Can be found nesting in disturbed forests and coffee plantations as well as in undisturbed forests.
A member of the ericae complex (in the ericae subgroup of the sulcata species group). Mandibles subtriangular; posterior mesosomal dorsum and propodeum with longitudinal costulae, transverse sutures barely visible under certain angles of lighting; small metacoxal tooth. Body black; antennae, legs and mandibles brown to dark brown. Color in this species is relatively constant but occasional ferruginous, brown or mottled specimens will turn up. Size and shape of the petiolar node does not vary as much as in Gnamptogenys sulcata. Workers seem to always have longitudinal costulae on the propodeal declivity, though queens may have transverse costulae. (Lattke 1995)
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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Not much is known about the the biology of Gnamptogenys ericae. We can speculate that the biology of this species is similar to other species of the genus. Gnamptogenys are predatory ponerine ants that inhabit tropical and subtropical mesic forests. Nesting is typically at ground level in rotten wood or leaf litter. Some exceptions include species that are arboreal, a dry forest species and species that nests in sandy savannahs. Colony size tends to be, at most, in the hundreds. Queens are the reproductives in most species. Worker reproduction is known from a few species in Southeastern Asia. Generalist predation is the primary foraging/dietary strategy. Specialization on specific groups (millipedes, beetles, other ants) has developed in a few species.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- ericae. Ectatomma (Gnamptogenys) tornatum var. ericae Forel, 1912c: 33 (w.) COLOMBIA. Combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 229. Junior synonym of tornata: Brown, 1958g: 229. Revived from synonymy, raised to species and senior synonym of bufonum: Lattke, 1995: 166.
- bufonum. Gnamptogenys sulcatum subsp. bufonum Weber, 1938a: 208 (w.) GUYANA. Junior synonym of sulcata: Brown, 1958g: 229; of ericae: Lattke, 1995: 166.
Much confusion has accumulated regarding the identity of this species and the similar Gnamptogenys sulcata. Many previous references to sulcata are actually ericae, but the confusion makes it quite difficult to distinguish between each reference.
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958g. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362 (page 229, Combination in Gnamptogenys, and junior synonym of tornata)
- Forel, A. 1912d. Formicides néotropiques. Part I. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 56: 28-49 (page 33, worker described)
- Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Hym. Res. 4: 137-193. PDF (page 166, Revived from synonymy, raised to species, and senior synonym of bufonum)
- Lattke, J.E., Fernández, F. & Palacio, E.E. 2007. Identification of the species of Gnamptogenys Roger in the Americas (pp. 254-270). In Snelling, R.R., Fisher, B.L. & Ward, P.S. (eds). Advances in ant systematics: homage to E.O. Wilson – 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80: 690 pp. PDF