This is an epigaeic forager known only from primary and secondary wet forests of the Guiana Shield and its remnants in the Venezuelan Amazonas, mostly between altitudes of 850-1600 m. Within the range of 1000-1200 it can be locally abundant. One record from 550 is next to Angel Falls. This suggests that proximity with the higher forested talus slopes of Auyan Tepuy could explain its occurrence at such a low elevation. This species obviously prefers cool, mesic habitats. This distribution plus climatic evidence (Schubert 1988) suggests that G. gracilis may have been more widely distributed in this area during the last glacial period.
A member of the porcata subgroup (in the striatula species group). Finely costulae; pronotal costulae concentric to arched; mesonotum frequently with longitudinal costulae surrounded by concentric costulae; metanotum and propodeal dorsum with transverse costulae, and longitudinal on declivitous propodeal face; subpetiolar process anteriorly triangular and posteriorly angular. On account of size, similar sculpture, posteriorly inclined node and fair amount of pilosity, its nearest relative appears to be Gnamptogenys pilosa, also an apparent endemic, of the Colombian Cordillera N and NNW of Cali. An occasional specimen may have a second, smaller seta just below the prominent seta of the foretarsal base. (Lattke 1995)
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- gracilis. Holcoponera gracilis Santschi, 1929h: 468, figs. 14, 41 (w.) GUYANA. Combination in Gnamptogenys: Brown, 1958g: 228. See also: Lattke, 1995: 168.
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1958g. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. II. Tribe Ectatommini (Hymenoptera). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 118: 173-362 (page 228, Combination in Gnamptogenys)
- Lattke, J. E. 1995. Revision of the ant genus Gnamptogenys in the New World (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Hym. Res. 4: 137-193 (page 168, see also)
- Lattke, J.E., Fernández, F. & Palacio, E.E. 2007. Identification of the species of Gnamptogenys Roger in the Americas (pp. 254-270). In Snelling, R.R., Fisher, B.L. & Ward, P.S. (eds). Advances in ant systematics: homage to E.O. Wilson – 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80: 690 pp. PDF
- Santschi, F. 1929h. Révision du genre Holcoponera Mayr. Zool. Anz. 82: 437-477 (page 468, figs. 14, 41 worker described)