Solenopsis laeviceps

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Solenopsis laeviceps
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis
Species complex: molesta
Species: S. laeviceps
Binomial name
Solenopsis laeviceps
Mayr, 1870

Solenopsis laeviceps casent0913903 p 1 high.jpg

Solenopsis laeviceps casent0913903 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

Solenopsis laeviceps was collected on San Antonio, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, at more than 1,000 meters in Colombia. Additionally, S. laeviceps was collected in wet montane forest, old growth dry tropical rain forest, montane hardwood forest, wet montane cloud forest and oak forest litter extractions. Specimens were collected in surface and vegetation Vienna sausage baits in tropical primary rain forest. (Pacheco and Mackay 2013)


A New World thief ant that is a member of the molesta species complex. (Key to New World Solenopsis Species Complexes)

Pacheco and Mackay (2013) – Worker - This species is concolorous yellow (occasionally pale brown with yellow appendages) with a thickened petiole viewed laterally. The sides of the head are convex and the head is slightly narrowed at the posterior border. The lateral clypeal teeth are well developed and usually curved inwards, but the extralateral teeth are absent.

The workers of S. laeviceps are similar to those of Solenopsis striata (Costa Rica). The mesopleuron of S. laeviceps is nearly smooth and glossy which separates it from S. striata in which the mesopleuron is completely striated. Additionally, the petiole of S. laeviceps is thick viewed laterally, while the petiole of S. striata is thin with an elevated node. Solenopsis laeviceps is very similar to Solenopsis molesta and could be a synonym. We need to have sexuals of S. laeviceps so they can be directly compared with those of S. molesta in order to determine their relationship. Solenopsis laeviceps can be separated on the basis of differences in distribution, S. molesta is presently found only in North America (USA and Mexico).

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Belize, Brazil, Colombia (type locality), Costa Rica, Panama.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Known only from the worker caste.


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

  • laeviceps. Solenopsis laeviceps Mayr, 1870a: 406 (w.) COLOMBIA.

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



Pacheco and Mackay (2013) - Measurements (n=5). TL 1.50-1.56 (1.51); HL 0.402-0.408 (0.407); HW 0.330-0.360 (0.348); EL 0.036-0.042 (0.040); ED 0.030; SL 0.300; FSL 0.120-0.126 (0.125); CI 82.1-88.2 (85.5); SI 73.5-74.6 (73.7); PL 0.072-0.078 (0.073); PW 0.096-0.102 (0.098); PI 70.6-81.3 (74.5); PPL 0.102-0.108 (0.107); PPW 0.108-0.120 (0.118); PPI 90.0-94.4 (90.9); WL 0.300-0.324 (0.307); PSL 0.030-0.036 (0.032); PSW 0.024-0.030 (0.029).

Yellow; sides of head convex, narrowing posteriorly, rarely straight; minor segments of funiculus relatively long; lateral clypeal teeth well developed, curved inwards ( typically); extralateral teeth absent, yet bumps often interrupting anterior of clypeal margin; mesopleuron nearly completely smooth and glossy; horizontal striae on metapleuron; petiole thickened, wider than postpetiole viewed laterally.

Hairy, with erect and suberect hairs of various lengths covering all body surfaces; head covered with short (0.030 mm) suberect pilosity; long (0.102 mm) suberect hairs on mesosoma.

Type Material

Colombia, (lectotype worker and an additional 11 paralectotype workers [here designated] Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna). Solenopsis laeviceps antoniensis, Colombia, St Antonio, Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta (Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dattilo W. et al. 2019. MEXICO ANTS: incidence and abundance along the Nearctic-Neotropical interface. Ecology
  • Forel A. 1912. Formicides néotropiques. Part IV. 3me sous-famille Myrmicinae Lep. (suite). Mémoires de la Société Entomologique de Belgique. 20: 1-32.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Kempf, W.W. 1972. Catalago abreviado das formigas da regiao Neotropical (Hym. Formicidae) Studia Entomologica 15(1-4).
  • Luederwaldt H. 1918. Notas myrmecologicas. Rev. Mus. Paul. 10: 29-64.
  • Mann W. M. 1920. Additions to the ant fauna of the West Indies and Central America. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 42: 403-439.
  • Mirmecofauna de la reserva ecologica de San Felipe Bacalar
  • Morrison L. W. 1998. A review of Bahamian ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 25: 561-571.
  • Pacheco J. A., and W. P. Mackay. 2013. The systematics and biology of the New World thief ants of the genus Solenopsis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 501 pp.
  • Wesson L. G., and R. G. Wesson. 1940. A collection of ants from southcentral Ohio. American Midland Naturalist 24: 89-103.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1932. A list of the ants of Florida with descriptions of new forms. J. N. Y. Entomol. Soc. 40: 1-17.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1936. Ecological relations of ponerine and other ants to termites. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 71: 159-243.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1942. Studies of Neotropical ant-plants and their ants. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 90: 1-262.