Megalomyrmex cuatiara

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Megalomyrmex cuatiara
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Megalomyrmex
Species group: silvestrii
Species: M. cuatiara
Binomial name
Megalomyrmex cuatiara
Brandão, 1990

Megalomyrmex cuatiara casent0902333 p 1 high.jpg

Megalomyrmex cuatiara casent0902333 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

All that is known about the biology of this species is that some of the types were collected from Berlesate samples and from forest litter.


Brandão (1990) - M. cuatiara, could have been assigned to the Pusillus group by the head shape and relative size of compound eyes. I prefered, however, to include it in this group by the shape of the antennal club segments and that of the petiolar and postpetiolar nodes.

This species can be easily distinguished from all other of the Silvestrii group by the rugosities covering entirely the metanotal groove and in part the katepistemum. Also the clypeal shield is not depressed.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 6.702222° to -64.36°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Brazil, Colombia (type locality), Ecuador, Guyana.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Brandão (2003) - M. cuatiara was described from the Colombian Amazon (Bolivar, Putumayo and Meta provinces); I have recently received from INPA two series with four and three workers respectively, both collected in Manaus by A.B. Casemiro in October 20, 1993 (A3”, # 4832 – Rs 2108), and in November 10, 1993 (N9”, # 4832 – Rs 1202). Although there is no indication in the labels, Casimiro often collected ants sifting superficial soil and leaf litter samples, what can partially explain why this rather distinctive species has never been recorded before in Manaus – a place visited already by many ant specialists that traditionally collected mostly manually. These are the first non-Colombian records for M. cuatiara.



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

  • cuatiara. Megalomyrmex cuatiara Brandão, 1990b: 440, figs. 93, 94, 103 (w.q.) COLOMBIA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker, 19 paratype workers, 2 paratype queens.
    • Type-locality: holotype Colombia: Bolivar, 7 km. NW Leticia, 20-25.ii.1972, no. 25 (S. & J. Peck), paratypes: 1 queen with same data, 14 workers, 1 queen Colombia: Putumayo, Villagarzon, 24.iii.1977, and 14.viii.1977 (D. Jackson), 4 workers Colombia: Meta, Villavicencio, 1-4.iii.1972, no. 233 (S. & J. Peck), 1 worker Colombia: Meta, Quebrada Susamuko, 23 km. NW Villavicencio, 5.iii.1972, no.234 (S. & J. Peck).
    • Type-depositories: MZSP (holotype); BMNH, MCZC, MZSP (paratypes).
    • Status as species: Brandão, 1991: 354; Bolton, 1995b: 249; Brandão, 2003: 154; Fernández & Serna, 2019: 806.
    • Distribution: Brazil, Colombia.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Mandibles smooth, dental formula 2 + 5 (irregular denticles); palpal formula 3:2; anterior clypeal border without median denticle or depression; 8-11 ocular facets at largest diameter of compound eye, which occupy more than 1/3 of head lateral margins in full face view, interrupting head profile; occipital margin not raised: promesonotal suture not impressed dorsally; katepisternum with gross longitudinally oriented rugosities; metanotal groove rugose at dorsal region; propodeum dorsal profile continuous; declivity with concentric rugosities over the foramem; epipetiolar carina complete; dorsal margin of petiolar node, in side view, concave; ventral face of petiole with transversal rugosities but no denticle or flange; ventral process of postpetiole globose.

Pilosity: very long hairs (ca. .2 mm) at body dorsum, smaller hairs (less than 1mm) at scapes and legs. Funiculus with short and apressed pubescence.

Color: bright yellow.


Three equally developed ocelli; mesonotum with parapsidal sutures but no notaulus; katepistemum smooth; ventral face of petiole with anteromediam denticle.

Type Material

Type Loc.: 7 Km NW Leticia, Bolivar. Colombia (04°09'S, 69°57'W) (Holotype and paratype); Villagarzon, Putumayo, Colombia (01°02'N, 76°37'W) (15 paratypes): Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia (04°10'N, 73°37'W) (4 paratypes); Quebrada Susamuko, 23 Km NW Villavicencio, Meta, Colombia (1 paratype). Holotype (workers) and paratype (workers) from Leticia, 1 paratype (worker) from Quebrada Susamuko, 2 paratypes (workers) from Villavicencio and 6 paratypes (l queen, 5 workers) from Villagarzon at Museu de Zoologia da USP; 2 Paratypes (workers) from Villavicencio and 3 paratypes (workers) from Villagarzon at the Museum of Comparative Zoology; 6 paratypes (workers) from Villagarzon at the British Museum.

The types from Leticia have been collected by the Peck couple from Berlesate samples (collection no. 25) between 20 and 25 of February, 1972. The same collected the types from Villavicencio and Quebrada Susamuko, respectively collection numbers 233 (“forest litter”) in 1 - 4, March, 1972 and 234 in, March, 5, 1972. The sample from Villagarzon has been collected by C. Jackson and bears locality labels with two different collection dates (August, 14, 1977 and March, 24, 1977). Both workers and queen from this locality have maximum values in the species variation range in all measured characters.


The name cuatiara in Tupi refers to the rugosity covering entirely the metanotal groove and in part the katepistemum.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Achury R., and A.V. Suarez. 2017. Richness and composition of ground-dwelling ants in tropical rainforest and surrounding landscapes in the Colombian Inter-Andean valley. Neotropical Entomology
  • Fernandes I., and J. de Souza. 2018. Dataset of long-term monitoring of ground-dwelling ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the influence areas of a hydroelectric power plant on the Madeira River in the Amazon Basin. Biodiversity Data Journal 6: e24375.
  • Fichaux M., B. Bechade, J. Donald, A. Weyna, J. H. C. Delabie, J. Murienne, C. Baraloto, and J. Orivel. 2019. Habitats shape taxonomic and functional composition of Neotropical ant assemblages. Oecologia 189(2): 501-513.
  • Franco W., N. Ladino, J. H. C. Delabie, A. Dejean, J. Orivel, M. Fichaux, S. Groc, M. Leponce, and R. M. Feitosa. 2019. First checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of French Guiana. Zootaxa 4674(5): 509-543.
  • Groc S., J. H. C. Delabie, F. Fernandez, F. Petitclerc, B. Corbara, M. Leponce, R. Cereghino, and A. Dejean. 2017. Litter-dwelling ants as bioindicators to gauge the sustainability of small arboreal monocultures embedded in the Amazonian rainforest. Ecological Indicators 82: 43-49.
  • Mertl A. L., J. F. A. Traniello, K. Ryder Wilkie, and R. Constantino. 2012. Associations of two ecologically significant social insect taxa in the litter of an amazonian rainforest: is there a relationship between ant and termite species richness? Psyche doi:10.1155/2012/312054
  • Ryder Wilkie K.T., A. L. Mertl, and J. F. A. Traniello. 2010. Species Diversity and Distribution Patterns of the Ants of Amazonian Ecuador. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13146.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013146
  • Ulyssea M. A., C. R. F. Brandao. 2013. Catalogue of Dacetini and Solenopsidini ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, Myrmicinae) deposited in the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil. Papies Avulsos de Zoologia 53(14): 187-209.