Simopelta laevigata

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Simopelta laevigata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Ponerinae
Tribe: Ponerini
Genus: Simopelta
Species: S. laevigata
Binomial name
Simopelta laevigata
Mackay, W.P. & Mackay, E.E., 2008

Mackay and Mackay 2008 Simopelta37.jpg

One specimen was collected by hand, the second (holotype) was extracted from a Winkler sample.


Mackay and Mackay (2008) - The glossy surfaces of this species would easily separate it from nearly all of the other members of the genus. It could only be confused with Simopelta manni, which is also mostly smooth and glossy. It can be distinguished, as usually the entire dorsum of the head of S. manni (at least the posterior 1/4 ) is covered with coarse punctures, as is the dorsum of the pronotum. It is also slightly larger (the total length of S. manni is less than 4 mm), and has a wider head.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 1.616666667° to 0.501944444°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Colombia (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Tropical rain forest, (1430 - 1950 m).




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

  • laevigata. Simopelta laevigata Mackay & Mackay, 2008: 304, figs. 8, 37 (w.) COLOMBIA.
    • Type-material: holotype worker.
    • Type-locality: Colombia: Huila, PNN Cueva de Los Guácheros, Cabaña Cedros, 1°37’N, 76°6’W, 1950 m., 2-5.xii.2002, M3375, Winkler (R. Paramero).
    • Type-depository: IAVH.
    • Status as species: Fernández & Guerrero, 2019: 546.
    • Distribution: Colombia.

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



The worker is a medium sized (total length 4 mm), shiny black ant. The mandible has 3 teeth, the two teeth near the apex are sharp and well-developed, the third (basal most) is thickened, with a somewhat rounded apex. The anterior border of the clypeus is broadly rounded. The eye is moderately large (maximum diameter 0.07 mm), and extends past the sides of the head. The antennal scape (0.78-0.80 mm) extends about the first funicular segment (0.18 mm) past the posterior lateral corner of the head. The head is relatively wide (head length 0.83-0.87 mm, and head width is 0.65 - 0.70 mm). The head is widest near the eye, and posterior border is nearly straight. The mesosoma is broadly depressed dorsally, and reaches the lowest point at the metanotal suture. The petiole is wide when viewed in profile, with well-developed spiracular horns, and a poorly developed subpetiolar process.

Erect hairs are sparse, but are present on the mandibles, the clypeus, dorsum of the mesosoma, petiole, and all surfaces of the gaster. Suberect hairs are abundant, and present on the scapes, dorsal and ventral surfaces of the head, mesosoma, legs, and are sparse on the petiole and gaster.

Most surfaces are smooth and glossy, including the entire dorsal surface of the head (with a few scattered punctures), the dorsum of the mesosoma, the side of the pronotum, the dorsum of the petiole, and gaster (with tiny, indistinct punctures); the mesopleuron and side of the propodeum have oblique striae. The side and both faces of the petiole have poorly defined striolae, and are mostly glossy.

Type Material

Holotype worker (Humboldt Institute), Colombia Huila PNN Cueva de Los Guácheros Cabaña Cedros 1°37’N 76°6’W, 1950m Winkler 2-5-xii.2002, R. Paramero Leg. M.3375.


From Latin, laevigatus, meaning smooth, referring to the smooth sculpture of the worker of this species.