Alfaria falcifera

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Alfaria falcifera
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Alfaria
Species: A. falcifera
Binomial name
Alfaria falcifera
(Kempf, 1967)

Gnamptogenys falcifera casent0179971 p 1 high.jpg

Gnamptogenys falcifera casent0179971 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

First described from a single queen holotype, workers and a queen were subsequently collected in French Guiana from primary forest.


Kempf (1967) - Queen. the thorax, pedicel, gaster and appendages are practically indistinguishable from the Central American Alfaria simulans, the falcate and edentate mandibles and to a lesser degree the truncate and scarcely prominent clypeus are completely different.

Brandao and Lattke (1990) - The body surfaces of Alfaria simulans, Alfaria falcifera and Alfaria vriesi share a characteristic sculpturing; except for the legs, mandibles, anterolateral portions of frontal lobes and anterior portion of clypeus; very finely striolate and mostly covered by piligerous foveolae. In A. vriesi the fovolae are nearly contiguous and the stiolation can be seen only at high magnifications at the confluence of the depressions. From each foveola departs an eccentric hair, which is turned in different directions, depending on the area of the body. A. simulans and A. facifera may have extensive areas smooth and shining, but it A. vriesi the foveolae cover all body surfaces, except the cited ones. The holotype worker of the latter had these foveolae filled with earth, in a manner similar to that found by Holldobler and Wilson (1986) in Basiceros and Stegomyrmex (Myrmicinae).

The propodeal declivity in the three species bears a crested depression, completely sculptured with radiate punctations, clearly centered at the foramen in the new Ecuadorean species, but faintly visible in the previously described ones. These combined features distinguish these species from other taxa described as Alfaria and Gnamptogenys. They may be considered thus as forming a distinct subgroup of Alfaria.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 5.5° to -10.06666667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: French Guiana, Peru (type locality), Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • falcifera. Gnamptogenys falcifera Kempf, 1967d: 353, figs. 1-3 (q.) PERU.
    • Type-material: holotype queen.
    • Type-locality: Peru: Rio Huallaga Valley, nr Tingo Maria, 9-12.iii.1967 (W.L. Brown).
    • Type-depository: MCZC.
    • Combination in Alfaria: Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 10.
    • Perrault, 1986b: 158 (w.).
    • Status as species: Kempf, 1972a: 112; Perrault, 1986b: 158; Brandão, 1991: 345; Lattke, 1992a: 126; Bolton, 1995b: 209; Lattke, et al. 2007: 264 (in key); Lattke, et al. 2008: 88; Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 111; Lattke & Delsinne, 2016: 144 (in key); Feitosa & Prada-Achiardi, 2019: 671; Camacho, et al. 2020: 462 (in key); Camacho, Franco, Branstetter, et al. 2022: 10.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Perrault (1986) - Mensurations (mm) : longueur (L.) totale : 5,20; L. de la tete: 1,13 ; largeur (I.) de la tete: 1,27 ; L. du scape : 0,83 ; L. de l'oeil : 0,11 ; L. des mandibules : 0,83 (entre milieu de la base et apex) ; distance intermandibulaire : 0,64 ; I. du pronotum : 0,86; L. de Weber du thorax : 1,57 ; l. du petiole: 0,49 ; L. du petiole: 0,54 ; 1. du 1er segment du gastre : 0,88 ; L. du 1er segment du gastre : 0,83 ; 1. du 2e segment du gastre: 1,57 ; indice cephalique: 112.

Tete: en forme de trapeze curviligne, presque carre, a base anterieure. Cotes regulierement arrondis. Occiput echancre en courbe regulierement arrondie. Carenes frontales courtes du type Ectatommini : ecartees, paralleles et recouvrant l'insertion des antennes, fortement striees en long. Antennes de 12 articles, scape court n'atteignant pas Ie bord occipital. Articles 2 a 10 du funicule plus larges que longs. Mandibules arquees, striees en long, tres obliquement tronquees a l'apex, a bord interne tranchant, en courbe reguliere de la base a l'apex, sans dent. Yeux tres petits, situes presqu'au milieu des cotes de la tete, un peu en avant, comprenant une ommatidie centrale et 7 ou 8 ommatidies translucides disposees concentriquement, entourees elles-memes de deux rangs d'ommatidies colorees en brun. Clypeus a bord anterieur rectiligne, arrondi dans le sens vertical et finement strie longitudinalement. Aire frontale avec deux profondes fossettes.

Thorax: face superieure arrondie, sans suture, sans relief, seulement impressionnee au niveau des mesopleures. Pronotum regulierement arrondi sur les cotes; son bord inferolateral termine en avant par un angle arrondi, legerement evase et tel que les deux angles sont visibles simultanement en vue dorsale. Face declive de l'epinotum fortement concave, finement striee transversalement, limitee lateralement par un large bourrelet regulierement arrondi. Stigmate propodeal rond, petit, dirige en arriere et en dehors. La glande propodeale, beaucoup plus grande et de forme arrondie, est visible par transparence sur nos exemplaires. Petiole globuleux a face superieure arrondie dans les deux sens, en ovale tronque en avant et en arriere, a bord anterieur surplombant, sinue et termine en angle antero-inferieurement. Processus subpetiolaire a contour rectangulaire, en forme de quille de navire.

Gastre: fortement recourbe vers l'avant a la maniere du Proceratium. Premier segment du gastre a face superieure arrondie, tronc conique ; levre inferieure de l'extremite anterieure tres prononcee. Deuxieme segment du gastre hemicirculaire en vue de profil, a face superieure arrondie dans les deux sens. Les segments suivants sont petits et diriges vers l'avant. Aiguillon petit.

Couleur ocre jaune avec la tete, les antennes et les mandibules un peu plus foncees, brun jaune (couleurs tres claires sur l'exemplaire que je conserve en collection). Tegument luisant surtout sur le thorax, le petiole et le postpetiole. Grosse ponctuation enfoncee, piligere, jamais confluente, plus serree et plus forte sur la tete ou les intervalles sont reduits, tres attenuee sur le thorax et le postpetiole, presqu' obsolete sur le petiole ou l'aspect de ponctuation est donne surtout par un relief situe sous la couche externe de la cuticule. Ponctuation a nouveau assez marquee sur le deuxieme segment du gastre. Tegument faiblement ponctue sur les cotes du thorax qui sont lisseset tres finement stries en long sur la tete, les pattes et les scapes, presqu'invisiblement sur certaines plages de la surface du thorax et du premier segment du gastre.

Pilosite dressee faite de poils jaunatres, un par pore pilifere, et de poils assez nombreux sur les mandibules, les pattes, les antennes et les yeux, un peu plus longs sur Ie bord interne des mandibules. Deux longues paires de soies a la face anterieure du clypeus, accompagnees de poils plus courts.


(holotype) - Total length 5.8 mm; maximum length of head capsule 1.14 mm; maximum width of head 1.22 mm; scape length 0.83 mm; maximum diameter of eyes 0.21 mm; maximum width between frontal carinae 0.69 mm; Weber's length of thorax 1.84 mm; maximum width of thorax 1.01 mm; petiole length 0.56 mm; petiole width 0.53 mm; postpetiole (= tergum I of gaster) length and width 0.80:0.91 mm. Black; mandibles, frontal carinae, clypeus, antennae and legs ferruginous. Integument of body subopaque, very finely and densely longitudinally striolate; basal face of epinotum, disc of petiolar and postpetiolar dorsum and the entire tergum II of gaster shining and smooth. Head capsule, thorax (except for the transversely striolate declivous face of epinotum), tergum of petiole, somites I and II of gaster densely covered with large and shallow foveolae. Mandibles, scapes, femora, tibiae, tarsi finely and densely longitudinally striate; funicular segments of antennae finely reticulate-punctate. From the bottom of each foveola arises a short, slightly curved, pale yellowish hair. Hairs on scapes oblique, subappressed on legs and mandibles; on the latter also longer erect hairs projecting mesad from the internal border and the underside.

Head broader than long, broader in front than behind, occipital border gently impressed. Median c1ypeal apron vertical, not prominent, its antero-lateral angles obtuse. Frontal carinae widely separated, prominent, covering completely the antennal socket from above. Frontal area and frontal sulcus obsolete. Eyes flat, with many facets, about 15 across the greatest diameter. Mandibles falcate, with a short basal and a much longer and completely edentate apical border, separated from each other by an obtuse angle or tooth; apex of mandibles obliquely truncate. Scapes greatly curved at base, gradually thickened towards apex; when reflexed obliquely backward over the head, their apex does not quite attain the occipital corner; funicular segments: I longer than broad, II at least as long as broad, III-VIII rather transverse, IX and X as long as broad, XI about twice as long as broad. Thorax, pedicel and gaster as shown in Fig. 3. Declivous face of epinotum impressed, laterally and dorsally sharply marginate. Hind coxae lacking a basidorsal tooth. Tarsal claws simple, only the claws of forelegs have an additional small subbasal tooth. Subpetiolar lobe rectangular with anterior and posterior angles rounded. Gaster of the alfaria type, i. e. the second segment is strongly vaulted downwards and the tip of the gaster points obliquely forward. Basal lobe of sternum I entire, not excised nor cleft in the middle. Wings were lost.

Type Material

A lone, dealate female (holotype) collected by W. L. Brown, Jr. in the vicinity of Tingo Maria, Rio Huallaga Valley, Peru, between March 9- I 2, 1967; to be deposited in the collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Museum of Comparative Zoology) at Harvard University.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Fernández F., and T. M. Arias-Penna. 2008. Las hormigas cazadoras en la región Neotropical. Pp. 3-39 in: Jiménez, E.; Fernández, F.; Arias, T.M.; Lozano-Zambrano, F. H. (eds.) 2008. Sistemática, biogeografía y conservación de las hormigas cazadoras de Colombia. Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, xiv + 609 pp.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Kempf W. W. 1967. Three new South American ants (Hym. Formicidae). Studia Entomologica 10: 353-360.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Lattke, J.E. 1992. Revision of the minuta-group of the genys Gnamptogenys. Dtsch. ent. Z., N.F. 39:123-129
  • Perrault G. H. 1986. Gnamptogenys falcifera Kempf, 1967. Description de l'ouvrière et levée d'un doute (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Revue Française d'Entomologie (Nouvelle Série) 8: 157-159.