Eciton rapax

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Eciton rapax
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Eciton
Species: E. rapax
Binomial name
Eciton rapax
Smith, F., 1855

Eciton rapax casent0217473 p 1 high.jpg

Eciton rapax casent0217473 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels



Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 9.266667° to -16.256667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Ecuador, Peru, 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.


Brown & Fenner (1998) report this species conducting raids on the nests of an unknown species of Pheidole at Pakitza, Peru.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 275,000 (Sudd & Franks, 1987; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: group hunter (Sudd & Franks, 1987; Beckers et al., 1989)


. Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.

Images from AntWeb

Eciton rapax casent0249462 d 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0249462 p 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0249462 h 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0249462 l 1 high.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0249462. Photographer Will Ericson, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by PSWC, Philip S. Ward Collection.
Eciton rapax casent0902635 h 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0902635 d 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0902635 p 1 high.jpgEciton rapax casent0902635 l 1 high.jpg
Lectotype of Eciton rapaxWorker. Specimen code casent0902635. Photographer Z. Lieberman, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by NHMUK, London, UK.


Relationships among species of Eciton based on Winston et al. (2016). The species Eciton jansoni, Eciton quadriglume, Eciton setigaster and Eciton uncinatum were not included in this study.


Eciton dulcium

Eciton vagans

Eciton quadriglume

Eciton rapax

Eciton mexicanum

Eciton lucanoides

Eciton burchellii

Eciton drepanophorum

Eciton hamatum


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

  • rapax. Eciton rapax Smith, F. 1855c: 163, pl. 13, figs. 3, 4 (s.w.) BRAZIL (Pará).
    • Type-material: holotype [recte: lectotype (by designation of Borgmeier, 1955: 211)] worker (major).
    • Type-locality: Brazil: Pará, Belém (H.W. Bates) (by restriction of Borgmeier, 1955: 211).
    • [Note: Smith originally also included minor workers in his type-series, from Brazil: Santarem (Bates); these were excluded from the type-series by Borgmeier, 1955: 211, who identified them as E. burchellii.]
    • Type-depository: BMNH.
    • [Note: in the figure legends of Smith, F. 1855c: 169, pl. 13, the name rapax is misspelled as raptor; an incorrect subsequent spelling that does not enter into homonymy.]
    • Mayr, 1886b: 118 (w.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1974c: 169 (l.); Rettenmeyer, 1974: 297 (q.m.).
    • Combination in E. (Eciton): Emery, 1910b: 21;
    • combination in E. (Holopone): Santschi, 1925b: 11;
    • combination in Eciton: Borgmeier, 1955: 211.
    • Status as species: Smith, F. 1858b: 151; Mayr, 1863: 409; Roger, 1863b: 36; Mayr, 1865: 77 (in key); Mayr, 1886b: 118 (in key); Dalla Torre, 1893: 5; Emery, 1894c: 179; Forel, 1895b: 120; Forel, 1901h: 49; Emery, 1910b: 21; Mann, 1916: 420; Borgmeier, 1923: 39; Wheeler, W.M. 1925a: 1; Borgmeier, 1953: 16; Borgmeier, 1955: 211 (redescription); Kempf, 1970b: 323; Kempf, 1972a: 103; Watkins, 1976: 9 (in key); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1984: 270; Brandão, 1991: 341; Bolton, 1995b: 186; Palacio, 1999: 151 (in key); Bezděčková, et al. 2015: 110; Palacio, 2019: 601.
    • Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • 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.
  • Bezdeckova K., P. Bedecka, and I. Machar. 2015. A checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Peru. Zootaxa 4020 (1): 101–133.
  • Borgmeier T. 1923. Catalogo systematico e synonymico das formigas do Brasil. 1 parte. Subfam. Dorylinae, Cerapachyinae, Ponerinae, Dolichoderinae. Archivos do Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) 24: 33-103.
  • Borgmeier T. 1955. Die Wanderameisen der neotropischen Region. Studia Entomologica 3: 1-720.
  • Brandao, C.R.F. 1991. Adendos ao catalogo abreviado das formigas da regiao neotropical (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Rev. Bras. Entomol. 35: 319-412.
  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1976. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. Part VI. Ponerinae, tribe Ponerini, subtribe Odontomachiti. Section A. Introduction, subtribal characters. Genus Odontomachus. Stud. Entomol. 19: 67-171.
  • Emery C. 1894. Studi sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. VI-XVI. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 26: 137-241.
  • Fernandez F. C., and L. Schneider S. 1989. Reconocimiento de hormigas en la reserva La Macarena. Revista Colombiana de Entomologia 15(1): 38-44.
  • Fernández, F. and S. Sendoya. 2004. Lista de las hormigas neotropicales. Biota Colombiana Volume 5, Number 1.
  • Forel A. 1901. Formiciden des Naturhistorischen Museums zu Hamburg. Neue Calyptomyrmex-, Dacryon-, Podomyrma- und Echinopla-Arten. Mitt. Naturhist. Mus. Hambg. 18: 43-82.
  • 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.
  • Gomez V. E. S., and G. Z. González. 2007. Catalogo de Las Hormigas Presentes en El Museo de Historia Natural de la Universidad del Cauca. Popayán : 1-58.
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • 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.
  • Ramirez, S and S.A. Cameron. 2003. Army Ant Attacks by Eciton hamatum and E. rapax (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Nests of the Amazonian Bumble Bee, Bombus transversalis (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 76 (3) :533-535
  • Robson Simon Ant Collection, 05-Sept-2014
  • Watkins J. F., II 1976. The identification and distribution of New World army ants (Dorylinae: Formicidae). Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 102 pp