Specimens have been collected in various wet forests. It is aboreal, as evidenced by its presence in fogging samples and hand collections from live stems.
Bolton (2000) - A member of the Strumigenys tococae-group. Among the three species of the group in which the first gastral tergite is sculptured everywhere fairchildi is diagnosed by the above characters. In Strumigenys usbensis the first gastral tergite has spatulate hairs present and lacks spongiform tissue beneath the petiole. In Strumigenys anthocera hairs are present in the apicoscrobal position and on the mesonotum, and the spine at the base of the propodeal declivity is as long as the spine at the top.
Longino (Ants of Costa Rica) - Apical fork of mandible with two intercalary teeth; mandible with two pronounced preapical teeth; eye large, with over 35 facets; dorsal and ventral teeth of propodeal lamella pronounced, acute; gaster finely longitudinally striolate, opaque-sericeous throughout.
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- fairchildi. Strumigenys fairchildi Brown, 1961a: 60 (w.) PANAMA. See also: Bolton, 2000: 564.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Holotype worker: TL 4.1, HL 0.96, HW 0.72, ML 0.59, WL 1.01, scape L 0.68 mm; CI 75, MI 61.
Aside from its larger size and relatively longer mandibles, this species closely resembles Strumigenys tococae from the Amazon Basin. The upper propodeal teeth are somewhat longer (about as long as the distance between the centers of their bases, and about twice a long as the lower teeth), and the lamella between the upper and lower teeth is lower and more cariniform. The eyes are about the same size (greatest diameter about 0.14 mm), and the petiole and postpetiole are similar, but with slightly less voluminous spongiform appendages. The best distinction lies in the sculpture and pilosity of the nodes and gastric dorsum:
(1) Postpetiolar disc convex, evenly reticulo-punctulate, with only feeble anterior traces of longitudinal costulae. First gastric tergite finely longitudinally striolate, opaque-sericeous, throughout (in S. tococae, the gaster is costulate at the base, but otherwise smooth and shining).
(2) Ground pilosity strongly reduced, virtually absent on nodes and gastric dorsum (plentiful and conspicuous in S. tococae). Fine erect flagelliform hairs of nodes and gaster shorter and apparently fewer than in S. tococae.
The color is ferruginous yellow, the gaster somewhat brighter yellow than the rest of the body.
Bolton (2000) - TL 3.7-4.0, HL 0.92-1.00, HW 0.69-0.78, CI 74-78, ML 0.55-0.60, MI 59-60, SL 0.64-0.70, SI 87-94, PW 0.42-0.48, AL 0.94-1.06 (4 measured).
First gastral tergite finely and very densely longitudinally costulate-striolate; surface of sclerite with minute inconspicuous appressed pubescence only, without spatulate hairs such as are present on the cephalic dorsum but with a few scattered flagellate hairs that are extremely fine, easily broken or lost. Apicoscrobal hair absent. Maximum diameter of eye ca 0.14. Propodeum in profile with a pair of long spines at top of declivity; base of declivity with a pair of much shorter acute teeth that are narrowly triangular. Ventral surface of petiole with a narrow continuous strip of spongiform tissue.
Holotype (Museum of Comparative Zoology) a unique worker from the wooded ravine next to the inn near the top of Cerro Campana, Panama Prov., Panama, 17 January, 1960, at an altitude of 800 to 850 m (G. B. Fairchild and W. L. Brown leg.). The worker was found walking on a rotten stick lying on the leaf litter on the shaded slope of the ravine; hasty search of the litter and soil nearby ailed to uncover more specimens. Since, the very closely related S. tococae was found at Belem, Brazil, nesting in foliar sacs of the plant Tococa, it is possible that S. fairchildi was also nesting in a plant cavity above the ground. Since the relationships of S. fairchildi were not recognized until it was critically examined in the laboratory, the possibility of a plant-cavity habitat was not investigated in the field.
Bolton (2000) - Holotype worker, PANAMA: Panama Prov., Cerro Campana, 17.i.1960, 800-850 m. (G. B. Fairchild & W. L. Brown) (Museum of Comparative Zoology) [examined].
- Bolton, B. 2000. The ant tribe Dacetini. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute. 65:1-1028.
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1961. The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: miscellaneous concluding studies. Psyche. 68:58-69. PDF (page 60, worker described)
- Brown, W. L., Jr. 1962c. The neotropical species of the ant genus Strumigenys Fr. Smith: synopsis and keys to the species. Psyche. 69:238-267. PDF