This species is more likely to be found in second growth wet forest habitats than primary forest. It is a lowland species, occurring from sea level to 800 m elevation in Central America. One examined queen from Venezuela was found at 1350 m, in montane forest. Most specimens are from Winkler and Berlese samples of sifted litter and rotten wood from the forest floor. However, on multiple instances workers and in one case a dealate queen have been found by searching beneath loose bark of rotten wood. (Longino 2013)
Keys including this Species
Guatemala to Amazonian Brazil.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Little is known about the biology of most species in this genus. Nests are rarely found, and queens and males have not been collected for many species. Longino (2013) summarized their biology "Eurhopalothrix specimens are encountered almost exclusively in samples from mass extraction techniques that recover small arthropods in sifted litter, rotten wood, and soil. Densities, at least in the northern Neotropics, are usually low, with workers occurring in < 10% of quantitative samples of 1 m2 litter plots, but occasionally may reach densities as high as 40% of samples. Live colonies of Old World Eurhopalothrix were observed by Wilson (1956) and Wilson and Brown (1984), and a Costa Rican colony of Basiceros manni was observed by Wilson and Hölldobler (1986). All basicerotines, including Eurhopalothrix, are thought to be predators in tropical leaf litter, relying on stealth or sit-and-wait techniques. Sampled specimens are often coated with a thin layer of clay, especially on the face, which is thought to function as camouflage, enhancing crypsis (Hölldobler & Wilson, 1986). Highly specialized spatulate setae may be instrumental in acquisition and adherence of the clay layer (Hölldobler & Wilson, 1986)."
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- bolaui. Rhopalothrix bolaui Mayr, 1870a: 415 (footnote) (q.) SURINAM. Combination in Eurhopalothrix: Brown & Kempf, 1960: 210. Senior synonym of amoena: Brown & Kempf, 1960: 210.
- amoena. Rhopalothrix (Rhopalothrix) amoena Mann, 1922: 39 (w.q.) HONDURAS. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1960b: 25 (l.). Junior synonym of bolaui: Brown & Kempf, 1960: 210.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
A worker and queen (probable nestmates) from Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, are considerably smaller than other Central American material. A queen from Venezuela is larger, darker, and with more roughened face sculpture compared to Central American queens (Longino, 2013).
Longino (2013) - HW 0.56-0.70, HL 0.58-0.67, SL 0.35-0.39, SLL 0.03-0.05, CI 96-105, SLI 9-12 (n=11). Anterolateral gibbosities of basal portion developed as sharply right-angled, ventrally-directed teeth, apical portion elongate, flexed dorsally, distinctly bilobed at apex; apex with a fringe of capitate translucent setae; mandible triangular, dorsal surface convex, mostly punctate, smooth and shining at apex, rounding into ventral surface; interior surface concave, smooth and shining; masticatory margin a single row of 11 flattened acute triangular teeth; scape with weakly developed basal lobe; scrobe deep, sharply delimited dorsally and ventrally, abutting deep antennal socket; surface of scrobe weakly foveolate; eye with about 6 ommatidia across greatest diameter; clypeus approximately planar, uniformly punctate, dull; sides of head above eyes weakly angulate; surface of face uniformly convex, punctate, puncta smaller anteriorly; occipital carina indistinct; undersurface of head uniformly punctate; postgenal suture a well-developed longitudinal trough, darker than surrounding cuticle.
Promesonotal profile low, somewhat flat-topped, with short posterior face that meets flat dorsal face of propodeum at obtuse angle; metanotal groove not impressed; dorsal and posterior faces of propodeum distinct, meeting at obtuse angle, dorsal face subequal in length to posterior face; propodeal spine laminar, translucent, triangular with broad base, apex acute, inner surface concave, ventral margin sloping down to gradually round into short, broad infradental lamella that extends down posterior face to propodeal lobe; propodeal spiracle small, directed somewhat posteriorly; mesosoma except posterior face of propodeum punctate; posterior face of propodeum minutely punctulate; promesonotum and dorsal face propodeum with large confluent puncta; mesopleuron and side of propodeum with smaller, more widely-spaced, less conspicuous puncta; no transverse carinae between bases of propodeal spines.
Petiolar peduncle joins anterior face of petiolar node at rounded obtuse angle; anterior face of node meets sloping dorsal face at rounded right angle; posterior face of node short; ventral margin of petiole with pronounced, acute anteroventral tooth; postpetiole low and broad, with a shallow longitudinal sulcus dorsally; first gastral sternite lacking anterior sagittal keel; petiole, postpetiole, first gastral tergite covered with dense, small, confluent puncta; first gastral sternite similar, but puncta slightly larger and with discernible interspaces.
Dorsal surface of scape covered with uniform short, appressed, flattened setae; leading edge of scape with projecting setae, short and strongly curved near apex, becoming longer and less curved toward base, with long straight seta on basal lobe; ground pilosity on clypeus obsolete; posterior half of face with ground pilosity of dense appressed setae similar to those on dorsal scape, grading to smaller appressed setae on anterior portion of face and onto frontal lobes; undersurface of head with abundant ground setae like those on dorsal face; projecting specialized setae strongly spatulate, pompon-like, much larger than ground pilosity and highly differentiated from it, full complement 18, with curved anterior row of 8, transverse median row of 4, and posterior row of 6 on vertex margin; ground setae similar to those on face abundant on promesonotal dorsum, dorsal half of propodeal spines, very dense on dorsa of petiolar node and postpetiole, moderately abundant on first gastral tergite; 3 pairs projecting spatulate setae on promesonotum; legs with dense, strongly flattened, fully appressed setae on apices of femora, posterior face of foretibia, entire midtibia, anterior face of hindtibia, somewhat sparser on other surfaces; apices of tibiae ringed with larger spatulate setae; basitarsus and remaining tarsomeres with abundant, strongly spatulate setae; two large spatulate setae on hind margin of dorsal face of petiolar node; row of 4 spatulate setae on hind margin of postpetiole, median pair smaller than lateral pair; specialized setae of first gastral tergite spatulate, full complement 4 pairs in two longitudinal rows.
- Rhopalothrix bolaui: Holotype, Suriname, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna.
- Rhopalothrix amoena: Syntype, workers, queen(s), La Ceiba, Cecilia, Honduras, National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Comparative Zoology, The Natural History Museum.
- Brown, W. L., Jr.; Kempf, W. W. 1960. A world revision of the ant tribe Basicerotini. Stud. Entomol. (n.s.) 3: 161-250 (page 210, Combination in Eurhopalothrix, and senior synonym of amoena)
- Brown, W. L., Jr.; Kempf, W. W. 1961 . The type species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix. Psyche (Camb.) 67: 44
- Longino J. T. 2013. A review of the Central American and Caribbean species of the ant genus Eurhopalothrix Brown and Kempf, 1961 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), with a key to New World species. Zootaxa. 3693:101-151. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3693.2.1
- Mayr, G. 1870a. Formicidae novogranadenses. Sitzungsber. Kais. Akad. Wiss. Wien Math.-Naturwiss. Cl. Abt. I 61: 370-417 (page 415, footnote queen described)