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Basiceros manni
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Basiceros
Schulz, W.A., 1906
Type species
Meranoplus singularis, now Basiceros singularis
8 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Basiceros manni casent0052769 profile 1.jpg

Basiceros manni

Basiceros manni casent0052769 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships

Ochetomyrmex (2 species), Tranopelta (2 species)

Allomerus (8 species), Blepharidatta (4 species), Diaphoromyrma (1 species), Lachnomyrmex (16 species), Wasmannia (11 species)

Acanthognathus (7 species), Colobostruma (16 species), Daceton (2 species), Epopostruma (19 species), Lenomyrmex (7 species), Mesostruma (9 species), Microdaceton (4 species), Orectognathus (29 species),

Acromyrmex (55 species), Apterostigma (44 species), Atta (20 species), Cyatta (1 species), Cyphomyrmex (23 species), Kalathomyrmex (1 species), Mycetophylax (21 species), Mycetagroicus (4 species), Mycetarotes (4 species), Mycetosoritis (2 species), Mycocepurus (6 species), Myrmicocrypta (31 species), Sericomyrmex (11 species), Trachymyrmex (9 species), Xerolitor (1 species)

  (1,294 species)

  (123 species)

  (44 species)

  (853 species)

  (1 species)

  (1 species)

  (7 species)

  (16 species)

  (8 species)

  (34 species)

  (53 species)

  (1 species)

Based on Ward et al. (2014), Blaimer et al. (2018) and Li et al. (2018).

Known only from Neotropical rainforests, the elusiveness of Basiceros is reinforced by an impressive form of crypsis exhibited by adult workers and queens, which accumulate soil and leaf litter particles on their integument with the aid of specialized setae. Little information is available regarding their natural history. Currently a member of the ‘Basiceros-genus group’ (Eurhopalothrix, Octostruma, Protalaridris, Rhopalothrix, Talaridris). For mouthparts, labral and mandibular morphologies present considerable variation in the Basiceros-genus group, likely a result of adaptive evolution. In Basiceros, those differences can be observed in the labrum shape and the various degrees of development of the labral cleft and the clypeomandibular space. Mouthpart traits indicate a strong correlated evolutionary history potentially associated with specialized feeding habits (Probst et al. 2019).


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Keys including this Genus


Keys to Species in this Genus


Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps


Probst et al. (2019) - Direct evidence of Basiceros preying on gastropods comes from photographic accounts - a larva of Basiceros singularis feeding on a gastropod with a rounded shell. For other Basiceros species, data on feeding preference are scarce. Part of a colony of Basiceros conjugans was collected in Peru, nesting in a rotten log, and the trash chamber included a gastropod shell, ant remains, and a cephalic capsule of Isoptera (Syntermitinae) (Probst 2015), suggesting that B. conjugans could have scavenger habits. Mandible shape is known to be a highly labile trait in ants; however, the labrum is often overlooked in the discussions of mouthpart evolution. This work provides the first step for examining ecological specialization of members of the Basiceros-genus group in the light of mouthpart traits, showing transitions in the mandible and labrum, probably due to prey specialization.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 9-32 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: predator (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging behaviour: solitary (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: 2 • Palp formula: 2,2; 1,2 • Total dental count: 11-15 • Spur formula: 0,0 • Eyes: 11-100 ommatidia • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: dentiform • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: present • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: absent


All Karyotype Records for Genus

Explore Data: All, Drilldown
Click here to show/hide karyotype data.
Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Basiceros convexiceps 20 20M Brazil Mariano et al., 2013


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

  • BASICEROS [Myrmicinae: Basicerotini]
    • Basiceros Schulz, W.A. 1906: 156. Replacement name for Ceratobasis Smith, F. 1860c: 78. [Junior homonym of Ceratobasis Lacordaire, 1848: 362 (Coleoptera).]
    • Basiceros senior synonym of Aspididris: Brown, 1974c: 132.
    • Basiceros senior synonym of Creightonidris: Fernández, 2003d: 314, 392; Feitosa, Brandão & Dietz, 2007: 17.
    • Basiceros senior synonym of Acanthidris, Eurhopalothrix, Heptastruma, Octostruma, Protalaridris, Rhopalothrix, Talaridris: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 88.
  • ASPIDIDRIS [junior synonym of Basiceros]
    • Aspididris Weber, 1950c: 3. Type-species: Aspididris militaris, by monotypy.
    • Aspididris junior synonym of Basiceros: Brown, 1974c: 132.
  • CERATOBASIS [junior homonym, see Basiceros]
    • Ceratobasis Smith, F. 1860c: 78. Type-species: Meranoplus singularis, by monotypy. [Junior homonym of Ceratobasis Lacordaire, 1848: 362 (Coleoptera).]
    • Basiceros Schulz, W.A. 1906: 156, replacement name for Ceratobasis Smith.
  • CREIGHTONIDRIS [junior synonym of Basiceros]
    • Creightonidris Brown, 1949f: 89. Type-species: Creightonidris scambognatha, by original designation.
    • Creightonidris junior synonym of Basiceros: Fernández, 2003d: 314, 392; Feitosa, Brandão & Dietz, 2007: 17.

Taxonomic Notes

All taxa of genera Eurhopalothrix, Octostruma, Protalaridris, Rhopalothrix and Talaridris were combined in Basiceros, sensu Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 90-93. Synonymy of all basicerotine genera under Basiceros, by Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 88, is incorrect procedure as Rhopalothrix has priority. Basicerotine genus-rank taxonomy documented in Bolton, 2003: 183-185, is retained.


  • Baroni Urbani, C.; De Andrade, M. L. 1994. First description of fossil Dacetini ants with a critical analysis of the current classification of the tribe (Amber Collection Stuttgart: Hymenoptera, Formicidae. VI: Dacetini). Stuttg. Beitr. Naturkd. Ser. B ( (page 30, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Bolton, B. 1994. Identification guide to the ant genera of the world. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 222 pp. (page 105, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini)
  • Bolton, B. 1998a. Monophyly of the dacetonine tribe-group and its component tribes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. Entomol. Ser. 67: 65-78 (page 67, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 183, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1948e. A preliminary generic revision of the higher Dacetini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 74: 101-129 (page 102, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1949h. Revision of the ant tribe Dacetini: IV. Some genera properly excluded from the Dacetini, with the establishment of the Basicerotini new tribe. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 75: 83-96 (page 87, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1974c. A supplement to the revision of the ant genus Basiceros (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 82: 131-140 (page 132, Basiceros senior synonym of Aspididris; page 139, Revision of genus)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. and Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3: 161-250 (page 171, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Basicerotini)
  • Feitosa, R. M., C. R. F. Brandão and B. H. Dietz. 2007. Basiceros scambognathus (Brown, 1949) n.comb., with the worker and male descriptions, and a revised generic diagnosis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Papeis Avulsos do Departamento de Zoologia 47(2): 15-26.
  • Donisthorpe, H. 1943g. A list of the type-species of the genera and subgenera of the Formicidae. [part]. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 11(10): 617-688 (page 627, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Emery, C. 1914e. Intorno alla classificazione dei Myrmicinae. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna Cl. Sci. Fis. (n.s.) 18: 29-42 (page 42, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 327, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Fernández, F. (ed.) 2003c. Introducción a las hormigas de la región Neotropical. Bogotá: Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt, xxvi + 424 pp. (page 314, 392, Basiceros senior synonym of Creightonidris)
  • Forel, A. 1917. Cadre synoptique actuel de la faune universelle des fourmis. Bull. Soc. Vaudoise Sci. Nat. 51: 229-253 (page 246, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)
  • Probst, R.S., Wray, B.D., Moreau, M.S. and Brandão CRF. 2019. A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Dirt Ants, Basiceros (Formicidae: Myrmicinae): Inferring Life Histories Through Morphological Convergence. Insect Systematics and Diversity 3(4): 1–12.
  • Schulz, W. A. 1906. Spolia hymenopterologica. Paderborn: Junfermannsche Buchhandlung, 355 pp. (page 156, Replacement name for Ceratobasis Smith; Ceratobasis Lacord 1848 senior homonym of Ceratobasis Smith 1860)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1922i. Ants of the American Museum Congo expedition. A contribution to the myrmecology of Africa. VII. Keys to the genera and subgenera of ants. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 45: 631-710 (page 666, Basiceros in Myrmicinae, Dacetini)