Strumigenys alberti

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Strumigenys alberti
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Attini
Genus: Strumigenys
Species: S. alberti
Binomial name
Strumigenys alberti
Forel, 1893

Strumigenys alberti casent0217917 p 1 high.jpg

Strumigenys alberti casent0217917 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


This species occurs in wet forest habitats. Colonies are small, and are encountered beneath dead wood, under loose bark, and in plant cavities. This is one of the most common Pyramica (=Strumigenys)in Costa Rica. At La Selva Biological Station, nests are common in small pieces of dead wood on the ground. For example, old Lecythis pods are common nest sites. Workers are slow-moving, and thus relatively easy to overlook. Individuals can be obtained by sifting leaf litter and extracting arthropods in a Berlese funnel or Winkler bag. (Longino, Ants of Costa Rica)


Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys alberti-group.

Brown 1953 S alberti Fig 17.jpg

This widely distributed and common species is immediately diagnosed by its unique dentition, figured by Brown (1953), which includes a basal lamella of the mandible followed by a long, flat topped second lamella that extends to the middle of masticatory margin (described more fully in the alberti-group diagnosis). The second lamella on the masticatory margin of the mandible may have resulted from elongation of the basal lamella, or from the fusion and modification of some basal teeth. Support for the latter is provided by the fact that alberti has a lower dental count (two) than any other species in the group, and by the presence of a small notch between the genuine basal lamella and this secondary structure. Whatever its origin the second lamella is plainly visible and extends through about half the exposed length of the apical margin in full-face view with the mandibles fully closed. Distal of the second lamella alberti has alternating longer acute triangular teeth and lower broadly rounded teeth. A similar alternation of teeth occurs in nigrescens, though the latter lacks the long secondary lamella just discussed. The mandibles in alberti are relatively the longest in the group, MI 27 - 33, as opposed to MI 15 - 24 in the remaining species (Bolton (2000).

Longino (Ants of Costa Rica) - Mandibles in side view straight, not broadly curved ventrally; mandibles relatively short, subtriangular, much of the apical portion meeting along a serially toothed masticatory margin when closed; leading edge of scape with a row of conspicuous projecting curved hairs, of which those distal to the subbasal bend distinctly curve toward the base of the scape; pronotal humeral hair present; ventral surface of petiole in profile with a deep, conspicuous and very obviously spongiform curtain, its maximum depth at least half that of the peduncle and usually more; disc of postpetiole completely unsculptured and glassy smooth; anterior border of clypeus V-shaped; basal lamella of mandible followed distally by a long edentate second lamella that extends forward about half the exposed length of the fully closed mandible, the two separated only by a minute cleft; mandibles long, MI 27-33.

Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Neotropical Region: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Greater Antilles, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Venezuela.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


A forest species that can be found in conditions that range from mature forest to edge habitats that are grading into open fields.


Biological data accompanying six of the series indicate that the nests are established by preference in rotten logs either in forest or in partial clearings (Brown 1953).

Brown (1964) - A small sample of this widespread species comes from Progreso, Chiriqui Prov., Panama (F. M. Gaige leg.). P. F. Darlington and I took a number of series at and near Belem, Para; and I took some colonies at Manaus, and, much farther up the river, at Benjamin Constant, Amazonas. This species nests in or beneath rotten logs and is often found under their bark.




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

  • alberti. Strumigenys alberti Forel, 1893g: 380 (w.q.) ANTILLES. Brown, 1953g: 95 (q.); Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1960b: 27 (l.). Combination in S. (Cephaloxys): Emery, 1924d: 325; in Smithistruma: Brown, 1953g: 93; in Pyramica: Bolton, 1999: 1673; in Strumigenys: Baroni Urbani & De Andrade, 2007: 115. Senior synonym of guianensis, intermedia: Brown, 1953g: 94. See also: Bolton, 2000: 154.
  • intermedia. Strumigenys alberti var. intermedia Wheeler, W.M. 1913d: 242 (w.) DOMINICA. Combination in S. (Cephaloxys): Emery, 1924d: 325. Junior synonym of alberti: Brown, 1953g: 94.
  • guianensis. Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) alberti subsp. guianensis Weber, 1934a: 50 (w.) GUYANA. Combination in Smithistruma: Brown, 1948e: 106. Junior synonym of alberti: Brown, 1953g: 94.

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



Bolton (2000) - TL 2.2 - 2.6, HL 0.52 - 0.61, HW 0.42 - 0.48, CI 76 - 81, ML 0.15 - 0.17, MI 27 - 33, SL 0.29 - 0.32, SI 66 - 70, PW 0.29 - 0.35, AL 0.62 - 0.70 (25 measured). Mandibular dentition unique, described in alberti-group diagnosis and in identification section above. Apicoscrobal hair flagellate, long and fine, sometimes looped. Eye with 4 - 5 ommatidia in longest row. Side of pronotum usually mostly or entirely punctate or reticulate-punctate but sometimes with a smooth patch posterolaterally, of varying extent. Promesonotum with a median longitudinal carina that extends most or all of its length. Dorsal alitrunk usually entirely reticulate-punctate but sculpture may be less sharply defined on pronotum than elsewhere and rarely may be almost effaced anteriorly on each side of the median carina. Petiole node in dorsal view broader than long, the lateral spongiform lobes in this view small and more or less restricted to the posterolateral angles, not extending the length of the side of the node and not strongly projecting laterally.


Brown (1953) - TL 2.95. 3. 11, HL, WL 0.8 1 .0.85, CI 80·83 , MI 28·30. Eight females from widely different parts of the range were measured. Among these, there was slight variation in color, size, proportions and length of propodeal teeth.

Differing from the worker in the usual full sexual attributes. Head more broadly and shallowly excised behind. Mandibles about 9/10 the length of the clypeus. Mesonotum with median carinula very weak or absent, except on scutellum, where it is strong and complete, posteriorly helping to form a small but distinctly jutting point. Petiolar node seen from above twice as broad as long, the anterior border straight and transverse. Propodeal teeth much shorter, blunter and farther apart than in the worker. Venation of the forewing in a specimen from Campinas, Brazil : R + Sc, stigma, and 2r sharply defined and weakly pigmented ; Rsfl, M + Mfl, CuA and Rsf5 present, but poorly defined and weakly pigmented; Mf4 indicated as a groove; basal stub of Rs + M present. Body color varying from light to vary dark ferrugineous, gaster often darker; color in general usually darker than in workers of the same colony.


Brown (1953) - Volsella as figured. Remainder of male body not described because of a lack of suitable specimens.

Type Material

Bolton (2000):

Syntype workers and queen, ANTILLES IS: St Vincent I., Fitz-Hugh Valley, 500 ft, 4.xi. ; forest near Châteaubelais, 1000 ft, ll.x.; Petit Bordelle Valley, 1500 ft, 13.xi. (queen); Petit Bordelle Valley, 1600 ft, 13.xi.; Glen, branch of Richmond River, 1200 ft (all coll. H. H. Smith) (The Natural History Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna) [examined].

Strumigenys alberti var. intermedia W. M . Wheeler, 1913b: 242. Holotype and paratype workers, DOMINICA: Long Ditton, near Roseau (Crampton, Lutz & Miner) (American Museum of Natural History) [examined].

Strumigenys (Cephaloxys) alberti subsp. guianensis Weber, 1934a: 50. Syntype workers, GUIANA: Kartabo, 19.vii.1920 (W.M. Wheeler) (National Museum of Natural History, Museum of Comparative Zoology) [examined].


  • Baroni Urbani, C. & De Andrade, M.L. 2007. The ant tribe Dacetini: limits and constituent genera, with descriptions of new species. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria” 99: 1-191.
  • Bolton, B. 1999. Ant genera of the tribe Dacetonini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Natural History. 33:1639-1689. PDF
  • Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028. (page 154, figs. 120, 186 redescription of worker)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1953k. A revision of the dacetine ant genus Orectognathus. Mem. Qld. Mus. 13: 84-104 (page 95, queen described; page 93, Combination in Smithistruma; page 94, senior synonym of guianensis and intermedia)
  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1953g. Revisionary studies in the ant tribe Dacetini. American Midland Naturalist. 50:1-137. PDF
  • Emery, C. 1924f [1922]. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Myrmicinae. [concl.]. Genera Insectorum 174C: 207-397 (page 325, Combination in S. (Cephaloxys))
  • Forel, A. 1893j. Formicides de l'Antille St. Vincent, récoltées par Mons. H. H. Smith. Trans. Entomol. Soc. Lond. 1893: 333-418 (page 380, worker, queen described)
  • Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1960b. Supplementary studies on the larvae of the Myrmicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 62: 1-32 (page 27, larva described)