Platythyrea modesta

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Platythyrea modesta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Platythyreini
Genus: Platythyrea
Species: P. modesta
Binomial name
Platythyrea modesta
Emery, 1899

Platythyrea modesta sam-hym-c000992b profile 1.jpg

Platythyrea modesta sam-hym-c000992b dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

An arboreal foraging species. Nests are polygynous, contain up to 50 workers and occupy pre-exiting cavities in rough bark or dead branches in trees and Cubitermes spp. termitaries situated at the bases of trees in old and secondary forests. Their swiftness enables the workers to capture a wide variety of insects, including agile or large individuals. (Djieto-Lordon et al. 2001)

At a Glance • Gamergate  



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Afrotropical Region: Cameroun (type locality), Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda.
Palaearctic Region: Oman.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

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Studying prey/foraging behavior in this species, Djieto-Lordon et al. (2001) found: In Platythyrea modesta, an arboreal foraging ponerine ant, single workers mastered large prey, but were unable to retrieve them. They therefore recruited nestmates that either carved up the prey on the spot, and then solitarily retrieved pieces of prey, or consumed a part of the prey directly. Nevertheless, in most situations entire prey were consumed on the spot by recruited workers that, in certain cases, even transported larvae from the nest to the prey. In nature, the latter behavior resembles emigration.



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

  • modesta. Platythyrea modesta Emery, 1899e: 467 (w.) CAMEROUN. Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1976a: 41 (l.). See also: Brown, 1975: 45.



  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1975. Contributions toward a reclassification of the Formicidae. V. Ponerinae, tribes Platythyreini, Cerapachyini, Cylindromyrmecini, Acanthostichini, and Aenictogitini. Search Agric. (Ithaca N. Y.) 5(1 1: 1-115 (page 45, see also)
  • Djiéto-Lordon, C., J. Orivel, and A. Dejean. 2001. Consuming large prey on the spot: the case of the arboreal foraging ponerine ant Platythyrea modesta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Insectes Sociaux. 48:324-326.
  • Emery, C. 1899d. Fourmis d'Afrique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 43: 459-504 (page 467, worker described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1976a. Supplementary studies on ant larvae: Ponerinae. Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 102: 41-64 (page 41, larva described)