- 1 Identification
- 2 Distribution
- 3 Biology
- 4 Castes
- 5 Nomenclature
- 6 References
- 7 References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Not much is known about the the biology of Anochetus diegensis but we can presume that its biology is similar to other Anochetus species. The following account of Anochetus biology is modified from Brown (1968):
Habitat. The places where Anochetus live are varied. Where they penetrate into the temperate zone, most species excavate nests in the earth. Occasionally the nest is dug under a covering rock. In the tropics, many nests are also dug in the soil, but in moist forested areas, a common site is the soil beneath a rotting log or other large mass of rotting wood, with extensions of the nest into the log itself. Another frequent nesting site in tropical forest is in the humus and leaf litter at the base of large trees, particularly between buttress roots. Anochetus species of medium or small size often nest in small pieces of rotting wood or bark, or even small rotting twigs or seeds and nuts lying in or on the forest litter. Some species tend to choose more arboreal nest sites.
Diet. Foraging for living animal prey takes place on the soil surface, within the soil-humus-log mold matrix, or on the trunks, branches and foliage of trees and plants wherever these are available. Fragmentary evidence indicates that most epigaeically foraging tropical Anochetus tend to do their foraging at dusk, at night, or during dawn hours. I found Anochetus africanus walking on tree trunks only at night in the Ivory Coast. Some species, particularly those with red heads or other aposematic coloration, apparently forage in the open more during the day. No systematic comparative study has yet been made of foraging hours for different species.
The food of Anochetus consists principally of living arthropods caught and killed or incapacitated by the ants. The smaller and more delicate species Anochetus inermis has been observed by me in a laboratory nest. The colony came from a piece of rotten wood from the floor of a wet ravine near Bucay in western Ecuador. The colony was fed with small tenebrionid beetle larvae (Tribolium castaneum), comparable in size to the A. inermis workers, and the latter attacked the prey with their mandibles in the familiar snapping manner, but very cautiously and nervously, with stealthy approach, extremely rapid strike, and instant recoil-retreat. After several attacks of this kind, with intervening periods of waiting, during which the beetle larvae fled, rested, or writhed about in distress, an ant would finally attack with its mandibles and hold them closed on the prey for long enough to deliver a quick sting in the intersegmental membrane. After this, the prey appeared to be paralyzed, or at least subdued, and sooner or later was carried off by the ant to the nest, and eventually placed on an ant larva.
Frequent delays and excursions before the prey are finally immobilized and brought to the ant larvae in the nest may well have the function of allowing time for protective allomones of the prey to dissipate. Many tenebrionid adults, including Tribofium, possess potent quinonoid defensive allomones, but the larva is not known to possess quinones in this genus.
Nuptial flight. Although males of different species of Anochetus are commonly taken at light, other species are not. Stewart and Jarmila Peck gave me Malaise trap samples taken in western Ecuador that contained males of several species, but Malaise traps capture both day- and night-flying insects.
Defense. When a nest of any of the larger Anochetus species is breached, some of the workers immediately hide beneath leaves or other objects, while other workers rush about with open jaws, which they snap at foreign objects, or even at leaves and twigs, with an audible tick. On human skin or clothing, a worker will snap her jaws and hold fast to the surface with them, at the same time quickly bringing her gaster around to sting. The sting is long and strong, and to me the effect is shocking and quickly painful.
Most of the smaller and medium-sized Anochetus species feign death when disturbed, crouching flat against the surface, or rolling themselves into a ball and remaining still, often for a minute or more. Only when held do they sting. Their stings can be felt in most cases, but the effect is usually trifling.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.
- diegensis. Anochetus diegensis Forel, 1912c: 29 (w.) COLOMBIA.
- Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
- Type-localities: Colombia: Don Diego, foot of Sierra Nevada de Sta Marta (A. Forel), and Colombia: St Antonio, on the Sierra (A. Forel).
- Type-depository: MHNG.
- Status as species: Brown, 1964d: 215; Kempf, 1972a: 20; Brown, 1978c: 556, 614; Bolton, 1995b: 64; González-Campero & Elizalde, 2008: 98 (in key); Zabala, 2008: 130; Feitosa, 2015c: 98; Guénard & Economo, 2015: 228; Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 515.
- Senior synonym of bierigi: Brown, 1964d: 215; Brown, 1978c: 556; Bolton, 1995b: 64.
- Distribution: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela.
- bierigi. Anochetus bierigi Santschi, 1931c: 268, figs. 4-6 (w.q.) PANAMA.
- Type-material: 2 syntype workers, 1 syntype queen.
- Type-locality: Panama: France Field, 2.vi.1930 (A. Bierig).
- Type-depository: NHMB.
- Junior synonym of diegensis: Brown, 1964d: 215; Brown, 1978c: 556; Bolton, 1995b: 63.
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1964m. Synonymy and variation of some species of the ant genus Anochetus. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 37: 212-215 (page 215, senior synonym of bierigi)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1978c. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Studia Entomologica. 20:549-638. (page 614, see also)
- Forel, A. 1912d. Formicides néotropiques. Part I. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 56: 28-49 (page 29, worker described)
References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics
- Aldana delq Torre R. C., and P. Chacon de Ulloa. 1999. Megadiversidad de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la cuenca media del rio Calima. Revista Colombiana de Entomologia 25(1-2): 37-47.
- Basset Y., L. Cizek, P. Cuenoud, R. K. Didham, F. Guilhaumon, O. Missa, V. Novotny, F. Odegaards, T. Roslin, J. Schmidl et al. 2012. Arthropod diversity in a tropical forest. Science 338(6113): 1481-1484.
- Brown W. L. Jr. 1964. Synonymy and variation of some species of the ant genus Anochetus. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 37: 212-215.
- Brown W. L., Jr. 1964. Synonymy and variation of some species of the ant genus Anochetus. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 37: 212-215.
- Brown W.L. Jr. 1978. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section B. Genus Anochetus and bibliography. Studia Ent. 20(1-4): 549-638.
- Carvalho Pereira L. P. 2012. Estrutura da comunidade de formigas poneromorfas (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) em uma área da Floresta Amazônica. Master Thesis Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. 64 pages.
- Castano-Meneses G., R. De Jesus Santos, J. R. Mala Dos Santos, J. H. C. Delabie, L. L. Lopes, and C. F. Mariano. 2019. Invertebrates associated to Ponerine ants nests in two cocoa farming systems in the southeast of the state of Bahia, Brazil. Tropical Ecology 60: 52–61.
- Donoso D. A. 2014. Assembly mechanisms shaping tropical litter ant communities. Ecography 37 doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00253.x
- Fernandes I., and J. de Souza. 2018. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e24375.
- Fernández F. 2008. Subfamilia Ponerinae s.str. Pp. 123-218 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 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.
- Fichaux M., B. Bechade, J. Donald, A. Weyna, J. H. C. Delabie, J. Murienne, C. Baraloto, and J. Orivel. 2019. Habitats shape taxonomic and functional composition of Neotropical ant assemblages. Oecologia 189(2): 501-513.
- Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part I. Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 56: 28-49.
- Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
- Groc S., J. Orivel, A. Dejean, J. Martin, M. Etienne, B. Corbara, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2009. Baseline study of the leaf-litter ant fauna in a French Guianese forest. Insect Conservation and Diversity 2: 183-193.
- Houadria M., A. Salas-Lopez, J. Orivel, N. Bluthgen, and F. Menzel. 2015. Dietary and temporal niche differentiati on in tropical ants—can they explain local ant coexistence? Biotropica 47(2): 208-217.
- Jacquemin J., T. Drouet, T. Delsinne, Y. Roisin, and M. Leponce. 2012. Soil properties only weakly affect subterranean ant distribution at small spatial scales. Applied Soil Ecology 62: 163-169.
- Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
- Levings S. C. 1983. Seasonal, annual, and among-site variation in the ground ant community of a deciduous tropical forest: some causes of patchy species distributions. Ecological Monographs 53(4): 435-455.
- Marinho C. G. S., R. Zanetti, J. H. C. Delabie, M. N. Schlindwein, and L. de S. Ramos. 2002. Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Diversity in Eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) Plantations and Cerrado Litter in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Neotropical Entomology 31(2): 187-195.
- Miranda P. N., F. B. Baccaro, E. F. Morato, M. A. Oliveira. J. H. C. Delabie. 2017. Limited effects of low-intensity forest management on ant assemblages in southwestern Amazonian forests. Biodivers. Conserv. DOI 10.1007/s10531-017-1368-y
- Nascimento Santos M., J. H. C. Delabie, and J. M. Queiroz. 2019. Biodiversity conservation in urban parks: a study of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Rio de Janeiro City. Urban Ecosystems https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-019-00872-8
- Pires de Prado L., R. M. Feitosa, S. Pinzon Triana, J. A. Munoz Gutierrez, G. X. Rousseau, R. Alves Silva, G. M. Siqueira, C. L. Caldas dos Santos, F. Veras Silva, T. Sanches Ranzani da Silva, A. Casadei-Ferreira, R. Rosa da Silva, and J. Andrade-Silva. 2019. An overview of the ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the state of Maranhao, Brazil. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 59: e20195938.
- Ramos L. S., R. Z. B. Filho, J. H. C. Delabie, S. Lacau, M. F. S. dos Santos, I. C. do Nascimento, and C. G. S. Marinho. 2003. Ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the leaf-litter in cerrado stricto sensu areas in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Lundiana 4(2): 95-102.
- Ramos L. de S., C. G. S. Marinho, R. Zanetti, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2003. Impacto de iscas formicidas granuladas sobre a mirmecofauna não-alvo em eucaliptais segundo duas formas de aplicacação / Impact of formicid granulated baits on non-target ants in eucalyptus plantations according to two forms of application. Neotropical Entomology 32(2): 231-237.
- Ramos L. de S., R. Zanetti, C. G. S. Marinho, J. H. C. Delabie, M. N. Schlindwein, and R. P. Almado. 2004. Impact of mechanical and chemical weedings of Eucalyptus grandis undergrowth on an ant community (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Árvore 28(1): 139-146.
- Salinas P. J. 2010. Catalogue of the ants of the Táchira State, Venezuela, with notes on their biodiversity, biogeography and ecology (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Amblyioponinae, Ponerinae, Proceratiinae, Myrmicinae, Ecitoninae, Formicinae, Pseudomyrmecinae, Dolichoderinae). Boletín de la SEA 47: 315-328.
- Santschi F. 1931. Fourmis de Cuba et de Panama. Revista de Entomologia (Rio de Janeiro). 1: 265-282.
- Silvestre R., M. F. Demetrio, and J. H. C. Delabie. 2012. Community Structure of Leaf-Litter Ants in a Neotropical Dry Forest: A Biogeographic Approach to Explain Betadiversity. Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/306925
- Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, P. de Tarso Amorim Castro, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2012. Annual and Seasonal Changes in the Structure of Litter-Dwelling Ant Assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Atlantic Semideciduous Forests. Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/959715
- Siqueira de Castro F., A. B. Gontijo, W. Duarte da Rocha, and S. Pontes Ribeiro. 2011. As comunidades de formigas de serapilheira nas florestas semidecíduas do Parque Estadual do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais. MG.BIOTA, Belo Horizonte 3(5): 5-24.
- Sobrinho T. G., and J. H. Schoereder. 2007. Edge and shape effects on ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species richness and composition in forest fragments. Biodivers Conserv 16: 14591470.
- dos Santos Bastos A. H. , and A. Y. Harada. 2011. Leaf-litter amount as a factor in the structure of a ponerine ants community (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Ponerinae) in an eastern Amazonian rainforest, Brazil