Hylomyrma virginiae

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Hylomyrma virginiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Pogonomyrmecini
Genus: Hylomyrma
Species: H. virginiae
Binomial name
Hylomyrma virginiae
Ulysséa, 2021

This species occurs in tropical rainforests and areas of bamboo (Guadua sp.) plantations, at elevations between 250 and 850 m. Specimens were collected in the leaf-litter, which suggests that nests are located in fallen logs, rotten wood, between leaves, or inside natural cavities of the superficial soil layers.


Vermicular to vermiculated-areolated striae on head dorsum and mesosoma; petiole anterior surface well-marked; transverse striae on node ventral surface; longitudinal and anastomosed striae on postpetiole and tergum of first gastral segment; subpostpetiolar process weak, slightly convex; profemur posterior surface mostly smooth; protibia extensor surface entirely striate; long striae on tergum of first gastral segment; setae with 2 short branches of equal size arising from the main axis.

Hylomyrma virginiae is not known to co-occur with Hylomyrma mitiae or Hylomyrma sagax, but all three occur in northwestern South America. Hylomyrma virginiae has been recorded in Ecuador (both sides of The Andes) and in western Colombia (Fig. 89), whereas H. sagax is restricted to southeast Colombia (Fig. 83), and H. mitiae only occurs in French Guiana (Fig. 87).

Hylomyrma virginiae is typically smaller (TL 4.94–5.20 mm, WL 1.24–1.40 mm) than H. mitiae (TL 5.27–5.52 mm, WL 1.41–1.52 mm). Also, the gena and laterodorsal region of the head are covered by very thin striae with indistinguishable interspaces superimposed on vermicular to vermiculated-areolated striae (vs. very thin striae with indistinguishable interspaces between the vermicular to vermiculated-areolated striae in H. mitiae) (not seen in SEM images of H. mitiae due to coating artifacts), the indistinct metanotal groove (vs. distinguished by slight depression), the discontinuous dorsal margin of petiole (vs. continuous), and the weak and slightly convex subpostpetiolar process (vs. very prominent and subtriangular).

Hylomyrma virginiae can be distinguished from H. sagax (characteristic in parentheses) in the medium lateral teeth at clypeus anterior margin (vs. well-developed teeth), the propodeal spine comparatively shorter and thicker (vs. longer and needle-like), and the discontinuous dorsal margin of petiole (vs. continuous).

There are relatively few specimens collected of this species; most were sampled in Limoncocha, Ecuador. Specimens from Chocó, Colombia, have a more developed propodeal spine and subpostpetiolar process, and the anterior surface of petiolar node is slightly marked. These characteristics may lead to the misidentification of these specimens as H. sagax, but their body size and sculpture are more similar to those found in H. virginiae specimens recorded in Ecuador.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 5° to -2°.

Tropical South
  • Source: Ulysséa & Brandao, 2021

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia, Ecuador (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • virginiae. Hylomyrma virginiae Ulysséa, in Ulysséa & Brandão, 2021: 123, figs. 77, 78, 80D, 89 (w.q.) ECUADOR, COLOMBIA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 18 paratype workers, 3 paratype queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype Ecuador: Napo, Limoncocha, 250 m., 25.vi.1976, B-355 (S. & J. Peck); paratypes: 11 workers with same data, 5 workers, 1 queen with same data but 18.vi.1976, B-348, 1 worker 20 km. S Tena, 600 m., 11.vii.1876, B-360 (S. & J. Peck), 1 worker Pichincha, Centr. Cient. R. Palenque, 20.xii.1980, 584 (S. Sandoval), 1 queen Los Rios, C.C.R. Palenque, 2.iii.1979 (S. Sandoval), 1 queen Pastaza, 22 km. SW Puyo, 15.vii.1976, B-362 (S. & J. Peck).
    • Type-depositories: MCZC (holotype); CASC, DZUP, IAVH, MCZC, MZSP, PUCE, USNM (paratypes).
    • Distribution: Colombia, Ecuador.

Type Material

  • Holotype: ECUADOR: Napo: Limoncocha, 250m, 25.vi.1976, B-355, S. & J. Peck [leg.] (1W) (MCZENT00524688) [MCZC].
  • Paratypes: same data as holotype (5W) (MCZENT00525482, MCZENT00524690, MCZENT00525503, MCZENT00525523, MCZENT00524689) [MCZC]; (1W) (MCZENT00525522 MZSP67462) [MZSP]; (1W) (MCZENT00525518 MZHY196) [MZSP]; (1W) (MCZENT 00525524) [USNM]; (1W) (MCZENT00525517) [DZUP]; (1W) (MCZENT00525521) [IHVL]; (1W) (MCZENT00525519) [CASC]; same except 18.vi.1976, B-348 (4W) (MCZENT00525501, MCZENT00524677, MCZENT00524676, MCZENT00525499) [MCZC]; (1W) (MCZENT00525506 MZSP67463) [MZSP]; (1Q) (MCZENT00524678 MZSP67464) [MZSP]; 20km S of Tena, 600m, 11Jul 1976, B360, S. & J. Peck [leg.] (1W) (MCZENT00525490) [MCZC]; Pichincha: Centr. Cient. R. Palenque, 20.xii.1980, Sonia Sandoval col., Bosque primario cerrado, 584 (1W covered with gold) [IHVL]; Los Rios: C.C.R. Palenque, 79°45′10″W, 01°25′56″S, 02MAR1979, S. Sandoval (1Q) (QCAZ I 114012) [QCAZ]; Pastaza: 22km SW Puyo, 15 July 1976, B-362, S. & J. Peck [leg.] (1Q) (MCZENT00524681) [MCZC].