Labidus praedator

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Labidus praedator
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Dorylinae
Genus: Labidus
Species: L. praedator
Binomial name
Labidus praedator
(Smith, F., 1858)

Labidus praedator casent0173515 profile 1.jpg

Labidus praedator casent0173515 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Barth et al. (2015) - One of the most abundant and ubiquitous Neotropical swarm-raiders is Labidus praedator with extremely large colonies (probably over 1,000,000 individuals) and a wide distribution range spanning from Mexico to northern Argentina (Rettenmeyer 1963; Schneirla 1971; Watkins 1976; Longino 2005). Raids of L. praedator are frequent in the Neotropics (Kaspari and O’Donnell 2003; O’Donnell et al. 2007) and can deplete invertebrate biomass in the litter by up to 75 % (Kaspari et al. 2011).



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (type locality), Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Barth et al. (2015) found genetic differences among four colonies of L praedator that were all collected within a range of 10 km around the city of Tapachula (Chiapas) Mexico. They suggested their findings indicate there are two sympatric species present that are not distinguishable from morphological differences. This supports and adds further evidence to a hypothesis there are numerous species subsumed under this single species name.

Baudier et al. (2015) studied thermal tolerances of a variety of army ant workers. Labidus praedator was one of a number of army ant species sampled with a life history that includes both below and above ground activities.

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 1,000,000 (Rettenmeyer, 1963; Beckers et al., 1989)
  • Foraging behaviour: group hunter (Rettenmeyer, 1963; Beckers et al., 1989)



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • praedator. Eciton praedator Smith, F. 1858b: 152 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Forel, 1906d: 246 (m.); Luederwaldt, 1918: 54 (q.). Combination in E. (Labidus): Bruch, 1914: 215; in Labidus: Borgmeier, 1953: 16. Senior synonym of tepeguas: Mayr, 1886b: 118; Borgmeier, 1955: 103; of westwoodi: Emery, 1910b: 23; Borgmeier, 1955: 103; of emiliae, guianense: Borgmeier, 1953: 10, 19, respectively; of ferruginea: Borgmeier, 1955: 103. Current subspecies: nominal plus sedulus. See also: Gallardo, 1920: 333; Bruch, 1921: 181; Watkins, 1976: 8.
  • ferruginea. Eciton tepeguas var. ferruginea Norton, 1868b: 46 (s.) MEXICO. Subspecies of praedator: Dalla Torre, 1893: 5; Forel, 1899c: 26. Junior synonym of praedator: Borgmeier, 1955: 86.
  • tepeguas. Eciton tepeguas Norton, 1868b: 46 (s.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of praedator: Mayr, 1886b: 118; Borgmeier, 1955: 103.
  • westwoodi. Eciton westwoodi Emery, 1900a: 180 (m.) MEXICO. Junior synonym of praedator: Emery, 1910b: 23; Borgmeier, 1955: 103.
  • emiliae. Eciton (Labidus) praedator subsp. emiliae Mann, 1916: 421 (s.w.) BRAZIL. Junior synonym of praedator: Borgmeier, 1953: 10.
  • guianense. Eciton (Labidus) praedator var. guianense Wheeler, W.M. 1921d: 311 (s.w.) GUYANA. Junior synonym of praedator: Borgmeier, 1953: 19.



  • Barth, M. B., R. F. A. Moritz, and F. B. Kraus. 2015. Genetic differentiation at species level in the Neotropical army ant Labidus praedator. Insectes Sociaux. 62:299-306. doi:10.1007/s00040-015-0410-x
  • Baudier, K. M., A. E. Mudd, S. C. Erickson, and S. O'Donnell. 2015. Microhabitat and body size effects on heat tolerance: implications for responses to climate change (army ants: Formicidae, Ecitoninae). Journal of Animal Ecology. 84:1322-1330. doi:10.1111/1365-2656.12388
  • Beckers R., Goss, S., Deneubourg, J.L., Pasteels, J.M. 1989. Colony size, communication and ant foraging Strategy. Psyche 96: 239-256 (doi:10.1155/1989/94279).
  • Borgmeier, T. 1953. Vorarbeiten zu einer Revision der neotropischen Wanderameisen. Stud. Entomol. 2: 1-51 (page 16, Combination in Labidus;page 10, Senior synonym of emilae; page 19, Senior synonym of guianense)
  • Borgmeier, T. 1955. Die Wanderameisen der neotropischen Region. Stud. Entomol. 3: 1-720 (page 103, Senior synonym of tepeguas, westwoodi, ferruginea)
  • Bruch, C. 1914. Catálogo sistemático de los formícidos argentinos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 19: 211-234 (page 215, Combination in E. (Labidus))
  • Bruch, C. 1921. Estudios mirmecológicos. Rev. Mus. La Plata 26: 175-211.
  • Emery, C. 1910b. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Dorylinae. Genera Insectorum 102: 1-34 (page 23, Senior synonym of westwoodi)
  • Flores-Maldonado, K. Y.; Phillips, S. A., Jr.; Sánchez-Ramos, G. 1999. The myrmecofauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) along an altitudinal gradient in the Sierra Madre Oriental of northeastern Mexico. Southwest. Nat. 44: 457-461 (page 457, Record in Mexico)
  • Forel, A. 1906d. Fourmis néotropiques nouvelles ou peu connues. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 50: 225-249 (page 246, male described)
  • Gallardo, A. 1920. Las hormigas de la República Argentina. Subfamilia Dorilinas. An. Mus. Nac. Hist. Nat. B. Aires 30: 281-410
  • Luederwaldt, H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64 (page 54, queen described)
  • Mayr, G. 1886b. Ueber Eciton-Labidus. (Schluss). Wien. Entomol. Ztg. 5: 115-122 (page 118, Senior synonym of tepeguas)
  • Smith, F. 1858a. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London: British Museum, 216 pp. (page 152, soldier, worker described)
  • Watkins, J. F., II. 1976. The identification and distribution of New World army ants (Dorylinae: Formicidae). Waco, Texas: Baylor University Press, 102 pp.