Gnamptogenys bispinosa

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Gnamptogenys bispinosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ectatomminae
Tribe: Ectatommini
Genus: Gnamptogenys
Species: G. bispinosa
Binomial name
Gnamptogenys bispinosa
(Emery, 1890)

Gnamptogenys bispinosa P casent0217483.jpg

Gnamptogenys bispinosa D casent0217483.jpg

Specimen Label

Along with Gnamptogenys perspicax, Gnamptogenys bispinosa represents a highly specialized form in one lineage of millipede hunters. (Lattke 1995)


A member of the bispinosa complex (in the rastrata subgroup of the rastrata species group). Eyes subglobulose, scapes long and surpassing vertexal margin; mandibles edentate. Promesonotal suture breaks sculpture dorsally but not laterally; mesometanotal suture deep and broad. Head, mesosoma and postpetiole rugose; ferruginous. (Lattke 1995)

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 10.59427° to 1.874065°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Costa Rica (type locality), Panama.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Lattke (1995) - This wet forest species is a millipede specialist. J. Longino (pers. comm.) observed the following two raids from the same colony, both at 11:00 AM: "A column of 20 workers was moving along a liana on the forest floor. They left the liana and moved very slowly across the leaf litter, frequently bunching up. They all went under a leaf and then agitated ants could be seen coming out from under the lea f, 2 or 3 ants at a time, cleaning their antennae and mandibles. I removed the leaf to find the ants attacking a millipede. Some were stinging and some were pulling on the legs. The distance from the first sighting to the prey was 6 m. I followed a returning worker as far as I could into a tree fall tangle, 10 m from prey." The second attack involved 46 workers tackling a 6 cm long millipede within a rotten log. Once the millipede was subdued they carried it back to the nest.

Two millipedes taken from the nest by Longino were determined by R.L. Hoffman as Trichomorpha sp. (Polydesmida: Chelodesmidae), and Epinannolene sp. (Spirostreptida: Epinannolenidae).

Brown & Fenner (1998) report this species being raided by the army ant Eciton vagans at La Selva, Costa Rica.


The anterior clypeal setae are more developed than in any other of the rastrata group species and an interesting autapomorphy is a brief anteromedian longitudinal sulcus on the clypeus. (Lattke 1995)

Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Apocephalus asyndetus (a parasite) in Costa Rica (; Brown & Fenner, 1998) (attacked).



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

  • bispinosa. Ectatomma (Holcoponera) bispinosum Emery, 1890b: 40 (w.) COSTA RICA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Costa Rica: Jiménez, 1889 (A. Alfaro).
    • Type-depository: MSNG.
    • [Also described as new by Emery, 1894k: 47.]
    • Brown, 1958g: 301 (m.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1952a: 133 (l.).
    • Combination in E. (Ectatomma): Emery, 1896g: 37;
    • combination in E. (Poneracantha): Emery, 1897d: 547;
    • combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 227.
    • Status as species: Dalla Torre, 1893: 23; Forel, 1899c: 6; Emery, 1911d: 44; Brown, 1958g: 227, 301; Kempf, 1972a: 112; Bolton, 1995b: 208; Lattke, 1995: 159; Lattke, et al. 2004: 342; Lattke, et al. 2007: 263 (in key); Lattke, et al. 2008: 81; Feitosa & Prada-Achiardi, 2019: 671; Camacho, et al. 2020: 461 (in key).
    • Distribution: Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Amat-G G., M. G. Andrade-C. and F. Fernández. (eds.) 1999. Insectos de Colombia. Volumen II. Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, 433 pp. 131975
  • Brown W. L., Jr. 1958. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362.
  • Emery C. 1890. Studii sulle formiche della fauna neotropica. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 22: 38-8
  • Emery C. 1911. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Ponerinae. Genera Insectorum 118: 1-125.
  • Fernández F., and E. E. Palacio. 1995. Hormigas de Colombia IV: nuevos registros de géneros y especies. Caldasia 17: 587-596.
  • 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.
  • INBio Collection (via Gbif)
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Kugler C. 1991. Stings of ants of the tribe Ectatommini (Formicidae: Ponerinae). Insecta Mundi 5: 153-166.
  • Lattke J. E., F. Fernández, E. E. Palacio. 2004. Una nueva especie de Gnamptogenys (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) y comentarios sobre las especies del género en Colombia y Ecuador. Iheringia. Série Zoologia 94: 341-349.
  • Lattke J. E., F. Fernández, T. M. Arias-Penna, E. E. Palacio, W. Mackay, and E. MacKay. 2008. Género Gnamptogenys Roger. Pp. 66-100 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.
  • Longino J. et al. ADMAC project. Accessed on March 24th 2017 at