevation (at the El Ceibo station, near the crossing of the Rio Peje) on 14 July 1986, and another in the Pe–as Blancas Valley on 27 April 1987. I collected a dealate queen that was a nocturnal forager, running with a nymph of Tingidae in its mandibles.

In Costa Rica, I have seen collections from Hitoy Cerere Biological Reserve, La Selva Biological Station, Braulio Carrillo National Park and vicinity to 600m, the Penas Blancas Valley east of Monteverde, Guacimal on the Pacific slope below Monteverde, and Carara Biological Reserve.


Platythyrea pilosula and punctata form part of the punctata complex, of which Brown (1975) wrote:

[The species of the punctata complex] are both very close and highly variable, so that species limits are anything but clear. In fact, it is possible that most or all of these forms are variants, in part geographically distributed, of a single species that should bear the prior name P. pilosula. In this work, I have adopted a more conservative course, provisionally recognizing 5 species in the complex even though no one of them can be cleanly separated from all of the other 4.

One of the species he recognized was P. sinuata (Roger 1860), which differed from pilosula by having a curved sulcus at the base of the mandible. Most Costa Rican material I have seen has the sulcus, but a few lack it, and there is a high degree of variation. The mandibular sulcus varies from strongly marked to weakly marked to absent. One specimen has the sulcus on one mandible and lacks it on the other. Thus I now treat sinuata as a junior synonym of pilosula.


Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search, Agriculture, Cornell University 5:1-116.

Roger, J. 1860. Die Ponera-artigen Ameisen. Berl. Entomol. Z. 4:278-312.

Smith, F. 1858. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Treatment Citation: Wild, A. L., 2007, A catalogue of the ants of Paraguay (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 1622, pp. 1-55

pilosula (F. SmithHNS 1858).

Canindeyú, Central, Cordillera, Pte. Hayes (ALWC, INBP).

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 13 times found in montane wet forest, 7 times found in rainforest, 7 times found in wet forest, 3 times found in mature wet forest, 2 times found in tropical rainforest, old second growth, 1 times found in Primary forest and second growth habitats, 1 times found in CCL 237, east 3m, 1 times found in primary rainforest edge, 1 times found in Cerradão, 1 times found in CES 350, ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 3 times strays, 3 times Hojarasca, 2 times Sobre Vegetacion, 2 times Malaise trap, 2 times LeafLitter, 2 times ex sifted leaf litter, 1 times running on dead wood at night, 1 times on treetrunk, 1 times on moss mat., 1 times on low vegetation, 1 times on floor of lab, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 15 times Fogging, 9 times Malaise, 6 times flight intercept trap, 6 times search, 2 times miniWinkler, 2 times Pitfall72h, 2 times Sweeping, 2 times Winkler, 1 times Blacklight, 1 times Mini Winkler, 1 times Pitfall, ...

Elevations: collected from 20 - 800 meters, 234 meters average

Collect Date Range: collected between 1888-03-01 00:00:00.0 and 2015-06-12 00:00:00.0

Type specimens: syntype of Platythyrea pilosula: casent0900575; syntype of Platythyrea incerta: casent0903803

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