Eciton hamatum

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Eciton hamatum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Eciton
Species: E. hamatum
Binomial name
Eciton hamatum
(Fabricius, 1782)

E.hamatumSL1.25.jpg

Eciton-hamatumMCZC001SD1.25.jpg

Synonyms
Evolutionary Relationships
Eciton


Eciton dulcium





Eciton vagans




Eciton quadriglume



Eciton rapax








Eciton mexicanum




Eciton lucanoides




Eciton burchellii




Eciton drepanophorum



Eciton hamatum







Based on Winston et al., 2016. The species Eciton jansoni, Eciton quadriglume, Eciton setigaster and Eciton uncinatum were not included in this study.


von Beeren et al. (2018) found the Wasmannian mimic rove-beetle Ecitophya gracillima in colonies of this species in La Selva biological station in Costa Rica. An analysis of cuticular hydrocarbons showed both the ants and beetle had similar CHC profiles. Laboratory behavioral assays showed the beetles sought contact with host ants and often engaged in reciprocal grooming behavior with workers.


Photo Gallery

  • Soldier (major worker) of Eciton hamatum. Photo by Minsoo Dong.
  • Eciton hamatum major worker. Ecuador. Photo by Alex Wild.
  • Eciton hamatum returning to her nest with raided ant brood. And to the left, a beetle (Ecitophya) myrmecophile runs within the ant trail. Photo by Philipp Hönle.
  • Eciton hamatum with mites. Photo by Taku Shimada.

Identification

Jack Longino:

Minor worker: head, mesosoma, and metasoma evenly orange yellow; occipital tooth present; petiolar teeth in the form of short, acute flanges, separate or joined into a scoop-like structure, and with short separate carinae extending to a variable extent onto the posterior face, never fused into a single median carina on the posterior face; petiole long and low, subrectangular, with no anterodorsal elevated flange; fourth abdominal tergite with short, sparse appressed pubescence beneath erect setae.

Major worker: face smooth and shiny, not matte; long sickle-shaped mandibles simple, without tooth on inner margin; other characters as in minor.

Similar species: Eciton lucanoides.

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana (type locality), Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Jack Longino: In lowland wet forest habitats this is one of the most common Eciton species. Raids are always in columns, never in a carpet like Eciton burchellii. Raids can be day or night, and I frequently observe raiding columns ascending trees. Prey are often brood of vespid wasps and the ant genera Dolichoderus and Camponotus, suggesting that E. hamatum is mainly an arboreal forager.

Association with Other Organisms

  • Eciton hamatum with mites. Photo by Taku Shimada.
  • Eciton hamatum with mite. Photo by Taku Shimada.
  • Eciton hamatum with mite. Photo by Taku Shimada.
  • Eciton hamatum with mite. Photo by Taku Shimada.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 300,000 (Schneirla, 1957; Rettenmeyer, 1963; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: group hunter (Schneirla, 1957; Rettenmeyer, 1963; Beckers et al., 1989)

Castes

Worker
Soldier
Queen
Male

Nomenclature

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

  • hamatum. Formica hamata Fabricius, 1782: 494 (s.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: French Guiana: Cayenne (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depository: ZMUC.
    • Mayr, 1886b: 121 (w.); Emery, 1896g: 39 (m.); Wheeler, W.M. 1925c: 145 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. 1943: 327 (l.).
    • Combination in Myrmecia: Fabricius, 1804: 425;
    • combination in Atta: Latreille, 1809: 129; Leach, 1815: 147;
    • combination in Eciton: Latreille, 1804: 179; Latreille, 1817c: 75; Smith, F. 1855c: 161;
    • combination in E. (Eciton): Emery, 1910b: 20; Santschi, 1925b: 12.
    • Status as species: Fabricius, 1787: 311; Gmelin, 1790: 2803; Olivier, 1792: 502; Fabricius, 1793: 364; Latreille, 1802c: 242; Fabricius, 1804: 425; Latreille, 1804: 179; Leach, 1815: 147; Latreille, 1817c: 75; Lamarck, 1817: 97; Smith, F. 1855c: 161; Smith, F. 1858b: 148; Mayr, 1863: 409; Roger, 1863b: 36; Norton, 1868a: 61; Norton, 1868b: 45; Mayr, 1886b: 117 (in key); Forel, 1886a: 217; Emery, 1890b: 38; Dalla Torre, 1893: 3; Emery, 1894c: 176; Emery, 1894k: 45; Forel, 1895b: 119; Emery, 1896g: 39; Forel, 1899c: 22; Emery, 1900a: 176 (in key); Wheeler, W.M. 1907a: 271; Forel, 1907e: 2; Emery, 1910b: 20; Forel, 1912c: 41; Mann, 1916: 419; Crawley, 1916b: 368; Forel, 1921b: 133; Santschi, 1921g: 88; Wheeler, W.M. 1921d: 309; Mann, 1922: 19; Borgmeier, 1923: 38; Wheeler, W.M. 1923a: 1; Wheeler, W.M. 1925a: 1; Santschi, 1925b: 12; Borgmeier, 1936: 51; Santschi, 1939f: 161; Borgmeier, 1953: 9; Borgmeier, 1955: 214 (redescription); Tafuri, 1957: 21; Borgmeier, 1958: 204; Kempf, 1960e: 387; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1964c: 134; Kempf, 1970b: 323; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Watkins, 1976: 10 (in key); Watkins, 1982: 209 (in key); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1984: 269; Bolton, 1995b: 185; Palacio, 1999: 152 (in key); Branstetter & Sáenz, 2012: 254; Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 109; Palacio, 2019: 601.
    • Senior synonym of amazona: Borgmeier, 1953: 14; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Senior synonym of curvidentata: Shuckard, in Swainson & Shuckard, 1840: 174; Smith, F. 1858b: 148; Mayr, 1863: 409; Roger, 1863b: 36; Dalla Torre, 1893: 3; Forel, 1899c: 23; Emery, 1910b: 20; Borgmeier, 1923: 38; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Senior synonym of funesta: Borgmeier, 1953: 13; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Senior synonym of mattogrossensis: Borgmeier, 1953: 10; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Senior synonym of pittieri: Borgmeier, 1953: 9; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Senior synonym of testacea: Mayr, 1863: 409; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
    • Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Suriname.
  • amazona. Eciton amazona Santschi, 1923d: 68 (s.w.) BRAZIL (Pará).
    • Type-material: 3 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Pará, Monte Alegre (Reichensperger).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • Subspecies of mattogrosense: Santschi, 1925d: 221.
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Borgmeier, 1953: 14; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 184.
  • curvidentata. Formica curvidentata Latreille, 1802c: 269, pl. 8, fig. 55 (w.) FRENCH GUIANA.
    • Type-material: holotype(?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: French Guiana: Cayenne (no collector’s name).
    • Type-depository: MNHN.
    • Combination in Eciton: Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835: 179.
    • Status as species: Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau, 1835: 179; Smith, F. 1855c: 162.
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Shuckard, in Swainson & Shuckard, 1840: 174; Smith, F. 1858b: 148; Mayr, 1863: 409; Roger, 1863b: 36; Dalla Torre, 1893: 3; Forel, 1899c: 23; Emery, 1910b: 20; Borgmeier, 1923: 38; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 184.
  • funesta. Eciton hamatum var. funesta Santschi, 1921g: 89 (s.w.) COSTA RICA.
    • Type-material: 3 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Costa Rica: (no further data) (Ritter).
    • Type-depository: NHMB.
    • [Note: perhaps also in MHNG as Santschi says he received the specimens from Forel.]
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Borgmeier, 1953: 13; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
  • mattogrossensis. Eciton (Eciton) hamatum var. mattogrossensis Luederwaldt, 1920: 4 (w.) BRAZIL (Mato Grosso).
    • Type-material: 7 syntype workers.
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Mato Grosso, Luiz de Cáceres (E. Garbe).
    • Type-depositories: MZSP, NHMB.
    • Santschi, 1925d: 221 (s.m.); Reichensperger, 1926: 401 (q.).
    • Subspecies of hamatum: Borgmeier, 1923: 38.
    • Status as species: Santschi, 1925d: 221.
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Borgmeier, 1953: 10; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
  • pittieri. Eciton pittieri Forel, 1899c: 24, pl. 1, fig. 15 (w.) COSTA RICA.
    • Type-material: syntype workers (number not stated).
    • Type-locality: Costa Rica: Buenos Aires (Pittier).
    • Type-depository: MHNG.
    • Combination in E. (Labidus): Emery, 1910b: 23;
    • combination in E. (Holopone): Santschi, 1925b: 11.
    • Status as species: Emery, 1900a: 185; Emery, 1910b: 23.
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Borgmeier, 1953: 9; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 185.
  • testacea. Camptognatha testacea Gray, G.R. 1832: 516, pl. 76, fig. 4 (w.) (no state data).
    • Type-material: holotype(?) worker.
    • [Note: no indication of number of specimens is given.]
    • Type-locality: none given.
    • Type-depository: unknown.
    • [Note: the entry in Gray, G.R. 1832: 516, says only, “We have also figured a species under the name of Camptognatha testacea, of Dr Leach’s MSS., but which may probably be the Eciton hamata of Latreille”.]
    • Junior synonym of hamatum: Mayr, 1863: 409; Borgmeier, 1955: 214; Kempf, 1972a: 102; Bolton, 1995b: 186.

Description

References

  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
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  • Borgmeier, T. 1955. Die Wanderameisen der neotropischen Region. Stud. Entomol. 3: 1-720 (page 214, see also)
  • Dejean, A., Corbara, B., Roux, O. & Orivel, J. 2013. The antipredatory behaviours of Neotropical ants towards army ant raids (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 19, 17-24.
  • Emery, C. 1896g. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. XVII-XXV. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 28: 33-107 (page 39, male described)
  • Fabricius, J. C. 1782 [1781]. Species insectorum exhibentes eorum differentias specificas, synonyma, auctorum loca natalia, metamorphosin adiectis observationibus, descriptionibus. Tome I. Hamburgi et Kilonii [= Hamburg and Kiel]: C. E. Bohn, 552 pp. (page 494, soldier described)
  • Gray, G. R. 1832. [Untitled. Camptognatha testacea, attributed to Gray.]. P. 516 in: Griffith, E. and others. The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization, by the Baron Cuvier, with supplementary additions to each order by Edward Grif (page 16, Combination in Camptognatha)
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  • Latreille, P. A. 1804. Tableau méthodique des insectes. Pp. 129-200 in: Société de Naturalistes et d'Agriculteurs. Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle. Tome 24. Paris: Déterville, 84 + 85 + 238 + 18 + 34 pp. (page 179, Combination in Eciton)
  • Mayr, G. 1886b. Ueber Eciton-Labidus. (Schluss). Wien. Entomol. Ztg. 5: 115-122 (page 121, worker described)
  • Smith, F. 1855c. Descriptions of some species of Brazilian ants belonging to the genera Pseudomyrma, Eciton and Myrmica (with observations on their economy by Mr. H. W. Bates). Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. (2) 3: 156-169 (page 161, Combination in Eciton)
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  • Winston, M.E., Kronauer, D.J.C. & Moreau, C.S. 2016. Early and dynamic colonization of Central America drives speciation in Neotropical army ants. Molecular Ecology (doi: 10.1111/mec.13846).

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Wheeler W. M. 1907. A collection of ants from British Honduras. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 23: 271-277.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1921. Observations on army ants in British Guiana. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 56: 291-328.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1925. The finding of the queen of the army ant Eciton hamatum Fabricius. Biological Bulletin (Woods Hole) 49: 139-149.